Published: 11/14/2012 - Updated: 09/15/2018
If you cannot resist eating a steaming hot bowl of homemade food on a cold night, you're not the only one. This is the reason why we like to eat when winter is coming.
From late autumn to spring, most people simply cannot resist the temptation of our favorite foods, from cookies and hot chocolate, to bowls of potatoes and cheese. It is not entirely clear whether this desire to eat more during the winter is an animal instinct to feed in order to survive the cold weather, or if it is simply because foods high in fat and calories are more available during the winter season.
It could be nostalgia
If your desires of cold weather take form of pasta, cookies, cakes, and other carbohydrates, you may actually be suffering from seasonal affective disorder.
It is normal to want to face the cold long nights filling yourself with food. Numerous studies have shown that the brain produces a sense of happiness when we eat foods high in fat and calories.
But you can fight it. If you're feeling nostalgic for the seasonal change, then try to include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon or oily fish. Omega-3s have been shown to have a positive effect on our mood and energy. Fish protein helps us feel satisfied.
If you can’t fight the desire, choose natural options. For example, if your want a pasta dish, try pasta made with whole grains, and low fat cheese, try to include vegetables in your preparation.
If you want a sweet food, you can drink a steaming cup of dark hot chocolate, which is useful reducing the risk of heart disease. It elevates healthy cholesterol levels, and is practically a happiness injection.
In addition, some studies have shown that physically hot things, like a hot shower or a hot drink, may help people feel happier and less alone at this time.
Losing weight in winter
Surely you've heard that losing weight in winter is more difficult than in other seasons. This is due not only to our mood, but also to the celebrations that will come, in which foods are usually rich in fats and carbohydrates.
But this is not all bad. Experts advise to have a little more lenient expectations in winter, and if your intention now is to lose weight, you should consider a new goal: maintain your weight and avoid gaining it.
It is considered normal to gain a little weight at this time, especially in Christmas season; however, nutritionists recommend not to abuse and eat in excess. You can consume some cravings, but avoid falling into excess. Do not forget to eat enough fruits and vegetables.
Stick to a balanced diet of whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables most of the time, so, when you find the opportunity to eat other foods you won’t suffer major consequences.
The cold climate makes us sedentary; most people stop exercising or reduce the hours of physical activity at this time. To keep the exercise routine, search alternatives at home like stationary bike, or walk; they can be the difference between winning extra kilos at this time. Remember, use proper warm clothes and take the necessary precautions to prevent the common cold of the time.