Shorter Days Have You Craving Carbs? Try This Instead.

by Monica Reinagel, MS, LDN on December 11, 2013

exercise.jpgAs the temperatures dip and the days get shorter, comfort foods may seem like just the thing. If you find yourself craving carbohydrates at this time of year, it may be due to a seasonal dip in serotonin levels. Eating carbohydrates tends to increase serotonin production, which can elevate your mood–but only temporarily. In a few hours, you need another fix. By the time winter is over, you may have packed on a lot of carbohydrate-fueled pounds.

A better way to stimulate serotonin is with regular exercise.  Exercise stimulates serotonin production with no carbohydrate hang-over. Instead of gaining winter weight, you might even trim down.  Overcoming your Fall fatigue and getting yourself moving may take some self-discipline at first. But the rewards, in the form of more energy and a brighter mood, come quickly.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Frances R Dean December 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm

OMG this! I love my carbs but it’s taking its toll on my weight. Thank you for posting about this tip. (More like a life hack to me, to be honest.)


Jim January 1, 2014 at 9:58 pm

This IS good advice, and I’ve exercised most every day for decades. But I have to disagree about exercise’s “no hangover” attribute. Personally, my mood and productivity do increase markedly in the hours following my workouts (an extended “runners’ high”), but if I don’t follow that up with another workout the next morning, I definitely suffer a rebound effect, and I function much worse than if I’d not worked out at all on the day before. I think it’s possible to become dependent on workouts, not unlike a dependence on carbs or any other mood-elevating activity.


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: