Thursday, January 8, 2009

Stokin' the Boiler

I stepped on the scale yesterday, for the first time in 3 weeks or so.

I had some trepidation; this is a bad time of year for weight gain. (I believe I speak for 200-million-or-so Americans.)

It wasn't as bad as I had dreaded; I'd gained 3 pounds, tipping the scales at exactly the same poundage as 1 year ago.

Whew! I was worried that I was Boise's Biggest Loser!!!

Typically, I gain 10-12 pounds over the "off season" and shed it again during peak mileage season. I s'pose I should look at it as "charging up my hybrid battery." I rationalize that I'm not just "piggin' out" - I'm "fueling up."

I need somebody - a dietician or behavior analyst or psychiatrist - to explain something to me.

Why do I actually seem to have a heartier appetite during the cold months, when bike mileage is down? (Does that happen to anybody else?) During the hot summer months, I'm rarely very hungry, but on these winter days, it seems like I'm frequently suffering the pangs of hunger. You'd think it would be the opposite. Is it some sort of deep-seated primal instinct? The long-standing Neanderthal urge to avoid winter starvation?

Maybe it's some sort of weird reverse-metabolism thing.

Maybe it's because I spend more time sitting around in the winter - longer periods of relative inactivity - which provides more opportunity to think about comfort, and hunger, and such.

Or maybe it's just that there's so much more good (but not particularly good-for-you) food to eat over the holiday season. (That doesn't seem like the answer, however... I'm hungry in January, too! And February, and March...)

1 comment:

Matt said...

I'm not a dietician but I'm fairly certain I know the answer to your question. It has a lot to do with being cold. Especially up in Boise. Your body is working so hard to keep your internal temp around 98.6 that you actually burn a lot of calories just sitting around being cold. This should explain why you are hungrier during the winter.

The other thing I think could be possible is that it is not your hunger itself, but rather your perception of hunger. Since it is difficult to quantify how hungry you are, you could be the same hungry now that you were in July and just think that you are more hungry (therefore noticing more often when you are hungry.