The seasons are changing and you can feel that chill in the air starting to creep in. It’s getting harder to get up in the morning from the warmth of your bed and you start to feel and notice that you’re craving comforting foods to make you feel all warm inside.

Everyone knows winter is a tougher time to lose weight or even maintain your current weight for that matter.

Evolutionarily speaking, being overweight has never posed a serious threat to our survival. Being underweight has. In the winter, our natural instinct to maintain body fat is stronger than in any other season because that’s naturally when food is scarce. So, more often than not, we fail to pass on sweet, fatty, unhealthy foods.

We’ve evolved to develop a subconscious impulse to do exactly that in the winter months, according to research from the University of Exeter.

What this means is the part of our subconscious that fights against becoming overweight, is weak and easily overpowered by the immediate reward of tasty food.

Simply being aware of this evolutionary tendency is step one. (Look, you’re halfway there!)

If you can just focus on eating mindfully and expect your body to crave these foods in advance then you will already have the advantage!

Having said all that we want all of our community to have the best chance at hitting their goal even through the winter months, so here are the 5 best ways to avoid winter weight gain.

Avoid white flour products like white rice, white potatoes, sugar, and sweets since high glycemic carbs can skyrocket blood sugar and insulin, increasing your appetite and promoting the storage of fat.

Instead, fill up on fibre-rich foods such as whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. They can keep hunger at bay, stimulate the appetite-controlling hormone leptin, and keep glucose from flooding your bloodstream.

Limit sugar, especially in beverages, sugary cereals, and processed foods (like salad dressings, flavoured yogurts, and packaged dessert snacks), which can trigger insulin resistance and fat storage.

Increase the amount of protein in your diet. The most natural way to provide longer-lasting appetite control is to consume fish, skinless poultry, whole soy foods, dairy products, eggs, and beans. This will prevent the loss of muscle and help you maintain weight loss.

In general, if you’re eating meals made with whole foods and generous servings of veggies, you should feel comfortably satisfied for a few hours.

If you feel the need to snack in an hour or two, it’s possible your meals are too light and need some tweaking. The best way to succeed is to plan your snacks ahead of time so they’re ready to go when the hunger hits.