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Five ways to keep off winter weight

As tempting as that hot chocolate and sticky toffee pudding might be, there's no reason for you to fall off the weight-loss wagon in the winter months. Here are five tips to keep you on the straight and narrow while the days are cold and the nights long.

1. Stick to your exercise routine
Sorry, but you have to! It feels like midnight in Antarctica at 5am in winter, so if that's your gym time, you might find it hard to haul yourself out of bed. Look at your diary and schedule in a couple of lunch-time or evening sessions to make it more bearable. If your usual workout is running or cycling outdoors, find something else to do so you're not at the mercy of the weather like hot yoga, or swimming in a heated pool. 

2. Eat comfort food, but count your carbs or calories
Whether you're on a low-carb or low-calorie eating plan (or no plan at all), you'll find lots of diet-crashing temptations in winter. Be creative about what you eat: have hearty soups without the cream (or with the cream and without the bread roll), have the lamb bredie but with only a little rice and a big side serving of roast veg. Enjoy the roast chicken, but go easy on the roast potatoes and rice.    

3. Step on a scale
Keep track of your weight by stepping on a scale twice-weekly. This way you'll notice a small increase and will be able to do something about it before it spirals out of control. 

4. Watch those hot drinks
We often binge on coffee, tea or hot chocolate during winter simply because they keep us warm. If you have milk and sugar, allow yourself no more than your allotted one or two cups a day and use herbal teas with no sweeteners to keep your hands warm the rest of the time. 

5. Go easy on the alcohol
Red wine, whiskey, gluhwein what would winter be without these things? Alcohol is full of calories, so pace yourself. Try alternating alcoholic drinks with glasses of water.  

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