Why People Gain Weight in the Fall

Why People Gain Weight in the Fall
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A list of “specific recommendations for the prevention of obesity by improving the circadian system health.”

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

SAD doesn’t just stand for standard American diet. There’s a condition known as seasonal affective disorder that’s characterized by increased appetite and cravings, along with increased sleepiness and lethargy that begins in autumn, when light exposure starts to dwindle. This now appears to just represent the far end of a normal spectrum of a human behavior. We all appear to eat more as the days get shorter. There is a “marked seasonal rhythm” to calorie intake, with greater meal size, eating rate, hunger, and overall calorie intake in the fall.

In preparation for winter, some animals hibernate, doubling their fat stores with autumn abundance to deal with the subsequent scarcity of winter. Genes have been identified in humans that are similar to hibernation genes, which may help explain why we exhibit some of the same behaviors. The autumn affect isn’t subtle. Researchers calculated a 222-calorie difference between calorie intake in the fall versus spring. And this isn’t just because it’s colder, since we eat more in the fall than the winter. It appears we’re just genetically programmed to prep for the deprivation of winter that no longer comes.

It’s remarkable that in this day and age of modern lighting and heating that our bodies would still pick up on the environmental cues of the changing seasons enough to affect such a major influence on our eating patterns. Unsurprisingly, bright light therapy is used to treat seasonal affective disorder, nearly tripling the likelihood of remission compared to placebo. Though it’s never been directly tested, it can’t hurt to take the dog out for some extra autumn morning walks to maybe help fend off some of the coming holiday season weight gain.

It’s funny; people blame the holidays for overeating, but maybe instead of the holidays causing heightened intake, maybe the heightened intake that goes with the fall caused the holidays to be scheduled then in the first place.

Regardless; other “specific recommendations for the prevention of obesity…by improving the circadian system health,” based on varying degrees of evidence, include sleeping during the night and being active during the day. Sleep enough––at least 7 or 8 hours a night. Early to bed, early to rise. Short naps are fine. Contrary to popular belief, daytime napping does not appear to adversely impact sleep at night. Avoid bright light exposure at night, and sleep in total darkness when possible. Make breakfast or lunch your biggest meal of the day, don’t eat or exercise right before bed, and avoid eating at night completely.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Chris Lawton via unsplash. Image has been modified.

Video production by Glass Entertainment.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

SAD doesn’t just stand for standard American diet. There’s a condition known as seasonal affective disorder that’s characterized by increased appetite and cravings, along with increased sleepiness and lethargy that begins in autumn, when light exposure starts to dwindle. This now appears to just represent the far end of a normal spectrum of a human behavior. We all appear to eat more as the days get shorter. There is a “marked seasonal rhythm” to calorie intake, with greater meal size, eating rate, hunger, and overall calorie intake in the fall.

In preparation for winter, some animals hibernate, doubling their fat stores with autumn abundance to deal with the subsequent scarcity of winter. Genes have been identified in humans that are similar to hibernation genes, which may help explain why we exhibit some of the same behaviors. The autumn affect isn’t subtle. Researchers calculated a 222-calorie difference between calorie intake in the fall versus spring. And this isn’t just because it’s colder, since we eat more in the fall than the winter. It appears we’re just genetically programmed to prep for the deprivation of winter that no longer comes.

It’s remarkable that in this day and age of modern lighting and heating that our bodies would still pick up on the environmental cues of the changing seasons enough to affect such a major influence on our eating patterns. Unsurprisingly, bright light therapy is used to treat seasonal affective disorder, nearly tripling the likelihood of remission compared to placebo. Though it’s never been directly tested, it can’t hurt to take the dog out for some extra autumn morning walks to maybe help fend off some of the coming holiday season weight gain.

It’s funny; people blame the holidays for overeating, but maybe instead of the holidays causing heightened intake, maybe the heightened intake that goes with the fall caused the holidays to be scheduled then in the first place.

