Putting on weight and wintertime are nearly synonymous. Whether it is because of sitting around or holiday foods, it is relatively common knowledge that wintertime packs on a few pounds. In truth, there are quite a few reasons why our nutrition and fitness can take a bit of a downturn during the winter months. 

The most obvious reason is that we are less active in the winter months. In the warmth of summer, everyone enjoys stepping outside, taking walks and swimming; while during the winter season, the colder temperatures and shorter days see most people cooped up inside. The more time we spend sitting around, the more likely we are to spend that time consuming food and drinks. Try spending the time in other ways, such as reading or actively working out. If you find yourself eating more than usual, try substituting healthier foods, such as whole grains and fruit.

In the wintertime, our bodies are more likely to be dehydrated. In the summer, it is clear that we need water. However, in the winter, sweating becomes less identifiable under layers of clothes and blankets, so whenever the body gets thirsty, we are likely to perceive it as hunger. Try to avoid gaining extra weight in this way by drinking the recommended amount of water each day.

We are also more likely to crave comfort food during the colder seasons. Firstly, we may crave warm foods, such as chili and hot chocolate, to help when we are feeling cold. The holidays that the winter season brings can also induce cravings for comfort food. At the same time each year– for most of people’s lives, we indulge in candies and cookies and pies. This creates a sort of mindset that increases cravings.

Another reason, although more controversial, is that we head into the winter season expecting to gain weight, so we do. We allow ourselves to eat without limits and do not focus as much on the quality of our nutrition. Choose to have a more aware mindset and set boundaries for yourself to limit your weight gain.