Are YOU Going To Pile On The Pounds Again This Winter?

by : Margarethe De Clermont

Why do so many people put on weight in the winter? Is it because we eat more to stay warm? Is it because we exercise less? Is it because we eat richer foods and less fruit and veg? Is it because we get depressed and comfort-eat more in the winter?

Every winter it's the same story. By the end of the shivering season all my trousers are too tight. Winter weight gain is a common complaint. Every winter a few pounds creep on insidiously, and come spring our summer clothes feel one (or more!) sizes too small. And why is it so hard to lose these extra winter-pounds?

Why does winter weight gain happen and what can we do to avoid it?

There are several contributing factors:

Annoyingly, it seems likely that we have a genetic pre-disposition to store more fat as winter approaches. Many animals do this and it was probably vital for the survival of our ancestors. Extra layers of fat protect us against the cold and can later be used as fuel end-winter when food becomes rare. We may even unconsciously choose foods that are higher in fat content in the autumn. Can't win, can we?

Neuro-transmitters in the brain also influence our weight. The interaction of these chemicals can bring about variations in appetite and sudden cravings. People who are overweight often have low levels of these neurotransmitters and the results can include increased appetite for high-fat, high-sugar foods, low mood and sleep disorders.

The lack of daylight due to the shortening days can cause seasonal affective disorder. One of the fastest ways to boost energy levels and lift emotions is to eat high carbohydrate foods like chocolate that give us a fast blood sugar 'fix'. People who feel low in the winter tend to overeat or eat the wrong foods, leading to weight gain and worsening depression- a vicious cycle that is hard to break.

The best way to handle our winter food cravings is to substitute healthier foods that are also high in carbohydrate, but low in fat content and full of fiber. Potatoes (cooked with out adding fat), home-made wholegrain bread without butter, wholesome soups, wholegrain rice, pasta, cereals, and fresh whole fruit would be suitable choices.

It is also important to take more exercise. Often our physical activity levels drop significantly in the winter. We have a tendency to stay home and hibernate. Sign up with a gym or put a stationary bicycle in front of the TV. Get out in the fresh air, take the dog for a long walk, or even better, take the whole family. Get rid of the fat before it settles down permanently around your hips and waistline. Consider investing in a light box if you always get low when the days get shorter.

We can all do with a motivation boost towards the end of the winter, more so than at any other time. Inspiring quotes, articles and healthy recipes can be very motivating and The Gorgeous Gourmet Newsletter will be loaded with these as always, to keep you motivated and focused on attaining your weight loss and weight maintenance goals. It could be useful to subscribe...subscription gives you access to the "Everything you ever wanted to know about Hypnosis" e-book. And now there is also the Motivation Maximiser: a 52 week e-course to provide your with rock-solid, unflagging motivation 365 days a year.

Winter weight gain is avoidable: it is a matter of staying motivated, getting enough exercise, making the right choices and moderating our fat and sugar intake without depriving ourselves.