It’s normal to find a nice thick blanket, cozy up to a pillow and snack away on something warm to quell those hunger pangs that don’t seem to end during winter. This is often complemented with sudden weight gain and you’re left wondering where that excess weight came from. Well, there are several reasons for feeling hungrier during winter and we’re about to explore them.
Reasons for Feeling Hungrier During Winter
- High metabolism: During winter, our metabolism is quite high as the body tries to keep itself warm due to those teeth sputtering chill. The body produces more heat in order to combat the chill outside which is known as thermogenesis. To carry out this function, it requires extra calories which get burnt during the process, hence need extra food.
- Food Produces Heat: In cold weather, our body needs more calories to keep itself warm with the help of some involuntary activities like shivering. Hence, the body craves more food. When these extra calories start burning, it makes the body warm. Here, we need to remember not to satisfy the cravings with high sugar or high-fat foods as they raise blood sugar levels causing weight gain.
- Winter Comes With Multiple Choices: It’s the best time of the year for multiple reasons. One of those being food! Vegetables and fruits flood the markets. Plus, a lot of winter recipes are prepared with rich ingredients which induce weight gain. One can’t help but indulge in sweets this season brings. Not feeling hungry is definitely not an option
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): As the days are shorter, we generally prefer staying indoors which can lead to Vitamin D deficiency and also lower levels of serotonin (happy hormone which generates because of exposure to daylight). These deficiencies typically causes Seasonal Emotional Disturbance or Seasonal Affective Disorder – SAD : a sort of depression related to the shorter days of winter, which affects many of us. It is seen that individuals stricken from SAD crave more carbohydrates, as these facilitate the body’s use of tryptophan (amino acid) which can be converted into serotonin to spike up lower levels in the blood.
- Lazy Mornings: It becomes really difficult to get out of your cozy bed during winter mornings to go out for a walk, workout or even work. People prefer lying comfortably in bed, watching a TV show while binging on snacks endlessly. This increase in snacking and lack of physical activity make us gain extra kilos.
Tips to Avoid Eating More
- Whenever you crave for food, try choosing some healthy options like salads, soups, sautéed veggies combined with proteins as these are high in fibre and gives a feeling of fullness.
- Go out during the day to expose your body to the sun for some vitamin D and to boost your serotonin levels.
- Perform your regular exercises as it helps in boosting your mood and avoids indulgence in unnecessary snacking.
- Go out with friends or play with a pet if you are stressed. Don’t look at food as an alternative coping mechanism.
The bottom line is – eat mindfully and enjoy winters! We hope this article helps you make healthier choices. For more winter tips, check out Healthy Reads or ask a GOQii Coach by subscribing for Personalised Health Coaching here: https://goqiiapp.page.link/bsr