Winter Weight Alert: Why You Eat More When It’s Cold Out
There’s a reason you feel hungrier when it’s cold out. Control your cravings with these comfort food makeovers.
Chocolate, pasta, bread, mac and cheese, just some of the things I’ve been looking to devour lately. No, I’m not pregnant, just living in a place with 20-degree weather.
It turns out my cravings have a scientific basis. In a study published in 2006 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School reported that the changing seasons can affect our appetites, making us more hungry in the fall and winter, for example.
“I usually hear more people complain they’re hungrier from the later part of October all the way through the end of February,” says Angela Ginn, a registered dietician and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “During those times you’re inside more and more idle time inside equals more mindless eating.”
Ginn offers these ideas for making your favorite winter comfort foods healthier:
Use the oven. Instead of frying foods like chicken or French fries consider baking them instead. Baking produces less saturated fat while still giving foods a crispy texture.
Ditch the cream. Replace the cream contained in many winter foods with low-fat milk or yogurt or a low-sodium broth. For chicken pot pie, for example, use chicken broth to prepare the vegetables and then mix fat free or skim milk with water and flour to create the sauce for the filling.