We are a week or so into winter where I am right now and the temperature is certainly dropping! I don’t like winter, cold, dark mornings and I can never seem to find enough layers to keep me warm .. think Michelin man cos that’s how I feel!

With winter also comes a cold or two and a few extra kilos or two! Now, as frustrating as it is, it’s easy enough to deal with a cold … the few extra kilos on the other hand. They are harder to get rid of and we certainly don’t need them when it comes time to take off the layers and reveal our post hibernation bodies.

So, in an effort to keep everyone on track and not having to start from scratch when the weather gets warmer here are some of my tips to stay healthy over winter & avoid a little winter weight gain.

Stay Hydrated

You’ve spent the last few months religiously carrying your water bottle and making sure your pee is clear-ish but now looking at water makes you shiver with a chill just a little bit right? Actually, you should go quickly grab a glass of water now …

Keeping up your water in winter is just as important as it is in the warmer weather. Even more so to ensure that you skin stays hydrated in the cold, dry winter air. If you are in air con all day and have the heating going at night, this is the perfect recipe of dry and dull skin. Ensuring you are hydrated can go a long way to keeping your skin looking nice and fresh throughout the cold season.

Staying hydrated can also help to stop cravings. It’s hard enough to fight the cravings for all the delicious comfort food in winter as it is. A regular glass of water can help you feel fuller and less likely to reach for a snack you don’t really need and help you maintain or even lose weight over winter.

Meal Prep

Over the last few months you have worked extra hard to stay on track with your healthy eating. You may have even reached your goal weight or are happily maintaining your current weight. Don’t ruin all your hard work by blowing out over winter just because you can hide it under a bulky jumper .. you still need to fit into your jeans!

Prepping your meals will definitely help to keep you on track. Plan a menu that you can refer to for the week. From there, prep your lunches or dinners in advance. Many people use Sunday as a meal prep day to give themselves the best start to the week that they can. It doesn’t have to be Sunday, pick a day that works into your schedule.

Planning your meals and prepping in advance will save you time, save you money and save your waistline when you don’t have to choose a quick, easy and less nutritious option! I love meal prepping in winter because you can prep soups and meals that you can heat up in just a minute or two to warm your tummy!

Keep Moving

I get it that you don’t really want to venture out of your warm, cosy bed in the mornings and that’s fair enough .. I don’t either! But you can still keep moving and stay relatively warm! Indoor workouts where you don’t even have to get out of your PJs are a perfect option ( if you sleep braless, contain the girls first ). They don’t have to be long workouts … some of my favourite workouts are less than 30 minutes. They can absolutely be quick and effective with the added bonus of being able to do them whenever and wherever you want!

Still don’t feel like working out in the morning? Go for a walk at lunch time. Getting outdoors has so many benefits. The sun is delicious and warming, and you can get a dose of Vitamin D and the fresh air will certainly clear your head. Even just sitting quietly having lunch in the sun can restore your energy for the day.

Set a Mini Goal

I don’t mean a BHAG ( Big Hairy Audacious Goal ). It doesn’t have to be the same as your long term goal. It could be something as simple as doing more push ups! Say you can do 2 push ups on your toes at the moment .. set a mini goal for one month and focus on doing some extra push ups so that by the end of the month you can do 10 on your toes! You might want to squat heavier weight … focus on increasing the weights on your squats.

Maybe you have always wanted to be able to run or jog a little bit further. Set a plan and increase your run / jog time or distance each week and see if you can set a new PB by the end of the month! Your goal could be as simple as committing to a certain number of workouts each week, at least this way you are staying active and moving regularly!

Fire Up Your Immune System

No one likes to be sick and it always seems so much easier to pick up a bug in winter so trying to stay as healthy as possible is obviously what we all want to do! We can’t fight off everything all of the time but being extra vigilant with a couple of things over winter will give you the best chance of staying healthy and on track with your fitness.

Sleep  sleep does wonders for your body! If you are feeling a little worse for wear a couple of decent 7 – 8 hours at night will certainly help. I know with our busy lives it’s not always easy to get as much sleep as we need but making a little extra effort will make a difference.

Keep eating Fruit  getting the right serve of fruit each day can sometimes be hard, unless you are a fruit bat! I know I find it a little harder in winter but all the delicious citrus fruits like oranges and mandarins will help give you that extra little Vit C hit. Make the effort to fit in at least one piece of fruit a day as a minimum.

Eat more Vegetables  I find that I eat much more veg in winter. Steamed veg, stirfry, soups, casseroles .. it just seems easier to have more veg in winter foods. Filling up on green veg too will help boost your immune system, give you a fibre boost and keep you feeling fuller and less likely to snack on those “extras”.

Avoid processed foods  I know that you know this, but I’m going to say it anyway. Your body thrives on fruits, veg & lean proteins for energy, so tucking into excess sugar, excess alcohol, heavy deep fried and carb laden comfort foods will put extra pressure on your body which will in turn stress your immune system. Give your body what it needs and it will thank you by letting you do the exercise you want, and keeping your weight under control.

The last two I’ll mention here but they are a given … consistency … the more consistent you are, the better your results!

Lastly, do what works for you! I’ve said it dozens of times .. what works for someone else may not work for you, so don’t get hung up on someone else’s glowing recommendations of the latest soup, shake or juice.