Losing weight can be a tough battle. It takes a certain mindset to change unhealthy eating habits and focus on eating more nutritious foods that are still low in calories. On the plus side, it can be done – and many people have succeeded in reaching their ideal body weight by changing the way they eat and exercise. If you’ve truly made the commitment to start losing weight, that’s half of the battle since it takes mental resolve to change bad eating habits. Surprisingly, you could have an easier time shedding extra pounds at certain times of the year. When is the best time to start losing weight?
Is It Best to Start to Lose Weight in the Warm or Colder Months?
Two of the most popular times of year for changing bad eating and exercise habits is at the beginning of the new year – and just before beach season. Who doesn’t feel inspired to eat healthier as the New Year approaches – or after flipping through a magazine featuring the latest swimwear?
As it turns out, you may have more success if you start to lose weight before bikini season rather than after the New Year. Why? The days are longer in April and May and you’re exposed to more sunlight as summer approaches which helps to reduce cravings for carbohydrates and other unhealthy foods.
Most people also experience a surge in energy as the days become longer and brighter. You’ll also have more opportunities to be out and about with trips to the park and to the pool during warm weather. Most people are naturally more active during the spring and summer – especially if they live in an area that has very cold winters.
Why It’s Best Not to Start Losing Weight in the Winter
Winter is a time when carbohydrate cravings usually peak. You’re exposed to less light during the winter which causes serotonin levels to plummet which triggers food cravings. Vitamin D and melatonin levels are lower, and cortisol levels are higher which can make it more difficult to lose weight in the winter. People are naturally less active – especially those who live in a very cold climate – and opportunities for exercise are fewer. Most people feel more like curling up with a good book by the fireplace when temperatures drop rather than heading outdoors to run a few laps on the snow covered streets.
The Best Time to Start to Lose Weight?
Of course, a healthy lifestyle and an exercise plan are important any time of year. But, if you’re only recently made up your mind to start losing weight, it may be less challenging to begin in May or June rather than December or January. December may be the most challenging month of all – for obvious reasons. You can be successful losing weight any time of year, but starting to lose weight in the spring or summer has its advantages.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 82, 4015-4019
Obesity Research, 3, 477S-480S