Why Do We Gain Weight in the Winter?

If your pants are a little snug and you notice that the scale has crept up a few pounds since autumn, you’re not alone.  Weight gain during the winter months happens to many people, but if you understand why it happens it doesn’t have to be inevitable.  This year, get a head start and ward off the weight gain commonly associated with winter.image

Dark days lead to seasonal depression.  Seasonal Depression(“SAD”) often occurs during the winter days when less natural sunlight is available. Symptoms of SAD include less interest in activities you enjoy, the desire to sleep more, and even changes in your appetite. If you have symptoms of SAD, you might find yourself craving more comfort foods this time of year.  Exercise is a crucial defense to symptoms related to depression.  If you start to recognize that you’re feeling symptoms of SAD, try to release endorphins with cardiovascular exercise before you give in to your cravings.

  • Lack of fresh produce. Whether you love your summer produce from the farmers market or your own backyard, summer is the season most associated with fresh fruits and vegetables.  That may be true for some of your favorite healthy picks, but even during winter there are fresh fruits and vegetables.  Sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and grapefruit are commonly thought of as winter fruit and  vegetables. Experimenting with the flavors of the season can help you ward off weight gain and have more fun in the kitchen this winter.
  • Food-related gatherings. You can’t meet your friends at your favorite swimming pool during the winter months, so most people turn to indoor gatherings centered around warm food. Even though the holidays are over now, many people will catch up over dinner and drinks or invite friends over to watch football games.  Learning to enjoy your family and friends while minding your goals is crucial to living a healthier lifestyle.  Being responsible for bringing a healthy dish to share, staying hydrated with plain water, and keeping your commitment to your FitClub workouts will allow you to enjoy the seasonal parties without starting spring heavier than before.
  • Once upon a time, our genetic ancestors needed to eat when food was available due to the scarce winter months of hardship.  Even though humanity has evolved enough to provide food throughout the year, our habits have been passed down from one generation to the next.  Fortunately, now that studies suggest this is why you indulge during the colder months, we are better equipped to recognize it and outsmart our genetic legacy.  Creating and sticking to healthy habits this winter can allow you to reset the habits that keep you stuck in the cycle of gaining weight in the winter and trying to lose it again in the spring and summer.  Consistent sleep, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and a regular FitClub routine can get you started losing weight earlier this year!
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