Why We Eat More in Winter

We eat more primarily because we have a larger appetite in the winter. The cause of this is not entirely clear, but hypotheses are a-plenty. From daylight savings time, to the cold weather, to seasonal affective disorder – there are different thoughts on why it is that our brain’s appetite center is triggered more so during the rainy season. As always, I feel healthier is always better. In other words, it is best to consume foods which are closer to the ground or their original state, and which are not processed.

I am not saying to go ‘raw vegan’ for the winter, but I am saying to pay more attention to what you eat. Also, as if we needed a reminder, we need to keep some measure of control to avoid the dreaded ‘holiday weight’… As for ‘winter foods’, my go to is soup. Always was. This is the optimal time for creating soups of all kinds, experimenting with homemade croutons, filling the kitchen with exotic scents, and learning new definitions and hot’n’spicy meanings of the phrase ‘warm soup belly’. The urge to eat will be there. Might as well provide it with something nutritious and versatile; something which can come pretty much at any point during a meal – or even act as a standalone meal – and leave you wanting more. Two words, people – bread bowl.

Being cold also burns a lot more calories than being warm. Shivering burns a lot of calories. That is why you shiver, the act of burning calories will warm up your core body temperature. Historically there was also less food available during the winter. It is only in recent times that there was just as much food in summer and winter. People would want to try and gain as much weight as they could in the summer since they really wouldn’t know if they would have enough food to last through the winter. Similar to how a bear gains weight before hibernation. People would try to gain weight when there was ample food around. Your body tells you to gain weight during the winter as a survival barrier to starvation.

It will probably be a few generations to shake this old held dietary trait. There are many traits that have carried over from the past that are no longer relevant, things like metabolisms are massively different than 100 years ago. In the past people wanted to gain body fat but today with our abundance of food we no longer need to gain weight at the same rate and with our overabundance of food we learned the negative health effects of being overweight. Now being fat is not a desired trait. People didn’t try to lose weight in ancient times only a couple people who were very wealthy were even capable of being overweight. So you and your children will feel the urge to eat a lot in the winter but if you breed properly then maybe your grandchildren will not have the same cravings.  Unless the entire evolution thing isn’t true, but only time and scientific studies will show us.

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