Winter weight gain is one of the most common causes of concern in the UK. But with so many references to it, it’s possible for the myths to conceal the truth. Unravelling it is the most effective way to encourage prioritising one’s health during the season.
What Is Winter Weight Gain?
Winter weight gain is the idea people gain more pounds than they expect during the season. In the UK, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has already conducted several studies about it. It, therefore, means experts do not dispel it. But the reality may be different from people’s typical expectations.
While people may gain weight, the increase may be less significant than what they believe. In a US study on winter weight gain, the subjects, who were both men and women, gained an average of only 0.37 kilograms. Less than 10 percent of them experienced a weight increase of 2.3 kilograms or more. About 85 per cent of them gained only small increases and did not exert any effort in controlling their weight.
More than the Christmas Buffet
Winter weight gain is also commonly associated with the holidays, especially the Christmas season. The cold weather usually forces people to spend more time indoors and limit their physical activity. Moreover, parties, dinners, and get-togethers are more frequent than any other time of the year.
But many factors influence winter weight gain, and some of them go beyond the Christmas buffet. One of these is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). According to Mental Health Foundation, it affects 1 in every 15 people in the country. It also usually occurs from September to April, but it reaches its peak during the winter months.
Not much is known about SAD, but it tends to get severe due to less exposure to sunlight. It also triggers depressive symptoms, which include unhealthy eating patterns. Sufferers may either binge or lose their appetite. They also tend to eat sugary food.
A Sound Advice
Though the possible weight gain during the season is small, it may create a domino effect that leads to a significant increase later. To cope with winter depression, meanwhile, means making an effort to maintain the right diet.
Besides a prompt public intervention, food experts of top Torfaen catering company Douglas Willis Events recommend eating a protein-rich diet designed to complement a less-active fitness regimen. Protein also boosts the feeling of fullness. Thus, it reduces the risk of eating too much carbohydrate and sugar.