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JEANNINEMM68 Posts: 505
2/12/12 7:28 P

It is hard in the winter b/c it is so cold and snowy. I do not want to do anything outside. All I wanna do is curl up in a blanket and read a good book.

PATRICIAANN46 Posts: 18,336
2/12/12 3:58 P

My diet stays pretty much the same year round, but in the winter, I tend to make more soups and roasted veggies.

BIGGIRL2082010 Posts: 10,511
2/12/12 11:26 A

Stews and soups come to mind as being both healthy and comforting for the winter months. Also casseroles. Think hot, tasty, filling when you're planning your meals.

For me (no, I don't have SAD), I find that eating salads actually puts me in a WAY better mood ... maybe just try to squeeze in an extra cup of your favourite food sometime during the day, as a "Yay, me!" kind of treat!

You can do this - just focus on the healthy foods that you LOVE, rather than on anything you're restricting!

MELINDAM85 Posts: 499
2/12/12 10:49 A

You may struggle with restricting calories during the winter time, but use the time to focus on trying lots of healthy foods. I would suggest investing in the SP Cookbook. There were so many foods in there that I had never tried because I was afraid or had tried before and tasted gross, but now I love them! During the winter, I find the slow cooker recipes and the soups and stews particularly yummy.

ASPECK303 SparkPoints: (2,799)
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2/11/12 4:38 P

I'm with you -- I put on 15 lbs and wiped out all my weight loss progress from last summer since October came around. For me, food logging helps a ton. It was my food log that made it clear to me that when I eat sugar I want more sugar --- and the same with simple carbs. Replacing my simple carbs with more complex ones -- lentils instead of potatoes, sprouted grain breads instead of health nut, even peanut butter in place of cheese -- helps me cut calories while staying warm and full.

Another thing that helped me was I got my thyroid levels checked last winter and learned that I wasn't getting enough iodine in my diet. Adding a daily kelp capsule has helped me feel warmer and happier in the dark days.

CATHERINESLOVE SparkPoints: (94)
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2/11/12 1:21 P

OSULAWGIRL your recipe sounds awesome.. can you send me the full recipe.. im new on here.. and what is SAD.. i never go out in the winter and im out in the warmer months. im gonna look up what that is.. thanks for your info.

Edited by: CATHERINESLOVE at: 2/11/2012 (13:23)
BANDMOM2012 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/11/12 11:02 A

loved all the great tips!

HOLALOLA SparkPoints: (32,043)
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2/10/12 2:47 P

I read this thread before and it's only on the second reading that I realize that I might be affected too. I live in a reasonably warm-winter place so it's not THAT cold and we don't get snow. But just having to put on a coat or being cold when going out at night with friends does get to me.

But the biggest thing I think is the lack of daylight. It's hard to get out of bed early to exercise when it's so dark in the morning. And it's hard to want to do anything after work when it's already dark. Darkness tells my mind it's time to sit on the couch and watch TV for the rest of the night, even if the rest of the night starts at 5:00 p.m. In the summer I can be out and about at doing things until 8:00 and feel fine.

I am planning on making some light, veggie, Asian soup this weekend. Somebody mentioned greens so I'm going to throw radish and carrot greens in there just for some more nutrients and flavor. No need to throw those away.

I've ordered my seeds for the container garden so things growing will help it feel summery, I hope. The good news is, summer is closer every day!

2/10/12 1:06 P

My husband has SAD, and it's like I'm married to two different people: Summer hubby and Winter hubby, and boy, are they different.

I would recommend you read "Eat Your Way to Happiness" and/or "Food and Mood" by Elizabeth Somer. I do most of the cooking at our house, and I find that if I get plenty of fruits and veggies in our meals and remind my husband to take his vitamin D, things go much more smoothly in the colder months. I believe that what I eat really does affect how I feel, both physically and emotionally. Making changes to eat better will always help your mood.

