Even though summertime is the season for backyard barbeques and treats at the local creamy whip (my favorite!), I find that I’m not as hungry when the temperature rises. Maybe it’s just that I don’t like that heavy, full feeling when it’s hot and sticky outside. Maybe it’s that I’m busy chasing the kids around the yard and don’t have as much time to think about food. Or maybe it’s that my brain is hardwired to increase my appetite when the weather turns colder. Research shows that when the days get shorter and darker, our appetites tend to increase.
One study out of the University of Georgia "tracked how much people ate from season to season and how quickly they ate it. Turns out, the study subjects consumed about 200 more calories a day beginning in the fall when the days grow darker." Another study explained that human beings are very sensitive to light. When there is less of it, we seem to eat more and eat faster.
But not all experts agree with this theory. Some say that it’s not instinct, but environment that causes us to eat more. Being inside all day with less to do (and fewer opportunities to exercise) and the holiday season are contributing factors to the increase in consumption. One expert suggests that cravings are linked to memories. For example, thinking about your Grandma’s apple pie that you ate every Thanksgiving makes you more likely to indulge.
So what can you do to avoid packing on the extra pounds when the temperature drops?
What do you think? Does your appetite change with the seasons? If so, why do you think that happens?
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