A Girl's Guide to Preventing Wintertime Weight Gain ...

It’s no secret that many women pile on some pounds during the winter. You’re more covered up, you probably crave hearty comfort food and you may be drinking more hot lattes or cocoa to stay warm. Whatever the reason, you can ward off this winter weight gain so that when spring comes, you are ready to slide back into the bikini and hit the waves. Here’s how to stay svelte all winter long.

1. Keep Wearing Your Skinny Jeans

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Resist the urge to pack up your skinnies until summer and pair them with a cozy sweater or fitted jacket while it’s cold. Having those fabulously fitted jeans on can help you turn down the second bowl of stew or help you remember to reach for hot tea instead of a sugar-laden coffee drink. Plus skinny jeans look awesome with tall boots, so you can’t really go wrong.

2. Find Winter Activities to Burn Calories

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Don’t give up your exercise routine just because the mercury drops. Make sure you are still burning calories to maintain your weight and prevent the pounds from piling on. If you don’t want to run in the snow or the gym gets too busy in the winter, consider ice skating, skiing, sledding or snowshoeing instead. Each of these is fun and will burn calories at the same time.

3. Eat a Snack before Your Winter Parties

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The holidays are a big part of the winter, but people also host indoor soirees when it’s too cold to go outside. No matter why you’re partying, have a small snack before you get there. This will help you show some restraint at the buffet table so that you don’t overdo it on fat and calories. A string cheese, handful of nuts or piece of fresh fruit are your best options.

4. Rethink Your Favorite Comfort Foods

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Winter is the perfect time to enjoy cheesy casseroles, hearty stews and creamy soups. However, those items are not always a good eating choice. You don’t have to give up your favorite winter comfort foods, but you should lighten them up. Use low-fat cheese, half-n-half and lean cuts of meat to keep things under control.

5. Try to Resist the Winter Drinks

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Hot toddies, cocoa, chai, creamy coffee drinks and hot apple cider all appear on restaurant menus when the temps outside plunge. They might taste great, but these options are higher in calories than is truly healthy. Stick with hot tea, unsweetened coffee or warm low-fat milk so that you can warm up without filling out.

6. Don’t Get Bored

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We all tend to nibble more when we are bored. I fall prey to this quite often once the kids are in bed and the house gets quiet and my chores are all done. Don’t let this happen to you because all that mindless munching can lead to weight gain. Find some winter hobbies to keep you busy. Knitting, painting or scrapbooking are perfect for when you’re stuck inside with nothing to do.

7. Stay Healthy with a Flu Shot

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Flu shots are debated as to their risks and benefits, so discuss this one with your doctor before getting jabbed. In general, however, preventing the flu can keep you healthy and prevent weight gain. How? When you’re under the weather, you probably aren’t getting enough exercise, which can lead to excess pounds. So too can eating too much chicken noodle soup.

Do you gain weight in the winter? How do you prevent it from happening?

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