And you can do healthy comfort food. I make a great ratatatouille in the slow cooker, and I just toss in TONS of fresh veggies (eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onions, potatoes) with 2 cans of diced tomatoes, salt, pepper and fresh basil. When I come home, my house smells AWESOME. I sprinkle some parmesan on top and dinner is ready! And it comes with tons of nutrients! I promise you, it's warming and filling.

KDYLOSE Posts: 1,584
2/10/12 12:33 P

I agree that one of the most comforting things in winter can be cooking up big pots of thick, hearty soups and stews. I like to have them simmering on the stove all day on the weekend.

BROADBRUSH Posts: 1,806
2/10/12 12:31 P

i think it is a natural thing for our bodies to want/need different carbs, heavier more stick to the ribs kind of meals - SAD affects a lot of us for sure.
i do the Vit D and C - and other supplements - and i have lightened up a lot of my soups and stews and casseroles which is what i tend to crave in the cold and dark days.
cream soups for instance- if i use cream it is 5% but most of the time i get the fat free evaporated milk - it works well - and you save a lot of calories but don't sacrifice taste.
instead of potatoes in a lot of stews/casseroles - i can use cauliflower - works like a charm and if i want 'sweet' i use parsnips or carrots.
celery adds flavor without adding a lot of salt into the dish.
anyway - don't be hard on yourself - your body is telling you things that are important, just think hard and long on how to answer it = without blowing your diet, - exercise is a great way to ward off a lot of that depression - you are doing well.
i have to say that is my weak spot - i want to curl up with my dogs and read a book by the fireplace - not walk!!!
all the best - BB

CARLYDK85 Posts: 99
2/10/12 11:23 A

Between SAD and being an emotional eater, winter is usually a great time for packing on the lbs for me. I've been in and on-again off-again relationship with SparkPeople for just over a year now and I always struggle with winter.

You seem to have a handle on things though, if you still manage to do that much exercise. My only advise to you would be to at least track your food. At least then you can see if there are any larger obstacles that you might need to address. And remember, if you're exercising enough to build muscle, you probably ARE losing Fat.

PATRICIAANN46 Posts: 18,336
2/9/12 5:49 P

My methods of cooking differ somewhat in winter, but my diet doesn't.

MIDLIFEGOAL SparkPoints: (8,691)
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2/9/12 5:49 P

WOW! What a great post, I am so glad to see this affects so many people. I was very discouraged last month. I can not increase my vitamin D anymore and my Dr. said my thyroid levels are good (also plays a huge part in SAD). I have played with the same 4lbs since early December.
I loved the comment about the cost of out of season fruit compared to the cost of ice cream.

March is coming emoticon

LEFTYLUV6 Posts: 58
2/9/12 11:45 A

I hate the cold! Brrr.

JENBENCH SparkPoints: (10,525)
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2/8/12 8:37 P

Hi Everyone.

I do the same thing! The lack of sun, the shorter days - all make me want to come home straight from work without going to the gym - and make me reach for the easiest option instead of cooking the healthy dinner I had planned... or stopping at the bagel shop on the way to work instead of getting up and having a healthy breakfast (those extra 15 minutes under the covers are heavenly on a cold morning!)

I find that if I have something planned for dinner that at least seems to be hearty and warming, it makes it easier to stick to a plan. Lately I'm big on vegetarian or ground turkey chili, Indian curries (which can be made in the crock pot easily - double bonus because its ready as soon as you get home. Chef Meg's is pretty good:
il.asp?recipe=1226514 ) You can also crock an entire chicken with potatoes and vegis - just put it in the crock pot and go!

As far as breakfast, I've been making a breakfast frittata with a couple cups of vegis, some egg whites and some light cheese. I bake it on Sunday and cut it into portions - and then take one slice out per day and microwave it for about 30 seconds.... even the bagel shop can't get my bagel cream cheesed that quick!

Good luck to everyone - we'll get rid of the winter warmth weight soon :)

GETIT2GETHER SparkPoints: (35,282)
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2/8/12 8:09 P

Yes, when it is cold and dark I am hungry and cold.

