Its been about 2 months now since I have seen any additional weight loss. Don’t get me wrong, loosing 30lbs is nothing to be sad about. But I could stand to loose another 30 or so. I have been trying to sort out the many factors could be putting a wrench in my weight-loss machinery.
I have narrowed my list to the following suspects in order of likelihood:
- the Fall season (and the reason for writing this post)
- additional stress in my life
- letting “slip” too many extra pieces of candy
- too many grain “cheats”
I do not believe there is enough added stress in my life to justify the lack of weight loss. I was under much more stress back in July-August. Its possible it is a different type of stress however. Who knows?
The 3rd and 4th item are possible – BUT I believe they are a side-effect of the first. Over the last 2 months I have noticed myself craving more sugary and richer foods, such as M&Ms. My meals have otherwise have stayed pretty much the same although I have noticed a harder time resisting grains. Suspect Number 1: Autumn.
I love the Fall season: Halloween, Thanksgiving, changing of the leaves, cooler air (I was born end of August if that has anything to do with it). I have had several patients these last 2 weeks come in complaining of either weight gain or trouble loosing weight. It can’t just be a coincidence? I did some searching and found this article:
Does the cold weather make it harder to get in shape? by Chrisitian Finn
He makes several points in the article that seemed interesting and quite feesible in that colder temperatures cause:
- less calorie burning when doing physical activity and in general
- drops in Growth Hormone and Testosterone and changes in other hormones
- rise in Lipoprotein Lipase and Cortisol which both encourage fat storage
- drop in Serotonin
Although I think they are all relevant, I think the big one here is the last one – our friend Serotonin, aka the “feel good hormone” (though not techincally a hormone).
On my Weight Loss page, 5-HTP is recommended as a supplement to keep cravings for grains at bay for new converts. It works by being converted from 5-Hydroxy-Tryptophan (5-HTP) to 5-Hydroxy-Tyrptamine (5-HT which is the chemical name for Serotonin). Other websites I have come across suggest that the increase in night-hours causes an increase in Melatonin, which is synthesized from Serotonin so the body may “steal” Serotonin to make Melatonin. Some of the above effects may also be caused by increased Melatonin.
Another proposed explanation is dropping Vitamin D levels. I don’t buy into this one as much because the end of summer should theoretically mark the highest Vitamin D levels of the year because of accumulation over the summer. Synthesis of Vitamin D by sunlight on the skin makes other metabolites in addition to Vitamin D which may be important as well. It is more feasible that it is not the dropping level, but the decreasing synthesis of Vitamin D that may contribute to the over-all problem.
- Just wait it out – spring will be here before you know it
- Take extra Vitamin D or make short visits to the tanning booth (of course, don’t over-do either)
- Take 5-HTP
- Get more sleep during winter months, ensure 7-9 hours of sleep at night