Do you always seem to have winter weight gain? A lot of people struggle with gaining a few pounds every winter, too. Do you wonder why that is? And what you can do about it?
Why Does Winter Weight Gain Happen?
When the temperatures drop and you must bundle up to go outside, do you use every excuse in the book to stay inside? If so, you’re not alone. It seems many people tend to stay indoors more often in the winter. It’s almost like you’ve put yourself into hibernation, just like bears and other animals. You retreat inside the house – only going out if you absolutely must (like to work and school). If someone suggests going on a walk or doing some other form of outdoor exercise, you’re likely to claim, “It’s too cold outside.”
Once you’re holed up inside, you tend to sit or lay around – reading, surfing the Web and watching TV. Because your activity level is lower, you burn fewer calories a day. Also, when you’re inside for too long, you tend to get bored. When people are bored, they often eat – even if they’re not hungry. In the winter, we tend to turn to comfort foods, like chili, macaroni and cheese, and casseroles, to warm us up inside so we feel cozy. But many of these foods are high in calories.
Additionally, when daylight hours are shorter during the winter, it can throw off our sleep schedules and appetites. We become sleep-deprived zombies who can no longer make good food choices, so we tend to overeat.
6 Steps to Gain Control over Winter Weight Gain
Therefore, eating and less physical activity are two surefire ways to explain winter weight gain. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can control the situation instead of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Here are some things you can do to avoid winter weight gain.
- Make healthier food choices. Choose lower calorie foods instead. Include lots of vegetables in your casseroles and soups for added fiber. Make soups with a water base instead of cream. Instead of eating sugar-laden baked goods, choose fruit or pumpkin recipes low in sugar and fats.
- Switch to smaller plates. You will eat less when you use a smaller plate. Also, fill half of your plate with vegetables.
- Add protein to every meal. Protein makes you feel fuller and it builds muscle.
- Maintain a normal sleep schedule. Every day, go to bed at the same time and rise at the same time. A natural circadian rhythm can help control your hunger.
- Exercise at home. If you really can’t go for a walk or make yourself go to the gym, finds ways to work out at home. Stream online workout videos for yoga, Zumba, aerobics or just walking in place. Give your house a thorough cleaning and work up a sweat.
- Find other ways to feel comfort. Wrap up in a warm blanket. Drink hot tea. Pop your jammies in the dryer for 5 minutes before you put them on.
Remember, you have the power to come out of hibernation and avoid winter weight gain, so take control this winter.
WalkEZStore Custom Orthotics Provide Pain Relief
Do you suffer from painful foot conditions? Does your foot pain prevent you from working out – and, therefore, set you up for winter weight gain? You can take control of your foot pain, too, by wearing ezWalker® Custom Fit Orthotics. These custom orthotics bio-mechanically support your feet in the correct manner while realigning your body to its proper posture. When your feet receive the foundation they need, your pain is reduced or eliminated.
Visit the WalkEZStore for more information on ezWalker® Performance Custom Orthotics. Or, schedule an appointment with Kathy Carandang, owner of the WalkEZStore and a certified pedorthist, for a gait analysis and a foam casting of your feet for your pair of customized ezWalker® foot orthotics.
Because … when your feet feel good, you feel good.®
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Cover photo Credit: 123RF / Elena Elisseeva