The days are smaller, the air is cooler and somehow our clothes get tighter too. Yes, weight gain in winter is inevitable. Along with the other challenges such as flu, fever, skin dryness, winter brings in the challenge of weight gain. There are numerous reasons for this weight gain this cozy weather, a combination of both evolutionary and lifestyle reasons.
So, what are the main factor for weight gain this chilly winter?
• Cold weather: At the point when the sun is sparkling and the air is warm in the summer, it’s much simpler to hop out of bed and be productive. But the cold weather makes us feel lazy to do any tasks. You tend to lose your daily routine of morning walks, jogs or swimming. Even during the day, due to less exposure to sunlight, winter weather makes us feel drowsy and lethargic.
• Longer nights: It’s a known fact that the nights in winner are longer than the day, the sun seeps down earlier and all you want to do is get cozy in bed and sleep. Waking up in the morning itself becomes a herculean task, leave alone working out, which leads to your subsequent weight gain.
• Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): It’s somewhat discouraging to leave work when it is totally dark outside. But it’s not just in your mind, the absence of daylight in the winter can really significantly affect your state of mind and wellbeing. A bunch of individuals develop Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the winter, which is a kind of clinical dejection.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is termed to be a mood disorder. People suffering from this disorder exhibit normal mental health throughout the year, exhibit depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter.
The major symptoms of this disorder include hopelessness, thoughts of suicide, sleep and appetite problems, withdrawal from social interaction, lack of energy, difficulty in concentration and making decision, worthlessness, difficulty in waking up in the morning, lost in the interest of regular activities. If not treated, it might lead to bipolar disorder.
It is recommended trying to get up toward the beginning of the day and exploit the daylight early in the day to neutralize its absence at night.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland. That is a pea-sized endocrine gland. It is located on the back portion of the third cerebral ventricle of the brain, It enables your body to realize when it’s an ideal opportunity to rest and wake up. Regularly, your body makes more melatonin during the evening. Levels usually go up at night once the sun sets. They drop toward the beginning of the day when the sun goes up. The measure of light you get every day – in addition to your own body clock – set how much your body makes.
• Use of anti-depressive drugs: Use of drugs such as Fluoxetine increases the production of N-Acetylserotonin in our body. N-acetylserotonin acts as a melatonin receptor agonist. Which leads to an increase in melatonin levels making us feel sleepy and drowsy leading to subsequent weight gain
• Comfort food and drinks: Winters bring in lots of festival and holidays, which obviously brings in lots of food, eating which may lead to significant weight gain. Also during the winter, we tend to reach hot drinks such as tea, coffee, and hot chocolate which contain high quantity of sugars. In some places where the temperatures are much cooler, people indulge in alcohol to keep them warm, which ultimately leads to putting on a few grams.
• You are already obese: It is a hard fact to accept, but already overweight people have the higher tendency to gain weight in winter. The best thing you can do is be determined about your meal portion sizes and attempt your best to remain on track with your standard eating and exercise plan.
• Increase in metabolism: Although a positive thing, an increase in metabolism may lead to weight gain instead of burning the fat if not careful. During winter, our body tends to increase the metabolism to burn more energy to make us feel warm. This, however, may lead to hunger pangs. Binge eating in such cases might lead to weight gain as that metabolism doesn’t burn the extra calories eaten by us.
• Women are more susceptible to weight gain: Compared to men, women are more vulnerable to gain weight. Since most women suffer from conditions such as PCOD, Thyroid, Menopause etc which lead to weight gain.
• Already suffering from various disease conditions: If you are suffering from any kind of diseases such as diabetes, thyroidism, arthritis, Cushing’s syndrome etc., your chances of being affected by the winter weight gain is slightly high compared to others.
Hence, this winter is not just to time to snuggle under the cozy sheets and gain weight. Simple precautions can help you to maintain body weight throughout the winter.
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