Regardless; other “specific recommendations for the prevention of obesity…by improving the circadian system health,” based on varying degrees of evidence, include sleeping during the night and being active during the day. Sleep enough––at least 7 or 8 hours a night. Early to bed, early to rise. Short naps are fine. Contrary to popular belief, daytime napping does not appear to adversely impact sleep at night. Avoid bright light exposure at night, and sleep in total darkness when possible. Make breakfast or lunch your biggest meal of the day, don’t eat or exercise right before bed, and avoid eating at night completely.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Chris Lawton via unsplash. Image has been modified.

Video production by Glass Entertainment.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

69 responses to “Why People Gain Weight in the Fall

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    1. George Reichel, humans are physiologically most like natural frugivores, and quite far from natural carnivores. Humans can survive eating animals, but rarely do they thrive as they can, most naturally-by design, with plants. See any of Medical Doctor Milton Mills presentations on the subject on youtube, or see his website for more resources and books suggestions.

    2. I’m curious about this too [Saladino’s claim that humans can subsist equally well on just about anything [outside of refined food products] but especially require meat for proper health and development. Saladino seems to provide copious studies and data points to support his thesis. Would love to have Dr. Greger provide a detailed response.

      1. Well, when I worked with patients with all kinds of chronic diseases, 100% of them began improving as soon as they quit eating all animal products. With WPFD, Almost everyone of them recovered completely, when the diet was combined with exercise in the fresh air and sunshine, plenty of clean water, regular hours and proper rest. Also see these links,
        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/flashback-friday-whats-your-gut-microbiome-enterotype/
        https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/05/15/were-we-wrong-about-fiber/
        Whenever we eat any food that has no natural fiber, it unbalances our gut bacteria and makes us weaker

    3. It is very easy for a ‘doctor’ who is actually a psychiatrist to write a book claiming the opposite of study after study because he chooses to ignore meta analysis of all data to instead write a book offering people what they WANT TO HEAR based of carefully selected often questionable research.

    4. There’s no truth to it. He attempts to reinterpret the data to conform to his biases. I’d be surprised he’s still living in 10 years given the lifespan of the Maasai and Inuit.

      1. He also could be a shill for some meat industry interests. They are not above such tactics. Folks will flock to any doctor who claims meat is necessary. The unwashed masses that is, it’s a sure way to SELL a book and make some money. It’s not any way I want to live. We don’t have unprocessed animals anymore anyway, and the wilds ones are contaminated by our nasty human lives as well.

    5. People like Saladino totally disgust me! Psychiatrist who just wants his 15 minutes of fame, and to sell his ridiculous book. Just his worthless opinions. Of course humans can live for a time on most any diet, we are adaptable omnivores. But that doesn’t mean that just any diet is optimal. His diet is high fat, high protein, high salt. Eat his diet and die of heart disease, cancer, even scurvy,
      Good luck with that.
      I know I’ll be getting questions from patients about this. Makes me mad!

      1. To Marilyn Kay:  Thanks for your comment.  Doctor Saladino is an individual Doctor with an individual opinion and his carnivore opinion seems to be a minority view in the medical profession.  I have been doing very well for the last thirty years on a diet of fruits, vegetables, grains and beans with some wild caught salmon.  I see no reason to begin the diet recommended by Doctor Saladino.

    6. ‘ABSTRACT
      Background: High red meat consumption is associated with a shorter survival and higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, and all-cause mortality. Fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption is associated with a longer survival and lower mortality risk. Whether high FV consumption can counterbalance the negative impact of high red meat consumption is unknown.

      Objective: We evaluated 2 large prospective cohorts of Swedish men and women (the Swedish Mammography Cohort and the Cohort of Swedish Men) to determine whether the association between red meat consumption and the risk of all-cause, CVD, and cancer-specific mortality differs across amounts of FV intake.

      Design: The study population included 74,645 Swedish men and women. Red meat and FV consumption were assessed through a self-administered questionnaire. We estimated HRs of all-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality according to quintiles of total red meat consumption. We next investigated possible interactions between red meat and FV consumption and evaluated the dose-response associations at low, medium, and high FV intake.

