2 Reasons Why Winter Affects Your Eating
The cooler temperatures can have a significant effect on when, how much and what you eat. Laura Cipullo, RD, author of The Body Clock Diet explains that this might all be part of biology, where the winter months may make you more inclined to eat more, and more energy-dense foods.
And there are also other factors, such as food-focused holidays and potentially spending more hours at home that can also contribute to different eating patterns.
Here’s how winter affects the food you want to eat:
1. Winter May Actually Make You Hungrier
Research shows that cool weather may be part of evolution to fatten you to survive tough environmental conditions, the way many other animals do. One study published in the journal Nature found that ‘participants did consume an average of 86 more calories per day in fall, compared with spring, and ate more fat and saturated fat in the winter months.’ But the researchers that conducted that study also noted that over the course of a year that magnitude of “extra” calories was fairly small.1
A review published in 2013 in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, which looked at data both in people and in animals, found that seasonal changes did affect many hormones related to hunger and appetite, including glucocorticoids, ghrelin, and leptin.2
Longer nights and fewer daylight hours may affect food cravings, too. Sunlight is one of the factors that triggers the release of the hormone serotonin, a mood booster. Carbohydrate intake (due to the insulin that gets released as a result) also increases serotonin levels. Research suggests that people may crave carbohydrates as a way to improve mood.3
2. Winter Foods You Should Be Eating
The following are some foods which you should be eating in order to fill your belly, warm you up and make you feel good:
- Vegetable bake
- Citrus fruits – high in vitamin C.
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