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Winter weight gain: Why it happens and 4 ways to avoid it

Winter is the time for marshmallows and hot chocolates, but also the time for weight gain. There are a lot of reasons why this happens, but we’ve got you some tips to get rid of it.
winter weight gain
Winter is all about weight gain. Here’s why! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Geetika Sachdev Published: 9 Dec 2020, 01:56 pm IST
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Winter is the season of hot chocolate and homemade halwa. No matter how guilty it might make us feel, we can’t help but consume these winter goodies. Honestly, the wintry weather calls for it. The problem starts when we can’t stop ourselves from binging on all our favourite things. It is only at the end of the season that we realize that we can’t fit into our favourite skinny jeans anymore. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

But, you can’t just blame the food. There are multiple reasons that contribute to us gaining weight in winters.

So, are you ready to find out?

Reason #1: We are preparing for hibernation

Have you found yourself skipping social events, and opting to watch Netflix while eating your favourite food at home? Well, that’s because we hibernate like bears in our beds during winter. This is one of the biggest reasons why we end up gaining more weight in winters. 

As per research, humans feel the need to pile on the calories, much the way bears prepare for hibernation. In fact, there are studies to show that we consume an extra 200 calories per day, as there’s hardly any sun time in winter. This is also due to the fear of being unable to source necessary nutrients when food becomes scarce in winter. 

Also, read: These 9 nutritionist-recommended spices will help you lose weight this winter

feeling cold all the time
Those extra calories might be the reason behind your weight gain. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Reason # 2: We produce more sleep hormones

Since the days are much shorter in winter, and we do not get enough sun, our sleep hormone levels get affected. Research says that when we see less daylight, our pineal glands respond to the lack of sunshine by producing melatonin, the sleep hormone that makes us fall asleep.

Feeling sleepy, even when it’s not time to sleep, can cause a lack of energy and motivation.

Reason #3: Our metabolism increases

There’s also research that suggests our metabolism increases in winter to burn more energy and stabilise our temperature. This is why our body requires more food for the body’s extra energy demands. However, that is no reason to stuff ourselves throughout the day. 

Even if we eat more than usual, it is important to include some in our daily routine.

Here’s how to get rid of the winter weight gain


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  • Don’t stress at all


It’s natural to get worried about all the weight gain, but DO NOT! It’s only going to make your body feel worse and result in demotivation. So, resist the urge to overthink or feel scared. Start one step at a time, and you’ll be good!

You need to stress less! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Try and assess the reason for your weight gain, and have a goal at hand. This will help you make changes more easily!



You might feel very tempted to go on that detox that promises unbelievable weight loss in only five days, but just say noto it! One must stay away from such dieting trends, and focus on a balanced diet. If you restrict yourself too much, then you’re only going to end up eating more than usual when you lose patience.


  • Choose healthy foods


Try to make healthy food swaps instead of trying to ditch certain dishes completely. If you are craving sugar, then try to switch the chocolate bar for a handful of dry fruits that are packed with fibre. They won’t just keep you full, but the high content of omega 3 will ensure good brain health and satiety. 

Sip, slurp and eat healthy foods that will keep winter weight gain away. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Do that for almost everything, and you’re sorted! 


  • Pack in some exercise


While it’s very convenient to snuggle inside our blankets during the winter months, it’s important you push yourself to get out and schedule a class that you love! We aren’t saying you can suddenly go from sitting all day to running a marathon. But, you can certainly add a 20-minute fitness routine to your day. If you think it will help, try and ask your partner or friends to join you. 

Ladies, now that you know the reasons for that winter gain and how to get rid of it, it’s time to take action!

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About the Author

An independent writer and journalist, Geetika loves sharp and fresh humour, just like her coffee! If not writing, you'll find her cafe-hopping and raiding the best book stores in town. ...Read More

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