Winter Weight Gain- Give it the Cold Shoulder
Winter - that time of the season where baggy jumpers and tasty comfort treats compensate for those depressingly shorter days and long dark night; where our relatively active lifestyle is tempered somewhat in favour of evenings curled up on the sofa, glass on wine in hand and the warm, inviting glow of a fire.
Yes, the majority of us do actually become more sedentary in winter and this can of course lead to weight gain. Research also shows we promote more of the sleep hormone, melatonin, in response to the lack of sunshine. This hormone can make you feel as though your body is ready to sleep and with these higher melatonin levels, comes an increase in appetite.
It's little wonder we may find ourselves, much to our surprise, unnaturally squeezing into our favourite spring outfit once winter has bid us farewell.
5 Ways to Combat Winter Weight Gain
1. Keep active
Getting out in the fresh air, whether it is a brisk walk or an easy job, will do wonders for your physical and mental wellbeing. Join a class if you wish and make this work by doing it with a friend or family member.
2. Cook at home
Forget those takeaways and unhealthy ready-meals. Cooking from home, from scratch, is one of the healthiest ways to eat. You'll be making healthy food choices, controlling portion sizes and saving money as well. Leftovers also make for a great second meal.
3. Eat more veg
This doesn't mean digging into a full bowl of broccoli. Incorporating vegetables in your meals will increase your intake of health-boosting nutrients. Aim for half of your plate to be vegetable-rich and don't forget to use those sauces in moderation.
If you feel like you are gaining a few pounds throughout the winter, the best thing to do is to acknowledge this and focus on getting your body back to its best. Do not deprive yourself of essential nutrients or engage in quick-fix fad diets; this will only make it more difficult to lose weight. Ease back into it. You'll get there!
5. Boost protein intake
Our bodies seem to yearn for high carbohydrate-containing comfort foods in winter months. Couple this with a decrease in physical activity and weight gain isn't far away. Opting for lean protein meals is a sure-fire way to balance your macronutrients- fat, carbohydrate and protein. The correct balance of these nutrients will also ensure your satiety is increased and so avoiding over-eating.
22. November 2019