As Aussies swap their singlets for snuggies and swimsuits for stockings, it’s no surprise that with the extra layering winter clothing provides, most of us start packing on the kilos when we pull out the cardigans. In fact, a recent survey of more than 1,700 Australians, revealed that over 80% of Australians put on weight during the chilly season.
While winter weight gain is no surprise, what causes it can be. Chris Lynton, resident nutritionist for QUICKSLIM Australia, points out that when it comes to some of the common Aussie beliefs surrounding winter weight gain, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction.
To ensure you’re equipped with the right information to battle the infamous winter bulge, Chris unveils the truth surrounding the following winter facts and fables:
1. FICTION: “I warm up with a cuppa’ to tide me over between meals”
What better way to warm up and fill up, than with a steaming cup of Joe, a much better choice than reaching for the hot chips... right? Chris disagrees; “while over 70% of Aussies find solace in a hot cup of coffee at least one to four times a day*, what they may not realise, is that a humble coffee made with full cream milk yields 12.4g fat, and that’s not taking into account the additional calories that may come from added sugar. Consume two of those a day and you’re looking at the equivalent fat content of six Big Macs over the week,” says Chris.
2. FICTION: “I’m too cold to exercise in winter and that’s why I put on weight!”
The QUICKSLIM survey revealed that while 4 out of 5 Aussies admit to letting their winter exercise regime slide over winter, Chris believes this is not a valid excuse for winter weight gain. “While exercise is essential for maintaining good health, it is still perfectly possible to lose and maintain weight without any exercise at all. Research has actually shown that the more we exercise, the more we tend to eat, and for a lot of us, it can be very difficult to know when our calorie consumption exceeds those we have burned through exercise,” says Chris.
Rather than feeling guilty for not exercising, simply pay more attention to what you are eating. “The cold weather may keep you from exercising, but don’t let it derail your food choices,” says Chris.
3. FACT: Danger can lie in the loose layers
The QUICKSLIM survey also revealed that, over 70% of Aussies look forward to donning the winter woollies in order to hide the lumps and bumps they inherit during winter. Chris points out that there can be hidden dangers in hiding under tempting layers, “while disguising weight gain can make us feel comfortable, layering under loose clothing also allows us to put off addressing the real problem. The more people resign themselves to gaining weight, the more they will gain, and the more they cover up, the more they hide from the real issue,” says Chris.
4. FICTION: “But I’m hungrier in winter!”
Feel your tummy rumbling a little more as the temperature drops? Well according to Chris this could be all in the mind. “Contrary to popular belief, we are not actually hungrier in winter. People do tend to increase their intake of comfort foods such as hot, fried foods and sweets but you’re more likely to feel like eating from boredom, or even slight depression than from the colder climate,” says Chris.
5. FICTION: “But it’s only a couple of kilos!”
With over 70% of Aussies claiming to put on between 2 – 4kgs over winter*, many people think that a slight waist expansion over the winter period is OK, just as long as you shed it before summer hits. However, this type of yo-yo dieting is more detrimental than we think. “Going on constant diets is bad for both your mind and body. Not only can it slow down your metabolism, but you’ll also create a constant battle with food and you’re likely to experience more cravings and food-related guilt. Often, people don’t lose all the weight they‘ve put on anyway,” says Chris.
For more info about QUICKSLIM, visit www.quickslim.com.au.