Warmer weather tends to have a positive affect on our waistline. Our desire to munch on healthy foods and kick up the workout routines is heightened thanks to bathing suit season. Realizing we’ll be showing off more skin while having our fruits and veggies lounging on the beach is inspiration to cut back on the calories that we know we’ll be packing back on in just a few short months. But why do so many people gain weight during autumn?
Autumn allows us the freedom to cover up the skin, giving us free reign to indulge in delicacies the summer doesn’t allow. We can wear the bulky sweaters with the sweats and the heavy boots while we dive into the cheesecake we’ve been missing out on with no care and no type of judgment. The problem is the occasional treat of a pumpkin latte or a caramel macchiato is okay but after a while, the autumn months bring with them added pounds. A majority of folks aren’t quite sure what they should do about this weight gain and why it is happening. They don’t associate the fact that in the autumn and winter exercise may be reduced, particularly if it is an activity they performed outside in the nice weather. Adding to the lack of exercise is the addition of hearty calories via a large variety of rich, comfort-type foods including chilies, sweet potatoes, pies, and the list goes on.
Soothing the soul with delicious comfort food can also be associated with seasonal affect disorder for which many people develop a more depressed and far less motivated demeanor during the winter season secondary to much lower levels of Vitamin D. There are fewer instances of getting outside with cooler temperatures and more inclement weather as well as fewer episodes of sunshine. The gloomy, dreary days bring on the seasonal affect disorder and can attribute to weight gain.
Why Do So Many People Gain Weight During Autumn?
There are so many different factors that can be associated with the question, ‘why do so many people gain weight during autumn? We can blame the cooler temperatures for our lack of exercise or for our need to eat more of the tasty comfort foods that make us feel warm and cozy or for the ability to indulge after a summer of near deprivation. Something that we don’t take into consideration is the possibility that we, like most animals in nature, may have an unexplained weight gain in the autumn due to our brain sending out signals that it is nearly time for hibernation where our metabolism is going to be slowing way down.
You watch animals who are lean and spry in the summertime with plenty to eat and then you see glimpses of these same animals about to go into hibernation in the colder temperatures with little food available yet twice their size and much more sluggish. Could our weight gain in the autumn be due to metabolic changes affected by what should be a natural part of our cycle, a slower pace and restful time of the year? We may actually be storing fat in preparation for the winter months. Despite the accuracy of this theory, the best way to avoid the weight gain in the autumn is to watch the foods that are being taken in and remain active throughout the season.
How To Avoid Winter And Autumn Weight Gain
In an effort to keep the unwanted weight gain off during the autumn and winter season, there are things you can do that will satisfy your indulgences yet keep you healthy. Let’s look.
- Limits. In order to avoid the potential of overeating with the rich, comforting foods of the autumn and winter season, which will give the body a thick coat of insulation, allow yourself only one choice per week from this food group as a type of treat. Try to choose options that are baked or grilled as opposed to being fried and full of calories. Don’t deprive yourself from dessert, simply lessen the portion or share with your partner. And fruit is always a lovely option.
- Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day in the autumn and winter. It is essential to include some type of protein along with your fiber in order to keep the middle of the morning cravings at bay so that you don’t over indulge during the lunch hour.
- Drink at least half of your body weight in water and drink it as the primary source of your liquid intake. Staying hydrated is vital for energy. It will alleviate your hunger and prevent the need to partake in the empty calories of the seasonal drinks that everyone loves so much.
- Eating properly is only a single component to being the healthiest version of yourself. There needs to be activity on a daily basis even as daylight becomes less and the temperatures get cold. Find a way to motivate yourself to move your body regularly each day for a certain period of time whether it be at the gym, inside your home, or outside with a friend for a nice brisk walk.
You should always carry nutritious, whole foods with you for snacks such as lean protein, veggies, or some type of fruit in case hunger hits you while you’re out doing errands or in a situation where there are less-than-healthy food options available for you. This is going to greatly help you to avoid winter weight gain.
Is It Harder To Lose Weight In The Winter?
Folks gain upwards of seven pounds during the winter months according to surveys that were performed by the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. Holiday fun is the leading cause of winter excesses. There are a multitude of parties and various gatherings to attend with loads of alcohol and not-so-healthy food where grazing is generally the course of the day. By the time New Year’s rolls around, you’ve developed a taste for the carbs and the sweets. This leads to clothes that are far too tight.
The majority of folks question if the holidays are the reason for their winter weight gain or is seasonal affect disorder the answer for why is it harder to lose weight in the winter? There isn’t a large majority of the population who suffers from seasonal affect disorder. The holiday events seem to be the key to the causes of weight gain in the winter. The ideal scenario to avoid this is to always arrive having eaten, bring your own food in case you develop cravings or become tempted, and limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol provides empty calories and after indulging in so much, you will begin to crave bad choices in food, consuming unhealthy amounts.
With each season comes changes that will affect your eating habits and your exercise routine. How you decide to prepare for that season and approach your regimen will dictate how these changes will affect your body and your weight. The transition can have a positive impact on you or there will be negative repercussions based on the choices that you make.
In the autumn you will have much cooler temperatures which will be perfect for exercises that include bicycling and hiking. This is also going to be an incredibly busy time of the year as a family with school beginning causing feelings of being overwhelmed which will leave little time for activities. Added stress can lead folks to eat emotionally, exercise very little, and have poor eating habits.
This is a time that you should look for good coping skills to manage the stress that you’re dealing with in order that you can increase your activity level even allowing for just 10 minutes of some type of exercise every morning to provide a healthier vibe for your day. Get out in nature as often as possible which can be very calming and act as a stress reducer.
Once winter comes along, it brings the desire for more high-carb, soothing foods. There are generally less fresh foods readily available and it's easy to get in a rut with bad food choices. Holidays increase temptations for those comforting food choices and cold temperatures challenge exercise routines.
Plan for the holidays as early as possible with the understanding that you will stick to the ideas you set up for yourself. Allow splurges, no deprivation. Take into account all of the different activities that will be happening around you so that the stress doesn’t take over and lead to emotional eating. Find ways to make your comfort foods healthier via more vegetables and less sauces and creams.
Seasons come and go. The best thing you can do for yourself in order to remain healthy is to transform your routine so that you can keep your exercises and eating habits both interesting and exciting throughout each transition.