Friday, January 15, 2010

Is Cold Winter Weather Making You Fat?

We have a very cold winter weather in the U.S. for the past month. No wonder the 2010 farmer's almanc predicted a frigid winter. It's no coincident that it's the time of the year for making New Year's resolutions.

Is it true that cold weather makes you less likely to move and store more fat?

A Pedometer research published in the journal Medicine and Science and Sports And Exercise uncovered a huge difference in the number of steps taken between the summer and winter:

7616 steps per day in summer
6293 steps per day in fall
5304 steps per day in winter
5850 steps in spring

Foods by themselves are not to blame for gainig weight. Properly supported nutrition is critical in fueling your body and making your body function the way it's designed for. Most people blame winter weight gain on the food. It's not just the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's celebration feasts. It's less winter activity that also contributes to the holiday pounds.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) has been studied at length by psychologists. SAD occurs during the short days and long nights of winter and fall, when there's less sunlight and colder temperatures. Symptoms include depression, cravings for specific foods, loss of energy, hopelessness and oversleeping. These types of symptoms can contribute to weight gain.

In warm weather, people are wearing less and enjoying the outdoors more often. People want to look good. In cold weather, you're covered up. There's less self or body-image consciousness. Also most people tend to stay on a diet more diligently and train harder when summer is coming around.

So you have to keep training hard and eating properly even in cold winter season. Seasonal weight gain is usually very small. It's the type of slow weight creep that goes unnoticed. Over a period of 10, 15 or 20 years, it's enough to accumulate into overweight or obesity. One day you wake up the morning, look in the mirror and ask themselves, "How did I get so heavy?"

You have to be conscious and diligent to stay lean all year round. Watch out for the increases in your appetite and decreases in your activity. This is a year-round style, not a seasonal resolution for quick-fix.

When you make your New Year's resolutions for losing 20 pounds by summer, you'll need to make monthly, weekly goals. These are "outcome" goals that you receive as a result of the actions you've taken. In other words, you'll need to make your "action" goals to support your outcome goals.

You can't really control how much weight you can lose, really. What you can control is the exercises -- how long, how often, what kind and how intense. You can control the type of foods, how much, how often that you eat. In the end, your body responds to these training effect and nutrition. Then you adjust your exercise and nutrition program based on your ACTUAL results.

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