Winter is a bleak time for dieters as new figures show calorie intake increases as the weather turns colder.
A survey by calorie counter app, Nutracheck, has revealed that 69 per cent of people said they ate more in the winter months.
Emma Brown MSc, Nutracheck nutritionist, said: “Our members are not alone; studies show that seasonal weight gain can kick in with people consuming around 200 extra calories a day as the days shorten. Keep that up and when spring comes around, you could find yourself carrying an extra half a stone.
“Winter weight gain is largely the result of reduced exercise, interruptions to workout routines, party food and drink and a greater desire for comfort foods, so this year, be prepared for the season with our five-point plan to beat winter weight gain.”
In order to avoid weight gain in the winter there area few helpful tips people can follow.
Firstly never go to a party hungry. An environment with lots of food and alcohol is very tempting so have a high protein snack before you go to keep hunger at bay.
Secondly be aware of alcohol as it is loaded with calories. Since many holiday celebrations involve drinking, it’s easy to consume a lot of calories without being aware of it. It’s advisable to drink a glass or water or diet soda after each alcoholic drink to help dilute the calories.
Another tip is to limit calorie damage. If you overeat one day, it’s not a reason to keep overdoing it for the next few days.
You should also exercise where and when you can so if it’s hard to drag yourself out in the evening when it’s cold and dark, try to exercise during the day for example taking a walk at lunchtime. Or you can try a fitness DVD in the comfort of the house.
Finally, comforting foods don’t have to be full of calories - stews and soups have a high water content and are low in energy density so they can fill you up without consuming lots of calories.