CLEVENT SparkPoints: (0)
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2/8/12 6:32 P

Dieting doesn't sound right. If something is not part of your life why play yo-yo? Eating right-all your life sounds better.

EVIEBELL SparkPoints: (7,874)
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2/8/12 5:49 P

I definitely find that my appetite is bigger when it's cold and dark out, which does make it harder. I would try to find some warm, filling comfort foods that are also healthy. How about chili made with lean ground beef or turkey? Soups and stews are my go-to in the winter. I also make a chicken soup that's 50 calories a bowl and very comforting. Air-popped popcorn is also a great snack if you're curled up watching TV or a movie and have the munchies. You can make a biiiig bowl for 120 calories. It's a whole grain, and if you buy the plain kernels, it's dirt cheap.

BELLALUCIA Posts: 3,451
2/8/12 3:58 P

Eat hot foods!

WANT2BHEALTHY60 Posts: 240
2/8/12 11:07 A

Many people have had great success with the intense lighting that is often prescribed for those suffering with sad. It´s well worth the initial investment.

KCTILLETT Posts: 101
2/8/12 10:16 A

I have found, oddly, that I'm better at losing/managing weight in the winter months. I'm a teacher and we are in the throes of a daily routine at this point in the year. In the summer when our schedules are looser (even with the bonus of wonderful fruits and veggies available) I find less structure isn't my friend when it comes to watching what I eat. Additionally in the winter I love soup and my husband adores it, so I can make a crock pot full of wonderful filling soup for dinner and we're all happy and it's not heavy. (This week's creation was lean ground beef, a package of navy beans, and a large pile of miscellaneous greens that came in my organic food box for the week, and tomatoes.)

2/8/12 10:05 A

I basically tried this winter to maintain. I lost 30 pounds from March to November but have lost nothing since. There is lack of daylight,xmas, then I caught the flu for two weeks in January and I just usually crave more carbs in winter. I kept exercising and increased the amount I was doing per week and have not gained any weight. I know that I will start losing again once spring is here.

One great thing about exercising in the winter is that it helps beat the winter blues. I also found it helps to take lots of Vitamin D.

Edited by: CRAZYCATLADY40 at: 2/8/2012 (10:08)
PEEDIE22 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/8/12 9:20 A

I hear ya. For me though, the goal is long range habit changes. I'm trying not to make this into a 'lose x much weight by x date' because for me, I don't think that is healthy.

I do eat more in the winter, but it seems to come off in the spring. Now that I'm here, I hope I'm making better choices about what I eat that result in slow sustained weight loss.

Hang in there! emoticon

JEQUERIDA SparkPoints: (22,493)
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2/8/12 9:07 A

Well there's a bunch of factors here. It's cold out so we have an excuse to bundle up and wear bigger thicker clothes. Which can hide a lot of our missed workouts and warm comfort foods... It's cold out, so going outside to shovel off your car and preheat it for 15 min to drive to the gym is too much effort when you can just stay in your warm cozy bed...

That being said, I find it helps to put in for a few days or a long weekend off in the summer, and make beach plans with your pals or sweetie. Ordering a cute new summer outfit (in my case a bikini) is DEFINITELY motivating me to limit my caloric intake to a healthy range and work out.

RAMONA1954 Posts: 9,625
2/8/12 1:13 A

Once the days started getting shorter my weight loss started ping ponging around - gaining and losing the same 5 pounds since Nov.. I can't find anything that satisfies me.No matter what I eat, I always am hungry - my blood sugar will drop sometimes but my stomach growls all the time and I get nauseated if I don't eat. I happens no matter what I eat. I'm continually over my limits. I try to work in a little more exercise to compensate some. I'm sort of at a standstill. The weather is preventing me from being outside daily. I feel so much better if I am able to get outside and walk my dog. I've had several sinus infections/bronchitis already from being outside in the cold so I have to really watch it. I don't handle winter well at all.
I figured out part of my problem was that with the longer days - I'm outside walking more. That means less time in the house being tempted. When I'm outside walking I'm not being tempted by anything. My only worry is my blood sugar dropping.

