Do you find yourself gaining weight every winter? You're not alone. But Trisha Calvo of Shape Magazine says winter weight gain can be avoided.
JENNIFER: Hi I'm Jennifer Morris for howdini. Okay what is it about the winter months that makes you pack on the pounds? But thank goodness Trisha Calvo is here, executive editor from Shape magazine to tell us what we can do about it. So why do some people tend to gain more weight during the winter?
TRISHA: Well it's really because some people don't process the hormone leptin as effectively in the wintertime as they do during the warmer months. And leptin is a hormone that controls hunger. And basically you're hungrier.
JENNIFER: So is there something we can do about, is there something we can do...
TRISHA: Yes there are actually two things you can do. One thing you can do is to get enough sleep. Sleep helps you process leptin more effectively. You're just much more efficient at it when you are will rested. So don't skimp on sleep during the winter. And then the second thing you can do is get enough zinc. Zinc also helps your body process leptin and zinc is a mineral that's found in Brazil nuts, in whole grains, and in a lot of different kinds of fruits and vegetables. And you do want to just make sure you're getting enough zinc in your diet.
JENNIFER: Would you recommend taking a zinc supplement as well?
TRISHA: I think that you could take a multivitamin and a multivitamin will have 100% of the RDA for zinc and I think that should be sufficient. I don't think you need to take individual zinc supplements.
JENNIFER: Okay and we tend to cocoon and be less active during the winter, what about that?
TRISHA: Yes and that's the other contributing factor to winter weight gain. It's just a natural thing, you know, in the summertime you're outdoors a lot. You're moving around a lot more. In the winter you just want to stay--
JENNIFER: You want to be under the covers!
TRISHA: You want to be under the covers; you want to stay warm in front of the fireplace. But, there have been studies that show you burn 100 fewer calories in the winter during the day than as you do in the summertime. And you know that doesn't sound like a lot, but it really can add up pretty quickly because there are 3500 calories in a pound so in 35 days you could have gained a pound. So what you want to do is you want to compensate for that by being more active. One great thing you can do is to go outside and take a walk. Ten minutes, fifteen minutes you burn about a 100 calories. If you don't want to go outside because it's too cold and you're not willing to bundle up, then you might just climb the stairs in your house. Fifteen minutes of that too will burn about 100 calories. And even just fifteen minutes of doing situps, pushups, jumping jacks, squats while you're watching television will also help you burn about that same number of calories and that way you're being even.
JENNIFER: Yeah so there's lots of little things you can do in the house, you don't even have to go outside.
TRISHA: You don't even have to go outside. Or to the gym
JENNIFER: Yes. Thank you Trisha so much. I'm Jennifer Morris for howdini.
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