How to avoid Winter weight gain
Many of us find over winter we seem to gain a few extra kilos, some more than others… It can be quite a shock when we jump back on the scales once the weather starts warming up again. In general, we seem to eat heavier meals, not get out and about as often and hide the extra kilos we have put on with thick layers of clothing. Even the smallest changes in our lifestyle can result in gradual weight gain.
What you need to know
Winter weight gain may not be the result of laziness or lack of motivation. It can be directly influenced by mental health. Some individuals may develop seasonal affective disorder (SAD) also known as seasonal depression. SAD is thought to be caused by reduced melatonin and serotonin production. These hormones can affect sleep, mood, energy levels, overeating and withdrawal from participating in normal activities. If you experience many of these symptoms, visit your GP for an assessment.
What causes weight gain
In general weight gain is caused by consuming more calories than what your body is able to process. Heavily processed foods are often full of additives that take longer to digest and get transferred to trans fats rather than slow release energy. When eating highly processed foods, it can also lead to people eating more than the recommended daily intake.
To avoid consuming so many calories, fill your plate with nutrient-dense, whole foods. Reduced the intake of heavily processed food and alcohol. Eating food rich in protein will keep you feeling fuller for longer and reduce hunger cravings. It will balance your blood sugar levels and could reduce excessive snacking.
Stay active, exercise regularly
Physical activity will not only help maintain a healthy weight but will also help promote a healthy mindset. It is recommended to think outside the box and stay active throughout the day. Vary the activities that you participate in, try a new hobby or sport. If you partner up with a friend or family member you can keep each other accountable. It is recommended by health professionals to exercise for at least 30 mins a day.
To avoid stacking on the Winter kilos, there are many strategies to incorporate into your daily life. Incorporate a healthy eating plan, use lean meats and fill meals with lots of vegetables. Maintain a sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time. Increase bright light exposure during the day and avoid blue light exposure at night. Don’t consume caffeine late in the day and sleep in a pitch-black room.
While you have limited control on how your body works, you can choose to live a healthy lifestyle. Unless there is a medical condition preventing you from losing weight, it is within your power to control your weight. It will require willpower, dedication and perseverance. The payoff is that you will feel better, help prevent or control many diseases, and likely even live longer.