Winter is well and truly upon us and as the nights draw in you may find that a few extra pounds may start to creep on.
Is there a reason for this winter weight gain? Is SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) to blame?
What is SAD and how will it cause weight gain?
SAD is a seasonal problem that occurs during the winter months. It is a mild form of depression that can lead to sadness and lethargy.
If you suffer from this condition then you may reach for ‘feel-good foods’ or ‘comfort foods’ that unfortunately are not that good for you.
Usually the choice of food are processed carbs, which your body will digest quickly.
This will lead to a spike in your blood sugar levels, and subsequently a crash that will lead to further food cravings.
Lethargy is another big issue with SAD, so if you are not getting exercise then you are not burning off any calories, again leading to weight gain.
What can you do to combat SAD?
There are things that you can do to combat the effects of SAD, for instance to improve your mood you should make the effort to get regular exercise.
Exercise will help to release feel-good hormones, while also burning calories.
You don’t even need to go outside if you don’t want to either. There are plenty of home workouts you can complete.
It maybe colder outside but getting a little sunlight is recommended too. This is because exposing yourself to it, even if it is just for 20 minutes a day, can help to boost the production of vitamin D and the feel-good hormone serotonin.
Finally, to avoid winter weight gain make sure to opt for healthier foods. This is a tip that is recommended whatever time of year it is, but it is worth repeating.
A possible suggestion would be homemade soup, made using fresh vegetables.
This is a good option because the vegetables are naturally low in calories, are full of the nutrients your body needs, and is also filling too.
If you suffer from SAD then this does not mean that you have to gain weight this winter. There are certainly things that you can do to combat this weight gain.