Is Facebook Making You Fat Over Winter?

BY DI WESTAWAY | CEO and Founder of Wild Women On Top

OMG – not another thing to make us fat?

The other night I had an epiphany. As I snuggled in under my doona on my laptop playing on Facebook, I realised something scary. While I was engaged in the interactive fun of Facebook, downloading pictures and catching up on family overseas, I was nibbling.  Snacking on crap – high fat, high sugar, high salt foods which are known to be highly addictive. (See Globesity: ABC News.)

In a couple of hours I managed to wander into the kitchen to ‘sneak’ my favourite snacks about 6 times. I gobbled down Sarah Lee chocolate ice cream, a few choccie chip cookies, some dark mint chocolate, a few nuts and a bit of dried fruit.

Only a little bit each time, but in the end, lots.  And, I had done no exercise all day because it was raining and I’d slept in.

Australian women traditionally gain weight over winter. Is it because we binge on chocolate at night while we’re connecting with friends on Facebook?  We all use the cold as an excuse not to exercise. But many of us might be staying home in winter, using our family commitments as an excuse to gain weight. This night-time ritual causes us to put on fat because we’re going to bed full of sugar and fat.

Research shows that the average Australian woman gains up to four kilograms during the colder months because we eat more and don’t move enough. We seek out comfort foods and tell ourselves we’ll lose the weight before summer. After all, it’s only a couple of kilos and nobody will notice...until we get to the end of September and we can't do up the button on our jeans.

Some of us find ways to counteract this by committing to night time fitness activities to keep us out of the kitchen. I go indoor rock climbing, Trek Training or walking to stop me bingeing at night – I figure they are healthier and more rewarding options than putting a padlock on my fridge.

I’ve heard clients say that fitness programs that motivate them to exercise at night keep them away from junk food and stop them gaining weight.  These women who exercise at night make a conscious decision to outsource their motivation by making a financial commitment to their health.

To prevent weight gain over winter, we recommend:
•    Book into a regular night exercise program which has a powerful end goal such as a challenging event
•    Choose an exercise program that is social and connecting with women
•    Get warm clothes and rug up for night exercise so that you can’t use the cold as an excuse
•    Go straight from work for the exercise program so you don’t get comfortable at home
•    Find exercise that you like, which is fun and challenging so you get results
•    Put a time limit on your Facebook time and don’t let yourself go into the kitchen

Most women need more than a general health or wellness goal to keep them slim over winter.
You can actually get even fitter, healthier and have more fun in the colder months if you commit to an extraordinary goal, like a challenging trek or an adventurous family holiday.

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