The chilly air often leads to chills and food cravings. When the temperatures start to drop, it’s not uncommon for our appetites to run wild – but why? Why are we hungrier when it’s cold? As winter approaches, you may find yourself becoming a professional nibbler or left perplexed by your overflowing plate as you sit down to eat each evening. Well, ask yourself no more questions! We are here today to answer it (or at least try to answer it): why does the cold make us hungry? Let’s dive right in and find out!
Our body is looking for additional energy sources to reward the cold.
The cold makes us feel hungry more than usual due to physiological and psychological reactions. Physiologically, our body expends more energy to maintain its temperature when exposed to a cold climate. To replace this increased caloric expenditure, the body is tricked into signaling a feeling of hunger in order to absorb additional food sources for energy. That’s why we often crave comfort foods that are hot and high in calories, like hot chocolate and pastries, during the winter.
Our psychological state triggers a feeling of hunger in cold temperatures.
On the other hand, research has also shown that our emotions are disrupted by the cold, which can cause us to overeat or be hungrier than usual. To deal with the situation. Studies conducted at Cornell University suggest that people who live in colder climates tend to experience higher levels of depression, anxiety, and stress due to shorter days and less sun exposure. Due to this emotional distress, individuals may seek out food for comfort or consolation, causing them to consume more food than necessary, even though their body does not need it for nourishment.
We develop a seasonal behavior.
Finally, another reason why we are hungrier in winter is due to an evolutionary adaptation known as the compulsion to hibernate. It is an instinctive desire to gain weight in late fall and early winter in response to decreasing hours of daylight and changing temperatures. These evolutionary signals prompt some individuals to eat larger portions and richer foods, such as carbohydrates and animal fats, in order to prepare for periods of hibernation if they arise (which is rarely the case these days). ).
All of these things combined cause us to crave hot comfort foods or eat large portions of rich foods without considering our body’s real needs.
How can we better manage our appetite in winter?
The winter season can lead to profuse hunger and cravings that can be difficult to control. Recognizing the symptoms of hunger is key to managing increased appetite during this season. Typical signs may include dizziness, yawning, decreased speed and concentration, fatigue, stomach gurgling, and irritability.
Differentiate between physical hunger and emotional hunger.
It is important to differentiate between physical hunger and emotional hunger. Physical hunger usually sets in gradually over time and is characterized by specific signals from the body, such as lightheadedness or stomach gurgling. Emotional hunger, on the other hand, is more sudden in nature and often linked to our feelings or situations like boredom or stress.
Identify hunger triggers.
When it comes to dealing with an increased appetite during the winter months, it’s important to first determine if you’re actually hungry or if other factors may be contributing to your desire to eat. For example, emotions or activation of our senses, such as smell, can cause us to crave certain foods even when we are not physically hungry. Once we identify the causes of our cravings, strategies such as eating healthy snacks throughout the day or engaging in activities such as going for a walk outside can help us get over it. keep unnecessary food away while helping us satisfy our emotional or social need for food through positive activities rather than our eating habits alone.
Acquire a conscious diet.
Mindful eating, which means paying attention to how much you eat and being mindful of every bite, can help prevent overeating, which could lead to guilt by the following.
Overall, it’s essential to consider why you’re hungry in the winter before making a decision on what to eat; this will prevent you from consuming unwanted extra calories and give you more control over your eating habits in general.