Have you ever noticed that you crave more hardy carbohydrate and sugar rich foods in the winter?
Winter weight gain is actually influenced as a result of the production of serotonin by your body. The production of serotonin is promoted with heat and sunlight. Without these components, your body tries to compensate by using starch to stimulate this production.
Serotonin is often thought of as the happy hormone because it influences mood. It plays a much larger role than that…it is also influential in regulating the body’s memory, cravings, self-esteem, pain tolerance, sleeping habits, appetite and digestion.
Multitasking and chronic stress depletes serotonin. Ongoing stress can deplete serotonin reserves leading to intense food cravings, compulsive eating, low energy, depression, worry and difficulty with making decisions.
People rarely have high levels of serotonin without antidepressant medication. Keep your body happy and healthy by boosting natural serotonin production.
Tryptophan: This is a protein building block that the body uses to make serotonin. The best food sources are turkey, brown rice, cottage cheese, meat, peanuts and sesame seeds.
Complex carbohydrates: Skip white breads and pastries that will only give you a short burst of energy and instead choose slow-release complex carbohydrates made from whole grains.
Vitamin D3: This nutrient should be taken daily with food in order to optimize the brain’s use of serotonin.
Vitamin B6: Supplementing with B6 will help support the body’s production and use of serotonin effectively.
One thing at a time: Stop multitasking and focus on one thing at a time.
Seek Sunshine: Even during the winter months, it’s important to prioritize get outside in the sunlight whenever possible.