Does The Winter Season Make You Fat?

By Prabha Shiyani - Integrative Nutrition Health Coach -

Is winter making you fat?

We can safely say Autumn is out and winter has arrived. People are starting to squeeze in as much shopping for Christmas as they can(yes that’s right I said the C word) to avoid the last-minute rushes at the supermarkets. It’s also the start of the season of lots of calorie-laden foods, like mince pies, Christmas pudding and those family size chocolate selection tins.

For many, this means weight gain and we end up looking and feeling like a Christmas pudding.

Many people also start going into hibernation mode because of the colder weather and longer nights.  They eat heavier foods, they gain (more) weight, they cosy up and hunker down.

We are also about to hit party season. Work parties, family parties, drinks with friends and the list goes on.  And just when you think it will slow down you’re into New Year’s Eve, and topping it off with Valentines Day.

Continuous months of indulging and mindless eating and drinking and holy moly, more weight gain!

So, how are you going to handle the arrival of winter?

Fear not. Winter is a great time to detox, leading into the lightness of spring.

Move it!

Move your booty and continue exercising regularly. It can be as simple as taking a walk out in the snow, there’s nothing quite like wrapping up warm and going for a stroll to clear away the cobwebs.

Hydrate

Sometimes you may not feel like it due to the cold weather, but hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Chill out

Don’t stress out too much. I know it can be difficult with families, queues at the shops and all the other rigmarole that goes with Christmas. Continued stress raises your cortisol levels. Cortisol tells the cells of your body that food is scarce and it slows down your metabolic rate. Stress can also lead to poor digestion. So remember, it’s the season to be jolly not to be pulling your hair out.

Snooze

Make sure you get your beauty sleep. Lack of sleep can disrupt the hormones that regulate your hunger and satiety hormones, ghrelin and leptin. This can lead to over eating and reaching for the wrong foods.  And lets face it, who wants to exercise when they’re tired?  So this is a case of, you snooze you loose.

Comfort food

Enjoy winter foods. Move toward the more warming winter foods and also emphasise the more warming spices and seasonings including ginger and peppercorns.

Here’s a list of some of the foods that are in season over winter:

Apples, Beetroot, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chicory, Chestnuts, Cranberries, Dates, Fennel, Grapefruit, Globe Artichoke, Horseradish, Jerusalem Artichoke, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lemons, Lettuce, Onions, Oranges, Parsnips, Pears, Potatoes, Pak Choi, Pomegranate, Pumpkin, Quince, Rhubarb, Radicchio, Satsumas, Shallots, Sweet Potatoes, Salsify, Spring Onions, Suede, Tangerines, Turnips, Winter Squash.

Some lovely warming spices for winter are cinamon and nutmeg. So instead of drinking one of those winter specials that are on offer at the popular coffee shops right now that are full of sugar and a gazzilion calories, try making your own warming winter drinks. Here is one to get you started:

Warming Cuppa

  1. Warm a cup of coconut milk in a pan an whisk in half a teaspoon of tumeric.
  2. Add a teaspoon of honey, a pinch of cardamom powder and a dash of cinamon.
  3. It tastes great and is full of goodness!

Enjoy them all and try new things.  Just remember, don’t let the sofa lure you into curling up with the unhealthy comfort foods like cream laden soups or macaroni and cheese.

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2 Comments on “Does The Winter Season Make You Fat?”

  1. I’ve really enjoyed this article – and am especially looking forward to trying the Warming Cuppa. Can I just ask though, I’ve always tended to avoid coconut milk because of the fat content. Is this a ‘good fat’ that’s ok to consume (like avacado)? Thanks x

  2. Hi Sarah, I’m glad you enjoyed the article. The Warming Cuppa is delicious and you will love it, as for the coconut milk, absolutely it is a healthy fat so go for it. In this recipe use the coconut milk from a carton not the tinned kind, I use Koko which is available in the long life milk section of most supermarkets. Let me know what you think once you’ve tried it 🙂

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