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“Excuses, excuses, excuses” - Aussie women's unhealthy winter habits are packing on the pounds

Nov 30, 2011

Galaxy Research reveals…
• 9 out of 10 women face the prospect of putting on weight this winter
• Chilly air bites as 58% blame the cold weather for avoiding exercise
• Comfort food cravings lead to 45% eating unhealthily
• Gen Y hardest hit by winter blues (92%)
• Michelle Bridges’ top winter motivation tips revealed

Wednesday, 1 June 2011, Australia – Aussie women are full of excuses to eat unhealthily and avoid exercising this winter, with almost 9 out of 10 (88%) women under 65 years facing the prospect of putting on a few extra kilos.

A new survey by Galaxy Research and commissioned by Kellogg’s Special K found the chilly air must really bite, as an astounding 78% of women admit to exercising less in winter than in summer, with the majority (59%) blaming colder temperatures. Shrinking daylight hours are an excuse for 42% of women, whilst a third (34%) put it down to generally feeling more tired in winter.

Best intentions to eat healthily go out the window too for nearly three quarters (73%) of women, who confess to eating less healthily throughout winter. Comfort food is the biggest temptation, with 45% of women craving more of it in winter, whilst 42% simply feel like eating more; leading to larger portion sizes.

Gen Y women (18-29 years) are most affected by the winter blues, with 92% exercising less and eating less healthily, compared to 85% of Baby Boomers (45-64 years).

Gen Y’s top excuse for avoiding exercise is the cold weather (67%), with Baby Boomers less affected by the drop in temperature (53%). The ‘hibernation effect’ also hits Gen Y hardest, with 46% feeling more tired in winter, compared to 26% of Baby Boomers.

Compounding their lack of activity in winter, Gen Y are also far more likely to lapse into bad habits - by succumbing to cravings for comfort foods (58%) - than their Baby Boomer and Gen X counterparts (40% and 41% respectively).

The survey also looked at diet and exercise motivation levels of Aussie women. The Kellogg’s Special K Motivation SKale measures a range of factors regarding diet and exercise motivation and ranks respondents motivation levels from 1 (lowest motivation) to 10 (highest motivation).

The Special K Motivation SKale found that Aussie women rated an average 5.2 motivation level in the lead up to the chilly winter months, preferring to catch up on their exercise regimes and healthy eating in the summer.

The research comes from Kellogg’s Special K Original – a cereal that has long been a breakfast favourite of women across Australia, and is high-protein, low GI.

The world’s largest diet study revealed that a low GI and high protein diet combination may be the key to avoiding weight re-gain and maintaining shape.

** Michelle Bridges’ tips to help increase winter motivation levels. **

Celebrity Personal Trainer and Special K enthusiast, Michelle Bridges, has heard these excuses for not staying active in winter all too often, and has some tips to help Aussie women maintain their shape in the chilly winter months:

If you are part of the 59% of women blaming colder temperatures for not exercising, then…

• You need to look elsewhere for your training inspiration! While being outdoors in fresh air helps keep your spirits up, exercise programs such as ‘YourShape’ by Ubisoft provide a sophisticated level of training in the comfort of your own home.
• You should look to invest in a new training wardrobe! Braving a winter morning in skimpy summer gear is no-one’s idea of fun, so invest in some warm accessories, like a beanie, and if you’re a regular exerciser, it will probably be time for some new runners, and if you run, it definitely will be! Be sure to get them properly fitted.
• You should always know exactly what training you will be doing the following day before you go to bed. If you don’t have your workout planned you increase the risk of negotiating yourself out of it.

If you are part of the 34% of women who are generally just too tired to exercise in Winter, then…

• You might need to look at the reasons why you might be tired! Exercise boosts endorphins and is a natural wake-up call, so while you might be tired when your alarm is going off just think how much better you will feel after you get moving!
• You should find someone to train with over winter that has similar goals to you. When you’re both tired you can help motivate each other. Try posting a notice on your gym or community notice board, or check out some of the boot camps and training groups in your area.

For the chance to win an Xbox Connect 360 and Your Shape game to help you maintain your shape this winter, see packs of Kellogg’s Special K.

For more information on the findings of the world’s largest diet study, visit

For more information on the survey, low GI / high protein meal options, interviews with spokespeople, or imagery – please contact:

Kirstin Wallace / Georgia Gilson
DEC for Kellogg’s - 0401 978 065 / (02) 8014 5037 - 0420 587 150 / (02) 8014 5045

- Notes to editors - 

*About the survey

The Special K Motivation Index
The sample was 1,003 respondents nationally, and was conducted by Galaxy Research.
Respondents were asked to complete a questionnaire to establish the most common motivational obstacles encountered by Aussie women aged 18 – 64 in winter.

The Special K Motivation SKale is generated by averaging all responses to eight questions about diet and exercise. Respondents were asked whether they agreed with a series of statements about their motivations from a scale of 1 (do not agree at all) to 5 (agree completely). Each point on the five-point scale is then converted to a 10-point scale by assigning a value as follows (1=0), (2=2.5), (3=5), (4=7.5), (5=10). The resulting index ranges from 0 (not motivated at all) to 10 (highly motivated).


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