As 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.