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Do you gain weight during winter months? Many of us feel lighter in summer and bloated in the cold season. This is called the seasonal weight gain. You might be surprised by the real reason behind this weight fluctuation. Even though there is no medical or scientific evidence for our gain weight predisposition, most people tend to think that it is a problem of their hormonal system.
The Normal Seasonal Weight Gain Cycle
Humans seem to be programmed to eat more when the weather is cold, which is why they experience weight gain in winter. There are plenty of reasons for this problem, but you also have several ways in which you can avoid a future seasonal weight gain.
Main Reasons for Seasonal Weight Gain
- People eat more during the holidays. Researchers say many of us gain some extra pounds between November and January. This happens because a lot of families cook or buy heavy holiday meals with lots of gravy and stuffing. However, scientists also say that people tend to gain a few pounds from one year to another because of their slowing metabolism related to their aging process.
- Some of us are not in a good mood in winter. There is a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder which affects parts of the population during winter months. This happens because there the weather is cold and dark. So, we tend to develop an emotionally-eating habit. Finding comfort in food has always been a problem of depressed or anxious people.
- We exercise less in winter. Seasonal weight gain can also be caused by the fact that most people are less active during cold months. Besides those who love winter sports, all others just want to curl up covered by a blanket. Becoming more sedentary person might make you eat more. According to some researchers, active people tend to eat less.
Ways to Avoid Seasonal Weight Gain
- Quit eating instant or ready-to-serve meals. Seasonal weight gain also happens because many of us don’t have the necessary time or energy to cook a meal from scratch. Whole ingredients that make a healthy homemade meal are a great alternative to processed foods. Prepare your lunch and take it to work every day. Choose fruits and nuts instead of consuming chips and other unhealthy snacks.
- Experience with different recipes. You don’t have to stick to old heavy holiday recipes. You can modify them or personalize them depending on your needs and preferences. This way, you will make a good compromise, eating foods you love but cooking them in a healthier way.
- Seek professional help. Seasonal weight gain can be a consequence of depression. Therefore, you shouldn’t be ashamed to seek a doctor’s help. You can go to both a therapist and a nutritionist to regain your shape as well as your mental stability.
We all have dealt with seasonal weight gain sometime during our lives. The important thing to do is to discover the real reason behind it. Also, you should do something about it instead of ignoring the problem. Eat healthier, exercise more, and go to therapy, if necessary. Your health is crucial for your well-being, so don’t hesitate to take good care of it.