      Results: Compared with participants in the lowest quintile of total red meat consumption, those in the highest quintile had a 21% increased risk of all-cause mortality (HR: 1.21; 95% CI: 1.13, 1.29), a 29% increased risk of CVD mortality (HR: 1.29; 95% CI: 1.14, 1.46), and no increase in the risk of cancer mortality (HR: 1.00; 95% CI: 0.88, 1.43). Results were remarkably similar across amounts of FV consumption, and no interaction between red meat and FV consumption was detected.

      Conclusion: High intakes of red meat were associated with a higher risk of all-cause and CVD mortality. The increased risks were consistently observed in participants with low, medium, and high FV consumption. The Swedish Mammography Cohort and the Cohort of Swedish Men were registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT01127698 and NCT01127711, respectively.’
      https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/104/4/1137/4557128

      Of course, even real carnivores don’t do well on an all-meat diet. In the wild, as well as meat, carnivores eat skin, bone, fur, cartilege etc …. ie roughage. Plant fibre is also a type of roughage. Studies show that captive zoo carnivores fed raw meat have poorer health than those fed whole carcasses. Humans, who are even less well adapted to all-meat diets than real carnivores, would likely fare even less well. But sure, people, could probably survive for years on an all-meat diet before the chickens come home to roost so to speak.
      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22074361-animal-fibre-the-forgotten-nutrient-in-strict-carnivores-first-insights-in-the-cheetah/

  1. Thank you Dr. G for your usual interesting video.
    I’d like to share some fiber info which Dr. G. states in his book is the #1 inflammation reducer. The #1 food with the most fiber per calorie that I could find is navy beans. If anyone can find something better I’d be interested. Here is my source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=59
    Also, I’d like to share a really quick and easy high fiber/high protein recipe using red lentils. Ingredients: 2C water, 1 large onion of choice, 1 sweet apple (fuji, gala, etc.) or pear grated, 1 Tbs vegetable bouillon (I use Better Than Bouillion), 1 Tbs sambal olek or equivalent, 1 C red lentils. Bring the water to boil, throw in all the ingredients. Cook about 20 minutes until done. This is quick and yummy!
    I like this recipe because it provides insoluble as well as soluble fiber together for a happy intestine. Minced ginger also goes well in this quick recipe. Enjoy!

    1. I have never understood why so many people think that high protein diets are a good thing

      ‘Corresponding author and SAHMRI Nutrition and Metabolism Theme Leader Professor Christopher Proud said his team identified how nutrient supply affects longevity.

      “Science has known for some time that eating too much, in particular protein, reduces lifespan; and now we know why,” he said.

      “Our team demonstrated that increased nutrient levels speed up protein synthesis within cells. The faster this process occurs the more errors are made.

      “It’s similar to everyday activities like driving – the faster you go, the more likely you are to make a mistake.

      “The resulting build-up of faulty proteins within cells compromises health and shortens lifespan.”

      The research, which has been published in Current Biology, also reinforces established links between a low-protein, high-carbohydrate diet and longer, healthier lives – especially when it comes to brain health.’

      https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-02-high-protein-diets-unhealthy.html

      Vegetarian high protein diets may well be less unhealthy then diets high in animal protein but high protein diets in general seem to be a risk factor.

  2. That is interesting about the Fall.

    So, does the clock “falling back” increase the increase in weight gain because morning walks start happening in the pitch black?

    Okay, if I learned anything this weekend, watching this video, we are talking about hunger, so it should be something causes the brain to not see leptin or there should be more free fatty acids spilling into the blood – is that more lipolysis or is that the wrong word? Shoot. Almost there.

    Trying to figure out how the whole ghrelin and leptin thing work together.

