6 Ways to Shed Pounds this Fall and Winter Season

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

shed-pounds-fall-winterMany people tend to pack on the pounds during the cooler months of the year.

Why is this? Do our bodies tend to store more fat for the cold? Or, do we get a little lazier with our diet habits?

As parts of the world approach the cold weather seasons, let’s remind ourselves how to maintain weight or even lose a little, so come spring you won’t be back at square one!

Read on for 6 practical ways you can keep shedding the pounds this Fall and Winter.

3 Truths to Why We Gain Weight

  1. Hibernation: For some, the days get shorter, we live in less sunlight, and the weather is colder during the fall and winter. This causes us to stay inside more, and miss many of our outdoor exercise sessions. Less exercise means less calories burned!
  2. High Calorie and High Carbohydrates: We tend to eat more of the root vegetables and starches that are in season in the cold weather months. Many of the freshest fruits and vegetables go out of season this time of year. So, we end up eating potatoes and comfort foods.
  3. Holidays: November and December bring the Holiday season for many. Along with this comes Holiday parties, high calorie appetizers, alcohol, decadent desserts, cookies, and larger portions. Many of us dread this part of the year because we see it as inevitably increasing our waistline.

6 Practical Fall and Winter Weight Loss Methods

indoor-fitness1. Start an indoor exercise routine.

I sign-up for a 3 month gym membership during the coldest, darkest months to make sure I can fit in my exercise. Try something new like Zumba.

winter-walking2. Bundle-up and practice safe outdoor exercise.

Exercise with a buddy if you are outdoors in the dark. Make sure you have proper lighting and attire to stay warm and visible to cars.

healthy carbs3. Choose healthy carbohydrates.

Like sweet potatoes, winter squash, beans, peas, lentils, brown rice, and quinoa. Limit the white processed carbohydrates. Soups and stews can be healthy as long as you limit creamy ingredients, and choose more vegetables and tomato-bases or broth-bases.

frozen-vegetables4. Buy frozen fruits and vegetables.

Can’t find the fresh produce you want? Frozen is just as almost as good as fresh since it is frozen soon after harvesting.

salad5. Eat healthy before attending a Holiday party.

Salads, fruit, nutritious soups, and nuts will help stay fuller and eat less of the high calorie party foods.

small-portion6. Practice mindful eating and portion control.

Want a piece of pie? That’s fine, but try sharing a slice or take a small half portion.

Don’t use the fall and winter months as an excuse for you weight gain or lack of weight loss. You still have complete control over your health and your actions.

This is simply the time to reevaluate and readjust your habits and goals, while still enjoying all this season has to offer!

How do you meet your weight goals in the fall and winter?


  1. Victoria

    I really would like to reduce on my weight this winter season. I am 74kgs and I want to reduce to 55kgs. How do i do this. I feel fat and shabby. I don’t like this weight.

  2. Tracy

    For me fitness is the only way to keep myself in shape. When I stop going to the gym I immediately gain weight (unless I starve myself). For me all the diets are very depressive, I can not live without sweets and cookies, that’s why I choose fitness. Regular training is very rewarding: I’ve noticed my first results within 1 month, and it was an awesome stimulation for future trainings. When I feel tired I take Navy Seal Formula and it quickly restores my strength and enthusiasm. It also provides the necessary nutritional supply, which is vital when you are training intensively. Thus, nothing prevents me from eating occasional cookie or a bar of chocolate when I want it so much.

  3. elodie landerson

    Good post .. I try to stay active during the winter i practice a set of exercises regularly

  4. wiem

    Cold weather should actually help persons to keep their weight down, but i still always trying to eat dietetic foods cuz in winter i fill that i eat more than other seasons,

  5. Dan

    I ride my bike outside all winter long here in Georgia, except when it rains or snows. I have enough layers to be comfortable even when it is cold. I put my bike on a trainer and ride indoors when it rains or snows. Winter here is not quite as mild as in Southern California, but it is milder than most northern states- it usually only snows only once per winter and virtually never does the temperature go below 0 and very rarely below 10. I also don’t treat the entire holiday as a time to indulge, but keep it to 3 or 4 days during the holiday season. I also have a feeling that at least I burn more calories when I exercise in the cold, since the body has to burn extra calories to keep itself at the right temperature. Cold weather should actually help persons to keep their weight down, as long as a person takes advantage of it by exercising in it.

  6. Claire E.

    I know I always tend to gain weight during the holidays I just can’t resist all the holiday party foods! Especially all the different desserts so I try to have my mom share with me so that I still get a taste but don’t end up eating all of it.

  7. O.

    I learned how to make a low fat Thanksgiving, but after that it is tough. Christmas is the only holiday where a party can spring up out of nowhere anytime in a six week period leading up to the actual holiday itself.

  8. Ted

    I moved to where it is nice all year round… The Maryland winters were so long, but in SoCal we forget winter exists for the most part. People in general here are in better shape, so I’m sure there is a connection.

    • O.

      Yep! I am SoCal born, raised, and still reside. You could almost forget about winter.

  9. Sue

    I follow the Zone diet and lifestyle to stay healthy and keep the extra pounds off year round.

  10. Jim

    Good post. Comfort food and not going outside much… probably another reason why people get more colds during winter.

  11. Spectra

    I try to stay active during the winter. I take my dog for a walk every day and I do exercise DVDs and use my indoor elliptical machine to keep myself from putting on extra winter weight.