Winter weight gain

Weight-conscious people panic when they put on a few kilograms of weight. But one should be aware that seasonal changes in weight are natural. Winter weight gain occurs and one should not worry about it, says Marianne Hudson, dietitian from Australia.

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Weight gain and concern

Slimmers make great efforts to lose some weight. They are joyful when their weighing scale pointer hits the desired goal. It is a achievement to celebrate.

But whenever they put on a few pounds of weight, they start worrying on it. They lose their sleep and restart their calories restricted diet to shed those little extra pounds of fats. But Marianne Hudson, dietitian from Sydney feels that this should not be a matter of worry.

Winter weight gain
Winter weight gain (Source: Sunshine coastal dietetics)

Because there are seasonal variations known in body weight. Often, humans put on a few pounds of weight during the winter months. This is natural. This extra weight may range between 500 g to 2 kg during the cold months of the year.

Winter weight gain

Marianne Hudson, the dietitian from Sydney is working with MACROS. She reassures people that winter weight gain is a natural process. And this happens due to four factors that are external and not within our control. These are hours of daylight in 24 hours, change in availability of foods, hormones and behavioral changes. Marianne opines:

Our body has an intrinsic switch that flicks over to increase our metabolic rate to burn more energy for heat production (to keep us warm),’

‘And our appetite increases to ensure we are consuming enough energy to burn for heat production, and to provide some insulating fat stores.’

Winter weight gain
Winter weight gain (Source: Oprah)

The dietitian adds that the daylight hours decrease. And the weather is extremely cold to exercise. Therefore, we tend to remain more sedentary without exercising. Fewer calories are burned. And some fat would get deposited. Moreover, she explains:

Research has shown that people tend to consume more food per day in the winter months compared to the summer months,’

Food availability also is more during winter months of the year.

More on the factors

Marianne adds that in winter, we naturally eat heavy foods such as pasta, nuts, stews, and thick soups. Energy intake increases and fat stores too increase. She revealed:

The average adult body weight shift between seasons is not significant, with some studies showing no difference, and others showing a 500g to 2kg increase the winter.’

Melatonin production increases due to sunlight and this leads to more sleep. The hormone also enhances appetite. Thus, it is natural to have some extra weight during winter.

Winter weight gain
Winter weight gain is natural (Source: Everyday health)

Marianne reassures:

A little weight gain over the winter is not such a bad thing, but rather a natural and evolutionary response based on factors both within and outside of our control.’

‘As the warmer months start to roll around, our diets start to shift again. We tend to eat less when it’s hot and are more likely to choose lighter and cooler foods, and hence those winter kilos intuitively come off,’

The extra fat would assist in protection from cold. And weight might also be falsely high if you are weighing yourself with your woollen clothes on.