With colder weather leading to bigger appetites, especially for high-calorie options, and more time indoors, many Aussies find themselves packing on winter kilos.
Dark straight after work, cold temperatures and a lot of rain—the perfect scenario for long hours on the couch and lots of hot food.
But there’s no need for a shock when the t-shirts come out in spring, according to our experts
The team at Duff Street Medical’s Weight Loss Clinic have made it their mission to help our community keep the winter kilos at bay through these healthy (and simple) ways.
About our Weight Loss Clinic
Our programs offer life changing results to help individuals dial down the kilos per their circumstances.
Whether it be through food diaries, calorie counting, exercise programs, medication or other solutions, professional support, advice and medically-backed options are available.
ONE: Mix exercise with social events
It can be really tough to keep up with exercise in winter, dark evenings, rain, cold wind and basically no mood for anything other than staying home.
A great idea is mixing exercise with social events.
Instead of meeting friends at the pub for dinner, go for a walk on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Australia offers some amazing scenery with the green colours of winter so a national park can be a great option.
If indoors is more your thing, many gyms and yoga studios offer discounts if you sign up with a friend which can be a great option and lighter on the wallet.
TWO: Add some spice to your life
Or, to your food more accurately. Adding some spicy food to your diet, assuming you don’t have allergies, is a great idea in winter.
Firstly, spicy food warms you up by stimulating circulation and raising body temperature. This means a spicy curry full of vegetables for example, can be an excellent winter meal option.
Also, spicy food gives your metabolism a boost which can help you feel more full and also reduce your overall calorie intake hours after eating.
In other words, spicy food can warm you up and help keep extra calories off.
THREE: Cook at home
With the topic of spicy food in mind, cooking at home can also be a huge win:
- No going out in the cold and rain
- Can be a fun and social activity
It’s well known that cooking at home with ingredients you’ve picked from a supermarket (or market) is far healthier than meals from restaurants in almost all cases.
This is due to healthier ways of cooking (ie. no deep frying) and the actual ingredients themselves. Most home cooked meals don’t involve large amounts of processed foods and high-fat/sugar sauces.
It’s much cheaper too.
A recent article on Taste.com.au found the following examples:
- Margherita pizza – 68% cheaper at home ($6.50 per takeaway serve / $2.10 at home)
- Fish and chips – 54% cheaper at home ($7.40 per takeaway serve / $3.40 at home)
- Pad Thai – 69% cheaper at home ($9 per takeaway serve / $2.80 at home)
So give cooking at home a go.
If you have a family member or friend with some cooking skills, it can make the idea a rewarding social event too.
FOUR: Home workouts
If going outside for exercise seems a little intimidating after work in the dark, home workouts can be a great alternative.
Create a workout routine at home using bodyweight exercises, resistance bands, dumbbells, or exercise equipment like treadmills or stationary bikes.
There are numerous online resources and fitness apps that provide workout routines and guidance
Another idea is in front of a screen.
Utilise interactive gaming consoles or virtual reality systems that promote physical activity, such as Wii Fit, PlayStation Move, or dance games.
These can be an entertaining way to exercise indoors.
FIVE: Enjoy Australia in the winter
Did you know that there are tons of amazing places to explore, all not too far from Melbourne?
- The Great Ocean Road
- The Grampians
- Dandenong Ranges
- Mount Buffalo
You get the idea, and there are way more.
Go for a weekend away in winter and do some hiking and long walks. There are amazing sights and scenery all with less heat and sun exposure in the colder months.
On average, an adult can expect to burn around 300-400 calories per hour when hiking on moderate terrain.
Add in the fresh air and change of scenery, and a weekend away can be hugely beneficial.
SIX: Make the most of seasonal fruits and vegetables
Winter veggies include: beetroot, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, kale, leeks, onions, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, silverbeet, spinach, sweet potato and turnips.
Fruit in winter in Australia includes: pears, Golden Delicious apples, oranges and strawberries.
A pretty good selection.
Make the most of these seasonal healthy options the next time you’re in a supermarket.
It’s no surprise that a diet with options like the ones above is a much better choice than fried and processed foods.
EXTRA: The dangers of a sedentary winter lifestyle
A sedentary winter lifestyle can pose dangers to both physical and mental health.
When we become less active during the winter months, our overall fitness levels decline, leading to decreased cardiovascular health, reduced muscle strength, and diminished flexibility.
This inactivity can contribute to weight gain, as well as an increased risk of obesity and chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
A lack of physical activity can negatively impact our mental well-being, leading to feelings of lethargy, mood swings, increased stress, and even symptoms of depression.
Winter tends to coincide with an increase in sedentary behaviours such as excessive screen time, which can further exacerbate the negative effects on our health.
To mitigate these risks, it’s best to prioritise regular physical activity, even if it means finding indoor alternatives or adapting your routine to suit the winter conditions.
Keeping winter kilos off is always a win
When the cold weather melts away in late September and early October, many of us are in for a shock when the t-shirts, shorts and summer clothes make a comeback.
But there’s no need to worry.
Adding just a few of the healthy ways to keep the winter kilos off listed above to your routine can make a huge difference and have a positive impact on your health and wellbeing.
It’s also important to pay close attention to where your health stands.
If you haven’t had a check-up in a while, speak to our team and ensure your health is where it should be.
Winter is also a good time to check your skin isn’t hiding anything as less tans and sunburn make it much more accurate for health professionals.