How to avoid weight gain during winter

Oct 13, 2022

When the winter months arrive, in some locations it can be a time that you are much more likely to start gaining weight.

Colder weather, festive celebrations and other factors can often see many people lose track of their health and diet, only to see a change on the scales a few weeks later.

In fact, an American research study carried out by Rolando G Diaz-Zavala ( , a chemical and biological professor, found that the time between November and January can be critical for weight gain in adults.

However, the study suggested that programs focused on self-monitoring and recording during this time can help you avoid winter weight gain.

With that in mind, here are some of the top easy tips and tricks to introduce to ensure you will start the new year fit and healthy in a few weeks’ time.


Get enough sleep

It might seem like it won’t have an impact, but getting enough sleep is vital prevent weight gain and promote a healthy lifestyle.

For example, when you’re tired, your body craves an instant sugar fix that will give you a sudden spike of energy. This means you are much more likely to opt for food choices that aren’t good for you, whether it be chocolate, sweet pastries, biscuits and other high calorie snacks with a low nutritional value.

Also, tiredness can mean we become lazier, and opt to cook quick ready meals or order takeaways that will have the same impact.

It is recommended that you should aim for around 8 hours of sleep each night. This will benefit your energy levels and much more, as your body has a good amount of time to recharge.


Drink enough water

You should be drinking around two litres of water a day, with those living in hot climates encouraged to drink more than that in order to stay hydrated.

Although it is fine to enjoy other beverages like tea, coffee, and juice throughout the day, these should not be substitutes for your water.

Staying hydrated will boost your energy levels, as well as helping regulate your body temperature and digestion.

To avoid weight gain, you should consider having sugary drinks and alcohol in moderation, as most have high calorie counts and will only make you feel worse off later.


Stay active

Whether or not the weather is good is no excuse not to stay active over winter. Exercise can be done even in small doses, and you should always be mindful of how much you are moving.

For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator if you are at work, and ensure that 30 minutes of every day is filled with even light exercise, such as a walk, or a sport or hobby of your choice.

There are plenty of online videos and classes you can even take from the comfort of your own home, if you find you don’t have time to travel anywhere.


Watch your portion sizes

You don’t have to cut out everything you love eating and drinking during the winter, but it’s important to remember to be mindful of your portion sizes.

It can be easy to overload your plate and have too much, but this will only lead to the numbers creeping up on the scales.

Instead, try still having the foods you enjoy, but understand how much of them you are eating. In addition, make sure your diet still includes all the nutrients it needs, from fruit and vegetables to protein and a range of vitamins.


Watch your weight

Instead of avoiding the scales completely over the winter, it can be beneficial to track your progress.

In the instance you may have seen some winter weight gain the reminder allows you to act and make some changes before your weight gain becomes unhealthy or significant.

However, the winter period, especially if you are celebrating festivities should be about enjoying yourself and spending time with loved ones, so don’t be too hard on yourself.


Plan ahead

Understanding when and where you might be consuming more unhealthy foods or exercising less can help get a head start on staying balanced.

For example, if you know you are travelling on a weekend break where you will be eating out and not exercising, then try and ensure that you plan healthier choices for the days leading up to it.