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Will SAD Make You Eat More?

I live on the East coast, in northeastern Ohio, and it’s coming to that time of the year where you rarely see sunlight and the temperatures dip down in to the frigid range. When I leave in the morning, it’s dark, when I get home in the evening from work, it’s pitch black already, even thought it’s only dinner time.

This darkness and lack of sunlight exposure and natural light therapy gives rise to what doctors have termed “SAD” or Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a mild depression and moodiness that is linked to the lack of natural sunlight exposure. We really don’t realize how much the sun does for us until this time of year.

Just to look around, everything is more drab, less appealing to look at. We don’t get the levels of vitamin D in our system from sunlight (UV) exposure either, unless we visit sunbeds in the winter either, and it is thought that lack of vitamin D also adds to this disorder.

There are a few things that go with this mild depression in the winter time. We feel more moody, less upbeat, and usually have less energy if we are affected by SAD. We alos often times tend to want to eat more. We tend to crave things like sweets and carbs, because most likely our seratonin levels are affected.

Seratonin is the natural “feel good” chemical, and when we eat things like chocolate, simple carbs and sugars, we get a temporary boost in our feel good chemicals in our body, only to be let down even harder later on due to the intake of this temporary boost. It also results in a loss of energy after it wear off, giving you that sort of “drop off” that caffeine and other stimulants give when they wear off.

So, what are some of the ways we can keep from stuffing our mouths with every piece of junk food we see, and keep those cravings for pound-adding foods away? Well, first off, you can try a mild, natural appetite suppressant of course. Thinks like hoodia gordonii and other natural appetite killers will do the trick.

You may want to try light therapy, which is said to help cure the moodiness and elevate the mood that is affected by SAD as well. You can try mild natural antidepressants like St. Johns Wort, and use them only according to their label, but those do take a while to kick in.

One of the best ways to kick SAD is to work out. My favorite thing to kick the winter blues is to do an intense workout then get in our infrared sauna afterward. The sauna gives me that affect of being in the warmth of the sun, and it does boost my mood, for whatever reason I’m not sure, but it does!

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