Popular Foods Behind Your Winter Weight Gain, Dietitians Say – Eat This, Not That

With temperatures rapidly cooling down, it’s natural to complain about the shorter days, the need to bundle up, and the sudden shortage of outdoor recreation opportunities. However, that’s not the only thing that might worry you as winter approaches: For many people, colder weather and less time spent outdoors make weight gain virtually inevitable.

However, it’s not just a lack of outdoor exercise that could cause the numbers on the scale to move in the wrong direction. Read on to find out which winter foods could make you gain weight, according to dietitians. And if you’re ready to shed a few pounds, check out these 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.


From treats handed out around your office to homemade snacks your family sends you over the holiday season, cookies are a major source of weight gain during the winter months.

“Most cookies are made with refined flour and sugar, both of which cause blood sugar to rise. This then causes insulin which is a fat storage hormone to rise,” explains Elise Harlow, MS, RD, owner of The Flourished Table.

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clam chowder

There is nothing quite like enjoying a bowl of hot soup on a cold day, but if these soups are made with cream, you might not be long in dealing with significant weight gain.

“Soups are a great winter food and generally an amazing way to add extra veggies to your diet. However, they can quickly hurt your waistline if you keep choosing heavy cream ones,” warns -he. Paula Doebrich, MPH, RDN, owner of Happea Nutrition. “Try to go for lighter vegetable-based soups to avoid unwanted weight gain,” Doebrich recommends.

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latkes with garnish

While latkes can be a staple during your Hanukkah celebration, these fried potato pancakes are a major contributor to winter weight gain if you end up eating them throughout the month.

“Try to cut down on these foods and opt for healthy choices like baked potatoes instead,” Doebrich explains.

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pecan pie

Whether you prefer pumpkin, apple, or pecans, pie is a high-calorie food that’s generally low in fiber or protein that might otherwise fill you up, meaning you might find yourself rolling back for more. seconds or even thirds.

“While a slice here and there is unlikely to cause you to gain weight, too much of these sugary treats will show up over time,” Doebrich explains. If you choose to indulge yourself, “Try to choose pies with minimal added sugar,” Doebrich recommends.

Chicken casserole

From baked mac and cheese to green beans with fried onions on top, holiday casseroles are typically loaded with calories and fat, making it easy to gain weight if they’re on your holiday menu.

“In general, as the colder months approach, people tend to crave more comforting foods such as mac and cheese and cheese casseroles,” says Doebrich. “Combined with reduced physical activity during the winter months, it’s no surprise that you would expect a few pounds to be gained.”

If you want to shed a few extra pounds, check out The Verdict on The Best Weight Loss Foods To Eat Every Day, and for the latest healthy eating news delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!

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