Brr! It sure is chilly out there… anyone else feel really, really snacky? What is it about winter that all we seem to want to do is eat, do nothing and eat some more? 

It’s not always easy keeping up a healthy lifestyle during winter. There’s something super comforting about snuggling up with snacks and hot, sweet drinks during these cold months. There’s definitely nothing wrong with doing that every once in a while. 

Things get tricky though when we find we find it harder to make those healthy choices like we did during summer. We’re too comfortable, too cold, too unmotivated, too busy… 

But all is not lost! Every day is a new opportunity to make better lifestyle choices. We have some simple winter eating and lifestyle habits you can try to help you get back on the health train.

Try these tips to help you make healthier choices in winter

How can we keep warm during those chilly work days, especially when many of us are desk-bound in drafty offices?

Being at work doesn’t mean you can’t work in some kind of movement. In fact, moving is essential to staying alert and energised during the day. So start by setting a timer to take regular breaks and get up from your desk. 

Many of us get in the zone when we’re working and we can easily power through several hours before we realise we’re hunched over, our neck and shoulders are aching, and our legs have gone tingly. Take breaks to get up, stretch and move around often to get that circulation going.

Deskercise (or exercise at your desk) is an easy way to get a mini workout while you’re working 9-5:
  • Stand, stretch and do squats during breaks or phone calls
  • Run on the spot for a couple of minutes
  • Keep light weights at your desk to use during conference calls (video off, obviously) or lunch breaks 
  • Stand and do lunges or core isolations 
  • Invest in a standing desk 
  • Take walks around the office or your home workspace

How can we curb those cravings in winter, especially when we're working from home or stuck indoors due to bad weather?

We know how it is… Cravings somehow hit harder in winter. We need extra comfort in the cold, right? So we wander around aimlessly until we find ourselves visiting the fridge or the snack cupboard… again! Cravings aren’t bad - but we can get better at how we curb them. 

Planning is key to beating those cravings. If you are going to visit the fridge or snack cupboard often, make sure they’re stashed with healthier options like dried fruit, trail mix, raw or roasted nuts, yoghurt, plain popcorn, quick-cooking oats, etc. Enjoy lots of warm soups and hearty stews to keep you warm and satisfied.

Pre-pack your snacks:
Whether you’re at work or at home, pre-pack everything you plan to eat during your day. That way everything is on hand and you have no excuse to eat anything other than what you’ve prepared. 

Choose filling foods:
It’s easy to snack when we’re bored. It’s easier to snack when we’re not full. So make sure you have plenty of protein, good fats and wholegrains in your breakfast and lunch to keep you fuller for longer. Oats, seeds, nuts, lean meats, beans, legumes, and whole grains are all high in protein, good fats and fibre to keep you satisfied. Healthy dried fruit and nut snack bars are also nice to reach for when cravings hit.

Make the kitchen a no-go zone:
This is a great habit to stick to if you work from home. Keep a mini cooler, mini fridge or a healthy snack box near your workspace. Fill it with healthy snack options that will keep you in your work zone and not in the snack cupboard. Maybe even keep a thermos flask of tea, coffee or fresh soup nearby if you are extra tempted to raid the fridge. 

How can we keep up exercise and fitness when we'd prefer to veg out on the couch?

This is a tough one for some people. Not all of us are willing to brave the chill or the rain all in the name of a workout.

But there are still ways to keep up your fitness during winter - by bringing exercise indoors!
  • Download a fitness app for easy, daily 10-15 minute home workouts 
  • Browse the web for some fun, interactive indoor workouts
  • Go for walks or hikes armed with a thermos of hot coffee or tea to enjoy halfway
  • Set alarms for fitness breaks during the day (Eg: run around the garden, do 20 star jumps, do 5 minutes of stretching, have a dance party, etc.)
  • Get a fitness buddy or group to keep you accountable
  • Check out local events calendars from community walks, runs or hikes
  • Put on your workout clothes before you talk yourself out of it

What other hot, comforting beverages can we enjoy other than coffee, tea and hot chocolate?

We all love our coffee and tea. Though many of us seem to drink more than we should, just to stay warm. Coffee and tea can leave us feeling a bit dehydrated, and we’re often less likely to hydrate with water when it’s cold.

Here are some healthier, more nutritious options if you can’t face drinking plain, cold water:
  • Warm health smoothies like this warm caramel almond smoothie
  • Hot milk (or oat milk, almond milk, etc.) with a square of very dark chocolate
  • Chai spiced drinks
  • Rooibos tea
  • Fruit or herbal teas
  • Hot lemon water
  • Hot milk with honey and cinnamon

Are there any nutrients that we need more of during the colder months?

It goes without saying that most of us want to avoid those pesky colds and bouts of flu. Who has time for that? It’s always a good idea to boost your immunity the natural way by eating immune-boosting foods that are rich in iron, vitamin C and zinc. Vitamin D is also essential as we tend not to get as much sunlight exposure as we would in summer.

Nutrient-dense foods like nuts and seeds are a great way to load up on vitamins and minerals. Our Immune Support lifestyle mix was carefully formulated with a delicious selection of dried fruit, nuts and seeds to help support natural immunity. 

Here are some comforting, nutritious recipes you can try this winter: Browse more delicious recipes on our website here.

Snack smart this winter with Montagu

It might be winter, but you can still snack smarter if you shop smarter! So shop your healthy snacks online and avoid those pesky impulse buys. Discover our wide range of dried fruit, nut, seed and snack products ready to be shipped straight to your door - another convenient way to avoid the cold outside!
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