Battling Winter Weight Gain

Wednesday January 21, 2015

It seems inevitable that when the mercury begins to drop, our weight begins to increase. While it is easy to create excuses for why this happens, author and former Personal Trainer of the Year Award-Winner (ACE and IDEA) Jonathan Ross looks at potential solutions to this yearly epidemic.

Problem 1: complaining about the cold. We’re all guilty here. Rather than staying inside and becoming sedentary, dress appropriately for the weather. For some of us that may limit outside time, but dressing in layers will still allow you to get out for a walk to get your metabolism moving. Focus on the positive elements of being outside during winter, including fewer people at the beach and hiking less crowded trails.

Problem 2: lack of Vitamin D.  Lack of sunlight and low sun angle contribute to this problem during winter. Some studies have shown that low Vitamin D levels contribute to fat storage. Additionally, Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with cancer, severe asthma in children, cognitive impairment and increased risk of cardiovascular disease (WebMD). Solutions to this winter problem include supplementation, eating fatty fish, nuts and other foods high in Vitamin D.

Problem 3: the winter season often contributes to low levels of happiness and mood. For many of us, the solution becomes consuming highly dense, comfort foods. The article suggests planning social gatherings and activities that provide enjoyment. I would suggest scheduling workout times with friends, turning fitness time into a social activity. The feeling of accomplishment can easily replace the feelings we get from poor dietary choices.

In summary, it is possible to fight the doom and gloom of winter by wearing appropriate clothing and enjoying outdoor activities, increasing consumption of vitamin D dense foods, and scheduling workouts with friends rather than eating comfort foods to fight the winter blahs.