Avoid winter weight gain

Avoid Winter Weight Gain
Avoid Winter Weight Gain

 

Winter weight gain isn’t just an urban myth. Research has shown most of us could gain around a pound (half a kilo) during the winter months. That may not sound like much, but over the course of a decade it can add up.

“There’s good evidence that people put on weight over the winter,” says dietitian Sian Porter. “The more overweight you are, the more you tend to put on. And the most worrying aspect of this seasonal weight gain is that the pounds tend to stay on. People don’t seem to lose the extra weight.”

The three main reasons that people put on weight in the winter are lack of physical activity, comfort eating and overindulging at Christmas.

Cold weather and shorter days make it harder to exercise outdoors, so it’s easy not to do any exercise over winter. If you’re not outside as much, there’s more time and temptation to reach into the kitchen cupboard for high-calorie sweet snacks, such as biscuits and cakes.

Then of course there are the festivities surrounding Christmas. “What used to be a couple of days of parties and overeating now seems, for some, to be six weeks of overdoing it,” says Porter.

So what’s the solution? Here are four simple ways to avoid winter weight gain.

1. Stock up your kitchen cupboards

Keep your store cupboard stocked with staples such as cans of tomatoes, spices, beans and pulses, dried wholewheat pasta, wholewheat cereals, noodles, couscous and dried fruit.

Keep some extra bread in the freezer if there’s space. That way, you’ll be able to create a quick and nutritious evening meal, such as a lentil or vegetable soup or stew, at short notice. You’ll save money and avoid the temptation to order a high-calorie takeaway.

Here are 10 healthy hot meals for winter.

2. Exercise more in winter

When the outside temperature drops, it’s easy to give up on outdoor exercise. In winter, we stop doing calorie-burning outdoor activities such as short walks and gardening. But reducing the amount of physical activity you do is one of the biggest contributors to winter weight gain.

Cold weather and shorter days don’t mean you have to abandon exercise completely. Instead, rearrange your schedule to fit in what you can. You don’t need formal exercise to burn calories.

A brisk walk can be revitalising after being indoors with the central heating on, and it’ll also help boost your circulation. Put on some warm clothes and jog around the neighbourhood, or start a snowball fight with the kids.

Most leisure centres have heated swimming pools and indoor tennis and badminton courts. If you’d rather stay at home, buy some dance or workout DVDs, and always walk up the stairs at work rather than using the lift. “These little things can make all the difference when it comes to avoiding that pound of weight gain over winter,” says Porter.

Get more tips for exercising in winter.

3. Watch out for high-calorie drinks

It’s important to consume hot drinks throughout winter because it will help you keep warm. But some hot drinks are high in calories.

Milky, syrupy coffee shop drinks and hot chocolate with whipped cream can add a lot of calories to your diet. A Starbucks medium caffe mocha, for instance, contains more than 360 calories.

Stick to regular coffee or tea, or ask for your drink to be “skinny” (made with skimmed milk). Also, limit your alcohol intake as much as possible.

4. Get your winter greens

Eating a wide variety of foods ensures you get a range of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. Don’t get stuck eating the same food every day.

Look out for root vegetables, such as swedes, parsnips and turnips, and winter veggies such as cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale and artichokes. They’re filling as well as nutritious, so they will help you resist a second helping of trifle.

This recipe for a hearty vegetable soup is a great way to get more winter vegetables into your diet.

84% Do Not Understand the Calorie Content of Alcoholic Drinks

The importance of self care
The importance of self care

As a nation, Britons are increasingly aware of the calorie content in the food they eat but can the same be said for what they drink? And how much alcohol is in their drink?

New research conducted by Diageo* reveals that 84% of people admitted they were unfamiliar with how many calories were in their drinks, while a further 59% of people revealed they didn’t understand the concept of a unit and how much this equated to.

More than half the UK incorrectly believe that when it comes to potency that a standard spirits measure or ‘unit’ is stronger than standard beer and wine equivalents.

In an effort to address confusion and help people to enjoy alcohol as part of a balanced lifestyle, Diageo is currently rolling out on-pack alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve across the UK.

Alcohol can be part of a balanced lifestyle – the challenge is giving people the tools to better understand that. In reality there is no drink of moderation, only the practice of moderation.

