Hearty rich foods, crumbles, creamy sauces, pies and hot pots… do you crave more of these foods in the winter?
Is this winter appetite all in our heads, or is there a reason why we may want to eat more in cold weather?
No you are not imagining things. This is actually nature's way of keeping us warm in winter! It’s a survival impulse from an earlier time, when our bodies would have tried to store up all the calories they could to help us survive in times of scarcity- much in the same way that a wild animal puts on fat in preparation for hibernation.
However, nowadays we have well insulated homes and cosy fires if you’re fortunate enough, well stocked supermarkets and cupboards- but the urge to eat more food may be deeply ingrained in our biological makeup.
It’s a phenomenal survival instinct!
However, here are my top tips to avoid overeating.
Fill up on fibre rich foods. Hearty soups, stews and root seasonal vegetables along with protein helps keep you feeling satisfied.
Find healthier alternatives to your favourite comfort foods eg. I love apple/berry crumble and making a healthy version of it.
Get outside everyday during daylight hours. Try to get some sun rays on your skin to top up your Vitamin D and serotonin levels.
If you think you suffer from SAD do seek professional help. You can also buy special lights that may help.
Continue to exercise regularly. Stick to your routine as it definitely boosts endorphins/mood and helps you make healthier daily choices.
Find other sources of comfort when you feel stressed. I tell my clients about the 60 second rule. Walk away for 60 seconds. Nine times out of ten you will realise you didn’t need that unhealthy snack and busy yourself with something else.
Wear cosy, warm clothes. When your body temperature drops, you may feel the urge to eat more. The catch is that if you respond to this urge by indulging in high sugar, high fat foods, you’re going to cause a spike in your blood sugar levels followed by a dip which will leave you feeling colder and hungrier than before- causing the entire cycle to start again and you are at risk of putting on weight due to excess calorie consumption.
Fill your time with things you enjoy. When we are bored, we are more likely to eat. The more engaged we are the less tempted we feel to indulge.
I hope this was helpful and feel free to share it to loved ones that could benefit. 💗