Why Do We Crave Sugar In Winter
The cold weather triggers a strong craving for rich, warm, gooey foods which are often high in calories! Why do winters make us long for decadent, sugary foods? Here’s how winter affects our appetite.
Our cravings for sugar catapult as the temperature drops. Increased appetite is the body’s way of dealing with the cold and trying to keep you warm. Experts say that the winter sets off an evolutionary response to fatten us up to endure the cold. What’s more, you tend to be a little less active during winter. Consequently, you tend to look for other means of getting more energy. Overeating is the outcome. The cold also alters the balance of some of our hormones which monitor appetite. Additionally, there is a psychological factor that comes in to play as well - you are more likely to surrender to your cravings since you feel you can hide beneath the jackets and sweaters!
Eat Prudently This Winter
To satisfy your body and mind, tuck into comfort foods such as wholesome khichdis and hot beverages like haldi doodh that warm you up. These foods will make you feel good while being healthy for you. Here’s how you can battle those cravings:
Eat full meals: Don’t skip meals. This will make you, reach out for something sugary when hungry and you are bound to fall prey to senseless snacking if you don’t have proper balanced meals in the months of winter.
Load up on good fat: When your body craves for comfort food, focus on consuming healthier fats such as mono-unsaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids. Try munching on walnuts, almonds, cashews, etc.
Discipline your temptations: Permit yourself some low calorie sweet treats intermittently. If you’re going to give in to a craving, be careful about your portion size and select healthy alternatives. Incorporate loads of fresh and dry fruits in to your meal plan. You could also opt for a low calorie sweetener for your desserts. Tata NX Zero Sugar is 100% natural. It is made from stevia herb extract and has a low glycaemic Index. It blends readily in hot and cold beverages.
Hydrate: Make sure you stay well hydrated. While you may not feel dehydrated in winter, drink a minimum of 3 litres of water every day even during the cold winters. As sugar is a way to get instant energy, we often reach out for a sugar fix instead of water. Dehydration is often mistaken as a sugar cravings and hunger. The part of our brain, the hypothalamus, that controls thirst sensation, also controls hunger. When you are dehydrated, hypothalamus signals thirst which may be mistaken for hunger.
Fuel up: Binge on these - guilt-free! Fill up with strawberries, pomegranates, kiwis, oranges, sweet potatoes, spinach and lentils. These are hearty, delicious and packed with nutrients.
While it’s alright to indulge in moderation occasionally, satisfy your appetite the healthier way. Make sure that you enjoy the party season while making smart and healthy choices.
Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, Dr. Michael Murray and Dr. Pizzorno.
This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah
The views and opinions expressed in this content piece are those of the author(s) and not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. Assumptions made in the analysis are not reflective of the position of any entity other than the author(s).