How To Beat The Winter Bulge

With the clocks about to go back, the days will be increasingly gloomy and chilly soon, making summer a distant memory.

However, for many people, autumn is still a great time of year to enjoy. Many will love the colours of nature, while others will revel in events such as Halloween and Bonfire Night, as well as the start of Christmas markets as the festive season approaches.

Put together, all this can pose a few challenges for the waistline. On the one hand, there is the bonfire toffee and parkin, myriad of tasty free samples in the markets and the prospect of a festive season of overeating, excess drinking and stodgy puddings. 

On the other, there is the danger that colder, wetter and darker conditions outside make it harder to get out and about. Even stepping out into the rain to drive or walk to the gym may seem a far from enticing prospect on a dark winter night.

The average Christmas dinner of turkey and all the trimmings, plus a stodgy pudding, contains no fewer than 5,200 calories. This is compared with the 2,500 calories a day a man should consume, a figure that drops to 2,000 for a woman. 

If this was just a one-off, it wouldn’t matter. But there will be many more fattening meals at office Christmas parties and other gatherings in advent, mince pies after carol services, plus, of course, all the leftovers to be grazed on endlessly on Boxing Day. 

All this is why healthy diet meal prep can be vital in preventing you from piling on the pounds over the winter. 

On the one hand, it makes sure that a lot of your meals are automatically healthy and wholesome. Secondly, by ordering these you can maintain your motivation to eat healthily and be disciplined. 

Secondly, and just as importantly, you are not left feeling too full and bloated after a meal, which can hamper efforts to get on with some exercise. This, in turn, means that having got some exercise you can feel fitter and more motivated, which will help you to carry on being disciplined.

None of this means you cannot enjoy yourself over the next few months, but what it does mean is that you minimise the extra intake of calories and stay motivated, instead of ‘letting yourself go’ over the winter and then trying to get fit again in the spring.

A major challenge that can arise is in the New Year, when all the fun seems to stop. There’s no fireworks, no Christmas lights, and the tree has come down. The notion that the third Monday of the year – Blue Monday – is the gloomiest day is a bit of a myth, but undoubtedly it can be a time when many will feel a bit demotivated as their wallets are flat, the weather is cold and it’s still very dark.

However, by maintaining the consistency provided by healthy meal prep, you can ensure your diet does not become too fattening or a factor in a struggle to maintain discipline, helping you to emerge from the winter without putting on too many pounds.