In the Northern Hemisphere, we are moving towards the colder weather now.
This is when many people start to be drawn towards enjoying warming ‘comfort’ food. 🥘
And unless we are mindful, those meals could easily cause our weight to go up. They can be much richer in calories than a lovely light salad….
PLUS [not sure if you were aware] cooked food is easier to digest and thus we are able to absorb more calories from it.
Harvard scientists wrote this: “Cooking reduces the energy that we use up during digestion, while increasing the amount that we can absorb”
By how much?
At this stage, there’s not enough research to show exactly how big the calorie difference is between cooked versus raw food. Most likely not a huge amount.
But nevertheless, it’s best to choose winter menus that won’t cause us to gain back what we have lost over summer.
Have you ever wondered why we’re drawn to warm comfort foods?
Here is what science tells us:
1) Eating any food makes us feel warmer because we are adding energy to our system. And because cold weather causes our body temperature to drop we love to eat or drink something hot. Not only for something warm in our stomach but also for the easy-to-digest energy it provides.
2) Possible biological makeup
Historically, before we had warm housing and supermarkets, many animals and humans started to eat more in autumn. This way they could store some extra calories as body fat for the cold months ahead when food was scarce.
Winter was (and for animals still is) a difficult time to find food.
So our biological clock is set to crank up our hunger hormones when the cold weather sets in.
3) Plus my own take on things
When it is cold and miserable outdoors, it’s so much easier to stay in and move less. And eat a bit more. Maybe even out of boredom.
When it is -10C / 15F outdoors and we are looking for a snack, usually a celery or carrot stick isn’t the first thing on our mind.
Well, it’s not on mine, anyway. 😆
Instead, we‘d probably like to eat something more substantial whilst lounging in front of the telly. Like a bowl of oven-baked [oil-free] sweet potato with a hummus dip? And before we know it, we might be eating the equivalent calories of a main meal.
Therefore getting ready for winter with the right recipes for mains and snacks is perhaps even more important than during the warm summer months.
Therefore, come and join us in the Facebook group during October and check out the new recipes we are going to be sharing during our Crocktober Challenge.
We will have slow cooker recipes and casseroles cooked in the oven. Like the one in this article.
All plant-based, no oil, and of course, weight loss friendly.
And if you need snack ideas, check the FILES in the group. There are two lists for you.