It’s easy to imagine why weight loss is more difficult in winter: holidays and holiday dinners are plenty, and the family table overloaded with cakes. Restraining yourself to the oversized, delicious meals is difficult. But that’s not the only reason why losing weight is a bit harder in the cold.
There are also evolutionary and, biological causes that the cold months of winter somehow not much good for dieting. But as far as it seems impossible to fight your body, you can do a lot of things to keep or lower your weight at this time of the year too.
Why is it more difficult to lose weight in winter
One of the most critical factors is that it is darker in winter, which increases melatonin production. The hormone called melatonin is responsible for alerting the body to sleep. Because of the less sunlight, the body’s melatonin levels are higher, and this enhances the appetite. Due to the dull days, many people eat more in winter.
The lack of sunlight also contributes to gaining weight in winter, because you get less vitamin D and the deficiency of this vital vitamin suppresses the breakdown of fat but supports its storage, which means that the increased calorie intake results in a more massive fat deposit.
Why we eat more in winter?
You can do one thing to compensate for these effects:
You must spend as much time in the sun as you can in winter. If you feel it is not enough, you can get vitamin D in the form of a tablet or from seafood.
The pre-winter frenzy also has evolutionary reasons. Until recently, winter was a sign of food shortages and dull, low lit days, so, like animals, people had to store energy in extra fat deposits to survive the winter frost.
Most of the available vegetable foods were carbohydrate-rich, such as potatoes. As it was more challenging to get food, the body demanded more fat and carbohydrates to save energy for the gloomy months of winter.
The fat storage of animals depends mainly on how much food is available in their vicinity and the risk of being caught by a predator.
Research has found that when stocks are scarce, animals tend to grow bigger because they are better able to store energy.
Another experiment in humans shows that cold has a direct impact on how much we eat.
The researchers had planted ten people in a cold and ten in a cozy room, and in the end, those sitting in the cold room ate significantly more than their counterparts in the warm place.
How to deal with weight gain?
The best way to deal with a sudden hunger attack is to eat smaller portions more often. It’s worth having a meal every two or three hours, so you will not have time to get hungry and can avoid gobbles.
Also, you must overcome the urge to keep you warm with the company of a glass of scotch and also try to incorporate some exercise into your everyday life even if it is much more difficult in the cold.
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