Tucking ourselves in quilts, munching endlessly, and watching movies all day are the plans we generally make for winters, without paying any attention to the extra pounds that we are going to put beneath our protective covers from the cold. Let’s face it: Winter is the time where all excuses to be lazy are well received. But the question is, is this loss in physical activity the reason for weight gain in winters?
To some extent, yes. But that could be handled with a few extra minutes in the gym session, right?. However, that doesn’t happen. Despite the extra minutes of exercise, people gain weight or find it difficult to maintain their ideal weight. This is because the answer lies in our diets.
Unlike summer, winters are dark and gloomy. There’s very little sun which tricks our brain into believing that nap time has arrived by increasing the secretion of melatonin, a hormone that regulates our sleep and appetite. While this hormone makes us consume more liquid during summers, in winters it makes us crave for fattier foods.
Gloominess of the season also leads to a depression-like state of mind so much so that it known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD which again compels us to eat carb and fat-rich food items to uplift our mood and spirits. If you find yourself a victim of SADness, hit the gym. Not only will exercise give you better control over your winter-weight, it will also kick in some feel-good hormones that will keep gloominess at bay.
Some people believe that weight gain in winters is because of accumulation of fat in order to keep body warm. In reality, this is a false belief. Fat people feel colder than those who are slim because the visible fat is white adipose tissue which gives only a fatter figure and no warmth. The fat that keeps body warm is brown adipose which has little relation to what we eat in a certain season.
Not to forget, the worst thing is the availability of fresh produce in the chilly season which tends us to move towards the conveniently available packaged food. However, make sure that you visit farmer’s market once a week to pick fresh vegetables and make no compromises with your health.