Do The Winter Blues Affect Weight Control?

The holidays are over, the Christmas trees and lights are down, presents have been unwrapped and what lies ahead: Three months of cold, early morning darkness/early sunsets, many cloudy days and a general feeling of “UGH”.

For many people, this time of year brings about sadness and despair often referred to as “SAD” (Seasonal Affective Disorder). There are a number of reasons that this occurs, one of which is a lessened production of serotonin due to darkness. Sunlight, when it hits the retina of the eye, triggers production of serotonin. Although the darkness started in October, the excitement of the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Years season overrides, in most cases, the chemical component to SAD. However, now that all the festivities are over with no special holidays to look forward to, the lower serotonin levels contribute to more melancholy.

How does this impact on weight control? When people feel blue, there usually is less energy available to be proactive in any endeavor, including weight control efforts. Getting to the gym, planning meals, staying focused…all of these and more are negatively impacted by SAD. Moreover, often we subconsciously try to “treat” our sadness by ingesting immediately gratifying foods/drinks, and these tend to be the exact consumables that damage our weight control.

If you find yourself spiraling into SAD, take the steps needed to come out of it. First, if you are not in visits with us at the SP Program, come out for a FREE body scan to just say “hi” and allow us to provide you with some motivation. Check out those “SAD” lighting devices that can be placed in key areas to combat the darkness. Also, we do offer our mood product, SeroPro that has helped many people fight off those winter blues.

SAD will turn into more sadness if weight gain occurs during these months. Let’s all go into that warm, flowery spring with a healthier and happier weight.

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Author
Dr. Robert Posner One of the world’s leading medical weight loss researchers, Robert Posner, MD, operates his state-of-the-art weight loss clinic, Serotonin Plus, in the heart of Burke, Virginia, in the suburban Washington area.

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