Edited by: RAMONA1954 at: 2/8/2012 (01:17)
2/7/12 11:30 P

Same as the 3 seasons :-) Hard work, dedication...Dedication, hard work!!! Biggest Loser Season 13!

LUXITTA Posts: 2,866
2/7/12 8:35 P

I also suffer from SAD and have never really put 2 and 2 together before. I wonder if that is why I am having a hard time seeing any weight loss. From now on I will keep an eye on this and see if this only affects me during the winter, I usually give up from time to time and maybe its during the winter mnths that I feel its not even worth it.

WILLOLEVIN SparkPoints: (41,176)
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2/7/12 6:03 P

If you think winter affects you, it is worth talking to your doctor.

The changes come on so gradually, I think it can be hard to see how deeply impacted you can be. It is amazing how much extra vitamin D and the lightbox do help me, even if I still feel less than "great" all winter.

I wouldn't have gone over the standard vitamin D recommendation without talking to my doctor first. I would recommend trying a lightbox to anybody who feels even a little blah. The only risk there is the cost to purchase one (or your electric bill if you forget to switch it off!)

I am using my "Other Goals" to keep my fruit and vegetable intake higher than it might otherwise be. Again, that feels like "giving to myself" instead of "taking from myself."

I think that is what I need in winter. I need to "receive" more. Dieting is a poor fit. Giving myself the gift of more care-ful self-care is an excellent fit. :)

Usually, come March, I start to get itchy and twitchy and feel like the trees when they bud--just ready to burst outwards. That is a better time to "push away" at something like unwanted calories.

LITTLEBO Posts: 1,197
2/7/12 11:57 A

WOW! This is a great thread. Thanks, Willo for starting it. I'm not sure I have SAD, but winter does get me down. I think the key is probably starting small, but at least starting, to change your diet. I think you will find improving your nutrition will help your mood. Pick one thing, like eating enough fruit. After a week, pick something else to add/look at, veggies maybe. I agree that letting your nutrition slide in the winter is the exact opposite of what will make you feel better.

DAVEYSETHSMOM SparkPoints: (60)
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2/7/12 10:05 A

I find it easier to diet in the Winter. In the summer, there are so many parties and BBQ's I find it hard to stay on track with all the temptation.
I admit I don't like to exercise outside, due to the cold but I have recently solved that problem with the purchase of a new treadmill.

ALEWELLEN SparkPoints: (0)
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2/7/12 10:04 A

Try to eat foods that are filling, then you won't be tempted to eat to much. I like to eat small healthy things throughout the day, like yogurt, granola or fiber bars and fruit, to keep me going and tells my mind and body that I can still eat when I want to. Whole grains are the best. Keep it up. emoticon

2/7/12 9:56 A

How about just cutting out 100 calories per day during the winter? It's not so drastic that you slow down your metabolism, but enough that you will still run a calorie deficit, esp. with working out. Even if you don't cut more in the spring, 100 calories per day equals 10 pounds over a year. So they tell us. . .

2/7/12 9:41 A

Everyone has given so much good advice that I hesitate to add anything ..However, I did notice your comment about using your energy to nurture everyone else in the home.Please remember that the very best thing you can do for your children is to take good care of yourself and that means nurturing yourself in every way-physically, emotionally, and spiritually.I know it's hard and goes against the grain of what many of us have been taught about self sacrifice and mothering ,but I'm convinced that it's really important if we want to have the energy to be there for others and also to provide a good role model for our children. You can't give from an empty well..

CICELY360 Posts: 4,140
2/7/12 9:38 A

I don't find it hard in the winter. I like hot vegetable soups and winter fruit. The only difference between winter and summer is that that I get more exercise in summer because I get outside more.

LAWLI56 Posts: 1,484
2/7/12 9:19 A

Are you putting on weight? No. Then stop beating yourself up! What you are doing is getting fitter, more toned and I bet you've dropped a dress size or two. You said yourself that that was your primary goal and you are acheiving it. Don't set yourself up for failure.

