Monday, October 15, 2012

It's cold and I'm hungry!

As if it weren't hard enough to lose weight, here comes the cold.  Ever notice that you want to eat more when it starts to get cold outside? 

For those of you who aren't aware, this is basic biology.  Our bodies are telling us that we NEED to bulk up and increase our fat stores for the winter.  This, of course, goes back to our evolutionary history when we didn't have nice thermostats on our walls we could just crank.

For me, I also have a mild case of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  I'm guessing many of you out there do, too.  As there becomes less light in the day, we start to get depressed and lethargic.  I'm starting to notice this as I have less motivation to work out or to even do everyday activities.  It's always worse for me in the October/November time frame.

One thing that carbs do is to temporarily boost Serotonin - the feel good chemical in the brain.  AND this is often what we crave in general to increase our fat in the winter.  AND this group of foods is my drug of choice!  There's nothing I love more then breads. 

Today I ate lunch out with my mother and grandmother at Panera Bread.  I had a 1/2 greek salad, a cup of broccoli soup, and a french baguette on the side.  BY FAR the best part of the meal for me was the baguette!   I seriously could have eaten 4-5 more pieces, easy.  (I didn't, don't worry)

So, what is the solution?  First, get your exercise!  As a runner, I need a lot of carbs, anyway, for fuel as this is what the body goes to to burn first and most effectively during intense workouts.  Do a lot of cardio and you can have some carbs without feeling guilty!  Secondly, complex carbs are good for you!  Lean towards complex rather then simple carbs.  Beans, sweet potatoes, real whole grain bread, oatmeal, apples, raisins - they are all good complex carbs and rather then giving you a short burst of energy (like simple carbs) and then leaving you craving more, they will fill you up and hopefully satisfy your cravings.

Get a hold of this if you intend to lose weight during the holidays, because, kids, it only is going to get harder from here to the New Year!!!!!!! 

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