Weight loss, Diets | August 10, 2018 | Author: Naturopath
This time of year it is hard not to consume too many calories. Many of us find that we over-sleep and over-eat, and some people may suffer from the “winter blues” or even develop a winter depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder.
Studies show that we begin to increase our daily calories and fat intake during autumn, while at the same time we exercise less in the winter and increase our physical activity in the spring. As a result, body weight has been found to increase during the winter, and to decrease in the summer.
According to science, this seasonal eating rhythm is part of a natural survival mechanism. Like animals in nature, our body adapts to conserve energy when food supplies are low in cold temperature.
Some researchers believe that our body stores more fat in winter to help us cope with the cold. Researchers from the University of Alberta say that the lack of sunlight exposure in winter causes winter weight gain. They found that fat cells that lie just beneath our skin shrink when exposed to the blue light emitted by the sun.
Get moving. You may feel like hibernating when the days are shorter and temperatures drop, but staying active throughout autumn and winter will make you feel more energetic, enhance your mood and help manage your weight.
The best advice is to choose an activity that you enjoy. It may be swimming in an indoor heated pool, a yoga class in your neighbourhood gym, a walk in the fresh air – any movement is better than doing none.
Enjoy a good night’s sleep. Seep deprivation results in changes in leptin and ghrelin, the two hormones that influence our food intake. It has been found that shift workers, and people who suffer from poor sleep quality, have increased levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and decreased levels of leptin, the satiety hormone, which lead to increased hunger and appetite.
Eat in synch with your body clock. Consuming your calories close to your bedtime can lead to weight gain. Research suggests that this is because the levels of melatonin, the sleep hormone, rise about two hours prior to habitual sleep onset. Eating when the levels of melatonin are high has been linked to weight gain and higher percentage of body fat.
Mindful eating. Practising mindfulness is trendy these days, and for a good reason. Stemming from the Buddhist practice of meditation, it is about inner awareness of one's present experience and acceptance of the thoughts and experiences that run through your mind. Researchers from North Carolina State University found that mindful eating helps weight loss.
Well, it is the opposite of eating in front of the TV. To eat mindfully is to eat slowly, savouring every mouthful, and noticing the look, feel, weight, taste and texture of the food you are eating, along with being aware of whatever thoughts flow in association to your food choices and appetite triggers.
Eat foods that promote satiety. Eating satiating foods will help you feel full for longer and prevent you from reaching for extra snacks.
Include proteins in every meal. Proteins are the most satiating macronutrient, but it is best to eat them rather than drink them.
A liquid protein shake is less satiating than a solid meal.
Include: Fish rich in omega-3 fats (salmon, herring, sardines), plant proteins (tofu and tempeh, beans, nuts and seeds, and quinoa), and high-quality animal proteins (grass fed beef, organic chicken, organic yoghurt and eggs).
Decrease: Processed meat
Low GI Carbohydrates. Not all carbohydrates are created equal. The amount of sugar released into the blood in response to a food is an important factor affecting appetite. This is called glycaemic index (GI). High GI carbohydrates have a lower satiating effect than low GI ones, and consuming low GI foods is a useful way for to lose weight and maintain weight loss, as long as you are making healthy food choices.
Increase: whole grains (amaranth, barley, buckwheat, millet, oats, brown rice and wild rice, rye, spelt, quinoa), legumes (beans, lentils and chickpeas), low GI fruit (cherries, apples, pears, and kiwi fruit), and non-starchy low GI vegetables (dark leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, artichokes, asparagus, bean sprouts, celery, cucumber, capsicum, radish, and zucchini)
Limit: starchy, moderate- and high-GI foods such as potatoes, white rice, and white bread
Decrease: sugary foods such as cookies, cakes, candy, and soft drinks
Good fats. Fat is the least satiating macronutrient and can lead to over consumption of food, so eat your fats in moderation.
Include: extra virgin olive oil, nuts and nut butters (especially walnuts, cashews and almonds), avocados, seeds (including hemp seeds and freshly ground flaxseed), omega-3 enriched eggs, soy foods, cold water fish (fresh, frozen wild or canned salmon; sardines packed in water or olive oil; herring)
Fibre. Fibre is only found in foods that come from plants and has been traditionally classified on the basis of its solubility in water (soluble or insoluble). Insoluble fibres are more satiating than soluble fibres; however both types of fibre help to keep us full and are associated with lower risk of chronic disease.
Include: Wheat bran, oats, whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables
Warm soup. A satisfying and comforting warm soup is the perfect meal choice for a cold winter day. Although it is agreed that fluids are less satiating than solid foods, studies of soups have found quite the opposite. Just like some solid foods, soups have been found to reduce hunger and increase the feeling of fullness.
Beccuti, G. & Pannain, S., 2011. Sleep and obesity. Current opinion in clinical nutrition and metabolic care, 14(4), pp.402–12. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21659802
Broyd, N., 2017. Mindful Eating “Helps Weight Loss.” Available at: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/880255
de Castro, J.M., 1991. Seasonal rhythms of human nutrient intake and meal pattern. Physiology & behavior, 50(1), pp.243–8. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1946724
Ma, Y. et al., 2006. Seasonal variation in food intake, physical activity and body weight in a predominantly overweight population. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 60(4), pp.519–528. Available at: http://www.nature.com/articles/1602346
Mattes, R., 2005. Soup and satiety. Physiology & Behavior, 83(5), pp.739–747. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15639159
McHill, A.W. et al., 2017. Later circadian timing of food intake is associated with increased body fat. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 106(5), p.ajcn161588. Available at: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/lookup/doi/10.3945/ajcn.117.161588
Ondrusova, K. et al., 2017. Subcutaneous white adipocytes express a light sensitive signaling pathway mediated via a melanopsin/TRPC channel axis. Scientific Reports, 7(1), p.16332. Available at: http://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-16689-4