If it is so hard to diet during the cold months then don't. Carry on with what you're doing as it's obviously benefitting your health and concentrate on losing some weight when the weather is warmer and your natural instinct is to eat less. Use the seasons to help you, don't fight against them.

Don't forget you'e building muscle which is heavier than fat, so your body compostion is changing and your fat percentage is dropping. Maybe you need one of those machines that measures that, not just weight. Then you could see the difference more easily and feel a greater sense of achievement.

Edited by: LAWLI56 at: 2/7/2012 (09:29)
NIMITTA SparkPoints: (0)
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2/7/12 3:16 A

I have similar experience. It feels cold all the time, isn't it? The body tries to conserve the energy by lowering metabolic rate. The only way to fight it off is doing weight exercises which require building muscles and boosting metabolism (or at least would put a stop to decreasing it). I noticed that the week I missed 2 weight trainings I felt especially cold, and the following week I did all my best, it felt normal.

Another way to deal with cold is eating hot meals, preferably soups. Why soups? Compare a 400 Kcal sandwich and two steaming large bowls of soups. They have the same amount of calories, but sandwich, even a hot one, has considerably less volume. Larger volume brings more heat to the body. That is why soups are so warming.

MZZCHIEF Posts: 10,353
2/6/12 3:28 P

I find it extremely difficult to lose weight in Winter, because when I attempt to cut back on calories, my body temperature falls rather than the weight coming off. That's okay in Summer, but not Winter.

Additionally I want hot foods, as eating salads and a lot of raw fruits and veggies cools me down, too.

So when Winter's here, I expect to gain a few pounds... easy to camoflauge in warm clothes... and know that its a seasonal thing.

Life's too sweet to worry about small changes in weight.
: )

WILLOLEVIN SparkPoints: (41,176)
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2/6/12 1:35 P

Thanks for all the positive thoughts.

I've been about the same size all of my life, so I'm not a yo-yo dieter. I've done three diets before: once in high school, and once after each of my kids was born. My weight now is actually lower (5 lbs) than before I had kids... but I noticed after a broken foot last year that my muscle tone really took a nosedive and I was flabbier and weaker than ever before.

Without vitamin D (about double the usual dose, in consultation with my doctor), I wouldn't be online writing this. I wouldn't have the energy to contemplate anything like diet, exercise, or even keeping up an online message board thread asking for help!

I use a lightbox most mornings, and it helps me, but it is a challenge to find the time with kids to get to school, etc. I'm a stay-at-home parent, which is a blessing, but most of my energy goes toward nurturing everybody else in the home.

My exercise program, working with a certified personal trainer, has really empowered me this winter. We started in December, and I credit it with keeping my mood much more elevated than I can recall for my entire adulthood.

I am tracking calories many days (not all) and using it as information, not purposely trying to limit anything yet. I find it easy to track through lunchtime, then I almost always forget after dinner.

I guess I am thinking that I only have so much will power, that I need to exercise that, too, and build up my strength of will, and then I will really embrace the calories-in side of the equation.

I'm a slow-and-steady sort of person, and I'm afraid I'll burn out if I try to do everything at once. Seeing a mountain in front of me, I'll just never begin. So I started with the part that's easy for me--adding exercise. I knew that would feel good.

I find my mood stays okay through the holidays, then starts to drop in January. February is just a misery. I'm glad it is the shortest month, because life just gets so hard, usually. This year, the mild winter has helped, I think. There's been more sun. Also, it takes away some extra stressors (clearing the car to get those kids to school on time! driving safely in dangerous conditions! being trapped indoors with stir-crazy kids!)

DNABRLY SparkPoints: (0)
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2/6/12 12:58 P

I actually find it's a lot harder to diet in the summer. But that's because of the activities I'm doing and I go out more in the summer making it hard to stay on track. During the winter, I'm always busy so instead of my mind being on my diet all the time, I focus on other things and when it's time to eat, that's when I think about my diet and it makes the time go by faster.

