Many note an increased appetite in autumn along with a feeling of drowsiness and loss of energy. Alena Vavilova, an endocrinologist at INVITRO-Ural, told Izvestia why such changes are connected, and also gave advice on how to eat right with the onset of cold weather to avoid weight gain.
As the expert explained, in the cold, the body’s thermoregulation is rebuilt, metabolism accelerates, and food serves as the main “fuel” in this process. Because of this, people often feel hungry, because the brain gives such signals to the body.
“As a rule, in the cold season we eat more high-calorie and nutritious food, so the human body prepares for winter. Climate and time of the year have an impact on our energy needs, and if a person is cold, he, of course, prefers more high-calorie foods to make up for the missing energy, ”the doctor said.
According to her, changes in eating behavior in cold weather are also associated with the so-called autumn blues, when a lack of joy hormones is formed. In this state, a person begins to seize stress with something sweet, and a tendency to overeat appears. At the same time, it is not hunger that becomes the stimulus for eating, but emotional discomfort. The body begins to use not fat reserves, but substances that have entered the bloodstream after the next meal.
Vavilova also spoke about the danger of developing beriberi in cold weather, since the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet is reduced, and less sunlight enters the body. But vitamins and micronutrients are the basis of mental and physical activity, which help keep the body’s systems working properly and also activate the immune system. It is because of the lack of vitamins that with the advent of cold weather in the morning it becomes more difficult to wake up, during the day you may feel lethargic.
In this regard, the endocrinologist called for a conscious approach to nutrition in the cold season.
“If you’re constantly craving something to snack on, replace cookies and chips with vegetable sticks or fruit slices, make snacking healthy, and drink plenty of clean, non-carbonated water. Include seasonal vegetables and fruits in your diet: pumpkin, winter apples, mushrooms, cauliflower and white cabbage, pomegranates, and turnips, ”she advised.
In addition, the specialist recommended drinking more hot tea with lemon, mint, and ginger; adding protein-rich foods (fatty fish, tuna, legumes) to the diet; eating soups and seasonal vegetables – steamed or stewed. At the same time, eating should not be combined with watching the news or working, Vavilova added.
Earlier in October, infectious disease doctor Andrei Pozdnyakov listed the main ways to strengthen immunity during the cold season. According to him, all immunologists agree that indeed the immune system can be strengthened by observing the basic rules of a healthy lifestyle, including good nutrition and adequate sleep. At the same time, the doctor urged us to be careful with the use of herbal preparations and immunomodulators.