Let’s Not Gain Weight This Winter Ok?

Let’s not gain weight this winter Ok?

Here are 5 things that will help.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, I need 20 ideas to not gain weight. Or 200. How about 200 and then maybe I’ll have a chance this year. A chance to not enter the spring months carrying, what amounts to toddler strapped around my belly or ass, (you pick). 

This is NOT a post about dieting.
I’m a no-diet girl because diets cause eating disorders (Yes they do), failure (they suck) and a kind of obsession that should only be used when trying to learn a new language or a new neruo-surgery technique. Not for something lovely and enjoyable as eating. I love eating.

I don’t want to devote myself to not eating.

So you know, I’ve been teaching nutrition for 19 years and been managing my own weight for a LOT longer than that. A LOT.

This is not a recipe for skinniness, it is a recipe for health.

Here’s what I know:

  • In this world, if you aren’t watching your weight you’re gaining weight. There’s no way around it. If you aren’t carefully listening to your body and gauging your hunger, fullness and emotions then choosing your food carefully, you are most likely eating too many calories. I say this because 100% of the time there is too many calories within easy reach. This article is fascinating …FACTORS THAT INCREASE THE FOOD INTAKE…OF UNKNOWING CONSUMERS∗It’s a war zone for weight management out there–watch your back (Or you know, your belly).
  • Stop thinking exercising is how you manage weight and start thinking about how much you love your body and how badly it wants to wiggle a little. Then just wiggle as much as you can. The thing is, exercise can’t undo too much eating. Your body is made in the kitchen. If you burn 500 calories on the elliptical and then eat a Starbucks chocolate chunk cookie at 370 calories–well you can see where I’m going. So how much exercise and what should you eat? Check this out and see if that helps. Also, I put this app on my phone to remind myself to wiggle a little.
  • Make a Rule. I’m a total rule breaker but sometimes I set a rule to shoot for. I say, “no sugar during the day.” Or, “no sugar during the week.” Or, I say, “Oh shut up with your rules Ann” and then I start again. It’s a fail, fail, and win strategy that just keeps me going on a sort-of right path. Pick a rule that will help you with your weakness and see how that goes.
  • I’m a messy advice giver but I’m trying.
  •  Here’s a rule I rarely break. Sleep. You won’t chop vegetables if you’re tired. You won’t resist the candy within reach. You won’t exercise if you are too tired to find your shoes. Your body won’t manage sugar well and you will gain weight. Please don’t start with me about sleep… I gave up the struggle long ago and I sleep everywhere.
  • Next let’s work on your hunger. [Tweet “The sabotage of any weight management goal is hunger. Beat that sucker back.”] Try to keep it at bay with smart snacks. I don’t drink diet soda and eat carrots because it makes me ravenous. I do eat 100 Cal packs of Almonds with a latte (after a 10 minute nap). I eat a little cheese with my apple. I keep no sugar Greek yogurt nearby and put almonds in it. I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and little snacks in between because if I don’t I will try to find my kids candy and eat it while making dinner. Want to know what to eat? Read this.

Back to this idea of skinniness. I’ve never been fat free and these days I don’t look that great skinny.  I just look tired.  I read a quote once by Lauren Hutton (I think, but Google is failing me right now) and it’s this.

[Tweet “Sometimes you have to give up your ass to save your face. “]

So eat some plants, try one of these 5 ideas and let me know how it goes for you come spring.




  1. Laura Drake on December 26, 2015 at 2:13 pm

    Ugh. So true. I’m working on #2. I’m a glutton (all about volume), so I’ve maintained by killing myself on the bicycle. Since a ‘certain age’, that doesn’t work any longer.

    Constant struggle!

    • Ann Garvin on December 26, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Yup I get it. But, it’s hard not to eat too much. We all do it. It’s all about support, I’ll hold your hand if you hold mine.

  2. Michelle Finch on December 26, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Don’t eat out every day; cook at home because you know what’s going in or on or around your food. It’s difficult to cook for one, but I figure a pan of roasted fresh vegetables with a little protein thrown in (chicken, fish, or nuts) is healthier than a dozen pizza and just as easy to make (and tastes so much better). As an almost empty nester, it’s tempting to just run in to,the store on the way home from work and grab some quick, unhealthy and usually cardboard tasting frozen food items, but FRESH is best.

    • Ann Garvin on December 26, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      YES, exactly. I know for a fact you are doing it right.

  3. Juli on December 26, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Great advice. A recent family schedule change motivated me to get to bed earlier, and sleep longer and better. As part of improving sleep, I cut out consumption after dinner. Right away, people noticed I looked different. I’m not dieting, eliminating food groups or depriving myself, but I find being rested means I’m satisfied with less. I feel super.

    • Ann Garvin on December 26, 2015 at 4:20 pm

      I really believe sleep is everything. Just finding it is more difficult. I am a napper from the beginning and sometimes I fell guilty but mostly, it’s just what I need.

  4. Cara Achterberg on December 26, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    This is so what I needed right now! I’ve been feeling tired of the watching what I eat all this time thing. Reading, “In this world, if you aren’t watching your weight you’re gaining weight.” was just the reminder I needed. I’m not the only one and it sucks and it isn’t fair, but it is what it is. Deal (as my teen would tell me). Back at it. It’s worth it, because I’ll live longer, feel better, and think clearer. Thanks for your honest, funny, true words. (Skinny makes me look old, so I’m sticking with skinny-from-the-right-angle)

    • Ann Garvin on December 26, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      Skinny from the right angle!! YES, love it. I think I wrote this to remind myself too!

  5. Carol D. on December 26, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    I started a healthy eating program and exercised 3 days a week and lost 20 pounds. I went on a month vacation to Australia and New Zealand and fell off track with the holidays. In the New Year I am getting back on the track of healthy eating. No diet. Healthy eating for life. Lots of fruit and veggies and lean meats. I gave up bread, white rice, and white potatoes. I fell in love with sweet potatoes and tried veggies I never would have tried normally. One meal a week I gave myself a treat meal where I ate anything I wanted like Pasta, pizza or Chinese food. I also have to start walking my 2 miles 3 times a week. It doesn’t take much time and it makes me feel better

    • Ann Garvin on January 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      Once you get started it’s not terrible. 20 pounds is amazing. Healthy eating for life!!

  6. Eileen Goudge on December 28, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    Very sensible, Ann. I, too, gave up on dieting years ago and my weight has stabilized as a result. I eat mostly plants, avoid processed foods, and stick with smaller portions. The Japanese have a phrase for it, which translates to mean “eat until you’re 80% full.” Good rule of thumb!

    • Ann Garvin on January 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      ooo that is a good rule of thumb and you look amazing for it.

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