Winter weight gain

Saad Rana Jul 20 2014
winter weight gain tips

Winter is an enemy of people looking to not gain weight. We gain about 2-4 pounds of weight during the winter and the weight tends to stay on. The cold weather drives you inside, where you eat those high-fat comfort foods and change your lifestyle in which we’re less self-conscious about our bodies because we bundle up. When it’s cold outside, you stay indoors, not doing much of any exercise and your metabolism slows down. Also, when you stay indoors, you don’t get much sunlight, which affects your mood. Sunlight provides vitamin D which when you don’t get much sunlight, lowers your vitamin d level and it makes you lethargic and lazy.

Melatonin is a hormone that when triggered by darkness increases sleep, which affects your appetite. In spring and summer, melatonin levels decline, but in autumn and winter, melatonin levels increase, which makes you want to eat more. Rather than eating low calorie snacks, you go for prepackaged foods such as chips, nuts and crackers. To lighten up your mood, you start eating carbohydrates, fats and sugars which makes us feel good. Fat is an insulator for the body and keeps us warm.

To stay on the trim side, exercise is the best option. Go to the gym at least three times a week and make sure you get weightlifting or strength training in your workout routine as it increases your metabolism. Leg workouts burn more calories than any other body part, and cardio will tone up your body. Make sure you get sunlight, as it will increase your mood and refresh your mind. So make sure you turn off that television and computer, dress warmly and go for a brisk walk around the block for at least 30 minutes a day.  You can also take up a new sport to burn those calories. Swimming is an excellent example as it is fun and a good way to reduce the body fat.

So look for a health club that has a heated indoor swimming pool, and indoor tennis court, or squash court as these are the kinds of sports that will help you lose the weight and make you trim. Skiing is also an excellent and enjoyable sport where there is snow. Weigh yourself regularly so you know where you stand and know that you need to lose that weight.  

It’s not to mention that eating healthy will reduce your calories to only the required amount needed. Make sure you don’t go to a dinner party hungry. Eat a salad or an apple before that dinner to make sure you don’t overeat. When eating outside the home, we tend to enjoy the variety of foods available.  Squash, onions, oranges, artichokes, kale, cauliflower are examples of winter crops that you can enjoy. They are filling and nutritious at the same time. Stay away from those delights that are scrumptious.

We know that pecan pie is tasty, but it will fatten up the tummy. You can treat yourself to those cookies to one day out of the week, but avoid binge eating. Dark chocolate is ok every once in a while. A hot cup of tea contains zero calories, but an eight-ounce hot chocolate with whipped cream is 183 calories.

It's nice to indulge every once in a while in a sweet mug of chocolaty goodness, but don't make a daily habit out of it. Liquid calories can lead to weight gain. Avoid alcohol that warms you up. It will be tempting to drink that spiked eggnog or vodka, but alcohol contains a lot of empty calories and slows down your metabolism.

Saad Rana

Saad Rana:

As a current dental student at Ziauddin University, Saad takes an interest in health, fitness and nutrition. He writes articles based on research through on-line publications as well as consulting various doctors and nutrition and fitness experts. When he's not writing for Health TV, you can find him studying, exercising or watching some of his favourite TV shows.