Some people think that gaining weight in cold water is inevitable. During cold weather months, you’re more likely to add extra pounds due to a variety of factors, both physical and emotional. Understanding the reasons behind weight gain during the winter can help you plan accordingly and keep the pounds from creeping on.
Depending on where you live, the weather may not be conducive to exercising outdoors in winter months. It may be too cold or sidewalks may be covered with snow and ice, making it uncomfortable and dangerous to spend any period of time outdoors. In addition, during the winter, it gets dark earlier and you may not feel safe working out after the sun sets. For these reasons, you may not work out as much as you do in the summer, when long days and pleasant weather make outdoor exercise more enjoyable.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression that usually occurs at the onset of colder weather and shorter periods of daylight. Symptoms include moodiness and lack of energy. This can lead to overeating and exhaustion, which can cause weight gain.
Since physical activity helps speed up your metabolism, a lack of exercise will slow it down. When this happens, the body becomes less efficient at burning calories and breaking food down into usable nutrients. A sluggish metabolism will lead to weight gain. Eating healthy foods on a regular basis without skipping meals, along with exercising regularly, will help keep your metabolism operating at an optimal level.
In the summer, fresh fruits and vegetables are more accessible than they are at other times of the year. Barbecuing is a popular summer pastime, and can be a healthy way to prepare foods. Salads, grilled meats and lighter fare are more common meal choices in warm weather. In the winter, heartier, high-carbohydrate foods are more prevalent. Soups, stews and foods topped with rich sauces are quintessential winter meals. A diet rich in high-calorie foods can lead to weight gain.
With all the holiday get-togethers that occur between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, it’s no wonder that weight gain is most common during this time of year. It’s hard to pass up the fried appetizers, heavy entrees and decadent desserts that are staples of many parties. Alcohol flows freely, and contributes to the lack of willpower you may feel when faced with these types of food choices.
It’s easy to gain weight in cold weather, but if you eat healthy foods and keep your activity level high, you should be able to avoid gaining extra weight.