There's a common misconception according to which we need to eat more to keep our body warm during colder seasons. Totally false, scientists say! Here's why!
In fact, those who carry excess weight will feel colder because when we put on weight from excess calories, it means we add white adipose tissue. The brown adipose tissue is the only fat that keeps us warm and babies are the ones that have it.
The winter weight gain statistics are in fact shocking. Why? Because the average winter weight gain is of 7-12 pounds during the holidays and people's main New Year's resolution is to lose weight. But the ugly truth is that they abort this mission after 2 weeks.
Five Reasons for Winter Weight Gain
It might seem surprising, but one winter weight gain reason is sleeping in a lot of blankets. We understand, during colder season we just feel the need to feel cozy under our flannel sheets. Scientists say that you're most likely to get the best sleep when your core body temperature drops. Otherwise, if it's too warm, heat dumping can harden the sleep process. Dr. Moul from Cleveland Sleep Disorders Clinic claims that the optimal sleep temperature is 20 degrees Celsius.
Is winter weight gain normal? Yes, it is, especially when you're dealing with a cold. You'll no longer feel the need to start your weekly workout routine, especially when dealing with a nasty flu. One review published by the journal Medical Hypotheses indicated that catching a cold may triple in fact your weight gain.
Let's face it. When feeling down, we unconsciously turn to carbs to give us comfort, especially during colder months. It has been shown that people tend to become depressed during cold season, that is, they suffer from a seasonal affective disorder. So, they'll likely crave for potatoes, rice or pasta, unhealthy carbs that will make you gain weight.
Winter is also the gift season, so you should start buying things for your family and close friends. You'll certainly start to eat more when you're financially stressed. You have lots of things to buy and lots of bills to pay. This could cause a fast rise of the stress hormone cortisol. What's the result? You'll feel hungrier and you'll want to eat more.
Shorter days are also a reason for weight gain because we get less sunlight in winter and this can affect the serotonin activity in the brain. This normally helps us feel good and full, however, when its activity changes, so does our mood, explains Dr. Judith Wurtman, co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet.