Is there a biological reason why some people seem to put on weight every winter? Is it genetic, do we lay down fat to hibernate, or is it just due to the imbalance between food intake and exercise?
In the past, winter was a time of low temperatures and a lack of food. But in our modern society we have centrally heated homes and places of work, and food available in abundance all year round, so cravings for fattier meals are driven more by our habits and marketing than anything genetic. And just to be clear, humans have never hibernated.
What is more, we tend to be less active during the winter season with colder, wet weekends, and darker nights and mornings. For this reason, it’s less likely we go outside. This means we burn fewer calories, but we don’t consciously reduce our food intake to meet this lower energy demand. This leads us to increase our fat stores as we take in more energy than we use.