How to avoid winter weight woes

Nutrition Advice

The winter winds have started to blow down under. Here in Sydney we’re feeling the chill, and with it the challenge to keep cold weather weight off. Who wants to get out of a cosy bed to exercise? Oh, that can hurt. A warm, gooey pizza or creamy hot chocolate by the fire is incredibly hard to resist. And red wine? That will certainly keep me warm!

It’s natural to turn to warming foods in colder months. Our bodies may crave the comfort of rich meals, and that can make it easy to overeat foods that contribute to weight gain. I am right there with you! But I’ve got some specific tricks that I’ve been using to avoid bloat, sluggishness and weight gain.

  • Drink water, all day. This can be difficult in winter because it’s cold, so try to drink warm water and herbal tea instead. Water is SO important when it comes to weight loss and maintenance.
  • Keep moving – this warms you up! Just 30 minutes a day will do. Choose your favorite form of movement and enjoy it.
  • Make healthy versions of naughty foods. In my book The Clean Life, you will find an entire chapter dedicated to healthy sweet alternatives like a homemade, sugar-free Nutella, homemade sugar-free hot chocolate or a delicious chocolate almond tart served with coyo. Yum.
  • Eat protein with each meal and snack to keep your blood sugar levels stable and decrease sugar cravings. Consider eating 5 small meals a day. This will decreases your chance of turning to the “bad stuff.”
  • Make healthy soups – they’re warming, help you meet your veggie quota for the day, and make amazing leftovers.
  • Ensure you have greens with each meal! Half your plate should be vegetables. Get excited about roasting veggies in winter. What’s better than roasted spiced cauliflower and Brussels sprouts? They’re nature’s candy!
  • Avoid starch after 3pm. This will really help to keep the weight off and will remove not so healthy food choices in the evening.
  • Have a treat each week. I talk about this in The Clean Life and tell my clients all the time that this treat can be SO good for us – it knocks out the cravings and can help prevent bingeing on that food. If you’re craving a delicious roast with red wine…have it. Enjoy it with gusto and positive thoughts.
  • Keep stress in check. There is an entire chapter in The Clean Life on how to reduce stress in your life.  High stress causes high cortisol, which is a fat storage hormone and makes it very hard to keep weight off. Start by doing legs up against the wall for 10 minutes a day or deep belly breathes. Remember to give yourself time to rest each day to connect with yourself – rather than turning to comfort foods.




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Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My  copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time.  My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.

With kindest regards Samantha

I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.

When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.

I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.


Hey Jessica!
I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again

- Jacinta

I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!


Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.

– Sophie

Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!


I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).

– Helene

I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud

Michelle Curtis

My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.