1. You’re… moving less
Not only are the days shorter, but the cold and wet weather makes it much easier to sleep in, rather than getting up and going to the gym. And it’s always more appealing to curl up in front of the fire with a good book or movie after work than to head out for a walk. Even incidental activity, such as gardening and cleaning, tends to happen less often in the colder months.
2. You’re… eating more
The cooler weather can increase your appetite as you eat to stay warm, and spending more time indoors means you have more opportunities to do so. Winter food is also typically heartier and higher in energy than the lighter fruits and salads of summer. This combo can quickly lead to weight gain. Find lighter options in our recipe section.
3. You’re… feeling down
Full-blown winter depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder, isn’t common in Australia, but it can cause significant distress. Symptoms include sleep problems, low energy levels, overeating, carb cravings and a depressed mood. Fortunately, there are treatments available, such as bright light therapy – ask your GP for more information.
4. You… have a cold
Colds and flu are more likely to strike in the cooler months, mainly because more time is spent inside and in close contact with others. Illness has a nasty way of disrupting your blood glucose levels, and your eating and exercise routines – this can make you leave those good habits built over the warmer months by the wayside.
5. You’re… too warm
It may sound strange, but researchers have hypothesised that our obsession with indoor heating and avoiding the cold could be playing a part in the obesity crisis. Why? Your body uses more energy to stay warm than it does to cool down, so if you’re just lounging around in front of the heater, your body doesn’t have to be in kilojoule-burning mode as it’s already warm. This isn’t to suggest you freeze on those days when the mercury drops but, by turning down your heating slightly, you’ll save money and it may help your waistline, too.