Winter cravings. How not to pack on fat for winter.
Why do I want to eat it all, all of a sudden?
My dog too, she didn’t eat that much during warmer months.
Is it something in us, that makes us eat more, when it gets colder?
One regular at the gym asked me today.
Do you want to eat more, when it gets colder? Do you snack at all, late at night? That’s when I seem to want to eat it all. I can’t sleep hungry!
Let’s think about it for a minute, let’s look at the situation from evolutionary perspective first.
When it would get colder, a caveman would probably, like any other fat storing animal, would start eating whatever was available, to store as much fat as possible for winter to survive times of food shortage, that’s what a lot of animals do, bears, squirrels, any animal, whose food supply is seasonal. When the seasons change, the weather gets colder, it’s a signal to our survival brain to start implementing behaviors to make sure we store enough fat for winter and survive. And even though we evolved and don’t need to store anything on our body, since we can get as much food as we want on any day at any time, even though there is no need for this fat storing behavior our survival instincts don’t seem to change that fast, it seems like even though our brain is plastic, many survival behaviors are hard-wired somewhere between our genes and our lizard brain designed for survival, and they don’t seem to change that fast. Nobody knows for sure, but that’s the belief. Nobody REALLY knows, what a life of a caveman was. But we can make educated guesses.
So yes, I do believe, and it seems that way, that our internal instincts make us eat more, when it starts getting colder.
Not sure about dogs and their fat storing mechanisms and instincts, but for humans, fat storing animals, getting fatter for winter seems to be the tool of survival.
Probably our hunger hormones, most known of which are ghrelin and leptin (many more are involved in metabolism and appetite control), work in a way to ramp up our appetite, and when hormones and our brain are up to something, to make us fat for example, for one reason or the other, it becomes VERY hard to go against it and keep our weight loss/weight maintenance habits functional.
Do I want to eat more when it gets colder?
I do actually.
Especially when it gets really cold and my body fat is low – my appetite goes a few points up for sure.
Do I gain weight though? Specifically fat?
How do I manage to keep my six pack through winter and holidays and even manage to get leaner?
I have a few tricks up my sleeve.
I stay active.
Even though very often my motivation to move more does not align with my intentions, I still move – in the gym or outside. I start tracking my activity better, because ONLY when I track how much I move (you can see my daily Wokrout Of the Day journals on Instagram), only then I can be sure, that my brain doesn’t trick me into moving less – and it would do its best to save as much energy as possible making me lazy, sending me lazy thoughts.
I load up on fats. I Keep carbs close to nothing.
Especially in winter, and colder months I keep my carbs VERY low AND I ramp up my fats – more coconut oil, more butter, more fatty fish and olive oil in my salad, more eggs, more avocados.
When I feel like I need more energy for my work and workouts I just eat a spoon or two of coconut oil or butter.
I prefer to eat my calories in a 6-8 hour window, but when I do feel I want to eat before bed – half avocado, couple of spoons of coconut oil, grass-fed Irish butter or ghee or cacao butter – those fats are my solutions. And then I sleep like a baby, and have lots of energy in the morning for my workouts. And those snacks don’t make my stomach work extra hard so my sleep quality doesn’t suffer.
My favorite fats to snack on:
coconut oil, cacao butter, grass-fed ghee butter, grass-fed Irish butter, fatty fish like sardines, herring and salmon, olive oil, avocados, sugar-free chocolate, pasture-raised eggs
And last but not least I want to share with you a couple of my favorite recipes I use to get me through the hungriest nights and when I feel like a fatty sweet dessert.
Healthy. Delicious. Sweet. SIX PACK FRIENDLY.
Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Ingredients (serves 1-2):
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp stevia
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
- Optional extras: toasted sliced almonds, coconut shavings, frozen mixed berries, cocoa nibs, coconut oil, dark chocolate
Purée the avocado until smooth.
Mix together the cocoa powder and milk until combined and add to the avocado.
Stir in the stevia, vanilla extract, and any extra ingredients and mix well.
Transfer the mousse to individual cups and store in the fridge until ready to eat.
Decorate and enjoy when hunger and cravings of your lizard brain attack!
Ingredients (serves 1-2):
- 1/8 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (adjust for your taste)
- 3 packets powdered stevia
- 1/4 teaspoon natural vanilla powder (or any vanilla extract)
- dash salt
- 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk (light)
- 1/4 of sugar free chocolate bar
In a sauce pan combine the cocoa powder, milk, powdered stevia, vanilla and salt. Whisk over medium heat until mixed. Do not boil.
Add chocolate pieces and mix till completely melted.
Stir constantly, on low heat. do not boil, about 5-10 minutes.
Remove from heat and add coconut shavings and/or coconut whipped cream.
Healthy. Delicious. Sweet. SIX PACK FRIENDLY.
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My WOD 10/10/2017
My favorite morning routine:
My favorite combo to build strong and lean inner thighs. I get complemented all the time!
Here is what HIIT CARDIO is all about:
What’s happening on my podcast:
My keys. Maybe that’s why I go to the gym daily? 🙂
You don’t get healthy and stay healthy.
Daily Bite of Health
EAT FATS. STOP CARBS.
And here is an extra Bite of Health.
Why you should listen (to learn) –
Today’s episode reveals the breakthrough weight-loss device “Modius,” from Neurovalens. This non-invasive wearable headband is helping to reduce body fat and increase wellness through activation of the vestibular nerve.
Traditionally, wearables have focused on tracking and monitoring. They can tell us things like how many steps we’ve taken, and the body’s heart rate and calorie intake.
But this new technology with Modius works by activating the parts of our brain that will dictate how our system holds onto fat. It creates a sensation in the mind of physical activity which will shift our metabolism and help to release excess weight.
On this podcast, we talk with Tom Bilyeu, co-founder of Quest Nutrition and host of the “Impact Theory” podcast, along with Dr. Jason Mckeown, CEO of Neurovalens. They explain how combined with proper diet and exercise, Modius may control how the wellness and medical communities approach obesity in the years to come.