Unhelpful Winter Thinking

May 6, 2019 BY: LISA

Have you put your winter head on without thinking?

The thing about winter…

Hans / Pixabay

The thing about winter is that as well as colder weather, it brings with it some well entrenched beliefs that can be unhelpful if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight.

 

‘”Everyone puts on weight in winter”, is something I often hear which can be quite unhelpful as we are all self-fulfilling prophecies. If you think something is going to happen often you let it. For example, if you think you will eat more “stodgy” foods in colder weather, it is likely you will.

 

People will often comment that winter foods are higher in calories, but if you think about it, it’s quite similar as meals in summer or winter are based on meat/chicken/fish and vegetables, which includes salad vegetables, and a carbohydrate source; meaning the energy intake is much the same.

 

But in recent weeks, given we are starting to see some colder weather, I’ve become aware of another couple of beliefs or habits in my clients, that I hadn’t recognised in the past.

 

  1. “I eat more because it’s cold and I need to warm up.” While it’s true that eating does warm you up, because, not only is the food usually warm, but there is also heat produced after eating. However, if you are eating because you are cold and when you are hungry it is likely that you will be eating more and therefore taking in more energy than you normally might in warmer weather. Add to this, the fact it may also be heavier food, and you may find yourself struggling to maintain or lose weight.

 

Iituliitu / Pixabay

  1. “I’m hungrier in winter so I need to eat more.” More and more I’ve been hearing my clients say they eat more when they are hungry. So, if normally you might have 2 pieces of toast for breakfast, if you are hungry this might increase to 3 pieces of toast. This seems like it makes sense, however if you think about your stomach like the petrol tank in your car, just because it’s empty doesn’t mean you need to overfill it. It only needs the same amount of fuel, as does your stomach. If you are hungry you will find that your normal serve will stop that hunger, without you needing to have more.

 

I get that when the weather first turns cold it can be harder to get outside and walk as it’s a shock to the system. But again, winter can actually be a nicer time to walk or exercise as it helps warm you up and you are less likely to overheat compared to the warmer months.

 

bella67 / Pixabay

Winter can be a tricky time to manage your weight but by recognising some of your habits and beliefs that come in when the weather gets colder you will be able to manage your weight much more effectively over this time.

 

Stay warm and enjoy!

Lisa APD

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