Many people tend to gain weight in winter season for a variety of reasons. The season comes with its own set of comforts from good food to pleasant weather, but it also makes one prone to weight gain. As the temperature dips, getting up in the morning and leaving the comfort of your warm bed seem tougher with each passing day. Missing out on daily exercise could make one gain weight over the period of time. There is a general decrease in physical activity too as the weather gets cold, which could make us gain kilos
Craving for comfort food too is on all-time high during winter season with increased appetite and availability of high-calorie seasonal treats.
Unless you want to spend your next few months regretting your decisions, it is important to find ways to avoid this unwarranted weight gain. First and foremost, it is important to step out in sunlight to set your body cycle right. Not doing this could make you gain weight and also interfere with your sleep. Also find time for physical exercise. Instead of gorging on junk food, eat fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes to take care of the increased appetite.
Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker, Laparoscopic and Bariatric surgeon, Saifee Hospital, Apollo Spectra, Namaha and Currae Hospitals, Mumbai lists five reasons people gain weight in winter and also suggests ways to prevent it.
Reasons for weight gain in winter
A sudden drop in temperature: As days become colder, people find it difficult to mover around and be outdoors. People tend to avoid hitting the gyms or working out. Decrease in physical activity and movement can lead to weight gain.
Shorter days: During winter months sunrise happens later and the sunset happens much earlier leading to short days. This also hampers the daily routine and many times people are not able to find the time to go outdoors. It is also very cold in the morning and evening hours.
Longer nights: Since the nights are longer, one may end up sleeping for an extended period and may feel sluggish during the day.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD): SAD is a type of depression that is associated with seasonal changes. It can lead to mood swings, inactivity and a dip in energy levels. People with SAD may not feel like exercising or going out. Moreover, lack of sunlight can also make one feel low. As a result, there can be some weight gain.
Eating foods that are warm and comforting: During winter, many people crave for tea, coffee, cookies and other kind of sweets. Many people resort to comfort foods which can be loaded with sodium and can lead to bloating and subsequent weight gain.
Tips to prevent weight gain in winter season
It is possible to avoid making the above-mentioned mistakes that lead to weight gain. Here are some of the tips you can follow.
Get enough sunlight: One should step out daily in sunlight. It will also help to keep conditions like SAD at bay.
Exercise indoors: Indoor exercising is a good option during winters and can help you to stay fit and healthy. Don’t forget to walk after every meal. Take stairs instead of an elevator.
Watch your diet: Have a diet loaded with fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Avoid junk, processed, oily and canned foods.
Avoid smoking and alcohol. Instead, drink a lot of water that will help you to avoid bloating and constipation.