Keeping Healthy: Avoiding Winter Weather Weight Gain

By Julia Rose

Published 03/06 2014 07:27PM

Updated 03/06 2014 07:30PM

If you tend to feel hungrier during the winter months - don't worry - you're not alone. In fact, research shows that as the temperature outside decreases, our appetites tend to increase. And with no sign of real warm temperatures coming our way - Central New Yorkers - you may want to listen up.

Although we can't do anything to control the CNY weather - we can try and control our winter weight gain.

It's not just our imaginations. When the weather outside is frightful, our appetites can tend to spin out of control.

"With extra calories that we're consuming, we're not always balancing that with extra physical activity. So, we tend to hibernate in the winter it's the combination of eating more and being less active that could result in some winter weight gain," says Patricia Salzer, Excellus Registered Dietician.

Patricia Salzer is a registered dietitian. She says part of the problem is that we crave high-calorie foods to make us feel warm and cozy during the winter.

"When we go for those comfort foods, those comfort foods tend to be higher in calories. So, when I think of beef stew, creamy soups, casseroles and macaroni and cheese, there's a way to slenderize those comfort foods so we still get the comfort from them but not the extra calories and fat. So, with that beef stew I would say add lots of vegetables, if you're making a soup make it a broth-base soup and if you're doing a casserole or macaroni and cheese use a lower fat cheese in there to help lower the calories and the fat in those dishes."

Another factor in winter weight gain is inactivity because of the cold. Salzer suggests making a winter activity plan. Write down all of the things you did in the warmer months and then write a corresponding list of winter activities to do.

"If you were real active in the summer with swimming or water skiing maybe you can do cross-country skiing or snow shoeing so, if we can find something to be active all year long that will really help," she says.

And of course, nothing bets a daily dose of sunlight. So, if you can brave the cold temperatures - even ten minutes outdoors can help maintain winter weight.

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