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How to prevent winter weight gain

Lifestyle — Posted 07/07/14

Eating mindfully and in moderation is the key to enjoying wintery comfort foods, dietitian Katie Thomsitt explains.

As the cooler weather rolls in and comfort foods start calling our name, it can be difficult to keep control of how much and how often we treat ourselves. But enforcing strict rules on our dietary intake is not the answer to staying in the driver’s seat towards eating in moderation. As Accredited Practising Dietitian Katie Thomsitt outlines, we need to allow a little of the foods we love into our diets when we feel like it.

Restricting intake of specific foods has been found to lead to poor long-term weight loss results and an impaired ability to identify satiety signals, such as when we are hungry or full. If we allow ourselves a little of our favourite comfort foods when we feel like a treat, we will be more likely to eat less of it over time and at each serve.

Taking the time to sit down to eat slowly and mindfully is becoming increasingly uncommon in our busy lifestyles. Think about the enjoyment and satisfaction of taking that first mouthful of a rich warm chocolate cake. Noticing its light and fluffy centre while smelling its gorgeous aroma. This experience is being sacrificed for daily tasks that we give higher priority to. And instead we are gobbling down that delicious chocolate cake in three bites with no recollection of what it actually tasted like. If we make the time to avoid distraction and enjoy comfort foods mindfully we can feel more satisfied from a smaller portion and eat less over time.

Over the winter months the average adult can expect to welcome an extra 2-5kg of body weight. We can beat the winter weight gain by allowing ourselves to enjoy our favourite comfort foods, taking time to sit and eat without distraction, tasting every mouthful and savouring every bite.

Check out our suggestions for healthy alternatives to fast food favourites and some tips for mindful eating. For more advice on healthy eating visit

Extra   See our collection of healthy recipes for some winter cooking inspiration.
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Tags   Lifestyle Food
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