Why Do We Eat More in The Winter?

Why Do We Eat More in The Winter?

Chris Perez
Jan 17, 2013

The past few weeks have been pretty rough for me and my cat. We both seem to have an insatiable appetite, wanting another snack or bite to eat just minutes after the last. What's going on? Is it the cold winter? Is it the gray skies? Or is it an expanded stomach that has got too accustomed to gingerbread and fudge? I had to find out.

"Meow." That's my cat again, begging for another treat when usually her normal eating routine will do. "Why are you so hungry all the time, now?" I ask as she politely waits by the door of the closet that contains all her food. Then my stomach rumbles just minutes after having a snack myself. "What the heck? Why am I hungry all the time, now?" Maybe this cat is onto something.

Looking for the answer I found several mentions of a study by Ira Ockene, a cardiologist at The University of Massachusetts Medical School. Turns out wanting more food during the winter is perfectly normal. It's perhaps even instinctive, as shorter days puts our biology into a "hurry up and eat everything while you can!" type of overdrive, where it signals us to eat and store food while there's available light. Eating more in the winter could also be because the act of metabolizing food generates heat and keeps us warm. Eating may be our bodies' solution to keeping balanced and comfortable. I'm going with that answer because I know my cat is all about the comfort (and pets don't know how to lie).

So what can we do about it, especially during the months we're most focused on shedding pounds? Turn to high protein meals over carbs as they will keep your body satisfied longer. Perhaps a bowl of warm white chicken chili, or some whole wheat fig bars (which are one of the fruits high in protein). Mmmmm, now I'm hungry again. I bet my cat is, too.

Related: 10 Ways to Eat More Vegetables Every Day

(Images: Chris Perez)

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