I do feel a little bit down during the winter and want to do nothing all day sometimes, but this is the first time I've tried dieting in the winter, every other time has been during the summer, and that's never been successful. So far winter hasn't seemed to affect my diet in a negative way.

2/6/12 12:43 P

I have SAD, too. Every year I learn to manage it a little better. I'm never immune to its' effects. I'm always struggling to not fall into total depressive lethargy. BUT, every year I learn some techniques to feel a little better than I did last winter. OK. Exercise is vital, as you already mentioned. The payoffs ARE big. Vitamin D has also been a winner for me. 4000-5000 mg per day.

I have never lost and sustained a large weight loss over winter months, but that's not for lack of trying. It sure is hard not to turn to that comfort food when you feel rotten. I start small. I'll report my daily consumed calories to my sweet husband. Good news, he has little idea what that number means, but I do, and I would not like to say a number out loud that started with 2... or 3. Or, focus on your liquid intake. I find water is a little harder for me to consume in winter months, making me more susceptible to consuming calorie dense foods. Warm water with a little lemon is a favorite (and helps with lower digestive tract movement). I also really, really like the sugar-free spiced cider packets. It's such a nice, warm treat for only 10-15 calories per packet. I can get away with 2 packets in 3-4 cups of water - bringing my water intake up an awful lot for the day. You might focus on warm veggies, too. I love a large bowl of steamed broccoli sprayed with that 0 calorie butter spray. Yum Yum! Warm and satisfying. Lots of calcium and vitamins. So few calories. Same thing works for a soup. Steam a bunch of veggies, throw in some broth, and you've got a warm, satisfying, healthy meal. Let yourself buy a new fruit or veggie, or healthy snack, if you resist buying any unhealthy snacks at the store. Yes, watermelon is super expensive in the winter months, but it's about the same price as a quart of ice cream, or 2 boxes of cookies.

Let us know how it's going. SAD is a burden I wish no one had to bear, especially you!

BOOKWORM27S SparkPoints: (0)
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2/6/12 12:39 P

Yes; I find that I crave more sugar and salt in the winter! Even though I live in Texas, so it is not terribly cold in winter.... but I do notice how the seasons effect my mood and eating patterns.

This winter I discovered taking a natural serotonin supplement has helped me feel more positive and stop sugary/salty cravings.

ANARIE Posts: 13,174
2/6/12 12:34 P

Don't think of it as "denying yourself food." Think of it as taking advantage of great seasonal foods. Cauliflower, broccoli, all sorts of greens, peas, and root vegetables are all at the peak of their season, and so are apples and citrus fruits. They're practically giving away grapefruit and oranges. Challenge yourself to try one new vegetable a week. Go to whatever store near you has the best selection of produce, and buy one interesting veggie even if it's on the expensive side. If you have a SmartPhone, look up recipes right there in the store and make sure you've got the other ingredients, and go right home and make something new.

Fitness Minutes: (5,162)
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2/6/12 12:04 P

Frenchifal makes a great point, if you "must" eat heavier tasting foods, try to make lighter versions. SparkRecipes is full of good ideas. My motto is always "when in doubt add some cooked spinach!"
Also, a half portion (or sometimes just a few bites) can go a long way in curbing your cravings for heavier foods. Try filling up on veggies and having a smaller portion of the heavier food that you crave eating. Be sure to have several healthy snacks throughout the day to keep you from feeling overly hungry and over eating when you do have a heavier food at meal time.

FRENCHIFAL SparkPoints: (139,842)
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2/6/12 11:34 A

If you're like me, you crave lots of fat and calories in the colder months...and you don't want to be out of bed that long so meals have to be quick! What works for me is crock-pot soups, easy and healthy casseroles, and slimmed-down comfort foods. I make up a big batch of, say, tomato basil soup and make a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it, or I have Chef Meg's slimmed-down macaroni, or I make up some quick and easy enchiladas or a lasagna. That way, you just have to microwave after the first serving!

Good luck!

