Winter Weight Gain – Why Does it Happen and What Can We Do About It In Fall
Winter Weight Gain – Why Does it Happen and What Can We Do About It In Fall?
Fall is here, and we may soon be entering winter. Almost all of us are worried about the unwanted weight gain that will start creeping, making it difficult to fit in our clothes. Winter weight gain is something that almost everyone complains about and for some reason it doesn’t all drop off during summer. Each winter, as we gain more and more weight, we eventually look up and realize that those few extra leftover pounds have really begun to add up. And even worse, those extra pounds don’t ever seem to want to budge. So, why do we gain weight in the winter and how can we lose it?
There are a lot of reasons for winter weight gain. Scientists believe that we are genetically pre-disposed to accumulate extra fat to help us make it through the winter. This is something that we have in common with animals and it was probably a necessary survival tactic for our ancestors. During the extreme cold, our body used the extra fat layers to keep up warm. And since food would not have been abundant during the winter and the spring, our bodies used the fat to keep us alive until summer came around again. Humans have probably kept this habit of eating more food in the later summer and fall since fruits and vegetables tend to be ready to pick at this time of year. It’s also not uncommon to choose foods that have a higher fat content.
Weight gain can be fueled by our hormone levels. Our appetite and the foods we crave are both influenced by our hormones and other chemicals in the brain. Scientists also know that some neurotransmitters have an effect on the way we eat. Studies have found that overweight individuals many times have low levels of these neurotransmitters. This can cause over eating due to excessive appetite, depression and sleep disorders. When fall and winter are approaching, there is less daylight which can cause winter depression and cause over eating to occur. It’s a well known fact that common comfort foods like high sugar treats, chips and cereals are high in carbs that give us both an energy and emotional boost. These types of foods cause you to gain weight and it’s hard not to feel depressed when you gain weight. This situation creates a vicious cycle that is hard to break.
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Before we get to this stage, let’s figure things out while it’s still fall.
There are a lot of reasons that we tend to eat foods like cookies, pies and chocolate in the winter that are high in carbs and fats. The goal is to try and eliminate these foods from our diet and try healthier choices that are lower in fat but high in carbs. Good choices would include potatoes, wholegrain bread without butter, wholegrain rice, cereals, and fresh whole fruit. These foods are also high in fiber which will help us to feel fuller longer.
In the winter, the cold weather typically makes it easier for people to not exercise. It’s cold outside and who wants to walk in that kind of climate? But, in order to curb weight gain, you have to exercise. Join a gym right away and actually go! Or, remember that even if you can’t get outside and exercise, you still have your house. Pick an area in your home and pick an exercise. You can walk on a treadmill, ride a stationary bike, pop in an exercise DVD of your choice and get moving. The point is that you have to do something to prevent any more weight gain and hopefully you will actually lose some weight in the process. You can stop the winter weight gain if you put a little effort into it!
If several winters have come and gone and the extra weight is driving you crazy, you need to stop procrastinating. You don’t want to look up and find that several MORE winters have come and gone. Think about how much more weight you will have to lose then!