Understanding Winter Weight Gain
It is mid-way through January and I am just now coming up for air. How about you? The holidays are so much fun but oh so busy! Winter has definitely set in here in Utah and the snow keeps falling and I LOVE it! Let’s get real for a moment about something that happens to the best of us: Winter Weight Gain!
Understanding why we gain more weight in the winter is very important. There are several reasons we tend to gain more weight in the winter, and it varies from person to person. On average people tend to gain five to seven pounds during the winter months, YIKES!
Why do we gain more weight in the winter?
Here are a few reasons we usually gain more weight in the winter:
- The days are shorter
- The weather is cold and gloomy
- Too much sleep
- Not Enough Sleep
- Not exercising enough
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Overindulging: holiday parties/comfort foods/alcohol consumption/sweet treats
- Less fresh produce
- Less water intake
- Lack of vitamin D
- Being less active
- Holiday Parties, holiday parties and more holiday parties!
- Overindulging (Oh did I already mention that?)
- So many delicious sweat treats at our fingertips!
Avoid Winter Weight Gain
We are right smack dab in the middle of winter and there is still time to get back on track! Now that we are aware of some of the causes, we can start taking steps to manage winter weight gain. There is still time to get back on track and reverse what may have happened in the holiday months and January is the perfect time to focus!
Here are four other ways to avoid weight gain this winter:
But first….check out the recipe for the salad above! It is a crowd pleaser and is delicious too! https://alethiatruefit.com/recipes/sauces-soups-sides/chopped-italian-salad-recipe/
- Avoid white flour products like white rice, white potatoes, sugar, and sweets since high glycemic carbs can skyrocket blood sugar and insulin, increasing your appetite and promoting the storage of fat.
- Fill up on fiber-rich foods such as whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. They can keep hunger at bay, stimulate the appetite-controlling hormone leptin, and keep glucose from flooding your bloodstream.
- Limit sugar, especially in beverages, sugary cereals, and processed foods (like salad dressings, flavored yogurts, and packaged dessert snacks), which can trigger insulin resistance and fat storage.
- Get more protein into your diet. The most natural way to provide longer-lasting appetite control is to consume fish, skinless poultry, nut butter, whole soy foods, dairy products, eggs, and beans, this will prevent the loss of muscle and help you maintain weight loss.
Breaking the Winter Weight Gain Cycle
Break the cycle of winter weight gain by:
- Choosing Foods Wisely: Choose healthy, home-cooked meals such as soups.
- Go out into the sun as much as possible and enjoy WINTER SPORTS!
- Pick a Hobby: Concentrate on other things like hobbies, sports, skiing, painting or reading books. You can even clean your house if you’ve been postponing it. Do something that engages you instead of finding comfort in food.
- Time Your Sleep: Maintain sleep timings which will set your circadian rhythm and help you stay active throughout the day or take power naps in the afternoon instead of sleeping for long hours.
- Exercise: Plan indoor activities and exercises like yoga, skipping, stair activities which will help you be active more regularly.
NOW….it’s not too soon to start thinking about SPRING BREAK and SUMMER Vacations! The quote above is so true! How do you want to FEEL this summer in shorts, tanks, swimsuits? Do you want to have more energy to play with the kids at the pool? Start planning NOW!!! Mind what you eat, sleep on time and exercise regularly to not gain weight during winter and that’s a plan.
Oh and if you need a fun way to get the whole family active….download the calendar below and catch up where you can! HAPPY WINTER!