    Either way, I am thinking it should be something causes either an increase in insulin resistance from somehow increasing NEFA’s or increasing blood sugar spiking causing an increase in insulin and that insulin blocking the brain from seeing leptin…

    Nope, not quite there.

    Getting there.

  3. Okay, I found a few studies where light therapy was used to increase leptin and decrease ghrelin.

    https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ije/2012/530726/

    Morning red, green, and blue morning light exposures significantly increased leptin concentrations
    Morning red light and green light exposures significantly decreased ghrelin concentrations but morning blue light exposures did not.

    So, if people don’t have high insulin, just increasing leptin and decreasing ghrelin should be enough?

    But if they have fatty liver or a lot of NEFA’s or high insulin levels, their brains won’t see the leptin anyway and will stay hungry?

    Sorry.

  4. When I was watching the doctor who was saying that high insulin and insulin resistance prevents the brain from seeing leptin, he talked about how starch wouldn’t contribute to the fatty liver process and it caused me to wonder why potatoes make me hungry, but glucose would still cause a rise in insulin and if my leptin levels are lower from sleep and light problems, insulin itself would cause the brain to not see leptin and that would increase hunger even without the whole NEFA process?

    I am missing how to fold ghrelin in.

    1. Deb, just a note about potatoes… Dr Mirkin makes a comparison of white and sweet potatoes and, as you can see, both are good. He does however suggest eating them with other foods (which would lower the glycemic index spreading it over the meal average). Green/ yellow non-starchy veg like steamed kale, brussel sprouts, green beans etc would work for example.

      https://www.drmirkin.com/nutrition/sweet_potatoes_not_white.html
      The form a food is in makes a difference. Whole boiled potatoes eaten with skin (cold even better!) are a different food than mashed potatoes, or worse, grated white potatoes used in hash browns. As in fruit, fiber of potatoes and other veg makes a difference in how satiating a meal can be.
      https://www.livestrong.com/article/532408-the-glycemic-index-of-baked-potatoes-vs-boiled-potatoes/

      1. Barb,

        I don’t know why mashed potatoes would be worse than eating boiled potatoes.

        I steam cook potatoes with their skins (cut into large segments) with cauliflower pieces, the whole thing, green leaves and core and all (about 3:1, by weight) in my Instant Pot, then mash them in the steaming water with minced garlic and freshly ground black pepper. So, no added oil or salt. I use a hand masher; a bit of exercise. Really good! Plus, additional spices can be added at the table.

        1. Steamed with skin on Dr J, I should have clarified. . Potatoes get my blood sugar going… and then cravings start (for me).
          If I cook cubes of potatoes, then let them cool and throw them on a salad, we’re good.

          This is the second time I posted Dr Mirkin’s site about potatoes (for Deb), Dr J, so part of the conversation is missing.

          1. *sorry, on the phone and I don’t get a good view of what is being posted. Dr J, your recipe sounds great, and in fact, I had just suggested to Deb to add other veggies to her meal like steamed kale etc. (she,like me, gets hungry after eating potatoes.. just potatoes by themselves)
            Mashing cauliflower will work brilliantly and along with a salad or something
            would make a fast tasty meal. I make aloo gobi which is a bit more involved but still combining potatoes, cauliflower, onion, tomatoes, spices.
            Thanks for sharing Dr J, great idea.

            1. Barb,

              Thanks for the suggestion about gobi. I have a book of vegan Indian recipes, that I used a few years ago (before IP, my recent major distraction), so I think I’ll look into it for a gobi recipe (and others). I am not an intuitive cook; I need recipes to follow. But I always like what I make at home better than what I can eat at most restaurants, sadly (I like the break from cooking, and my husband the break from washing dishes) — too much of restaurant fare is loaded with oil and salt. And not necessarily healthy otherwise.

              True confessions: the potato-cauliflower-garlic mash was not my idea. Though I use more cauliflower than the original recipe calls for. And the whole cauliflower head, not just the florets. It’s all good.

