The Pros and Cons of Deciding to Lose Weight During a Michigan Winter
I want to preface this by saying that everyone has a right to love their bodies and the skin they are in. However, we can be realistic enough to admit that there are some people who want to be able to love a little less and lose a few pounds they're not entirely happy with.
Of course, diet culture is pretty toxic, which is why when you find something that works for you, keeps you satisfied and healthy, you should stick with it.
That's why if you are planning to start dieting or trying to lose weight this Michigan winter, there are some things we should talk about.
Times We Are Encouraged to Lose Weight
There are also so many points in the year where dieting or losing weight is a bit more encouraged or at least shoved in your face about as much as you would rather just shove a Big Mac in it (I would kill for one right now).
Maybe it's that you want to feel confident for the summer, maybe you want to feel like you look your best for the holidays and all the family photos that come with them, maybe it's a relative's wedding, etc.
It seems like we are always trying to find "reasons" to lose weight and maybe it's to give you some motivation, and maybe it's just because learning to love yourself is enough.
The Pros and Cons of Losing Weight in Winter
I've been on a weight loss journey the past few weeks and while I'm enjoying the scale-based and non-scale victories, I've realized some things that are a bit different.
Before we get into that, let's talk about the "pro's" of losing weight in the winter:
- Less pressure because you're more bundled up - "sweater weather" works out perfectly.
- Research, like what we found from Patient, shows that cooler temps actually help activate your "brown fat" and help burn calories.
- Working out in cooler temps has been shown by studies (like this one reported by ETimes) "can increase the body's ability to adapt to different temperatures and boost the fat-burning capacity of the body..."
Now, let's get into the cons because, while it seems like winter is the optimal time for quite a few people, there are a few things to consider:
- Missing out on comfort foods, holiday party foods, and more - a lot of losing weight is changing up your diet, this can mean skipping out on some of our favorite holiday foods like stuffing, mashed potatoes, desserts, etc.
- Losing weight can actually make you feel colder - Insider, citing Apovian, reported it is because "Your body is going to lower your metabolic rate when you lose weight to try to conserve energy and in conserving energy, it doesn't have a lot of extra calories to keep you warm."
- Seasonal Affective Disorder - it's common in the thick of a Michigan winter for people to get SAD (and we don't just mean the emotion). There are also a lot of hormonal changes involved with weight loss that may not be helpful to the situation.
What Can You Do?
Oddly enough, I have actually been feeling extremely cold lately and when I said something about it to my boyfriend, he jokingly said "it's because you've lost so much fat to keep you warm." I thought that seemed pretty silly, but now it's actually factual!
Whatever time you decide to try to lose weight, make sure it's on your time and nobody else's. When you are motivated for yourself, the determination and dedication will follow.
However, you have to also be realistic with yourself. That can mean not trying to lose too much too fast, or even just what you are going to want to do in the time you are making such a major shift in your lifestyle. That can mean travel plans, your birthday coming up, really any event where you know you are going to want to enjoy it to the fullest.
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