Do the very cold months of winter contribute to an increased appetite and craving for high-calorie foods?
in a past ages Long before humans lived in warm homes insulated from the cold weather, and before they were able to buy a variety of food at the local grocery store any time they wanted, winter was a dangerous time. The fall harvest limited the amount of food available during the colder months, and once these supplies were used, it was difficult to get additional resources unless you were very rich.
For this reason, the urge to overeat at the first wave of cold weather may be deeply ingrained in our biology. It’s a survival drive from earlier, when our bodies were trying to store all the calories that could help us survive in times of scarcity.
It also explains why we crave foods rich in carbohydrates, sugar and fats, that our bodies hope to allocate sufficient stores to ensure life is maintained.
Food makes us warmer
Another factor to consider is that consuming calories also warms the body, as you add energy to your system, and because cold weather makes your body temperature drop, you may feel the need to eat more.
The point is, if you respond to this urge by indulging in foods high in sugar and fat, you will cause your blood sugar levels to rise, followed by a drop that makes you feel colder and hungrier than before, which means a vicious cycle of hunger, putting you at risk of weight gain due to Consuming extra calories.
Winter means that the day is shorter than the night, which means that exposure to sunlight is very scarce, so many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency. You may also experience low levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of happiness and well-being, which also results from exposure to sunlight.
has shown Studies People with seasonal affective disorder tend to crave carbohydrates, as they help the body use tryptophan, an amino acid that can be converted into serotonin to increase lower levels in the blood.
Says Ira Okin, a cardiologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, “We’ve been driven by things that have been implanted in our brain for a very long time.”
Oken’s research has documented that calorie intake tends to increase as the weather turns colder. He also referred to another study conducted at the University of Georgia confirming the increased desire to eat coinciding with the winter season.
Researchers closely followed the eating pattern of large numbers of people from season to season. It turns out that the subjects in the study consumed about 200 extra calories per day starting in the fall when the days got darker.
Oken says we seem to be very sensitive to light. A little of it, he added, makes us look for and eat food faster.
Marcia Belchat of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia offers another explanation: “It’s possible that our winter eating habits are born of opportunity. There are more holiday feasts, better leftovers, and fewer opportunities to exercise outside. Our environment seems to encourage us to eat the food”.
“These sweets are often associated with good memories. And the associations we have – memories of food – can make us want them more.”
She explained that the stronger the association between food and the memory of loving food, the more likely it was to binge and eat it randomly.
How to avoid gaining weight in the winter?
Says Bolivian Janet“There is a strong relationship between protein intake and satiety,” said Dr., who studies the psychology of eating at the University of Toronto in Mississauga.
She added that complete food deprivation can be counterproductive and lead to overeating. If you crave carbohydrates, try adding some protein.
If you feel very cold and need a hot drink, avoid hot chocolate and replace it with hot tea, especially tea with spices such as cardamom and cloves, or enjoy a coffee drink, and avoid adding sweetened cream, marshmallows, or large amounts of sugar.
Soups containing legumes, such as beans or lentils, may be a good alternative to cream soup.
Even if you don’t exercise regularly, you can move around the house or buy orders yourself, as it will stimulate your body to move and stay active, and distract your mind from thinking about unhealthy types of food.
Trick your brain into feeling full by including food full of complex carbohydrates like oats, barley, brown rice and wholegrain bread in your diet.