Cuddling in the warmth of the sofa, drinking tea, reading, watching TV - a tantalizing idea, when there are freezing temperatures outside, it's snowing and storming. To lift turbid moods, many resort to chocolate, biscuits, cakes & Co. Why? Learn how sweets affect our state of mind and why bacon rolls multiply on holidays.
How sugar lifts our mood
An important role is played by the messenger serotonin. In the brain, among other things, it controls the state of mind of the person, it has a mood-enhancing and anti-depressive effect. Biochemically, this can be explained as follows: The amino acid tryptophan is necessary for the body to be able to form serotonin at all.
Consuming sugar causes rapid insulin output into the blood, which in turn facilitates the influx of tryptophan into the brain. And the higher the concentration of amino acid in the head, the more serotonin can be produced. The mood is rising despite dull weather.
Celebratory mood climbs
The many holidays and celebrations are one reason why the bacon rolls multiply. It is feasting: Martinsgans, Christmas stollen, cinnamon stars, dominoes, marzipan. In addition, red wine, beer and liqueur, which ensure that the whole thing does not slip dry in the stomach.
What is not clear to many: Alcohol is a real calorie bomb! One gram of alcohol has nearly as many kilocalories as one gram of fat. In addition, the liver prefers the alcohol, other food ingredients must wait. Greases are converted directly into lifebuoys. And honestly, who does not know that? After a few glasses of wine or beer, the desire for fat, less healthy food on top of that.
The genes mix with
Unfortunately, some people struggle more with the pounds than others. That's where the predisposition comes in - for example, in terms of how the saturation mechanism works. Whether a person feels hungry or full is due to neurotransmitters in the brain, which receive signals from the fat cells. If the body is sufficiently energized and has enough fat stored, the fat deposits send out the hormone leptin. The organism feels full! For many very fat people, however, this loop is disturbed. They do not make enough of the starvation brake leptin and so easily collect extra kilos.
Inheritance plays a role elsewhere. For in the genetic material is determined whether a person is a good or bad feedger. The "poor feeders" spend more energy on their body energy, the energy dissipates as heat and can not be stored as fat. Because their muscles make hardly noticeable contractions, which consume additional energy. Good feeders have a hard time in winter because they need to pay more attention to their line than others.
Nerve cells influence food intake
Another approach was provided by American scientists: they identified neurons that also affect food intake. These cells sit in a specific brain region and produce a special protein, the so-called "agouti-associated peptide" (AgRP), which appears to interfere with the starvation-saturation mechanism.
When mice stopped producing AgRP, they stopped eating immediately. Humans also own these cells. In the future, food intake could be slowed down by this mechanism.
Do not get started!
Who has not had the unpleasant acquaintance with the yo-yo effect before? He stops when diet is suddenly normal again. The reason for this is also in the genes and originally had a good reason: in periods of starvation, the body was prepared to cope with less energy. Once the humans had more food available, the extra calories quickly migrated to the fat pads. In today's affluent society nobody is dependent on it anymore. The diet should be increased after a diet so slowly again!
Of course it is even better to avoid the ups and downs on the scales altogether. Because some of the bacon is often persistent and the lifebuoys are getting thicker year by year. If you have a bad appetite you have a good chance to keep your shape even in winter: exercise! Nobody should be deterred by gloomy winter days. Jogging, cycling or Nordic walking is fun even in the cold season with the right functional clothing. And if that does not convince you: Badminton or swimming you can also in the hall.
Endurance sports are best for losing weight
After 20 minutes of exercise, the body begins to burn fat pads. For the overweight, swimming or cycling is a good start, as it does not unnecessarily burden your joints with the (still) existing weight. But slimming also works in your own four walls: Pilates, Hatha Yoga or gym exercises let the pounds tumble. There are courses in many fitness centers, community colleges or you buy yourself once a corresponding book to get a taste of.
Christmas treat with a difference
Another magic word in the fight against the kilos is the diet change. But it should taste good anyway! No problem, because even the most exuberant feasts can be healthy: How about salmon, zander or trout instead of roast goose and rice instead of dumplings with fat sauce? Or with an exotic fruit salad instead of tiramisu? Even the colors delight the eye and such a healthy delicacy makes good on every festive table.
Anyone who has once hit the strings should give his body a discharge. A balance with a lot of fruit and raw food or light dishes such as boiled potatoes with lean quark will make the supersaturated body happy. By the way, in the case of a leap day, the yo-yo effect can not be expected right away.