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Winter Blues and Weight Gain

February 08, 2019 09:36 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- "We want to generally stay inside and stay warm and eat those comfort foods that sometimes may contribute to more calories and fat in our diets," said Kathy Hamlin, Registered Dietitian for HyVee.

Although frostbite and sub-zero temperatures may be the first thing that comes to mind in the winter, weight gain isn't far fetched.
According to dietitians we actually become hungrier in winter months due to fewer daylight hours and more time indoors.
The colder temperatures may also play a psychological role in the foods we crave.

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"The higher carb foods are what we typically go for when we're feeling stressed and when we're feeling tired. Especially in the winter when we get less sunlight, you hear a lot about the seasonal depression that kicks in with people and that's where we go for our comfort - are our carbs. They don't leave us feeling very full so then we feel like we're hungry again in just an hour or two," said Aaron Lipka, the club manager at Anytime Fitness.

Though more time indoors can mean less time to exercise outside, Hamlin says you don't have to give up the comfort eating, just change the food you use to fulfill those cravings.

"There's a lot of different things you can do; you can adjust a recipe, make it more heart-healthy, add more fiber and add more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains," she says.

So the next time you're inside on a winter day, if you're craving pasta, try using whole grain. If you want sweets, try substituting with fresh fruit. Or as Lipka suggests, meal prep.

"Planning ahead with your meals and knowing what you're going to eat throughout the day or planning for the week is the best thing you can do."
 

KAAL-TV

Copyright 2019 - KAAL-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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