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
2/6/12 10:54 A

I would do my best, and make sure you don't gain. MAybe add a little exercise if you think that would help, and not be overtraining.

They do make lights that are supposed to simulate sunlight, and Vitamin D pills are said to help.

My brother has this problem. He made a list of his jobs, and when he quit them. During his 20's he quit 3 jobs, always in the dead of winter. He would get moody, and angry, and just quit. Not much has helped it, but with the knowlege of what it is, he has been at his current job 12 years now. Still a grouch

You can lose 20 lbs over the summer, and then maintain. This might be good practice for maintenance. Don't use it as an excuse to binge though, and try to be happy.

SCTK519 Posts: 2,086
2/6/12 10:49 A

I would think that you need to figure out how to make your diet work in winter in spite of SAD. When winter is 4-5 months long, that's going to make a difference when you're only eating healthy half the year, especially when they say losing weight is 80% nutrition & 20% exercise.

Are you an emotional eater typically? How do you do with restricing calories in the spring & summer months? Does it become a habit? It may be easier to wait now until March, but if you're trying to eat within a certain calorie range for the rest of the time, it should become habit & your body adjusts.

GOPINTOS SparkPoints: (33,208)
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2/6/12 10:22 A

I wish I had your only 20 pounds to go haha.

While I dont have the same winter blues I dont think, for me, and this is where it may be way different from you, it is simply a matter of life or death for me. It is not a matter of to diet or not to diet. This has to become a way of life, a way of rethinking and reprogramming how and when I eat, and incorporating regular activity.

So in my case, there is no time like the present emoticon

I found myself yesterday at our super bowl party, trying to be a good girl and one time I almost said, I dont think this is on my diet, but I caught myself and instead I said, I dont think this is part of my nutrition program (or something like that was going on in my brain - I am not sure what actually came out) Point is, I am trying very hard to not think of it as a "diet" but instead rather a new food/nutrition lifestyle.

And since I dont know much about SAD, this might be way off base but it seems like anything you can do towards good nutrition and exercise would be beneficial. I havent researched but I bet there are some things that are more beneficial than others to eat.

Also, have you tried one of those lights? I am thinking my son who is bit of a night owl could benefit from one of those. And we might also but I havent really checked into it yet.

Best of luck to you and whatever you figure out works best for you!

Fitness Minutes: (5,162)
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2/6/12 9:54 A

I also have been diagnosed with SAD. I take vitamin D suppliments in winter as well as taking hikes/walks at least 2x a week. I have tried tanning which apparently works for some people but doesn't really do anything for me. I do like sitting in the sauna sometimes though, to feel like I'm sitting outside in the sun.
I also find that if I eat a nutrient dense diet during the winter it helps improve my mood. That means eating lots of veggies. A nutrient dense diet will often naturally be lower in calories because I'm skipping refined grains and overly heavy foods like cream and peanut butter. I know that eating denser foods can feel comforting in the short term but in the long term I know it just makes me more sluggish and want to hybernate. I try to eat like it's summer so I feel like it's summer!

Short version: I find eating a healthy diet (which just happens to be low calorie) in winter to be more beneficial to my SAD than not doing so. I hope that helps!

WILLOLEVIN SparkPoints: (41,176)
Fitness Minutes: (30,175)
Posts: 89
2/6/12 9:35 A

Does anyone else struggle with dieting in winter?

I'm fairly poorly affected by the winter blues (SAD), and I haven't found the energy to start the diet phase of this round of Spark-ing.

My exercise program is going great, because I get a big positive payoff from adding it to my life. Denying myself food, even in a modest way, is always very painful at this time of year, especially.

I'm gaining muscle and getting toned, but have lost no weight yet, though that wasn't my starting goal anyway. Now I'm asking myself (and you!), do I give myself until March when my mood and energy improve naturally due to the season before restricting calories, or is that a cop-out?

My overall health is good and I'm now getting 160 minutes of cardio plus three strength training sessions every week. My goals are about functional strength and good health, though weight loss would be nice, too. I'm 20 pounds above what I need for a Normal BMI.

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