By Jarrod Agosta, Accredited Practising Dietitian & Nutritionist
As we move into the colder months, it’s very common for most people to put on some extra kilos, but why exactly do we put on weight during winter?
Well, simply put, people tend to adjust lifestyle behaviours in response to coping with the cold, such things include:
- We may fall into hibernation mode: eating extra, being more sedentary
- Wearing extra layers of winter clothing, when our bodies are less visible, we may relax and put off our fitness goals
until the weather improves
- Our food choices differ with heartier winter meals such as stews and curries, taking preference over lighter options
such as salads
- And finally, being less active due to less daylight hours for exercise and outdoor activities
Some of the science behind weight gain in the winter includes:
- Less exposure to sun modifies our hormone production. When we are “seeing” less daylight, the pineal gland responds by
producing the hormone melatonin.
- The increase in melatonin can make us feel sleepy and less motivated, and higher
melatonin levels may also increase our appetite
- The type of warm hearty meals people tend to eat during the winter are far more calorie dense, potentially leading people to consume more calories than they require or are able to burn in a day
Now, whilst all of the above is a challenge for anyone, it’s no reason to allow yourself only 6 months of the year to focus on healthy lifestyle habits to help you maintain your weight. With the right approach you can optimise the whole of each year towards maintaining and gaining better health, especially during winter!
If you’d like to avoid winter weight gain this year, then our 12-week weight loss program may be for you, for more info click here.
Working with me, you will learn lifelong skills to help you manage your weight effectively on your own regardless of what month of the year it is. We will educate and support you on a variety of topics including food product knowledge, portion control, healthy meal ideas and mindful eating.
So, if you’d like to come out of the colder months in control of your diet and lifestyle habits, then click the link here.