You can thank evolution for your winter overeating

You Can Thank Evolution for Your Winter Overeating

When December hits, put away that scale. A study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society shows our bodies actually might be having stronger urges to overeat when the days get short and the weather gets chilly.

It turns out, it may all be part of a survival instinct to get our bodies to reach an optimal winter weight. Apparently our ancestors heavily relied on putting on the pounds to survive harsh winters when finding food was difficult.

SEE ALSO: How to hide winter weight gain

The study shows, from an evolutionarily standpoint, being overweight hasn't posed a significant threat to our survival compared to being underweight. Researchers built computer models to measure and predict how much fat various species need to store in the winter to avoid starving or being eaten.

The models revealed our bodies have a natural target weight. If we're below that natural target, we gain weight easier and if we're above, it gets harder to shed the extra pounds.

The issue occurs when not enough weight is lost in the spring.

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