Prepare to put on an additional 85 more calories or so a day until spring. Either that or increase your exercise regime to counter it.
The added calorie prediction is from medical school researchers at the University of Massachusetts who blame the longer dark nights during winter. They say the less light there is the more we will seek out food (probably from a primitive hibernating urge).
The medical students also found that Americans ate more fat and saturated fat during fall and winter compared to spring and summer.
Another reason for individuals eating more over the darker months could be the condition Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which can cause cravings for carbohydrates (treatment for which involves light therapy).
So what can we do about it?
Well, apart from running or cycling a mile or two further or adding a few more reps to our weights program, we can focus on the foods we’re eating during the coming months and try and curb that tendency for high fat.
Good foods to eat during fall and winter
Instead make soups and stews from tumor-fighting vegetables such as brussels sprouts, leeks, beets, and kale. Potato and leek soup for instance doesn’t take long to whip up and will sustain you for hours.
Pomegranate seeds can be added to oatmeal in the mornings to make a healthy and tasty breakfast.
Munch on a kiwi fruit at work, or dice it up and add it to yoghurt to keep colds at bay thanks to its high vitamin C content.
Think about nibbling on dried fruit too such as raisins, apricots and banana. Nuts are also a great snack and energy provider. Just take a handful of fruit or nuts though as eating too many will cause problems with your digestion (which, if you’ll remember, has already slowed down and feeling a bit overburdened).
Of course some researchers say our tendency to put on weight over the Christmas season has nothing to do with biological urges to hibernate. They claim it’s because it’s just so easy to get a hold of it at all those parties, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations we go to!
For more information on healthy foods to get you through the winter just ask any of our coaches here at our Kansas City Boot Camp.