As winter blankets the world in chilly temperatures, an unwelcome phenomenon often accompanies the season—winter weight gain. While the notion of packing on five or more pounds might sound like a scare tactic, health professionals confirm that winter weight gain is indeed a real and prevalent occurrence.
Insights from Health Professionals
Doctors, including Dr. Kunal Shah from the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center and Dr. Dina Peralta-Reich, director of New York Weight Wellness Medicine, acknowledge the existence of winter weight gain among their patients. This weight gain is often attributed to dietary habits, notably during the holiday season, where festive indulgences and increased alcohol consumption become common culprits.
Contrary to the frequently cited five-pound average, studies, such as one published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reveal a more modest average weight gain of 1.2 pounds during winter. Interestingly, many individuals start shedding these pounds after the holiday season.
Several factors contribute to winter weight gain. Dietary choices, a decrease in physical activity due to colder temperatures, and potential evolutionary reasons suggesting the body’s inclination to store extra fat during winter all play a role.
Strategies for Healthy Fat Loss
To combat winter weight gain, health experts recommend adopting mindful eating practices, especially concerning carbohydrates and sugars. Keeping a check on alcohol intake is crucial, and thoughtful planning for social events can help manage calorie consumption.
Dr. Mir Ali advises a focus on exercise, even indoors, during the winter months. Home-based body-weight exercises and incorporating resistance bands into workouts are practical suggestions. Importantly, he emphasizes maintaining weight rather than aggressively pursuing weight loss during the holiday season.
Parting Advice from Doctors
In conclusion, health professionals advise individuals to be mindful of their choices, stay active, and extend themselves some grace during the winter months. By adopting these strategies, individuals can navigate the challenges of winter weight gain while fostering a healthy approach to overall well-being.