why do people gain weight in the winter

By Becca DiCenso Ever feel like your stomach becomes a bottomless pit when itБs cold outside? The winter season consists of parties, family gatherings, and snow days that all have one thing in common: Food. These long months often feel like endless days of eating, eating, and. well, more eating. You canБt seem to stop eating once youБve started, and you always seem to put on weight during those cold times. Sure, you can employ these
to be the bloat, but it might only be a few days until youБre dipping into some warm spinach artichoke dip for the tenth time. If you feel like winter makes you hungrier, youБre not alone; research has discovered that it really Бmust be the weather. Б HereБs why: Back in the day, being underweight was a real worry. Food was scarce, and it was natural to gather more during the winter season when it was the shortest in supply.

That makes sense, but what else is new? Well, research was done using a computer model that predicted just how much fat an animal (including us humans) should be storing during the winter months in order to. The target body weight that was discovered for the animal was over the level in which it loses weightБbut below which it tries to gain weight. Since there werenБt any stimulations insisting that there is a negative effect on energy when the weight goes above that level, we subconsciously lose control of fighting that urge to eat the extra cupcake or another slice of pizza. Translation: Our basic instinct is to worry about not having enough food, but never to worry if weБre having too much.

We naturally fear starvation more than obesity when it was cold out because Бtoo much foodБ wasnБt a problem for most of the 200,000 years homo sapiens have been around. Back to winter. WeБve come to a point where people accept that the winter equals weight gain and unhealthy habitsБbut that shouldnБt be a reason to morph into human vacuums around the appetizer table. Now that you know this chilly season has an appetite of its own, you can learn to build up your willpower when it comes to overindulging. Try upping your protein intake and cut out some of those greasy trans fat belly bloaters. Go for the veggies and hummus instead of the smorgasbord of cold cuts and cheeses. Be realistic, stay active, and take action on eating wholesome, nutritious foodsБand turn to these when you need some extra help.

MORE FROM EAT THIS, NOT THAT! MELT UP TO 10 POUNDS IN ONE WEEK! WITH OUR BEST-SELLING NEW DIET PLAN,! Test panelists lost up to 4 inches from their waist! Available now! 2. Never go to a party hungry " are where we need to get our carbohydrates, and not from alcohol and brownies," says Jule Anne Henstenberg, RD, director of the program at La Salle University. "Use high-fiber to fill up before a party. " Eat a bunch of baby carrots, a big salad, or an apple, for example, to curb your desire for empty party-food calories. "When we eat outside the home, studies suggest that we may take in 40% more calories than we would otherwise," says Cheskin. "We even have seen this finding replicated in animal models. " So much of our eating is not related to, he says.

The more variety of foods available at a meal, the more likely you are to eat more food. "The stress of a social setting and an environment with many food choices and alcohol will tend to foster overeating," Cheskin says. "So these are good times to be on guard. " 3. Avoid alcohol Alcohol is loaded with calories. And since "many holiday celebrations involve drinking, it's easy to take in a lot of calories without being aware that you are," says Scott Isaacs, MD, clinical instructor of medicine at Emory University and medical director at Intelligent Health Center. "Drink a glass of water or a diet soda before and after each beverage to help pace yourself and to dilute calories," says Isaacs, who is also the author of Hormonal Balance: Understanding Hormones, Weight and Your. 4.

Practice calorie damage control "If you do overeat, don't 'fall off the wagon. '" says Isaacs. "Make up for it by cutting your calories for a few days and adding extra exercise. " And get exercise in anywhere you can, says Giannetto. Take a brisk walk on your lunch break and after dinner. At work, use stairs rather than the elevator. "When you get just 100 fewer calories per day through and exercise or both, that is the equivalent of 10 pounds per year. " 5. Remember to have fun "The main reason you're at a party is to see people and celebrate, not to eat a lot of high-calorie foods," says Cheskin. "So be aware of why you're there and make that your focus. " В 2003 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.