Have you noticed a few extra kilos gathering around your middle this winter? Don’t be too hard on yourself.  

Most of us gain weight in cold weather when low temperatures keep us inside and we tend to indulge in heaps of high-fat comfort foods to chase away the chill. A 2012 study released by the NSW Food Authority and NSW Health revealed that

  • Nearly half of Australians expect to gain up to two kilos during winter.
  • 90% say they eat more fast, snack, and takeaway foods because they make them feel warmer and happier.
  • 59% say weight gain will be caused by exercising less and eating more fast and snack foods and takeaways.

Whatever the reason for your winter weight gain (and even if you’re carrying around some extra kg’s from before winter), the Costhetics team wants to share these top tips for shedding 5 kilos. These are easy changes you can make that don’t involve counting calories, exercising, or anything too different than you’re already doing.

#1 Weight Loss Tip from the Tortoise & the Hare

When it comes to long-term success with weight loss, slow and steady wins the race. The slower you lose the extra kilos, the more likely you are to maintain your goal weight when you get there.

So our #1 tip: Aim for 0.8–1 kg per week for safe, healthy, lasting weight loss.

Top weight-loss programs advocate stopping after the first 5 kg and maintaining that loss for about six months before trying to lose any more.

  1. Eat More Often – People who have kept their weight off for more than a few years tend to eat an average of five times a day. Light and frequent meals tend to curb your appetite, boost your energy, improve your mood and even speed up your metabolism, because the process of digestion itself burns kilojoules.
  1. Learn to Tell Hunger from Thirst – People often mistake thirst for hunger, so next time you feel like eating something, reach for the water first. Drinking also helps you feel full.
  1. Pay Attention to Alcohol Calories – Go easy on the alcohol. Remember that alcohol is a source of many kilojoules. A typical glass of beer has 585 kilojoules and a 200 ml glass of wine, about 600. Creamy cocktails, such as Brandy Alexanders and Mudslides, are the caloric equivalent of eating a rich dessert.
  1. Say No to Soft Drinks – Sugary soft drinks are linked to weight problems worldwide. Soft drinks have tons of calories, but absolutely no nutrition.
  1. Take Time to Enjoy Your Meal – If you’re not focused on your food intake, you run the risk of eating more than you need or want. Make a conscious decision to savour every calorie you put in your mouth. Instead of eating on the run or in front of the TV, make mealtime an occasion.
  1. Control Your Portions with Style – Do you plan to eat a few chips out of the bag and suddenly find that you’ve consumed every last one? Portioning out an appropriate amount of a treat and putting it in a special bowl or on a special plate will help ensure that you don’t overeat.
  1. Satisfy Your Appetite with Protein – Studies in Scotland, Denmark, Sweden and England found that people who eat a high-protein breakfast or lunch are less hungry at their next meal. The reason is that protein prolongs the feeling of being full better than carbohydrates or fats do.

Expand Your Horizons for Winter Weight Loss

Many people fall into a pattern of eating the “same old, same old” foods. This can lead to food boredom, which is linked to overeating. Try putting some different proteins, fruits, and veggies on your plate for a change. You’ll find a great list of winter foods for weight loss here: http://www.besthealthmag.ca/eat-well/diet/top-20-winter-foods-for-weight-loss

See you on the beach!

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