Protect your Summer Six Pack with Winter Workouts

The cold months are a hard time for gym goers.  Surveys show an average of 5 to 7 pound weight gain in the Winter.  The good news is that for most people Winter’s decrease in temperature plus increase in dark hours does not have to equal weight gain.

A small percentage of people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.).  This is clinical depression brought on by the winter’s short days.  Many of these sufferers overeat.  People with this disorder are just as likely to under eat as to overeat, which is true of all people who suffer from clinical depression.

For the rest of us, Winter weight gain is largely the result of reduced exercise and increased eating.  In this blog, I’m going to go over 6 ways to keep your Summer six-pack in the cold Winter months.

1.     Make less decisions

2.     Sweat

3.     Don’t go to a party hungry

4.     Avoid Alcohol

5.     Damage Control

6.     Socialize


1.     Make less decisions

Beware of decision fatigue.  Try to minimize the decisions you make and stick to routines.  It’s very easy to opt out of a workout if you wait to make that decision based on how you feel right before the workout.  A simple example of planning ahead is to say on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays I’m going to do boxing and on Tuesdays and Thursdays I’m going to run, do sit ups and sit in the sauna.  This way you can decide to feel great in the long run as opposed to the instant gratification of deciding to go to your warm living room and eat pizza in front of the TV.

2.     Sweat

A water soaked shirt is a badge of honor after a hard training session, but workouts can be disheartening until you break that first sweat.  A couple of things you can do to break that first sweat are:

·     Drink something warm prior to your workout (Coffee, Tea, or Hot water with Lemon)

·     Layer – Start your warm up with pants and a hooded sweater or even a sauna suit.  Shed these when you start sweating

 3.     Don’t go to parties hungry

When we eat outside the home, studies suggest that we take in 40% more calories than we would otherwise.  Parties, almost by definition, have a ton of different food choices.  When we have more choices we eat more food.  I suggest filling up on fruits and vegetables at home instead of alcohol and brownies at parties.

4.     Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol is loaded with calories and since many holiday celebrations involve drinking it's easy to take in a lot of calories without being aware that you are.  Make water sandwiches.  Drink a glass of water before and after each alcoholic beverage to help pace your self and dilute calories.

5.     Damage Control

If you do overeat (once or twice), it’s ok.  Make up for it by cutting calories for a few days and adding extra exercise.  Take a walk on your lunch break or after dinner.  At work, use the stairs rather than the elevator or take the far parking spot instead of sitting in your car and waiting for a closer one.  When you burn 100 extra calories per day through diet or exercise or both, that’s the equal to 10 pounds per year.

6.     Socialize

The main reason we go to parties is to see people and celebrate, not to eat a lot of high-calorie foods.  So be aware of why you're there.  Make connections and conversations your focus.

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this.  Train through the winter.  Good luck.  Have fun. 

Evan Esguerra