Everyone knows what a post-holiday period mean. You feel more depressed and seem to need food and shopping as therapy even more than ever. But there is another, better option to start feeling better and more optimistic. It is called serotonin and it is responsible for your good mood and feeling well in this sense.
Serotonin represents a brain chemical that keeps your mood balanced and also your appetite controlled. Most of the modern antidepressant drugs function on the basis of serotonin and therefore they fix the mood problems. This is what concerns serotonin’s first function. In the case with the second, it controls your appetite. Yes, it is about appetite that you seem to want to eat crisps, chocolate, ice-creams, and whatever else when we are not really hungry. Isn’t the situation familiar that you tend to eat something unnecessary and, in general, overeat when you are bored or stressed or upset?
The same happens after holidays, in the conditions of extreme stress of exhaustion or long winter. This is most unlikely that you will crave for steamed vegetables and lean fish. More tempting at such times are donuts, or French fries, or ice cream, or else, everyone knows. And everyone knows that such indulgence is frequently and very quickly fraught with extra pounds and added centimeters to your waist. But. This all does not mean that you should not eat all these tasty things if there is nothing else to comfort yourself with. You just have to be wise and choose those foods that both influence your serotonin production and reduce your appetite cravings.
Various supplements offer serotonin or one of its building blocks such as 5-HTP or tryptophan in pharmacies. But they actually do nothing to the brain and do not provide it with serotonin. Mind that you can only do it by using some sweet and starchy carbohydrates. And this is not fruit or fructose.
Yes, the talk will be about carbohydrates as they are beneficial for the organism contrariwise some people’s assumptions that carbohydrates are bad and harmful and only make you gain undesired weight. They do, for sure if you eat them without thinking. But they also initiate biochemical reactions evoking in the production of serotonin by the brain. Keep in mind also that if you try too hard with all the diets you are most likely to feel weak and in a bad mood. Moreover, serotonin and protein are not a good combination for mood improvement – therefore choose products with carbohydrates but without proteins.
In order to increase your serotonin levels you do not need to do anything complicated. Just eat some carbohydrates when you feel down. Leave your fruit for the morning and when in the afternoon and evening try something like this: pretzels or fat free cookies as a snack and some pasta and mushrooms for dinner. Such things will give the feeling of fullness and also cheer you up. You do not feel down every day, for sure, and that is why eat healthy in general. But for the days of gloom when you feel that you will easily cope with a portion twice as much as your stomach can do there are some tips.
A little bit of pretzels or crackers before dinner will be sufficient and lessen the appetite. When in a restaurant nibble on the bread a bit and then order two appetizers or just an entry instead of one appetizer and an entry. Perhaps, you have come to notice it yourself. And it really works – you will feel fuller and will not overeat. When at home give your preference to vegetables for good nutrients and wholesome starches like brown rice, sweet potatoes, and whole wheat bread or pasta.
If you follow these tips you will see that post-holiday season (and any time when you are down) is easily helped and without any unpleasant side-effects as gained weight. Keep your serotonin levels high and you will feel much better.