Do Americans Really Pack on the Pounds During the Winter? And What You Can Do About It

October 03, 2016

Do Americans Really Pack on the Pounds During the Winter? And What You Can Do About It

With fall comes Halloween candy and Thanksgiving Day desserts, and then soon after it’s the season of holiday cookies and New Years Eve smorgasbords – does all this add up to extra pounds during the winter months? While it is true most people do see the number on the scale rise thanks to binge eating during the holidays, it’s not the five or 10 pounds you might think. What is the real story behind winter weight gain and what can you do about it?

What You Need to Know About Obesity

Americans are overweight and it’s not all about winter eating. Winter weight gain amounts to about .04 to 1.8 pounds each season for most people; so holiday eating is not really the problem.

Big meals during the winter celebrations are not new, yet the obesity rate continues to climb in this country. A National Institute of Health report shows from 1962 to 2006 the obesity rate in American adults age 20-74 nearly doubled from 13.4 percent to a whopping 35.1 percent. On average, adults weigh about 26 more pounds today than they did 60 years ago. This rapid increase is a contributing factor to the rise in chronic illnesses in the U.S. like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Obesity is considered one the top health concerns in the United States. One in every three adults fits the medical definition of obese, which means they have a body mass index of 30.0 or higher, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The American Heart Association reports the fiscal toll for all that extra weight is around 190 billion dollars a year.

The effect of obesity is pushing beyond U.S. borders, too. Worldwide obesity has doubled since 1980, explains the World Health Organization. There is certainly more at stake here than Halloween candy and Christmas cookies.

The problem is that people tend to ignore those extra winter pounds, so they start to add up and they generally don’t lose that weight again. Americans take that weight gain for granted until it becomes a medical threat later in life. The good news you don’t have to go into another winter season expecting to gain weight. There are things you can do to avoid the binging and make it through the cold season without an extra pound here and there.

Tips to Get You Through Winter

What can you do when faced with another season of high sugar and fatty foods? Apply some common sense to your eating this winter and get by without the usual weight gain. Start by planning ahead for holiday functions.

  • Eat a small, healthy, preferably high-fiber, snack before each event. If you go to the annual holiday party on an empty stomach, you can expect to fill it with sweets or other high calories goodies. Fill that stomach up beforehand with high fiber foods, instead, to reduce your hunger. They take longer to digest too, so you get through the party without grazing all through the event.
  • Try a little bit of everything, so you don’t feel like you missed out. The problem with holiday spreads is it all looks so good. If you limit yourself to two bites of everything you want, you eat less without feeling let down.
  • Don’t mingle around the food table. Unfortunately, food is a big party draw, so stick to the outer rim of the group. This way you are not looking at those tempting treats while you chat. In fact, suggest moving your conversation as far away from the food as possible, maybe to another room or outside.

 

Once you get through the party schedule, don’t let the winter weather slow you down. Plan ahead so you exercise during the winter months. If you are a runner, invest in a treadmill or join a gym. Winter is the perfect time to learn something new, too.

  • Take a hot yoga class
  • Get into kickboxing
  • Start a weekly basketball game with your buddies

 

The point is to keep your exercise schedule active during the winter even if it means you have to take it indoors. Don’t let the cold be an excuse not to workout.

Focus on your winter diet, too, and look for ways to improve it. Adding a daily probiotic supplement, for example, is a practical choice. There is evidence to suggest the lack of gut diversity is part of the obesity trend. Taking probiotics will keep your immune system strong, too.

Don’t let the holidays be your excuse again this year. Take steps to eat right and exercise when the temperature drops.

The post Do Americans Really Pack on the Pounds During the Winter? And What You Can Do About It appeared first on Natren Probiotics Blog.




Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.