This Is Why You Put On Extra Pounds in Winter

sloppy joesAnd now, from the "I Knew That Already" files: Cardiologist Ira Ockene says we eat more calories in winter months. And another study says we gobble 200 more calories a day once fall arrives and the days get shorter. Really, scientists, you could have consulted my waistline for that information. But that's not all -- Ockene wants to know why we get so hungry in the colder months.

He thinks it has something to do with the light. Less light makes us look for food and eat it faster. You know, like a chipmunk storing food for the winter! It kind of makes sense, I guess. Only instead of storing food in our cheeks or in tree trunks, we store it in our butt cheeks and our tubby trunks. But is that the most logical explanation?


Another researcher says it's not about the light, it's about all the holiday food around us. Well yeah! Starting around Thanksgiving, it's pie and turkey for days on end. Oh -- except after New Year's, it's all over. Valentines Day is not a big food day (unless you use it as an excuse to binge on chocolate). So what keeps us chowing into the New Year?

Maybe it's just the winter blues. Winter is depressing. It's cold all the time and it lasts too long. Roast beasts and brownies and mashed potatoes may be the sole source of pleasure through the harsh winter months. I bet the phrase "comfort food" was invented around January 15 or so. Food is the winter coat you wear on the inside when you're feeling dark and chilly on the outside

But what if you're trying NOT to grow a layer of joy around your middle this winter? Psychology of eating researcher Janet Polivy doesn't recommend we deprive ourselves of yummies. Yay Janet! That's what I like to hear. Instead, she suggests MODERATION. Boo! I mean -- okay. You're right. And it's also a good idea to get some satisfying protein in there rather than loading up on carbs. But you already knew that, right? Right. Now who wants seconds of eggnog?

Do you think you eat more in the winter? Do you crave different foods?


Image via whitneyinchicago/Flickr

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