This Is Why You Put On Extra Pounds in Winter

Healthy Living 17

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

diets, eating healthy, weight loss


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ashjo85 ashjo85

Maybe because one's favorite blog site keeps posting recipes of fattening (albeit delicious) cupcakes, pies, candy, and using pictures of steamy sloppy joe sandwiches on their stories....yeah. I'm going with that. :-)

Sammy... SammyMama

Wow, Really232.  You better look like a g-d supermodel, with an attitude like that.  Merry Christmas and all!!!


mich.... mich.el.le

I heard that carbs increase our seratonin levels, which dip in the winter because of less sunlight.

MrsDavid MrsDavid

Where I live we lose weight in the winter because the weather is finally mild enough to get outside!  It's so blazing hot here we stay in most of the summer.

CantS... CantStandThis

For me it's more being depressed, and not having the time or money. I don't have time to hop; on a treadmill, really 232. Why? Because I have to take buses and cannot drive, (have a phobia and cannot safetly do so, so I refuse to put your skinny B!tches in danger, 232, so you can continue to model as the trophy wife you are. Couple that with 3 kids, 1 who NEEDS a stay at home mom, as he has autism, I can't do it on the weekdays, nor can I head to the gym on the weekends when my autistic child doesn't want me to leave his side. I cannot afford to buy a treadmill for the house either, nor do I have room to store it even if I had the $$$ to buy it. I do things I can do, situps, running in place, etc, but it never does much. At this point I feel terrible and weigh 251, even with eating right, eating LESS and excercising at home when I do have a little spare time.  So screw off 232, kiss my ass, and continue smiling at your husband, you TROPHY B!tch.

I may not be a hottie, except to my dh, but he LOVES me unlike your dh who just wants you sitting on his MANTLE and LOOKING PRETTY.

Photo... Photomom89

Ummm... why does every article on this site have to turn into some horrible nasty argument? It isn't like it was a controversial subject... Good greif. Of course we eat more in the winter but as long as you are eating healthy and have a well balanced life style, you should be fine. I crave meat and potatoes in the winter and fresh fruits and veggies in the summer. Probably because that is what is in season and it is totally natural. 

Hilde... Hildegarde

It should be easy enough to discover if it's a cultural reason for gaining weight in the winter, not every country celebrates thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. Also eating due to depression is likely for some, others eat less when depressed. I will tell you I think it's from the weather, not light necessarily. But when it's cold, I eat to warm up, calories=energy=heat it's as simple as that. The other weather related factor is boredom, when it's yucky out and you can't get out and do what you would like, it's easy to eat to pass the time by eating.

Reall... Really232

Where'd my comment go?

In reply to the ladies above, no I'm not a trophy wife. What I am though is a hard worker! My day goes, wake up at 5 go for a run while the kids are sleeping, back home by 6 to take a shower and get ready for my job, wake the kids up by 6:30 and get everyone ready. Drop all kids off by 8, get to work by 8:15. At 1 I take lunch and do an hours worth of errands for my business (I have a full time job and my own business). Off work by 5, kids picked up and home by 6. Put the kids on their bikes/strollers and off we go, they ride and I run. Home by 6:30 to make dinner then everyone's in the tub by 7:30. I get everyone to sleep by 9. I then do a 30 mins of Pilates followed by 2 hours worth of either school work (full time student) or business work! Hopefully I am lucky enough to get to bed by 12 every night. Because I said you ladies needed to get on a treadmill doesn't mean you need to take offense, UNLESS you are an entitled fata$$ that eats crap, is lazy and refuses to do anything about it aside from whine! I like myself b/c I literally work my a$$ off! Try it sometime, it works wonders! Until you do something about your issues stop blaming everyone, for YOUR problems! If you can't work out, then don't eat crap! But how in the hell do you sleep at night by blaming your child cantstandthis? That's the most ignorant thing I have heard in a long time! Exercise with your kid. If you can't, then don't blame skinny people for YOUR problems!

Reall... Really232

Oh and cantstandthis, yes I do look good to my husband, again, because I work at it. I refuse to make excuses like "I work out when I can find time" that's an excuse and a poor one at that! If I can be a full time wife, mother, business owner, paralegal and student, I'm sure you can too!! And btw you're not the only one with 3 kids and special circumstances! My husband has cancer, and yet I still manage to do everything because I have no choice! While he's in bed sick or drunk from his alcoholism I'm doing everything! So call me a trophy wife if that makes you sleep better at night, but that's far from what I am, trophy wives are lazy, I am not! So take that pill and attempt to swallow it!

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