Your Summer Body is Made in Winter


Visit almost any fitness blog on the internet and you will see the mantra “your summer body is made in winter”. And while this mantra might get annoying, there is certainly a great lot of truth behind it. The average person puts on more than 4 kilograms over winter. We tend to fall into a vicious cycle of over-eating, which can lead to us neglecting our training, which sees a drop in our mood, which in turn can cause us to eat more – and one, and on.

But winter is the perfect time to get yourself ready for summer, as well as cement some lifelong habits. So here are our top 6 reasons why you should get your Summer Body ready this Winter.

1: Winter is the Perfect Time to Break and Make Habits!

If you want to look good by the hot days of December, then you need to start now. Winter gives us 12 wonderful weeks to start a new regime and abandon some old habits – or 5 months if we add spring into the mix. You should give yourself time to reach your goals and winter is the perfect time to do that!

If you put in the work now, you will reap the benefits, not just in summer, but for the rest of your life. You are more likely to keep the habits you start in winter, so we need to make those habits good ones.

Summer months tend to be times when we socialise more, leading to overindulgence in food and alcohol. In winter, we are less likely to socialise as much as summer, meaning you can prepare your good habits now by learning to drink less and eat healthier.

2: Get Active!winter

It is easy to want to snuggle down beneath the blankets this winter so it’s more important than ever to get moving and get active. There are many ways you can stay active in winter. Getting a gym membership can be a great motivator, and many gyms will allow a three-month membership – which is perfect for training over the winter months!

While the best time of the day to workout is the morning, work out what is best for you! That maybe after work or even during your lunch break! Hiring a personal trainer can help you learn how to use the many kinds of gym equipment, as well as set up a training course to help you achieve your goals. Hiring a personal trainer can also keep you honest – you won’t have an excuse to skip out on at least one work out a week!

Aim to strength train 3-4 times a week alongside your cardio. Not only does that increase your metabolism and helps you develop lean muscles. This will help you meet your long-term goals better than cardio alone.

Combine gym sessions with home workouts – or workouts during your lunch breaks. Bodyweight exercises are just as effective as gyms. High intensity interval training is something you can easily do anywhere with no equipment – and all you need is 20 minutes. Use bodyweight exercises like burpees, mountain climbers, high knees, skipping, and press ups. Or use your office stairs – sprinting up and walking back down.

Finally, take a fitness holiday, join a boot camp or visit a wellness retreat. It will give you the chance to recharge, kickstart some new habits, and feel good about yourself. Or even try a new winter activity – martial arts or boxing will get you indoors and is a lot of fun and a fantastic way to get fit!

3: Ban the Fad Diets and Start Healthy Habits

While you will see dramatic changes from these quick-fix diets, few (if any) are sustainable. Some fad diets even eat away at muscle, making it harder to get a lean, toned body. Ditch the diets, instead, for a long term healthy eating plan. Fat loss is a journey, not a race. And you can’t out train a bad diet.

Planning and preparation give you the best chance at maintaining healthy eating. Preparing meals the night before, or putting aside time on a Sunday to prepare frozen healthy meals for the week is a great way to fight the temptation of unhealthy meals at work. Adding 5 serves of vegetables a day to your diet is necessary – and they help pad out your meals to make you feel fuller, for longer.

winterMany of us have had the mantra “finish everything on your plate” ingrained in us from childhood. Fight this by making your serves smaller, and eating little and often. Keep healthy snacks on you throughout the day. And, above all, avoid shopping when you’re hungry.

It is harder to stay hydrated in winter but it is just as important as in summer. Water is your body’s fuel and dehydration slows your performance throughout the day. Keep up your 8 glasses of water a day.

While red wine has proven health benefits, don’t let the coldness of winter seduce you into drinking more than you should. Limit your red wine to 2-3 times a week. Reducing your alcohol will improve your sleep and makes it easier to stay hydrated.

Do not substitute wine, tea, coffee, soft drink or energy drinks for one of your glasses of water. These drinks will not hydrate you in the same way that water will. Consider them additions to your 8 glasses of water instead.

Most people waste hundreds of dollars on supposed super foods, miracle pills and diet scams when all you need is some general nutrition knowledge and guidelines, and the discipline to stick to a plan.

4: Boot the Colds and Flu for Health and Well Being!

Winter is the perfect breeding grounds for flus and colds. To fight this you need to aim to be as healthy as you can be. It is important to get outside and get moving in the sunlight to benefit from much needed vitamin D. Getting fresh air can also help your lungs detox from the stuffy heated office and circling germs.

Exercise, of course, provides more benefits than excuses and specifically answers what our winter bodies need. Not only does the improved blood flow from exercising make for stronger bones and a bolstered immune system but it can help us fight off winter bacterial and viral infections. Exercise allows immune cells to circulate the body faster, meaning we also heal faster and can fight off illness.

Increased blood flow can also help ward off osteoporosis and other slow, bone deteriorating conditions. Increasing your muscle to fat ratio allows you to burn calories more efficiently and result in a healthy weight loss, as well as maintaining your lean new body.

Finally, ensure you still get 7-8 hours sleep a night. Reduced sleep lowers your metabolism, making it harder to shift stubborn fat and develop muscle. It can also impact your motivation and energy levels, making it more difficult to get the exercise your body is craving.

5: Don’t Forget Your Mental Health


Mental health is important in winter. Whether you suffer from clinical depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder, or simply the “winter blues”, winter months can get you down. It is important to get out in the sun as often as you can – even 45 minutes a day can improve your outlook. Exercise, too, can help improve your mental health, boosting serotonin and dopamine. Finally, starting a gratitude journal is helpful. Aim to write down 5 things a day that you are grateful for, including personal fitness achievements and personal bests.

6: No More Excuses!

Winter is a tough challenge, and winter foods and excuses are easy to turn to. So it is time to kick the old excuses!

  1. No, your body does not get hungrier in winter – humans don’t need to hibernate! You will not burn calories staying in bed. Add more layers to keep warm, not extra food.
  2. Water is not too cold to drink in winter! Try slightly warm water instead, and if you don’t like the taste of water, add a little lemon, ginger, or mint.
  3. Salad isn’t a winter food? Of course, it is! Swap your cold summer salads for warm, winter ones crammed full of vegetables.
  4. Lycra is too cold? Leave it by the heater to get warm and pile on the layers to fight the cold at the start of your workout – you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll get warm and want to peel those layers off.
  5. Worry about how you look? So does everyone else in the gym. Trust us, they’re not looking at you, they’re worrying about their own looks. Forget your worries and get working!
  6. It’s too hard to get out of bed in the morning? Put your phone or alarm on the other side of the room. It will force you to get up and get moving.
  7. Lacking motivation? There’s no need to wait for a Monday, start today! Find a fitness buddy and keep each other honest – there are no excuses between friends!
  8. Choose a workout routine you love so you are more likely to do it. Choose the best time of day for yourself and stick to your determination to exercise. Use music as a motivator – create an inspiring playlist or find one that keeps your motivation and energy up.
  9. Remember why you are trying to get fit. You might just want to look great in summer, you might be training for a charity event. Write down your goals and make them real. Set yourself smaller goals on the way to your large goal, to create a sense of accomplishment.
  10. If you are a visual person, take a “before” photo to motivate you. Take a photograph each month to track your success. Track your measurements and keep reminders around your home to ensure you keep your routine up. In no time you’ll find you’ve developed long term habits that will keep you lean and trim all year round.

Learn more about health, fitness and nutrition and apply this knowledge to your lifestyle and you wont need to hop on and off the annual crash diet roller coaster.