I used to think that winter weight gain was just unavoidable, but after my extreme weight gain last year I vowed that I would do everything possible (in a health way of course) to keep my weight balanced. It is important for me to keep an eye on my weight for several reasons, but most importantly to keep my PCOS in check. With my drastic weight gain last winter I really frightened myself as my PCOS symptoms were at their worst and completely uncontrollable. After dropping 13 pounds I’m making sure that this time around that I do a few things to stay on the right track. So in doing so I must share all my experiences with you to help those that may struggle just as I do.  So here are the 8 things give or take a few ways to avoid winter weight gain around this hectic holiday season.

8 Ways To Avoid Winter Weight Gain

1.Set Up An Exercise schedule: It is super easy (well easier) for us to work out in the warmer months because we can find many different ways to be active. When it gets cold and dark outside it becomes a little more difficult to do so. If you find it difficult to work out at night or in the dark then hit the workout in the morning. Whatever your schedule is stick to it and don’t waiver Lowering your activity will lead to weight gain, so always find time to get moving!

2. Avoid excessive alcohol: If it seems that the winter is chalk full of holidays that you cant escape… thats because it is! Summer can be difficult to avoid excessive alcohol, but in the winter it seems almost impossible. From Thanksgiving, to Christmas, to New Years there are many opportunities to add a few wasted calories to your day. Instead try to save up on these calories with water (sounds boring) but you’ll thank me when you get to the next steps!

3. Forgive yourself: You’re going to have slip ups and thats okay! What you need to do and remember is that a slip up isn’t the end of the world. You get back on track and forgive yourself, because at the end of the day its best to remember mistakes happen, but theres no need to quit. Being hard on yourself will just make it harder to get back on track!

4. Meal Prep: Meal prepping is time consuming yes, but it makes all the difference in how your week of eating can go. Even if you don’t want to prep every single meal (I only do breakfast and lunch) you should prep one particular meal for every day of the week. This way you’ll know how many calories your consuming, will be specifically making sure you get some protein, carbs and low glycemic foods into your diet. It also helps you stay on track when you get hungry (prepping your snacks is also a great way to avoid that urge for a donut or snickers bar).

5. Drink green Tea: Green tea is a great natural pick me up and helps with curving appetite. With an increase in your metabolism your also helping battle weight gain and can actually lead to weight loss. My green tea of choice is Teami Alive from Teami Blends. This tea has ginger, lemongrass, honey and green tea! This tea helps wake me up and aids with improving skin complexion.

6. Make Smarter Choices: Attempting not to gain weight doesn’t mean you have to starve or stop eating what you love completely. It just means that you need to make better decisions in when and how you eat certain things. For example I know that I love to go out on the weekends with friends. So during the week I try to eat as clean as possible (doesn’t always work but I put in extra effort). On the weekends when I do binge eat a bit I crank up my workouts (longer/harder HIIT and cardio) to burn off the excess calories I may have taken in. You also can swap out certain foods for a healthier version that is still just as tasty. For example I love chicken ( I know I know stereotypical) but instead of fried I go for grilled or baked and watch the seasoning that I’m using.

7. Get some sleep: This is one of the harder steps for me to follow. We are supposed to get 8 hours of sleep but that is easier said than done. I tend to average 5-6 hours and I pay for that dearly in the morning. The more often you get better sleep the easier time your body has with proper digestion and function. Sleep helps our bodies function properly and keep things balanced. If you aren’t sleeping you are going to make it difficult to help keep the pounds off.

8. Keep drinking water: I try to drink 2-3 liters of water a day not only for my skin and health but also because sometimes when you think you are hungry you’re really just bored. Try drinking a glass of water while you think you are hungry and wait 10-15 minutes. Drinking water also helps you feel less hungry thus causing you to eat less during meals. So drink up your body will thank you for it!

What steps do you think will be the easiest or hardest for you to follow in order to avoid winter weight gain? Share your thoughts with us in the comment box below!

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