            2. Barb,
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrCaG2gT2Vg I found this on the Rich Roll pod cast. Roll is interviewing cardiologist Joel Kahn. At 1:45 Kahn talks about fasting as something that may help a WFPB achieve weight goals. Fumbles has produced cautionary data and I think I weigh in there. However, Kahn fasts himself and speaks highly of this way of eating.

              1. Thank you Dan! I am definitly on the skinny side, but any healthful idea that makes it easier to stay thin as we get older is much appreciated. I really enjoy listening to Rich Roll, and look forward to hearing what Dr Kahn has to say. ty again.

                1. Dan, awesome link…glad I watched it! Did you hear Dr Kahn refer to the vegan plus fasting (5 day Longo type) as “scientifically solid”? The trials he discusses that are going on now around the world are fascinating! It’s the autophagy aspects and the impact upon the brain that interest me the most. I will give it a go.

                  1. Barb, Dr. Kahn is big on fasting. I watched it all but do not remember all the details, as the video is very long. Dr. Kahn has a good grasp of vegan history (touched on the Time: Butter Is Back issue) and what is happening currently.
                    Rich Roll has another long and very good interview of the Ornish’s.

  5. Agree with the video. Spent 5 years in Alaska (1960″s) in a unit that serviced all the remote radar sites . During the summer with the long days and twilight (no darkness) one just ran like the Energizer Bunny. Come fall and winter we all yawned a lot and shuffled around. And yes, it was very easy to put on a few pounds every winter that magically disappeared in the summer. Those assigned to sites north of the Arctic Circle even more so.

    1. Wolf, I get the energy tug with Oklahoma warm seasons and the deep freeze (loss of function) in the winter. The winter here was very mild this time around and is about over.

  6. I don’t gain in the Fall/Winter, not since adopting WFPB lifestyle. Since losing that initial 30-ish pounds my weight has only fluctuated two or three pounds. I stay just right at 22.5 BMI and I do believe that 23 BMI is where the best longevity is found. I may have learned that from Dr. Barnard. I spent much of my life way too close to 25.0 when I was eating processed foods and processed animals and hummingbird food. Those days are gone gone gone! Thanks to NF.O and Dr. Greger and many others like him. 5 years anniversary is coming up Next month!

  7. I was looking up ghrelin and what I found interesting is that it rises MORE during the night in thin people than in obese people.

    Meaning that the thin people wake up hungrier.

    The researchers considered the blunting of the nocturnal rise of ghrelin in obese people a biological feature of human obesity.

    And as I went over to see how it all affected adiponectin, I realized for sure that I need an actual biology class.

    I am going to see if Khan academy has videos on the topics.

    Sorry, for trying to figure all of this out here. It really is so complicated and it was the fructose guy (not Fung, the other guy) who showed me that I can’t do it this way. I really need to understand the biological mechanisms.

  8. Off-topic – Muscle Cramps

    Anybody dealt with and maybe overcome muscle cramps? Please share your insights.

    I don’t want to list all the things I’m doing or not doing, etc., other than to say I’m a long- time vegan, eating a higher percentage of healthy food in the past year than ever. I just wanted to see what people had to say. I’ve spent plenty of hours and made several efforts in the last couple of months trying to figure this out and haven’t made any significant progress on anything.

    If this is too much to ask on this forum, please let me know. I’m not on Facebook but there’s a possibility I could post this on Reddit.

    I hope it’s OK that I put it here, my comments on other subjects that are from the past but on-topic don’t seem to get responses and I’m a bit upset because they are not improving.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. J: re: muscle cramps: I think I saw a YouTube video where you “stretch a cramp.” That is, if your toes are curling upward and the muscles in the front of your lower leg are cramping, then tighten up the muscle (calf) on the other side of the tibia. This may take a few painful moments. Electrolytes (potassium & sodium) may help, and being hydrated. Two great sources of potassium are dates and tomatoes. There are lots of videos on the subject. You might try a rolling pin–like physical therapy device to literally roll out the cramp. Foam rollers can be found in sports / exercise sections of department stores.

