The Winter Weight Gain Blues
For most people, wintertime means more than high heating costs and cold weather. Many people gain weight during the winter, and then spend the entire summer trying to shed the pounds. Gym memberships skyrocket in the summer as people rush to lose
What Causes Winter Weight Gain?
Numerous things can contribute to winter weight gain. If you always gain weight during the winter, blame your ancestors. Scientists believe that the human body stores more fat as wintertime gets closer. This occurs naturally in many animals, so you can add humans to the list. Your body uses the extra fat to protect itself from the cold weather. It’s also a defense mechanism against starvation. Hundreds of years ago, before grocery stores and Wal-Mart, food supplies always ran low during the winter. The human body would hold on to the extra fat just in case there wasn’t enough food. Unfortunately, times have changed but the human body hasn’t.
Although most people have central heating and an ample supply of food, the body still thinks it needs the fat for wintertime. Another factor that leads to winter weight gain is the cold. People are less active during the winter months. Because it’s so cold outside, people get less exercise and find more things to do inside. That’s a deadly combination that usually leads straight to weight gain.
Nature can also cause winter weight gain. Research shows that some people become depressed during the winter. It gets dark earlier during the winter, and the shorter days can cause depression, overeating, and sleep disorders in some people.
One way people deal with this problem is to eat high fat foods for an energy boost. They often go for unhealthy comfort foods, like cookies, fries and sugary cereals, to get a quick burst of energy. This solution provides a temporary emotional high, but it also leads to weight gain.
Beat Winter Weight Gain
The easiest way to avoid winter weight gain is to watch your behavior. If you’re very active during summer, you should always stay active during winter. Find indoor activities that will give you the same amount of exercise as those you do outdoors. You may have to join a gym, but it will be worth it.
If you enjoy walking, you can still walk during winter if you buy the proper clothes to keep you warm. Plus you can also get a treadmill or use one at your local gym. There are also sports that can be played inside like basketball and racquetball.
There’s really no excuse for hibernating during the winter. You’re a human being not a bear. Maybe your ancestors needed to stay in from the cold, but modern luxuries make it possible for you to handle the winter without missing a step. So don’t let the winter blues get you down. Exercise, eat right, and keep your energy high.