Winter is the time of year when people often go off the rails and pig out on high fat, stodgy, comfort foods. Our metabolism speeds up during winter to keep us warm, so this could explain why many people say they feel hungrier in winter.

Here’s my thoughts on why we gain weight in the colder months:

  • Hot food is more appealing than salads and fruit on cold days. Hot food is not the problem, choosing the wrong food is the problem.
  • Cold water is ditched for a hot drink to warm us up. Adding milky drinks to your daily routine adds a lot of calories and fat to your daily calorie intake.
  • Less daylight hours tends to mean we spend more time indoors. Being stuck at home getting bored and lonely mean we turn to food for comfort.

Don’t let winter wreak havoc with your waistline.

Here’s my 3 simple strategies to help you stay on track:

  1. Plan ahead for lunches – cook extra at night and take leftovers to heat up for lunch or cook a batch of soup and freeze in portion sizes.
  2. If you are looking for a warm drink – add a wedge of lemon to warm water or drink herbal tea. Technically milky drinks are ‘food’ so limit these to one a day and opt for skim milk.
  3. You’ll find many options for warm snacks or desserts in my cookbooks.

If you find you’re stuck at home, combat boredom by cooking up some extra meals to put in the freezer; my Winter Veal Stew is a great recipe to freeze.

A little bit of forward planning will work wonders during winter and then when the weather turns warm you won’t be left with the unwanted kilos.

Do you feel hungrier in winter? Share how you overcome the urge to eat extra on a cold winter’s day.

Main image source: Shutterstock

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  • yeah just keep to small portions and resist buying extra treats like apple pies


  • I seem to fluctuate a lot – I will either eat everything in the house or not eat at all


  • Oh gee, I’m not sure I could have only one cup of tea a day. I do watch my portions a bit more carefully in winter.

    • Oops I’ve led you astray – by milky drinks I mean coffees etc that are made on ALL milk and the iced coffee/chocolate drinks.


  • Oh yes the pic included does look like Nigella :-) One of the reasons I created my cookbooks was that I didn\’t want to miss out on the foods I loved. The good news is I have created a low fat version of both Apple Crumble (book 3) and Sticky Date Pudding (book 2)… and if I do say so myself, they taste delicious!


  • yes, so easy to overeat in winter… and all the extra layers of clothes easily hide all the layers of weight being added.


  • Casserole/stew with plenty of vegetables which don’t contain too many carbohydrates (e.g. potatoes) and lean meat like skinless chicken breast fillet diced

    • Hearty Winter food fillers for hungry tummies.


  • i drink endless cups of tea in the winter to help keep warm! I better swap for herbal after reading this!


  • Yes, I do feel hungrier in winter!
    For example at breakfast I may find a cold yogurt with muesli (what I eat the rest of the year) just too cold. So I eat one slice of warm bread with my herbal tea instead. I don’t drink coffee, but in winter it’s more possible that I drink a hot chocolate. Even if I use almond and coconut milk, it still contains more calories than one cup of herbal tea.


  • lol at first I thought this was an article about Nigella Lawson! – the girl in the pic is very similar!

    Having said that I find I want chocolate more in winter and also comfort deserts like crumble and sticky date pudding etc – hard to deny those sometimes!

    • You are right. Nigella is such an inspiring woman!!


  • I like to make something early in day so it is ready for evening and keeps the hunger pangs at bay. Like stew or filling food, nutricious but low in fat so I do not eat junk food that makes me fat


  • Great tips,I feel like I’m eating non stop this winter.


  • Winter is a great time to have hearty meals that are so good,you just need to not over indulge!


  • Yes this is me at the moment. Trying to push myself to have more water


  • I make lots of healthy soup for Winter – it is filling and satisfies hunger.


  • I have noticed I crave food more during winter. And hot crap food like pizzas and pies etc At least I know now there’s a reason for my infatuation. I just need to be aware and steer away


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