    2. J,

      I got them when I was using Methyl-only B12. They went away when I switched to Cyano B12.

      Though, when my mother was alive, I remember that she had them from being low in Magnesium and years ago, I believe I had that, too.

    3. J, – I had terrible foot and calf cramps for a while. For me, I believe it is related to magnesium. I take 400 mgs magnesium citrate and it seems to help. Also with my arrhythmia. You might want to get the book The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., After she finished medical school she got her ND. She practices in Hawaii and can do a video conference with you if you need assistance. Her book about magnesium has a ton of useful information in it. I got it from the library. The type of magnesium matters. Dr. Dean advised to not take magnesium oxide which is what you see in the drug stores on the shelves as it is not well assimilated.
      Those cramps can be ghastly painful! Hope this might help just a big.

      1. J: Dr. Greger has a video on magnesium. Eat greens, grains and beans–or vegan. I just bought 6 cans of Popeye spinach and have eaten one. Also, walking off a leg cramp will work for me.

    4. I used to get muscle cramps frequently now hardly ever. I have found it to be the result of not eating enough greens, high potassium foods, and enough water. You’re eating better but not maybe good enough. Half of each meal veggies and make sure to have at least one big salad a day with dark leafy greens included. I also eat a lot of potatoes and sweet potatoes for their healthy starches, potassium, and satiety.

    1. YR,

      Re your article: Early days yet. Preliminary research.

      “ According to Mashek, merely consuming olive oil is not enough to elicit all of the health benefits. His team’s studies suggest that when coupled with fasting, limiting caloric intake and exercising, the effects of consuming olive oil will be most pronounced….

      The next steps for their research are to translate it to humans with the goal of discovering new drugs or to further tailor dietary regimens that improve health, both short-term and long-term.“

      Don’t you love the way all nutrition research is directed to “discovering new drugs?” Or “tailored dietary regimens?” Whatever happened to just eating whole plant foods? In a balanced sort of way?

      And note the precautionary comment: Early research suggested red wine and its resveratrol as the major contributor to the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet. But now, this researcher thinks it’s the fat in olive oil. Maybe it’s worth looking at the original research paper, if it’s not behind a pay wall.

      Meanwhile, good olive oil tastes good!! I hope that you can enjoy it guilt-free.

      1. Dr. J.

        Thanks for explaining it better. I sort of look at all this “research” stuff with a sideways glance. :-)

        I just figure I’d like my toast better with something on it rather than dry. (Although, peanut butter is an option! Ummmm, peanut butter!)

        Tellya the truth, I hardly know the 3 or 4 drops are even there; can’t even taste it. And, forget butter! Haven’t had that for many decades (although I grew up in America’s Dairyland).

    2. YR,

      You don’t have to feel guilty is the truth.

      However, in the “improvement on the Mediterranean diet” video series, if I am remembering properly, the group that got nuts instead of olive oil had 25% fewer strokes.

    3. I don’t think that there is any reason to believe that the fatty acids in olive oil are any better than the fatty acids in actual olives. Or the same monounsaturated fatty acids in other foods such as nuts, seeds, avocado etc. Whole foods are probably less vulnerable to rancidity/oxidisation though.

      You would also have to do similar trials on all other oils to assess whether olive oil is actually better than those and is the best option overall – if you decide to consume oils in the fi, coffee, tea etcrst place.

      I mean you could probably do studies that show that drinking Coke has hydration benefits. After all it mostly contains water. But they wouldn’t necessarily demonstrate that it is a better option than eg drinking water, tea, coffee etc. or eating foods with a high water content or that matter. This is the same type of thing, I’d suggest

      studies

          1. No, I have had a couple of operations on my hands which means that I am not as digitally dexterous as I would like. Consequently the pointer tends to jump about and I end up keying in stuff or deleting stuff on completely different portions of the text or even the ID section down below the text box itself.

