There's A Totally Legit Reason Why You Can't Stop Eating RN
Anyone else feel like they'e scoffing literally double the amount of food as normal recently?
We were starting to wonder if we were the only ones whose tummies were constantly grumbling, and whose hands were constantly reaching for the snacks, but a quick poll of friends and family revealed that we're far from alone.
"In the last few weeks I genuinely cannot stop eating," a friend tells me. "I can honestly get through about four packs of crisps a day. It's like period cravings, but worse".
Another adds: "I feel like I want to comfort eat but times a million. I often get like this when it becomes darker and colder. It's like my appetite suddenly expands".
A casual scroll through social media proves that others feel the same, too.
"I think my stomach is trained to be hungrier this time of the year," one Twitter user wrote, echoing the sentiments of many.
Speaking to Tyla, May Simpkin, nutritionist and consultant to Enzymedica UK, confirms that there are several reasons for an increase in appetite in winter - the first being a dip in mood.
"It is not uncommon to feel low as the weather changes and we hunker down indoors for the winter after the glorious summer months and [we often] find ourselves eating more to seek comfort from food," she says.
The reduction in temperature also means our bodies are pushed to work harder, too, meaning we need more food to give us energy - essentially going into survival mode by craving more calories.
'When it is colder, our bodies have to work harder to generate heat, and in doing so, it burns more calories," she adds.
"This in turn can stimulate our appetite and we find ourselves eating more."
On top of this, "shorter, colder winter days are less inviting to venture outside" which also means we tend to be less active.
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"The less active we are, the more time we have to eat unnecessarily, sometimes out of sheer boredom," May says.
The final reason for your increased appetite is dehydration - which might sound odd in the winter months, but it can actually be more of an issue than when the sun's out.
"We are more likely to end up dehydrated in winter as we sit in warm heated environments with layers of clothing, which can cause us to sweat," May explains.
"If you are not ensuring you're drinking enough, you can often confuse mild dehydration with hunger and reach for a snack rather than a drink."
So, what do you do if you're snacking more than normal?
May says "there are a number of ways to warm up without overeating or loading up on calorie-laden quick fixes.
"Try drinking more hot drinks, like herbal teas throughout the day, but don't dismiss tea and particularly coffee; the caffeine is a natural metabolism booster which can generate warmth inside the body."
She adds that we should "opt for broth-based soups, packed with plenty of vegetables, beans and pulses which will not only warm you but will also satiate so you're not craving more food soon after."
Of course, throwing on an extra layer will also help those cold weather cravings, as will making sure you're drinking enough water and keeping your mood in check, however you can.
"Having a positive mindset and focusing on meal planning to ensure good food choices, as well as factoring in to exercise to stay active, will go a long way to alleviate these negative feelings," May advises.
And lastly, we thought we'd throw in a tip of our own. Ask yourself, does it matter?
If your body genuinely needs the calories then we think there's nothing wrong with listening to your cravings and having a bit of a carb feast every now and then.
Now if you'll excuse us, we're off to throw on a jumper, glug down some water and order a pizza.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock
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