5 reasons why certain individuals tend to gain more weight during the winter season

Here are several factors that can contribute to winter weight gain, making them important to watch out for

5 Reasons Why Some People Gain More Weight In Winter

Winter ushers in a sense of comfort and warmth, with cozy blankets, steaming mugs, and delectable hot foods. The season offers much to relish, with holidays adding to its charm. However, amidst these delights, many individuals find themselves more prone to weight gain during winter, attributable to several reasons. Let’s delve into a detailed examination of the causes of winter weight gain.

Reduced Physical Activity

During the winter, colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours can limit our engagement in outdoor activities, resulting in decreased overall physical activity and potentially leading to weight gain. According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, maintaining physical activity not only supports weight management but also lowers the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. The United Kingdom National Health Services (NHS) recommends engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity per week.

Increased Caloric Intake

Increased Caloric Intake

Winter is the season of holiday celebrations and festive gatherings, where family and friends come together to indulge in high-calorie comfort foods and beverages. The cold weather often triggers cravings for warm, fatty foods, which can be higher in calories and carbohydrates, contributing to weight gain. Practicing mindful eating and monitoring portion sizes become crucial during this time. It’s essential to be aware of the food choices you make and limit your intake.

According to a study published in the journal Advances in Nutrition, consuming larger portions, particularly of high-calorie foods, is associated with increased overall food intake and subsequent weight gain. While more research is needed, current advice for weight management underscores the importance of moderating portion sizes.

Shifts in Hormones

Hormonal Changes

Hormone fluctuations can be common during the winter months, especially due to reduced daylight hours. This disruption in the body’s circadian rhythm can lead to increased production of melatonin and serotonin, hormones linked to sleep, mood, and appetite regulation. Consequently, these hormonal changes may elevate cravings for high-calorie foods, potentially resulting in overeating and weight gain.

Insufficient Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D deficiency tends to be more prevalent during the winter months due to reduced sunlight exposure. Some studies suggest that low levels of vitamin D, often referred to as the sunshine vitamin, may be associated with weight gain in certain individuals. However, the relationship between vitamin D deficiency and weight gain is complex and not fully understood. While addressing vitamin D deficiency is essential for overall health, its direct impact on weight gain is still a subject of ongoing research.

Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol Consumption

During the festive winter season, people often consume more alcohol as part of social gatherings and holiday celebrations. The colder weather and longer nights may contribute to a desire for warmth and relaxation, leading individuals to indulge in alcoholic beverages. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that alcoholic drinks are typically high in calories and can impair judgment, resulting in overeating and less healthy food choices. This can disrupt weight management efforts and contribute to winter weight gain.


To effectively manage weight during the winter, it’s essential to prioritize a balanced diet focused on whole foods. Practicing portion control and mindful eating is crucial, particularly when faced with tempting winter comfort foods and increased alcohol intake. Additionally, maintaining regular physical activity, whether indoors or outdoors, is important for overall health and weight management. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, as the body may misinterpret thirst as hunger, leading to unnecessary calorie consumption.