As the days are getting shorter and the nights get colder, you may notice a larger desire to kick back with a bowl of comfort food. If your appetite seems to rise as the temperature drops, you’re not alone. Physical activity was also lowest in winter and highest in spring, making it easier to gain weight in winter. Here a few reasons why and offer a solution to combat the cold weather behaviors.
1. We crave high-calorie comfort foods.
When we feel cold, our body sends a self-preservation message to our brain to do whatever it can to warm up, which includes reaching for carbohydrate-heavy foods that provide that fastest ‘heat’ as quick-burning energy.
The Fix: To warm up without overloading on refined carbohydrates and excess calories, warm foods that are still light and lean, like vegetable-based soups and hot teas. Broth-based soups can be an excellent way to warm up in cool weather months. Try Millie’s Sipping Broth Steepables.
2. Our emotional connection to food gets the best of us.
Do you find it hard to pass up Grandma’s famous pumpkin pie or Aunt Sandy’s sweet potato casserole? Research has found that when we know a food has been made with love, we tend to eat more due to the emotional connection. That being said, you shouldn’t throw away your health goals, either.
The Fix: Instead of eating on the emotional sway some foods have and impulse, follow this simple tip, Survey the entire table before filling your plate. Choose the handful of items you must try, then fill the rest of your plate with healthy eats like cut veggies and fruit.
3. The winter blues can trigger a binge.
The shorter days and lack of daylight can make preventing winter weight gain a challenge. SAD or seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that is related to the changes in seasons. Lack of daylight appears to be a trigger for this form of depression, which can lead to low energy, decreased motivation, and increased moodiness. Not only can this disorder lead to changes in mood, but it has been linked to an increase in binge eating as well.
The Fix: If you find that your mood and energy levels significantly alter as soon as the seasons begin to change, discuss it with your doctor. There are many treatment options for SAD that may help to elevate your mood while reducing the desire to binge.
By recognizing your triggers, you can work to overcome these obstacles for a healthier winter. Email Cynthia@502fitpass.com for questions or more information.