According to Johns Hopkins University, the average person gains five to seven pounds during the winter months. Since 3500 calories equals one pound of fat, the average person consumes an extra 17,500-24,500 calories in winter.
Why We Gain Weight in Winter
There is a biological reason we are hungrier in winter, and it is probably not because our bodies need extra fat to stay warm. On the contrary, bariatric surgeon Ahmed Ahmed said that overweight people usually feel colder than those who are at a healthy weight.
The Daily Mail blamed appetite increases in the winter months on the hormone melatonin, not on the body’s need to pack on pounds as insulation. A contributor wrote, “Melatonin, the hormone triggered by darkness that makes us feel sleepy, can also have a role in appetite.”
Eating more doesn’t necessarily equate to weight gain, but eating more without increasing physical activity can. We typically have less opportunities in the winter to get sufficient amounts of physical activity. The combination of increased appetite and decreased exercise is often responsible for the several pesky pounds the average person gains in the colder months.
How to Lose Winter Weight the Right Way
Losing winter weight is simple: eat a couple hundred calories fewer than you have been eating, and deficit another couple hundred calories with exercise. This strategy would theoretically have you shedding a few pounds steadily over the course of a few weeks.
This approach, while logical, can be difficult to implement. Eating less food can be extraordinarily hard. Depending on your feelings about exercise, so can getting more physical activity.
Some people are able to eat a little less and move a little more on their own, and succeed in their weight-loss efforts. However, it’s possible that at least half the time this isn’t the case. Many people need a coach, personal trainer, counselor, or some other type of encourager to help them lose weight safely. This is where physiotherapy comes in.
Physiotherapy: the Key to Losing Weight Gained in the Winter Months
For some people, physiotherapy is a key to losing weight gained during winter time. This is because a physiotherapy program is a structured regimen that:
- Teaches patients what specific exercises are most beneficial to them personally, and instructs them on how to perform them.
- Shows individuals practical, natural ways to fit physical activity into their daily lives
- Provides accountability, education, and encouragement.
The accountability aspect of a physiotherapy program is delivered through a physiotherapist. Patients may meet with a physiotherapist once, twice, or several times per week, depending upon their needs.
In The Role of Physiotherapy in Weight Control, Australian Family Physician stated,
“Physiotherapists play a significant role in: reducing or removing the barriers to physical activity; designing, implementing and monitoring exercise programs; and promoting safe participation in physical activity to facilitate weight reduction and weight control.”
Physiotherapy isn’t merely for the injured. It is also for those who want to lose weight or avoid injury. If you live near the Winnipeg area and want to lose winter weight the right way, contact the physiotherapy team at Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics.