Fall & Winter Weight Gain And How To Shed Those Pesky Pounds
Fall & Winter Weight Gain And How To Shed Those Pesky Pounds
The chilly willy twins are 6 years, 8 months, 3 weeks & 4 days old.
We all know about it. We’re in the thick of it right now. It’s that pesky, annual fall & winter weight gain. Most women know about this phenomenon all too well, and it can be very stressful.
If your exceedingly blessed maybe you stay the same weight year round, but for the majority of average over 30 (most especially women), we have a hard time keeping our weights stable throughout the year and usually ‘bulk up’ a bit during the cooler months.
We like to blame the holidays, and yes.. that is true in part if you indulge in the feasts with the trimmings you shall pay a price for it. However, there is more to it than that. (Though it is a nice scapegoat.)
Why are we gaining extra weight?
1. We are less active when the temperatures go down.
That is just a fact.
A) We race to our cars to find heat and travel to stores rather than going for long walks in the park. We drive to places we might have usually walked to.
There’s little to no strolling our babies around the neighborhood, and dog walks are far shorter.
B) Playing outside and playing inside are definitely two very different things.
Outside all is care=free and open. Inside care is taken, and space is limited. You don’t run and play with your kids, or chase after them. You more like hoover around, referee, and pick up after them. It doesn’t have the same effect on your body.
C) The couch gets far more of a workout during the winter months.
If you ‘clocked in’ year round using a punch card you would see that it’s true. You watch more TV, and plain and simple lounge around far more on the ‘ol couch during the colder months of the year. Summer gives most people the energy to get off of the couch and go-go-go!
D) School’s in session.
When the kids are in school and you are alone. (Or more alone or close).. it is easy to find yourself catching up on soaps, or in my case..watching some Max & Ruby, and just plain not getting out as much. The best time for our weight is in the summer time when days are long, kids roam free, and we are the busiest with our energetic children.
We may run around in the minivan shuttling children to and from different places and events while school is in session, but our cars are doing the leg work. We need more gas in more ways than one.
2. People generally eat more in the winter. This of course promotes weight gain because…
A) We are burning far fewer calories.
B) We hang around the refrigerator more.
When people get bored they tend to eat more even if they aren’t really that hungry. I noticed this yesterday while hanging around the house. Being less busy and around food constantly promotes over-eating which =’s added weight gain.
C) The holiday calories from November & December add up.
We can’t blame everything on the holidays (though we’d like to starting from Halloween candy onwards). It is true that the average person does gain some spare pounds during this particular time of year. That is why New Year’s resolutions almost always include losing weight, getting into shape again, or a combination of both. Losing the extra pounds is very hard to do before Spring rolls around, and seemingly impossible for many.
3. We lose motivation during the winter.
It’s easy to feel bored and more lazy during the cooler months. Some people even suffer from ‘winter depression.’ I know I am always far happier in the warm sunshine myself. It affects our moods, and our moods and motivation go hand in hand. ”Oh, I’m not feeling up to it today. Maybe I’ll go hit the gym up tomorrow. Maybe on Monday. Maybe next Thursday.” (You know the drill.)
4. There’s less daylight.
The less hours of daylight per day the fewer hours of activity we’ll have. We get tired earlier, and fight harder for mojo to keep on going for the entire day, much less anything beyond that. With more daylight and warm sunshine we actually feel some renewed energy, less fatigue in the early evening hours, and can physically enjoy more hours of daylight. Maybe a night time walk with the dog, or an evening jog. You can stay out longer, and this burns more calories, naturally.
5. Alas, it’s true. Every winter we are getting older.
Man, I hate to think about this one, but unfortunately the clock doesn’t roll back it only moves forward. It’s a fact that as we age it gets harder and harder to manage our weight, and most people (normal ones anyway) start seeing a slow down in their metabolisms. If losing weight used to be easy you may begin to notice after 30, then 35, and after 40 even more so, it gets harder to shed weight and takes more work on your part to do so, but is not an impossibility. You just need to fight the good fight.
6. You may sleep less.
This may not apply to everybody, but I know that for me it rings true. During the months that school is in session I do get less sleep. I get up earlier to get something done for myself before needing to prepare everybody for the start of another school day. It has been proven that less sleep =’s an increase in weight gain.
How do we combat Fall AND winter Weight Gain?
Well, we can’t control the weather unless we move to a different climate, which here in New York is sounding mighty good to me right now.
1. Put your time without the kids to good use and start exercising more.
If you are childless during the day instead of vegging out in front of the TV, go and join a gym. Go take a class, read a magazine while braving an elliptical, grab a couple of weights. Sometimes it takes a push out of the front door to motivate yourself into exercise. If you have little children not yet in school, many gyms have a day care area where babysitting is offered if you don’t have a trusted friend or family member to help you out.
