Winter Diets and Why We Have Cold Weather Cravings
Winter diets and cold weather go together. Are you craving comfort foods and fighting the urge to curl up and snuggle in, avoiding the cold and any form of exercise? I know I am. In fact, recently while I was watching a program about brown bears and their habits, the thought crossed my mind… wouldn’t it be great to spend the winter hibernating? Imagine, if only we could gorge ourselves on tasty foods, get fat on purpose and then emerge in spring with all the weight gone!
Unfortunately nature has programmed us to respond to shorter days in many ways like the bears. We eat more, we exercise less and we want more sleep. We are designed to gain weight, slow down and conserve energy as the winter approaches. We think we are so evolved, but those pounds gained in the last few months are almost as much about our programming as they are about holiday indulgences.
Of course I am not advocating giving in to our programming, but I do think an awareness of how little we have evolved is helpful if we want to deal effectively with holiday / winter weight gain. Our bodies haven’t caught up with the fact that we don’t have to trek across the frozen tundra. The desire to eat is still there.
So instead of fighting Mother Nature, try adding in some healthy fats to your family’s diet. (Yes, you read correctly…) Think avocados, olive oil, nuts and nut butters, coconut oil, and even real butter, particularly from grass fed cows. Why grass fed, because dairy and meat from grass fed animals have healthy Omega 3’s. Wild fish is also high in healthy Omega 3 fat, but be careful of the source and go easy on big ocean fish like tuna, as mercury can be an issue.
By adding in a modest amount of healthy fats your family will feel more satisfied and cravings for sweets will slowly begin to fade. Not only that, but a little butter added to the greens you plan to serve, or coconut oil used for a stir-fry adds to the flavor, a definite plus when you are trying to promote eating healthy veggies…
What do you cook with healthy fats? We love to share recipes.