As the weather gets colder and darker outside, the craving for casseroles, milk chocolate and desserts increases. Does this period actually stimulate our feeling of hunger, or are we imagining it? Nutritionist Michael Sills explains how it works.
It seems that less daylight makes us eat more during the winter months. Or is it because of the cold temperatures outside? “Not quite,” says nutritionist Michael Sills. “Physically, you don’t have an extra need for it. But not having daylight to wake you up in the morning plays a role in how much you eat and how much you need it.”
Daylight and sunlight are natural stimuli. “If these are missing, our body will crave alternatives to get that boost. This often leads to breakfast going wrong during dark days. You either skip it because you’re not hungry (yet), or you eat a very long and large breakfast.”
You can treat this by breathing fresh air when you wake up, even if the sun has not risen yet. “Exercise can also keep your body energized from the start of the day.”
Eat more snacks in the evening
Lack of light also affects our body and our evening rituals. “We tend to eat more during the dark hours. Because it gets dark so quickly, people start their evening rituals earlier, which means they end up on the sofa more quickly than in the summer.
“It also means there is more time for snacking. So, keep your routine as normal as possible. For example, don’t just put fish or vegetables on the menu because you’ve already eaten more snacks that day. Choose a complete meal that contains Enough carbohydrates and proteins as usual. Otherwise, the risk is too great to have multiple snack moments.
In the fall and winter there are many types of cabbage, which are traditionally often prepared with cheese sauce or lots of butter
Is it better to eat early in the winter or a little later so that you don’t end up on a vicious snack cycle? “There is no ideal time to eat: neither in winter nor in summer. So you don’t necessarily have to eat earlier or later. By setting an hour for yourself, you make it more difficult if you get hungry sooner or later. Above all, listen to your feelings Hungry and full.
Less daylight, more comfort food
However, it is not always that simple. Because in those dark hours we not only tend to eat more, but we also crave more food com.comfortfood. Steamed casseroles with a creamy layer of cheese and rich sauces look even more tempting at sunset. “That in itself is normal,” Sills said. “But approach it creatively. In the fall and winter there are many types of cabbage, which are traditionally prepared often with cheese sauce or lots of butter.
When it’s cold outside, it probably doesn’t feel like you’re eating a fresh salad, Sells knows. “However, it is not necessary to serve cauliflower in béchamel sauce. You can also roast it in the oven and finish with tahini or nut butter. This is also how you achieve warmth and warmth.” comfortable Dish. Roast or grill vegetables and give them extra flavor with warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. All the flavors we associate with comfort food.
Finally, what about nutritional deficiencies in the winter? Are there things more common? “Not really, vitamin D in particular is a problem, but that’s not a result of what you eat, it’s a result of the lack of daylight. The biggest challenge for most people remains one that also applies during the summer: eating enough fruit and vegetables.
7 tips to better deal with winter hunger
1. Try to enjoy as much daylight as possible: go out as soon as the light arrives.
2. Stick to your normal routine as much as possible and eat three meals a day at the usual time. Sooner or later, both are fine, depending on your own rhythm.
3. Exercise keeps you awake: Try to exercise in the morning, afternoon or evening, even if it’s cold and dark outside.
4. Eat full meals that contain enough proteins and carbohydrates, so you will be less likely to snack between them.
5. If you need to relax, choose something other than food.
6. Craving comfort food? Give in, but give vegetables the leading role on your plate.
7. Eat enough fruits and vegetables in winter: Exotic fruits are at their best right now.
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