5 causes of weight gain in winter and how to avoid it

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Winter weight gain becomes inevitable if you don’t take care about your habits. But keep a check with these tips, and thank us later!

Wearing beautiful clothes, puffy sweaters, beanies are all the good parts about the winter season. But have you thought about the likely weight gain during the season?

Many people tend to gain weight during the winter season for a variety of reasons. As the temperature drops, so does your motivation to move, which is one of the most common factors that cause weight gain during this season. In fact, the winter season is replete with holidays, wedding season, and festivals which may encourage overeating, sedentary behaviour, and consumption of calorie-rich foods. Moreover, lack of vitamin D, low body temperature, and missing out on daily exercise could make one gain weight very easily over a period of time.

causes of winter weight gain
Don’t let winter make you lazy! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What causes weight gain in winter?

1. Eating high calorie-foods

A majority of people end up going haywire even when it comes to their food habits during winter. “Many people tend to eat coffee and cookies, choco lava cake, or a cupcake during Christmas and New Year celebrations. These are comfort foods that also contain sodium and make you pile up those excess kilos. Not only this, many people also eat parathas, gajar ka halwa, and other snacks loaded with ghee that can cause weight gain, says Dr Jinal Patel, Dietitian, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Mumbai.

2. Excess alcohol consumption

Yes, you have heard us here! It can lead to weight gain. Booze certainly is not the elixir to good health. While drinking in moderation may still be okay, overdoing your alcohol consumption can certainly do more harm than good. During the winter, many people swear by alcohol to keep themselves warm and guess what? That can make you gain oodles of weight.

3. No physical activity

With a proper diet for weight loss, exercise is also very essential. Without exercise, a diet cannot help you lose weight. And due to the cold weather, people avoid exercising. Clearly, reduced exercise and increased eating during this season is largely responsible for weight gain.

causes of winter weight gain
Move around as much as possible to stay active. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

4. Holiday stress

Back after a holiday? Well, the high amounts of stress, lack of sleep will increase the body’s stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. And you will find it difficult to resume your daily routine with ease. Dr Patel says, “You may struggle to get out of bed and go to work or send your kids to school on time. Furthermore, you will be shocked to know that these hormones tend to increase the tummy fat that one’s body stores.”

Also, read: Holiday weight gain is common. Here’s how you can reverse it

5. Too much sleep

When it is cold outside, all you want to do is just hit the sack. Thus, due to your sleep routine, your fitness can take a backseat. Remember, that doesn’t mean you should sleep less, because sleeping enough is really important if you’re trying to lose weight. So, sleep on time and for enough time.

Follow these tips to avoid weight gain in winter

Dr Patel recommends these tips to follow if you’re to lose weight:

1. Soak up the sun

Not doing so can make you gain an excessive amount of weight.

causes of winter weight gain
Soak up the sun to get tons of health benefits. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Indoor exercise can do the trick

Try to walk, do yoga, Zumba, aerobics, strength training at home, and you will be able to stay in top shape.

Also, read: Want swift but safe weight gain? Avoid making these mistakes first

3. Eat a healthy diet

Try to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes in the diet. Say No to junk, processed, oily, and canned foods. If you attend a party or a social gathering on an empty stomach then you end up eating more. Either stick to eating a salad or boiled vegetables that will make you feel full, and you will not binge-eat during the party.

4. Avoid smoking

Do not smoke or drink too much alcohol. Moreover, try to drink a lot of water to help you flush out toxins from the body.

So maintain a healthy routine and avoid weight gain during this season.

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