Began noticing a thicker bulge on your tummy, a loose skin under your arms or fat under your chin? Blame it all on the winter weather all you like but, the root cause all goes back to you, the poor choices you’ve been making and even your own state of mind.
While people ranting about winter weight gain do so every year, it’s true that there are real causes of weight gain in winter. Listed below are just 10 of the most reasonable explanations.
Reason No. 1: It’s too cold to get out of bed. You don’t need scientific explanation to take this for a fact, and I’m certain that everybody has experienced this bed weather symptom before. Isn’t that why people are almost always clocking in late for work around winter months?
Reason No. 2: Traditional winter foods are full of fats. If people look forward to the sun, sand, the beach and bikinis in summer, they look forward to a cup of hot cocoa and churros by the fireplace in winter. You’ll be surprised that pure cocoa only contains 12 calories but, that favorite chocolate drink of yours can easily spike up your calories by 300 if you’re not careful.
Reason No. 3: Your cravings may have something to do with the ‘thrifty gene hypothesis’.The hypothesis was put together and proposed by geneticist, James Neel, in 1962. The central idea is that the body enters into starvation mode during the cold months, a survival mechanism that allows primitive humans to increase their chances of survival in winter when food is scarce.
According to present day proponents, the same mechanism continues to this day. Trouble is, there’s hardly any food scarcity anymore causing people to bulge, gain weight and not really able to lose the extra pounds after winter.
Reason No. 4: Shifts in darkness and light in winter triggers appetite. Melatonin, the same hormone that controls our body clock also affects our metabolism. When in older times, darkness in winter would naturally cause cravings to decrease, the invention of light and even the blue light emitted by our tech devices are causing significant disturbances to our metabolism, making us feel hungry even when it’s already midnight in the middle of winter.
Reason No. 5: Melatonin drives us to want to sleep in more. This condition makes us feel tired and sleepy all the time. That also means skipping your early morning workouts for later, only to feel like hitting the sheets again after work. Goodbye, exercise!
Reason No. 6: The dullness and darkness of the surroundings are making you unhappy. Studies have pointed out that the gloominess of winter drives up cravings for sweets and fatty foods which are generally considered as comfort foods. The tendency to snack on your desk in between meals becomes more common.
Reason No. 7: General inactivity results to fast gain. Trouble with winter is we tend to eat more and exercise less. It only takes a day to gain a pound or two but, it takes at least one week to lose the same amount of weight gained. If you don’t make the effort at all throughout the season, chances are you will grow by at least one size thicker by the time winter turns into spring.
Reason No. 8: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) takes over in winter. This winter depression state affects the brain and is on of the most studied causes of weight gain in winter. Your brain then raises your cravings for foods that improve your state of happiness which tap on the regions of the brain that increase pleasure, kind of like what narcotics does to the brain.
Reason No. 9: It is the most festive time of the year. Get-togethers combined with the abundance of sweets, fatty food and beer all come together to influence weight gain in winter. Water in the tap can get too cold and the desire to cook your hot meals from scratch generally declines.
Reason No. 10: You spend most of your time indoors. The sleepy atmosphere prevalent in winter also makes you turn down social invites and, instead, choose home videos and a bowl of popcorn.
“Nobody can do it for you, you have to do it yourself,” so goes a quote from an unknown author. As it turns out, you can’t even trust your own brain in winter but you have to overcome your own moods to keep the pounds off.