I personally feel like I want to hibernate during the cooler months. I just want to eat and eat and eat and lounge around in my PJs for days while binge-watching Netflix movies and series. Winter weight gain is a real thing – here are some common reasons why this phenomenon can happen.
- In cooler months, I find that people tend to stop exercising – especially those who do outdoor exercises like walking or jogging. Even I have to drag myself to the gym. I am thankful that people expect me to be there to teach a cardio class so I have no excuse – I need to show up and workout.
- Carbohydrates become people’s best friend. Researchers have found that in the winter months, people will often turn to carbs as comfort food. Carbohydrates can help reduce stress and give a temporary sense of wellbeing (from serotonin release) but ultimately results in excess weight gain.
- You could be too warm at night. People often combat the cold by burrowing under comforters and blankets. Unfortunately, being too warm at night actually reduces your sleep. Researchers have linked poor sleep and lack of sleep with weight gain.
Even if winter weight gain is real – it doesn’t mean that we should give in and just gain weight and worry about it later. Here are a couple of suggestions on how you can combat winter weight gain.
Set an exercise plan in motion. It could be an entirely home-based exercise plan if you don’t want to leave the house. There are various types of workout videos you can follow on the internet. Or, just commit to 3 days of going to the gym. Mark it in your calendar. The key is – COMMITMENT.
Start planning your meals. Instead of spontaneously eating whatever’s around, be deliberate about what you cook and what you eat. Be mindful of what you are putting into your body. If you have not tried it, you may even want to start meal prepping. Here’s a tip – don’t overdo it on the holiday meals. The triple whammy of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year can really wreak havoc on your waistline. Do enjoy your meal and eat till you’re full – but no more. Don’t stuff yourself just because it’s the holidays.
Winter weight gain is a very real phenomenon. Fortunately, proper exercise and nutrition can still help you prevent weight gain – and if you really put your heart into it, you may possibly even lose some unwanted weight.