If you do find the motivation to brush the dust off of the treadmill at home, or pop in a good fitness DVD…GO FOR IT! It’s harder but not impossible to find time and energy to exercise in house as well. Make exercise a habit. Daily if possible. Even for just 15 minutes if you can! 21 days to create a habit is all that it takes folks.
BTW- I am starting up a fitness channel, as I have some pounds right now to shed & tone up, so definitely subscribe there, Twinpossible Fitness!
2. Do more with the kids than carpooling and family movie nights.
While out of school I always say..”A family that plays together, stays together.” I do enjoy being a big kid and playing with my children. I’m not much of a sideline sitter, though I do once in awhile envy those who do get to read a book from cover to cover. It’s not just a great thing for your body, but it’s also great way to strengthen the bond with your children as well.
I’m certainly not saying never catch a break when your child is say on a playdate or something. (We all need a breather.) But when there is an opportunity to reunite with your inner child, I say DO IT! Your body will reap its rewards, and you’ll honestly enjoy yourself. Visit an indoor amusement park vs. seeing another movie with popcorn, soda, and candy. Go rollerskating as a family. Even bowling burns some calories and can make for a fun family day out. A moving body is a losing body!
3. Put a mental lock on the fridge.
You may be indoors more, but it doesn’t mean you have to reach for a snack at every turn. (Hard I know. I’m realizing this now for myself.) Frequent snacking and less activity just don’t make for a pretty combination. Keep your mind as occupied as possible so that frequent eating is not on your to-do list. If you think before you eat..you can control yourself. ”Am I really hungry, or just bored?” ”Do I really need that bag of potato chips?” And, ”If I am truly hungry for a snack, can I reach for a bowl of fruit instead of a bowl of chips?”
4. Watch what you put inside of your fridge.
You should be junk food conscious year round, but in the Winter months you want to be less lenient on junk food because it is so tempting, and it sits around you teasing you more hours during your day, as you are already in a less active state. Cut out some carbs, though not all of them as you do need some for energy.
Eat more lean meats, less fried foods, drink lots of water, and select light juices over soda. Go and trade in your whole milk for some 2%, etc. This means when you do eat, there will be far better food and beverage choices surrounding you. We all know you can’t eat what you ain’t got!
5. Fight harder to keep resolutions and not just get, but stay motivated.
Most people make resolutions then break them a couple of months in, if not a couple of weeks in, IF they are kept at all. Sadly, I know. I am one who is guilty of this myself. Aren’t we all? That is why gyms fill up in January and then thin out come March. Don’t let that happen to you! Fight to keep your fitness goals. If this means putting an old picture of yourself up on the fridge, or someone you aspire and admire to look like, then so be it.
Inspiration is hard to come by. Make those resolutions stick. Motivate yourself and don’t let anybody bring you down. That determination will get you through anything. YOU GOT THIS!
Again, subscribe to Twinpossible Fitness on You Tube!
6. No snacking after 8 pm.
It’s OK to have an evening snack, but eating within an hour of bedtime most especially, even two really, is not the best idea. My husband enjoys taking snacks with him into our bed to watch TV. I refuse his attempts to hand me something 99.9% of the time because I see what it has done to him, and I know from past experience what it has and can do to me.
We burn far less calories in our sleep obviously, and the food that we eat and then lay down after eating with, is not being burned much at all, therefore it turns to fat. It is very easy to gain weight with nighttime snacking. Snack smart..snack early. You will see that it helps a lot if you have been guilty of doing this.
7. Get more shut eye.
People who get ample amounts of sleep weigh less than if they sleep less. There have been many studies conducted on this, and in part, being awake for longer hours tends to make you eat more. But there are other reasons. You can read about them here. I know it’s easier said than done, (especially if you are a new mom), but do your best to nap and catch up on your zzz’s whenever you can.
8. Improve your mood and your confidence level.
Like I said before it’s natural to feel more down, less energetic, and even less confident in your own skin during the cooler months. I know my confidence levels take a severe nose dive when the temperatures do. Remember how you feel is what you become. If you feel like a failure..you become one. You aren’t one..this I assure you, but it’s easy to quit and go back to your old ways when you do not believe in yourself. Nobody else can do this for you. It comes from within.
Don’t let others bring you down. Don’t let yourself bring you down. Encourage yourself every single day. And don’t expect too much of yourself. For every pound lost pat yourself on the back. People who expect too much too soon often find themselves disappointed and depressed.
You are a winner! You are beautiful both inside and out. You can do ANYTHING you set your mind to. Believe in anything less and it is simply a tragedy.
Good luck my friends! I am right there with you.