Winter is in full swing and as the temperature drops down, one thing to dread besides the harshly cold winter days is the significant weight gain that many of us suffer from. The cold weather drives most of us into a hibernation mood where we tend to get sluggish and lock ourselves most of the time at our homes. Most of us may begin to notice an increase in appetite and the food portions we eat in winter, let’s admit it we all seek comfort in some beleila, hot chocolate and many other hearty foods and drinks that add on calories .
Have you ever wondered why? Here are the reasons.
• During winter, our bodies consume a lot of energy to keep us warm, and accordingly the desire to eat more food is a normal consequence to our bodies’ increased use of energy.
• The cold weather increases our urge of staying at home, snuggling on couches or warmed up in beds. In that being said, we spend less time outdoors and feel lazy to work out or go to the gym.
• Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is a form of depression that affect some people during the change of seasons. If your winter cravings come in the form carbs and comfort foods such as pizzas, pastas, and, bakeries, chances are SAD is hitting you. People affected with SAD have lower levels of serotonin and to feel better they resort to carbohydrates as comfort food that will give a serotonin rush.
If you have been struggling to curb your appetite and keep your weight under control during winter, follow these easy steps.
1. Practice mindful eating. Eating in front of the television or the laptop can make you unconsciously overeat; your favorite movie is on play and before you know it, you have finished an entire pizza on your own. Moreover, eating quickly can cause digestion problem. Dedicate a special time for eating away from your working station, your TV, or your mobile screen. Take the time to chew slowly and engage all your senses while eating. Food then will become a more enjoyable experience, as opposed to eating in a rush where you finish while still feeling hungry.
2. Include soups for lunch. Simply because soups are comfort in a bowl. It is true that nothing is more soothing in winter than a warm and delicious cup of soups. Stews and soups will make you feel fuller and accordingly will be satisfied with less amount of food.
3. Eat mood-boosting foods. What we eat affects how we feel. While you think that nothing will make you feel better a big bag of chips or a box of donuts, in fact several healthier alternatives can help fight winter blues. Snack on foods such as bananas, berries, dark chocolate, nuts, bell peppers, and avocado.
4. Drink water. Many people tend to drink less water in winter than summer. Besides increasing your water intake, drink a glass of water 15 minutes before every meal, your stomach will not feel as empty and you will not eating more than you need. In addition, surprising as it may sound, your body can confuse hunger with thirst. Dehydration sends mixed signals to your body making you believe you need to eat while in fact what you need is to increase your water intake. If you don’t like to drink water, slice some lemons or fruits for a taste fusion.
BUT, bear it in mind, your body is yours alone, not for others to place judgements or opinions. Never allow anyone to dictate how many pounds you should lose, or pass their destructive comment on how much weight you gained. Be comfortable in your own skin, drop those kilos only if they make you uncomfortable, but not to please those around you.