            Regarding your ‘schizo’ comment, one thing about schizophrenia is the delusional aspect eg

            ‘People with schizophrenia often report hearing voices, seeing things that are not really there and having delusional thoughts’

            I don’t know whether you hear voices or see things but your posts frequently give the impression that you are prey to delusional thoughts, But I suspect that that’s probably due more to credulity (than schizophrenia).

            ‘A weak or ignorant disregard of the nature or strength of the evidence upon which a belief is founded; in general, a disposition, arising from weakness or ignorance, to believe too readily, especially impossible or absurd things.’

  9. I am sitting here beside my, “sun” lamp and eating my largest meal of the day at 1030 am thanks to the information I get on Nutritionfacts.org.

    I live in the far north in Canada and even though we get breathtaking blue skies, it is often too cold to get enough exposure to those helpful rays at the times Dr. Greger describes in his recommendations because we are heavily covered in clothing.

    This video makes it even more clear and now I understand better the cravings in the cold months and why they occur. Thanks so much Dr. Greger and team!

    A proud and healthy monthly supporter of Nutritionfacts.org. ;)

    1. Bobbi,

      I was thinking thoughts like that yesterday and it was nice enough in the Northeast USA to actually go outside. With a jacket, but I got the noonday light and I ate breakfast again. Noon isn’t exactly bright morning light, but Dr. Greger has me working on things.

  10. Okay, this particular troll has started doing my science videos again.

    I watched the fructose theory guy (the other one, not Fung) I still haven’t learned his name, but I know I have to learn about the liver’s part in metabolism and I found videos and I know for sure that learning the mechanisms and seeing the pictures is what will make me less annoying. Eventually.

    I am starting with what he said that 80% of glucose goes to the other organs and 20% goes to the liver and 100% of fructose goes to the liver (and alcohol goes there, too.)

    He left out where the lipids and proteins, but I will be figuring it out. Then, there will be less spinning around.

  11. In my opinion, your hunger and metabolism is greatly affected by your intestinal microbiome.
    So how would your intestinal microbiome be altered by the seasons, while maintaining a fairly consistent diet ?

    “Skin Exposure to UVB Light Modulates the Human Intestinal Microbiome”
    Frontiers in Microbiology; October 2019 | Volume 10 | Article 2410

    “Wind and Sunlight Shape Microbial Diversity in Surface Waters”
    ISME Journal (2016) 10, 1308–1322

    For North Americans, come autumn, the winds blow from West Africa across the Atlantic Ocean towards South-Eastern US, and then up through the center of the US. If there are microbial blooms in the Ocean’s surface waters, then eventually you will catch wind of it.

    Once the icy cold of winter sets in, the microbes’ mobility (air/surface) is hindered by ice.
    Come Spring, we notice a change in mood, and perhaps intestinal microbiome composition changes as well.

    1. Louis,

      I did try to look up the microbiome and hunger, but so far it seems more theoretical. One of the studies where they tried to improve the microbiome, the children gained weight and the adults lost weight, but it wasn’t consistent. It was potentially a small part of it, rather than a big part of it.

      Compare that to Lustig’s video on the brain not seeing Leptin because of high insulin/insulin resistance and it seems like insulin and functioning hypothalamus are more accurate indicators of what causes hunger.

      This one is on light itself and I don’t understand the mechanism of light causing insulin resistance, but.even a single night of light exposure during sleep acutely impacts measures of insulin resistance is what one study said.

      https://www.blublox.com/blogs/news/is-insulin-resistance-a-disease-of-light

      1. The concept that we gain more weight in the Fall and we have more insulin resistance in the Winter or are they wrong, is it the most insulin resistance also in the Fall, maybe still being high in the Winter?

        They recommended seasonal eating, but their concept was not eating carbs in the Winter, which is not the concept I am thinking we want, but seasonal eating would be a good topic.

        They also said that the Mediterranean diet people ate their meals in natural light was part of the advantage.

  12. What I liked about him was that he said straight out that sugar only added. .8 to the weight gain. So he agreed that sugar wasn’t causing the obesity epidemic.

