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16 Apr 2003

Gaining weight in winter
Hi,

Is there a reason (other than eating more maybe) that one tends to gain weight in winter. Does your body go into a selfprotect (from cold) or something??

Thanks
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Expert
DietDoc
DietDoc

01 Jan 0001

Dear Louise
This is an interesting question. I believe that there are a number of factors that contribute to weight gain over winter: a) generally speaking people tend to eat more and also have a craving for fattier foods when it is cold (this may be a left over-instinct from our prehistoric past) b) people are also more inclined to curl up in front of the TV (with a bowl of snacks at hand) when it is cold and it gets dark early, than in summer when one can go for walks, garden, cycle, etc for much longer - so a decrease in physical activity may also play a role. Some people also sleep longer in winter which can contribute to a decreased energy expenditure. A fascinating research study found that when mini-skirts were in fashion, women in Europe (where it is of course much colder than in SA), developed fatter legs than when they wore long skirts - so a built-in mechanism to lay down a layer of fat to protect us against cold is also involved.
Best regards
DietDoc
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