Why do we tend to build fat in winter ?
During the winter, it is easy to cover yourself with large sweaters and put on weight quickly.
The temperatures are cold, the body has to adapt and demands rich food because it has the reflex of storing fat in winter to cope with the lack of food because vegetables and cereals do not normally grow in winter.
In the wild, there is no more food or plants growing between December and March. It is therefore necessary to keep stocks.
In addition, the metabolism goes into “hibernation” mode, physical activity is often reduced and the lack of light is conducive to more sleep.
Nowadays and in our western regions, the lack of food is no longer felt since humanity has organized the distribution of food differently throughout the year. Light is artificial and physical activity can be done indoors.
There are enough means to deceive genetic predispositions.
This is why it is important to be vigilant and not to gain too much weight during the harsh winter months.
How to adapt your diet?
It is preferable to limit starchy foods in the evening.
Too much carbohydrate in the evening will lead to fat storage.
Light and hot meals such as soups, cooked vegetables and lean proteins such as chicken, eggs and ham should be preferred.
Avoid white flours, pasta, breads, pizzas which have a fast sugar assimilation.
In order to sleep better in winter, it is necessary to consume omega 3, these are essential fatty acids found in fatty fish, salmon and mackerel.
What are the important nutrients to focus on in winter?
The nutrient that is lacking first is vitamin D. This vitamin is normally synthesized within the skin cells, thanks to the sun’s rays.
In winter, the skin is covered and the sun does not show up much.
It is therefore essential to supplement with vitamin D because deficiencies lead to depression but also to weight gain.
Magnesium is the second nutrient to consider because deficiencies lead to depression, fatigue, poor stress management, muscle cramps and sugar cravings.
Stress will then induce insulin peaks that cause fat storage.
It is also because of the lack of magnesium that sugar cravings can occur, especially in times of stress or comfort needs.
What are the additional tips to improve well-being in winter?
-Taking hot baths
-Drinking hot herbal teas
-Do more gentle and relaxing sports such as yoga
-Do a little less exercise than on sunny days and control the amount of carbohydrates consumed.
-Choose foods rich in essential fatty acids such as fatty fish and oleaginous fruits.
You have to listen more to your body and take it easy, if your body is tired, you have to slow down. Cold and lack of light are experienced as stress by the body.
Article written by Elsa Orivel , RD dietician at Foodvisor