    So both sides agree.

    1. Deb, you were watching Dr Lustig weren’t you ? https://www.uctv.tv/skinny-on-obesity/ He is very much anti-sugar, but he’s not ‘low carber’. He has a number of videos out that detail metabolism processes.

      I have been watching uctv for almost ten years. The health channel has grown immensely …. lots of topics to choose from!

      1. Yeah, Dr. Lustig.

        It is so refreshing to have someone talk about sugar and not go in the “low carb” direction.

        I am comparing it to the study that said that pointed the finger to saturated fats rather than sugar for metabolic problems, but his video was fun.

        I still haven’t found Part 1 of the video I was watching where he said that he went into greater detail, but he gave me lots of pictures.

        While I was waiting on the phone with the IRS for an hour and a half today, (they say they sent a refund that we never received) I ended up watching liver function and liver metabolism videos, while doing no-brainer things. I was disappointed that I couldn’t find a liver music video, but I found a few simple versions, too simple because I already looked at Lustig’s version and wanted more like that.

        But in one of the simple versions, I got to LDL and HDL and the doctor was talking about them as protein-based transporter molecules /carrier molecules that carry cholesterol and triglycerides and phospholipids and I paused and honestly know that all of these things are just words to me. I don’t know what I thought they were, but I definitely didn’t think of them as carrying other things around.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIeS9SdjEmI

    2. Deb, Dr. McDougall blames eating fat for weight gain and said the bio-chemical pathway from sugar to fat is more complicated than the fat intake to fat storage pathway. He even has a mantra to remember this with, “The fat you eat is the fat you wear,” “The fat you eat is the fat you wear.” This is why I suspect vegans eating franken foods may have weight issues–they are still eating oil. Former NY mayor Bloomberg attacked sugary soft drinks for bad health and maybe weight gain. Bucket-sized soft drinks are a good whipping monster to attack. If he would have attacked fried foods the campaign would not have had as much punch.

  13. Is nutritional yeast a good source of riboflavin? What effect would storage have on it? I’ve reasoned to myself that because manufacturers don’t store it in lightproof packaging, light would deactivate the riboflavin.

    1. YR,

      That is too terrifying to be of interest.

      Shhhh, don’t tell anybody it happened.

      It is an election year and we don’t want people getting ideas.

  14. Today, I used my Amazon returns Christmas credit and bought a sleep mask and I am reading the light therapy information.

    I have a red light and infrared box and I think I can use that, but decades ago I had the alarm clock where the light came on to wake you up. I don’t think I can use both a mask to make it pitch black AND an alarm clock to make it bright in the morning, but I am trying to figure out if there is a way to do it.

    I have too motion-sensitive night lights that come whenever I shift position after sundown. I don’t want to get rid of them because I have a fear of falling if I get up at night.

    I am thinking this science is about covering the eyes and not being exposed to blue light at night, but get light exposure also to my eye area in the morning. Am I right that it is the eye area that needs exposure?

    What I am thinking is that I can go to bed with the mask and sometime in the night when I get up to go to the bathroom, I can transition to no mask so I can have artificial morning light.

    I was able to get some light this past weekend, but it is dark where I sleep and dark in my office, so computer would be my “morning light” and I am not sure that counts positively. Plus, I use blue blocker glasses all of the time. It feels bright enough looking at my computer, but I wouldn’t think of it as light therapy.

  15. Deb, I remember having a light alarm clock some time back now. Light would come on gradually and there may have been a rooster sound. This is all good in theory, but I’m not into gadgets and I’m not sure I used it. It went the way of a garage sale. I have a dim nightlight in a bathroom and I have an old lantern in the kitchen that I wired a low watt, amber LED in to. This lantern stays on 24 / 7. I leave the light on for myself (Motel 7).

  16. So happy to have this information! I am going to put this into practice in my life. I appreciate your solid research findings and continued commitment to “How Not To Die”!

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