There is something about the colder weather that just makes many of us want to eat. It seems so natural to get home from work, close the curtains and tuck in to some wholesome winter meal like soups and stews, while motivation to go out and exercise often drops along with the temperature. This combination of increased calorie intake and reduced exercise levels often leads to weight gain, but why does this happen, and what can we do about it?
With the reduced daylight in the winter, our bodies produce more melatonin, the hormone which helps us rest, so we feel sleepier. The lower energy levels associated with this can often contribute to a lack of motivation to exercise. If you feel the cold, your body will also crave carbohydrates as they naturally warm your body while they are metabolised, and the increased melatonin will also increase your appetite.
The key then is to try and ensure the foods you do eat are healthy and keep you feeling full, which can help to maintain a healthy weight even if you find your activity levels are dropping off.