How to Avoid Weight Gain This Winter

Nutrition // Lisa Donaldson // 12 June 2016

If you are anything like me, you’re probably shivering and cursing the cold. This winter you will probably acquire a new set of gloves, a coat and beanie… but did you know that 53% of males and 30% of females will also acquire 2-5 kilos of weight gain? Yikes, huh!?

A study released by the NSW Food Authority and NSW Health found that men are most likely to put on weight over winter, with 53 per cent of males gaining 2-5 kilos, compared to 38 per cent of females. The research revealed that:

  • Nearly half of Australians expect to gain up to two kilos this winter.
  • 90 per cent say they eat more fast and snack foods and takeaway because they make them feel warmer and happier.
  • 36 per cent of Australians are concerned about putting on weight this winter
  • 59 per cent say weight gain will be caused by exercising less and eating more convenience foods and takeaway.

So, to minimize the likelihood of acquiring those extra kilos, I’ve got some tips for you!

1. Keep moving!

This doesn’t necessarily mean joining a fancy gym or competing in your first marathon, this simply means not going into winter hibernation because it’s cold!  Become an active participant in life and incorporate extra activity into your daily tasks. Think about parking further away when going to the shops, taking the stairs and not the lift, or going for a walk in the middle of the day. Perhaps invest in a pedometer and try to walk 10 000 steps every day.

Also read: The Skinny on Low-Carb Diets

2. Become a savvy shopper

Time to think about eating foods close nature, or at least purchasing products that read like they are ‘homemade’. Investigate ingredient lists and choose products that read as though Grandma made them.

3. Eat three meals a day – and stop grazing!

It’s not uncommon for ‘grazers’ to always feel hungry, or to be constantly thinking about their next meal. It’s best to consume three well-balanced and nutritious meals each day, so that your body feels satisfied, and can register hunger for the next meal. A little hunger is a good thing when trying to lose weight, as hunger tells us that our metabolism is working hard – whilst making use of some stored energy or fat!

Snacks should be eaten only when you have true ‘belly hunger’: not because you saw someone eating a warm cinnamon donut and think you need one, too! When people graze on small snacks all day long, they rarely feel satisfied. If you plated up an entire day’s worth of ‘grazing’ snacks, you’d probably be surprised by how much you’ve actually consumed! Go for three well-balanced meals and feel the difference.

4. Ditch the sugary drinks

If you swap all your juices, soft drinks, cordials, energy drinks and vanilla flavoured lattes for water or herbal tea you are going to make a massive change to your waistline – and your skin will look amazing! Liquid kilojoules certainly add up across the day, and water won’t lead to a spike in blood glucose levels, like those sugary beverages do.

Also read: How to Beat Your Sugar Addiction for Good

5. Fill up on non-starchy plant foods

Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre, non-starchy vegies are superb nutrition! Go for half a plate of non-starchy vegetables with every meal. This includes vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, beans, cauliflower, mushrooms, cabbage, tomato, Asian greens, baby spinach, zucchini, squash and carrots. Plus, enjoy two serves of whole fruit each day – mandarins are amazing during winter and one of my favourite snacks this time of year!

6. Sleep well

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for feeling alert and re-energised each day. If you constantly wake feeling tired and lethargic, you might need to reset your sleeping patterns. Think about turning off all electrical appliances (smart phones, computers, TV, etc) at least half an hour before going to bed, washing your face and having a small cup of warmed skim milk before going to bed.

Try and go to bed and wake up at the same time every day for a few weeks and feel the difference in your energy levels. This is especially important in winter when it’s still cold and dark when you wake!

Join 12WBT now and you’ll get Meal and Exercise Plans, Mindset Videos, expert support and more, to make sure you walk into spring feeling and looking amazing.



  1. Helen Reply

    While I can’t afford your brilliant programme for the third time, I’m SO PLEASED to still receive your newsletter with tips and positive reinforcing words to help motivate me.
    12WBT is not simply a programme, it’s a lifestyle enhancer.
    Love it.
    Thanks to your team , Mish, for all heir hard work xx

  2. Maz Reply

    Hi I hve done the programme a couple of times now. Reading this article, it seems that one should eat 3 meals a day and not snack in between. Is this what you would suggest! I am currently eating 3 meals and one afternoon snack.


    1. Tanya Paolucci Reply

      Hi Maz,

      The message Lisa is sending is that we need to start listening to our hunger cues. If that means at ‘snack time’ you are not hungry, bulk out your next meal with some avocado, nuts, a cob of corn or another healthy addition to ensure that you are still meeting your calorie allowance.

      All the best!

  3. Marion Bassham Reply

    Have to watch this winter carefully, as I’m going on a 53 day cruise in October.
    Thanks for the tips

  4. Barbara Fleming Reply

    I didn’t realize i could access the wonderful tips and information, I will visit your emails more often thank you.


  5. Maree Reid Reply

    Hi Mish and all the team,

    Want to say a big thank you for the work that you all do.
    Its great to stay connected with the helpful tips.
    Although l only did one round, l still feel connected having the support there. Its like a wider part of the family.
    Again thank you all so much.


  6. Gus Reply

    Forget counting calories, it is nonsense. Count carbs instead, and then watch what happens. Counting calories will get you nowhere, because it was never about how many calories, it is rather about where the calories come from. I eat 12,000 or more kilojoules most days, and do I gain weight? No, I lose it. Do I exercise it off? No, because that is another fallacy. My body does a lot of work to keep its ‘set point’, and provided you give your body the right fuel, sit back and watch your set point drop, your bloods improve and your energy levels rise. Wake up, this calories in calories out nonsense is why we ended up where we are now!

  7. jane Humphrey Reply

    Hi Mish
    Thank you for a wonderful round this is my third round staggered, this time i got so much more out of the program i think i was focused and made time
    i will continue to use my meal planner to keep me on portion control as i know that lets me down

    1. Caroline Dann Reply

      Hey Jane,

      That’s fantastic – we’re SO pleased you’re finding it so helpful! Well done – and yep, that Meal Planner is a life saver! 😉

      Caroline from Support Crew x

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