For further information on how many calories are in a standard drink, what a unit of alcohol is when compared in different beverages and top tips and advice to be mindful of, watch our video featuring Nutritionist Amanda Ursell @AmandaUrsell and Diageo’s Head of Alcohol in Society, Kate Blakeley.

 

  • Research conducted July/August 2016 amongst 803 adults (200 of which UK based)

The Energy Diet – Top Tips for Feeling Great Through Diet

The Energy Diet
The Energy Diet

The best way to eat if you want to banish tiredness is to have a healthy, balanced diet that contains foods from the four main food groups in the right proportions.

The four food groups are:

fruit and vegetables

potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy foods

milk and dairy foods

beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other non-dairy sources of protein

Eat at regular intervals

If you eat at regular times, your body knows when your next meal is coming and learns to manage feelings of hunger and sustain your energy levels.

Try to eat three meals a day and limit snacks – especially high-fat ones – between meals.

Breakfast boosts your energy

Breakfast gives you the energy you need to face the day. Despite this, up to one-third of us regularly skip breakfast, according to the British Dietetic Association (BDA).

Go for healthier options, such as porridge with fruit, vegetable omelette, or wholemeal toast with a scraping of low-fat spread or jam.

If you can’t face eating as soon as you get up, take a high-fibre snack to eat on the run, rather than snacking on high-sugar or high-fat foods.

Here are five healthy breakfasts, plus how to choose healthy breakfast cereals.

Aim for at least 5 A DAY for more vitality

Most people in the UK eat too much fat, sugar and salt, and not enough fruit and vegetables.

Fruit and vegetables are good sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre – essential nutrients that your body needs to work properly.

Try to incorporate at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg into your daily diet. They can be fresh, frozen, tinned, dried or juiced.

Find tips on how to boost your fruit and veg intake.

Read more about how to get your 5 A DAY.

Slow-burning starches give sustained energy

Starchy foods – also called carbohydrates – such as potatoes, bread, cereals and pasta are an important part of a healthy diet. They’re a good source of energy and the main source of a range of nutrients.

Starchy foods should make up just over a third of everything you eat. There are different types of starch. Where possible, go for slow-burning wholegrain or wholemeal varieties, as they release energy gradually.

Read more about healthy starchy foods.

Sugar steals your stamina

Adults and children in the UK eat too much sugar. Sugar is not only bad for your teeth, it can also be bad for your waistline. It gives you a rush of energy, but one that wears off quickly.

Cutting out all sugar is virtually impossible. There are natural sugars in lots of foods, including fruit and veg, and you don’t need to avoid these.

However, it’s a good idea to cut down on foods with lots of added sugar, such as sweets, cakes, biscuits, non-diet fizzy drinks and chocolates.

Read the facts about sugar.

Iron-rich foods prevent fatigue

Four in 10 (40%) girls and women aged 16-24 and almost half (44%) of girls aged 11-15 have low iron stores, according to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey.

Being low on iron can make you feel tired and faint, and look pale.

While red meats, green vegetables and fortified foods such as breakfast cereals are good sources of iron, the important thing is to eat a range of foods to get enough iron.

Here’s more advice on good sources of iron.

Non-alcoholic drinks boost zest levels

Watch your alcohol intake. It can dehydrate you, which will make you feel tired.

Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids – the government recommends 6-8 glasses every day. This is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water and lower-fat milk are healthier choices.

Read more about healthy drinks.

Eat enough to pack a punch

Make sure you eat the right amount for your activity level. The average man needs around 2,500 calories a day, and the average woman needs 2,000 calories. Remember, we all overestimate how active we are.

Learn how to understand calories.

A vegan low calorie summer berry ice-cream – great for being part of a weight loss diet


Everyone enjoys ice cream and now you can without ruining your diet
Everyone enjoys ice cream and now you can without ruining your diet
If you think ice-cream is complicated to make and heavy on the calories, think again.

Nutritionist and chef, Christine Bailey shows us just how easy and nutritious ice-cream can be with a few fresh ingredients.

This recipe is rich and creamy but low in calories thanks to the 0 calorie stevia sweetener, and the berry and mint combination keeps it refreshingly light for the taste buds.

Use the season’s brightest berries to make this dairy free, gluten free recipe high in flavour and perfectly on trend.

It’s the perfect sweet treat for the whole year round.