Fall diets contribute to seasonal fattening

Fall diets contribute to seasonal fattening

We’ve all watched animals fatten themselves up in the fall in preparation for the lean times of the winter. In a sense, biology tells humans to do that, too. That’s why so many of us are more inclined to reach for high-calorie foods around this time of year.

According to University of Texas Psychology Professor John de Castro, we have a tendency to eat about 200 calories more per day during autumn. Those extra calories translate to an average weight gain of three to four pounds a year.

Kurt Krauchi, a scientist at the Psychiatric University Clinic in Basel, Switzerland, found a link between food consumption and seasonal affective disorder in which some individuals’ mood is affected by the decrease of daylight in the fall and winter. "There seems to be a relationship between light and depression, which leads to consumption of additional carbohydrates," he said.

It’s wise for Americans to adopt a strategy for combating poor nutritional habits that can send the numbers on our scales into the higher digits during the fall and winter months. Since fall is the season of the harvest, consider adding more fruits and vegetables, such as apples, squashes and greens, to your diet.

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