Hands up who’s feeling hungrier at the moment? Finding it hard to keep to your nutrition and manage your calorie intake? Well, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Research has revealed that we do actually consume more in the cooler months than in spring and summer.

There’s likely to be some primal psychology to it as well. Long before we’d evolved to where we are now, with all of the food available all of the time, autumn would mark harvest time and that would dictate how much food would be available through the colder months. So it’s clear to see the connection between colder weather and binge eating.

Nutrition from good traditional foods

I’m not going to suggest completely ignoring these urges, rather turn them on their head. If you’re going to indulge, then don’t waste the opportunity – make it the good stuff!

There’s something intensely satisfying about the food we associate with this time of year – ‘winter warmers’ are something we start talking about even before the clocks go back. And guess what, most of them can be pretty healthy!

Stews, roasts, slow cooked meals, soups and broths are all made of very high quality protein, vegetables and non processed carbohydrates. Good traditional foods that our grandparents used to eat daily and very few of them piled on the pounds, right?

Portion control

Where people do go wrong is not with the ingredients – it’s in portion size and in choosing processed options. When this happens you tend to get too much fat and carbs and not enough protein and veggies.

Members of Perform Gym will have our simple portion control guide to refer to (if not let one of the team know). There’s no big secret, the key is just to prioritise protein and vegetables on your plate and then add some carbs where necessary.

With so many delicious veggies in season right now, it’s a whole lot easier!

Top tips to avoid nutrition hibernation

  • Portion control – prioritise protein and vegetables and make sure you add non processed carbs when needed
  • Get adventurous – take advantage of all the delicious foods in season now rather than turning to junk foods
  • Get a slow cooker – tis the season of low-maintenance food prep. Whack your meat, veg and carefully-selected carbs in a slow cooker before work and it’s ready for when you get home (and the smell is always 👌👌👌
  • Prep ahead – slow cooked food, big joints of meat, soups and stews are perfect for batch cooking. Make a big pot, divide it up and freeze and you’re set for days ahead!
  • Treat yourself – got a sweet tooth? A low calorie hot chocolate at night time instead of a dessert or sweets is ideal. It’s cosy, warming and at just 40 calories it kicks cravings without blowing your calories for the day
  • Stick to training – it will take your mind of eating (briefly), boost your mood and burn any extra calories

Got a favourite healthy winter warmer recipe? Perform members can share it in the private Facebook group so we can all give it a try!

If you’re interested in joining the Perform Fitness Family contact us on peter@performgym.co.uk

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