Putting on your Winter coat? Don’t….
You’ve probably heard the expression “winter coat” in relation to body fat around the midriff area. It’s usually bounded around in Spring when people start to be able to wear the clothes they had been wearing the previous Summer only to find they are a little tighter than they remember. “Got my winter coat on still” or “you’ve had a good winter” are the types of expressions you don’t want to hear. But is there any truth in the myth? Well some actually, but that’s no excuse….
On average when we hit the Autumn and Winter months we put on an average of 2 to 4lbs per month naturally. Here are some common myths we thought we would let you know about before you start stacking on the lb’s….
- I eat more to keep warm….
Well that isn’t actually true says Ahmed Ahmed from the Bupa Cromwell Hospital. Those who carry excess weight actually feel colder. When you put on fat from excess calories it is white adipose tissue and the only fat that keeps you warm is brown adipose tissse. So this isn’t the time of the year to just eat what you like you still need to watch your diet.
- I crave stodgy puddings….
What may surprise you to read is that we actually eat more in Spring and Summer but the type of food that we eat tends to change. In Autumn and Winter we tend to crave foods that will make us feel happier, this is because in the dark winter months we can feel more depressed and generally lethargic, we are looking for an energy boost. The types of food that you then go on to crave tend to be the high sugar level feel good foods which have the effect of being stored as fat and we then put on weight.
It is proven that exercise increases the endorphins which make you feel happy, so exercising in the dark winter depressing months can help to reduce your cravings for stodge, you will feel just as happy in Winter as you do in Summer and without the weight gain!
- I don’t eat more but I get fatter….
Research suggests that this can be a link between Vitamin D and your weight. For many of us we get our Vitamin D from the sunlight and in Autumn and Winter there is less daylight meaning that our Vitamin D levels can be reduced. Those people with low Vitamin D levels can store more fat. What’s the answer to this? Increase your intake of foods rich in Vitamin D such as oily fish as well as ensuring you get outside for at least 20 minutes a day.
- I blame the TV….
The TV is full of some of the highest grossing programs and films at this time of year and it is no coincidence, on those dark evenings many of us just want to get home and warm and put the TV on. This is partly down to the fact we feel more lethargic but research suggests that if you stay active going into the first few months of Autumn you are more likely to want to stay active throughout. September and November are therefore critical months…..
- Out of sight, out of mind
In the Winter months we tend to be layering our clothes and jumpers to stay warm. We don’t always see the extra weight we are putting on. It is a good idea to keep a food diary in these months to really help you stay on track. After all you have all those festive celebrations coming up too….
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