Top 5 Strategies NOT to Gain Weight this Winter…

(and even lose fat fast!)

1. Shiver –

Single-digit snowstorms probably aren’t your favorite weather, but knowing you’re burning fat might make them a little more tolerable. When you shiver, your muscles involuntarily clench to generate heat. As a result, you burn up to four times as many calories as your cold-weather escaping friends lying on a breezy beach in Honolulu. Rubbing your hands together and shifting feet to stay warm steps up calorie burning another notch.

2. Sleep longer –

Turn off your TV, stop wasting hours on Facebook, and use darker winter hours to get more zzz’s. A study in the Annals of Internal Medicine compared two groups of overweight, healthy participants on calorie-restricted diets who slept either 8.5 or 5.5 hours each night for two weeks. What a difference those three hours made: the 8.5-hour group burned 400 more calories every night, lost more fat, preserved more muscle, and woke up less hungry than the 5.5-hour group.

3. Warm up with soup –

Make soup a cold-weather staple and bypass the winter weight gain. A study in Obesity Research showed people who ate two servings of lower-calorie soup lost 50% more weight than people who ate the same amount of calories in higher-calorie snack foods. Soup makes it easy to combine hunger-busting protein, veggies, and fibrous starches like lentils and beans in a chicken or vegetable broth. Hot liquid-based foods like soup also force you to slow down so you eat less and get full faster.

4. Hot green tea –

Skip the sugar-loaded Starbucks latte for a calming cup of naturally sweet hot green tea. Green tea curbs your appetite so you’re less tempted to order that 480-calorie cinnamon chip scone. Sipping green tea throughout the day also generates body heat so you stay warm and burn more fat. A study in Physiology & Behavior, for instance, concluded that green tea helps improves energy expenditure and fat oxidation.

5. Try a new sport –

Running isn’t an option with the sleet and wind, your gym’s become packed with hibernators hogging machines, and the dark hours inspire you to hide under the covers rather than move. Look at cold weather not as a limitation, but an opportunity to discover a new, exciting sport that helps you to get off the couch, into a groove, and fight off the winter blahs. Indoor rock climbing(burst training to the extreme), a Zumba class, or snow-skiing all make fun, challenging, fast fat loss cold-weather exercise options.

Author:  JJ Virgin:


  2. Auvichayapat P, et al. Effectiveness of green tea on weight reduction in obese Thais: A randomized, controlled trial. Physiol Behav. 2008 Feb 27;93(3):486-91.
  3. Nedeltcheva AV, et al. Insufficient Sleep Undermines Dietary Efforts to Reduce Adiposity. Annals of Internal Medicine October 5, 2010. Vol. 153, no. 7. 435-441.
  4. Rolls BJ, et al. Provision of foods differing in energy density affects long-term weight loss. Obes Res. 2005 Jun;13(6):1052-60.

JJ Virgin

Celebrity Nutrition & Fitness Expert JJ Virgin specializes in weight loss resistance related to food allergies and has helped thousands create fast and lasting weight loss. She is an author, speaker and media personality. She speaks at major integrative medical conferences, appears regularly in the media including the TODAY Show, Dr. Phil and Access Hollywood and blogs for the Huffington Post. She is the bestselling author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, creator of the 4X4 Burst Training Workout & co-star of TLC's Freaky Eaters. Her next book, the Zero Tolerance Diet will be released Jan. 2013.

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