Summer’s over, the rain and clouds have made an appearance and perhaps you’ve noticed a little more padding around your middle (backside, thighs, whatever…). I know I have.
In Northern California where I live, it starts getting cold in October or November and doesn’t start warming up until March or April. Cold weather just seems to invite a few extra pounds, at least in my experience.
Like everything in nature, the human body has seasonal variations. For many of us, this means we tend to put on a few pounds over the winter, and then when summer comes we tend to lose a few pounds.
There’s no need to worry if you gain a bit of weight, but if you gain weight every winter but don’t lose any over the summer, that’s a big problem.
What’s “a bit of weight“? For most people, “a bit of weight” is 5-10 pounds. For someone on the small side, 5 pounds might be the limit, but for a big guy weighing 200 pounds, 10 pounds is probably the max he’d be comfortable gaining.
Of course, there are strategies you can use to nip winter weight gain in the bud, if you desire. Increasing your activity in combination with limiting those holiday treats like egg nog and Christmas cookies can be very effective. Making an effort to get out for frequent hikes and bike rides is also a good idea, and don’t forget that raking leaves can burn lots of calories (depending on how many leaves have dropped and the size of your yard).
Hearty soups and stews are not only delicious meals during cold weather, but they are a great way to add more vegetables to you diet. Try this killer minestrone recipe that is sure to please the hungry masses.
The take-away message here is that you needn’t be alarmed if you gain some weight, as it may be a perfectly natural (and harmless) process.
Just be careful if people start mistaking you for Santa Claus…
Can any of you relate to this post? Care to share your tips for dealing with winter weight gain? I’d love to hear from you, so please send me a comment.
Robert J. Stone