Do you gain weight in the winter? If you do you are certainly not alone. In fact, the real problem seems to be that most of us gain at least a few pounds every winter and we don’t quite lose all of that winter baggage when summer comes. Then winter comes again and the cycle continues only the problem gets worse.
So why does this happen and how can we end the cycle? There can be lots of reasons for this. Everything from genetics to the fact that we are less active during the winter months are reasons that we tend to gain weight during those cold months. Our bodies are conditioned to store more fat as winter approaches as this was probably a vital part of survival for our ancestors.
SADD, or seasonal affective disorder or more commonly called winter blues, affects thousands and thousands of people. This is a sort of depression related to the lack of daylight caused by the shorter days during late fall and winter.
And if we want to boost our energy levels and our emotions we can eat. And we can eat foods high in carbohydrates, including sugar treats, chips and cereals. These foods will give us a fast sugar ‘high’. That of course makes us feel better but it also adds to our other problem which is that of putting on extra weight during the winter months. So the cycle continues and it is very hard to break it.
As you can see, there are lots of possible reasons that we gain weight in the winter time. There are also lots of reasons that we are more attracted to such foods as cookies, pies and chocolates during the winter months. And unfortunately, although these foods may make us feel good they also contain high levels of fat.
The best to handle this is to substitute other foods that are high in carbohydrates – that will provide what our body is craving – but that have a lower fat content and that have plenty of fiber. This includes foods like potatoes, wholegrain bread, wholegrain rice, cereals, and fresh fruit.
Exercising will result in additional benefits for our bodies. Most of us have a tendency to want to stay home and rest when it is cold outside. Our level of physical activity drops. This in itself results in weight gain and muscle turning to mush.
We really can avoid the winter weight gain if we work at it – but we have to make a conscious effort to do so!