Home » Diet and Nutrition News & Advice » Feeling the Comfort Food Crave?

Feeling the Comfort Food Crave?


Have you ever wondered why, when the weather starts to dampen and a chill fills your bones why you crave starchy, heavy, fatty, surgery, cheesy, rich comfort foods as opposed to the light salads and lean, fresh grilled meats of summer?

Regardless of the obvious—a crisp cool salad does quite warm the laurels like a bowl of steaming hot chicken dumpling stew does on a cold winter day—why don’t we reach for a nice, light bowl of soup instead?

There are actually two reasons why that might be…

1. You are genetically-driven to comfort foods

On one hand it’s in your nature. As human beings, we have may have a genetic tendency to seek out more calorie-dense food in the winter months when food (was) historically harder to come by—especially fresh fruits and veggies. However, today, with us also being less active and perhaps a little more bored (if weather traps you indoors for days), anxiety and depression can very well lead to over-indulgence in front of the television.

2. You have Seasonal Affective Disorder

Further research shows that you also might be afflicted with seasonal affective disorder (or SAD) along with 1- to 3-percent of the population. This condition actually alters the chemistry of the brain and biological clock as a result of vitamin D deficiency (less sun) as well as the season’s changing circadian rhythms change. SAD can cause mild to severe depression, increased appetite, and carbohydrate cravings.

In order to satisfy your comfort food cravings and maintain a trim waistline, you do have lots of healthy substitutes that can help you maintain a relatively trim waistline while satisfying winter hunger:

  • If raw veggies just won’t cut it, try adding extras to sauces, puree them for hearty soups, or making a veggie-filled stew.
  • Swap starchy white taders for healthier, lower carb sweet potatoes.
  • Make cream soups, sauces and stews with Greek or low-fat yogurt instead of cream and butter.
  • Baked goods are alright in moderation—especially if you sub that white flour for whole-grain and that butter or oil with applesauce.
  • Make some time to get off the couch and do some physical activity. Even if you can’t get outside, use a skipping rope while you watch your favorite sitcom or exercise at home using yoga or workout videos.

Source: CNN

 

ADVERTISEMENT

More on ActiveBeat
  • Foods You Should Never Eat
    Food is nourishment, but the world of food can be a dangerous place if we're not conscious of what we put into our bodies.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Common Diet Traps
    Most diets are started with the best of intentions. Whether to lose weight, improve overall health, feel better or increase your self-esteem and energy.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Foods Proven to Burn Fat
    Maybe you already knew that particular foods contain high thermogenic effect, which essentially means they help to boost your metabolism.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The 5 Lies You Tell Yourself that Prevent Fat Loss
    If there’s one thing people are good at, it’s lying to themselves. Usually these are little half-truths, the kind of fibs that make us feel a bit better about a decision we...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The Skinny on Healthy Weight Gain
    With so many folks trying to lose weight—those who are actually attempting to gain weight are often not given the proper attention and information.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Easy Ways To Drink More Water in a Day
    Winter is the season of snow, the season of gift giving, the season of celebrating new beginnings, but it’s also the season of dehydration, which leads to fatigue, dull hair, dry...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 10 Tips for Beating Portion Distortion
    Weight loss is on a lot of minds once the New Year rolls around. However, with food manufacturers and restaurants pushing portion distortion—a phenomenon in which mass society...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Alkaline Diet's Health Claims Overblown, Experts Say
    Interested in giving the "alkaline" diet a try this year? You're not alone. The celebrity diet is becoming increasingly popular.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • The True Dangers of Yo-Yo Dieting
    You’re not alone, if like many folks, you struggle with gaining and losing those few excess pounds.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Fad Dieting Tips You Should Ignore
    When it comes to fad diets, you already know that most of the tips they advocate are not building blocks for a healthy diet.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • 8 Obvious Signs of a Fad Diet
    You know the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, chances are that it is! While making small changes in one’s diet and activity levels can bring increased energy and...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Deciphering The 10 Most Common Types of Hunger
    Hunger, it often comes on suddenly and in ravenous proportions. However, aside from legitimate physical hunger, a reminder that your body requires vital nourishment, we often crave...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Health Benefits of a Mediterranean-Style Diet
    The European lifestyle is known to promote good health, and it seems like a good portion of Europeans having lean bodies that can make you green with envy.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Does My Diet Need a Makeover?
    We all believe that we eat better than the average person. However, according to research from the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFICF), that’s definitely...
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice
  • Top 10 Diet Trends of 2015
    So, you've decided this will be the year you lose weight. It's a common resolution and one that many give up within a few weeks.
    Diet and Nutrition News & Advice