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Overcoming Winter Weight Gain

From Chill to Cravings - Conquer Winter's Eating Challenges

By Liam Fox, Owner at Lindfield

It's a well-documented phenomenon that most of us tend to eat more during the colder months, often gaining between one to three kilograms. But why does winter push us towards increased food intake, and what can we do to counteract this seasonal challenge?

1. The Chill Factor: Cold Weather and Increased Appetite

Feeling cold often triggers a craving for carbohydrates, which warm the body. The key issue arises when we consume more carbs than needed, especially the simple sugars that provide quick energy but lead to overeating.

Strategy: Focus on consuming complex carbohydrates that are rich in fibre and incorporate proteins and healthy fats. This combination digests slowly, maintains fullness, and prevents overeating at day's end.

2. Dim Light, High Cravings: The Impact of Shorter Days

Reduced daylight can disrupt brain hormones like melatonin and serotonin, leading to fatigue and a depressed mood, which in turn can increase our food intake—particularly carbohydrates that boost serotonin, known as "comfort foods."

Strategy: Be proactive in managing mood swings that come with shorter days. Opt for complex carbs in the morning to balance brain hormones throughout the day. Ensure you get to bed by 10 pm to support serotonin and melatonin balance, enhancing mood and aiding in weight management.

3. Homebound and Hungry: The Temptation of Being Indoors

Winter’s early darkness can mean more time at home during peak meal times, making it harder to stick to a diet when surrounded by food.

Strategy: Set specific meal times and stick to them, reducing spontaneous eating. Keep tempting foods out of sight and engage in hobbies that divert your attention from eating. Establishing structured meal plans can help maintain discipline in your dietary habits.

4. Cold Weather Workout Woes

The cold makes it challenging to motivate oneself for exercise, from dressing up in sportswear to stepping out for a gym session or a jog.

Strategy: Remember the rewarding feeling post-workout to motivate starting an exercise session. Maintain a regular workout schedule, dress appropriately for outdoor activities, and consider finding a workout buddy to increase accountability and commitment. Embrace the cold as a catalyst for increased metabolism during outdoor exercises.


Winter brings unique challenges to maintaining health and fitness. By understanding the reasons behind increased eating and implementing structured strategies to manage diet and exercise, we can enjoy a healthier season without the added weight.

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