Winter Weight Gain – Why Does It Happen And What Can You Do?
Winter weight gain is a common complaint of many people. It seems that every winter we add a few pounds, and come summer we don’t lose them all again either. A few of them always stick around, making us a little heavier every year.
They seem to be very hard to lose extra pounds! Why does this happen and what can we do?
Winter Weight Gain
There are many contributing factors. First, it seems likely that we have a genetic disposition to store more fat as winter approaches. Many animals do this and it was probably vital to survival for our ancestors.
Extra layers of fat on the body protect us against the cold and then can be used as fuel in the late winter and early spring when food stocks would historically be very low. We probably have a tendency to eat more in the fall, when food is plentiful after harvest time, to help this process along. We may also unconsciously choose foods that are higher in fat content at this time.
Hormone Levels and Weight Gain
Hormone levels can also influence our weight gain. The interaction of hormones and other chemicals in the brain can bring about variations in appetite and cravings. Some neurotransmitters can also influence the way we eat. People who are overweight often have low levels of these neurotransmitters and the results can include excessive appetite, depression and sleep disorders. This is the reason, many health experts recommend using the best appetite suppressants for women that help control appetite and excessive cravings.
At the same time, the lack of daylight caused by the shortening days during late fall and winter can bring on seasonally affected disorder or winter depression. One of the quickest ways to give a boost to the energy levels and emotions is to eat high carbohydrate foods including sugar treats, chips and cereals that give us a fast blood sugar ‘fix’. So people who feel low in the winter will tend to overeat or eat the wrong foods, leading to weight gain, more depression and a vicious cycle that is hard to break.
So altogether there are many reasons why we eat more high carbohydrate foods such as cookies, pies and chocolate in the winter, and of course most of these foods also contain high levels of fats. The best way to handle this is generally to substitute other foods that are also high in carbohydrate so that we get what our body craves, but which have low fat content and plenty of fiber. This means potatoes, wholegrain bread without butter, wholegrain rice, cereals, and fresh whole fruit. The other way to cut calories is to use the best weight loss pills that actually work in 2023 that will help to burn fats and control the weight gain.
Less Physical Activities
It is also important to take more exercise. Often our physical activity levels drop in the winter and we have a tendency to want to stay home and rest. This is natural when it is cold outside. But we are not cavemen! We have heating in our homes and can be sure that there will still be plenty of food in the stores come February. We do not need to stow fat the way that they did. Sign up with a gym or get a stationary bicycle for the den. Transform those carbs into energy now instead of keeping it on the waistline until spring. Winter weight gain is easily avoidable this way.
Top 10 Anti-Stress Foods
You can achieve a Zen life through your stomach as well. To prove this, we’ve prepared a list of 10 best anti-stress foods to put on your daily menu!
Chocolate is the anti-stress food par excellence. Thanks to its richness in magnesium, it helps fight against your decreases in energy and to better deal with stressful situations.
It is preferable to consume dark chocolate, because its richness in magnesium is superior by far: on average, 112mg per 100g. For comparison, milk chocolate contains 60 mg.
In addition to that, its sweet flavor makes it a cuddly food par excellence and activates the production of endorphins, the hormone of pleasure.
Almonds are rich in phytosterols, monounsaturated fatty acids, vegetable proteins, soluble fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Consuming a handful of almonds on a daily basis has no impact on your shape and heightens your serenity, thanks to a high content of magnesium, just like chocolate.
In general, all nuts (macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, etc.) and oilseeds are excellent for your health and morale.
The banana is rich in magnesium and potassium. It also contains tryptophan, an amino acid known for its relaxing properties that directly affects serotonin levels. Serotonin is a chemical messenger of the central nervous system involved in many physiological functions: sleep, mood, eating behaviors, etc. It is deficient in people suffering from depression or chronic anxiety.
A daily banana makes it possible to recharge the batteries and better face the vagaries of existence.
Blackcurrants, like all foods rich in vitamin C, are a natural anti-stress food. Rich in antioxidants, they affect the cortisol level, which is the stress hormone. In addition to that, they reduce joint pain, which can be related to a tension in the body.
It can be consumed as is, in an infusion, or in the form of capsules or drinkable suspensions as part of a seasonal solution.
5. Dried figs
Figs are rich in antioxidants and vitamin B3. Antioxidants provide energy and help fight diseases, while vitamin B3 plays an important role for neurotransmitters by facilitating the synthesis of serotonin.
Rich in water and sugars, they can be consumed daily in a moderate amount and as part of a balanced diet. However, they are not recommended for people with diabetes.
Mushrooms provide essential vitamins and minerals.
Their richness in selenium favors exchanges between neurotransmitters and makes it possible to combat anxiety and depression, which result physiologically from the disturbed exchanges between neurotransmitters, in particular serotonin.
Low in calories, they can be put on the menu every day.
7. Fatty fish
Fatty fish, such as tuna or salmon, are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega 3.
Omega 3 has favorable effects on the composition of cell membranes, as well as on many biochemical processes in the body: blood pressure regulation, vessel elasticity, immune reactions, etc. Promoting the transmission of nerve impulses, they thus improve emotional balance.
Eggs often get bad press because they increase bad cholesterol.
Yet, if consumed in reasonable quantities, 2 to 3 times a week, they are good for your health and contribute to a steel morale, thanks to its richness in vitamin B9. This vitamin plays an important role on the nervous system.
Other foods rich in vitamin B9 are spinach, broccoli, salads, wheat germ and liver.
9. Herbal teas
Herbal teas are our grandmother’s remedies to soothe the little ailments of everyday life. Chamomile-based herbal teas are recommended for their weight loss and calming properties. Those made from linden tree are recommended in case of nervous disorders, while passiflora is a very good natural anxiolytic.
Consumed at bedtime, these teas can offer a relaxing moment conducive to sleep.
10. Green teas
At a rate of 5 cups a day, green tea can reduce the effects of stress. A recent study has highlighted this fact. The Japanese who claimed to drink more than 5 cups of green tea a day were less stressed than those who did not drink 5 cups at least. It remains to be seen whether drinking green tea is an inconsequential part of a lifestyle where there is no source of stress or if it actually reduces the stress…
In any case, the richness in antioxidants of green tea can only have beneficial effects on the body and, therefore, on morale.
Read Also: A Healthy Guide to Good Nutrition