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Standing on a scale showing weight gain with santa clause slippers. How to avoid weight gain in the winter months

By PYM STORE

How to Increase Serotonin for Weight Loss in the Winter

Are you wondering why you gain weight in the winter months? You're not alone. Surveys have shown that people tend to gain five to seven pounds on average during the winter months.

Of course there are the obvious reasons of tempting foods and alcohol at holiday parties. But if you're eating well and exercising and still struggling with weight gain and low moods, a serotonin imbalance could be to blame.

In this article you will learn how serotonin levels influence weight, why serotonin levels are more likely to become imbalanced in the winter months, and how you can increase serotonin levels naturally to avoid weight gain and boost your mood in the winter.

How serotonin is produced in the body

Serotonin is one of our feel-good neurotransmitters that helps us feel calm and less anxious. It is produced in the body through the synthesis of vitamin B6 and tryptophan, an amino acid we get from foods like turkey, chicken, fish, dairy products, nuts, seeds, and certain fruits.

Carbohydrates also play an important role in serotonin production by helping tryptophan to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Not all carbs are created equal, though. Opt for carbs in the form of fruits, whole grains, beans, vegetables and nuts (with the occasional sweet treat!).

Sunlight is also important for serotonin synthesis, which we'll talk more about in a bit!

The impact of serotonin on weight and mood

When serotonin levels are low, our body intelligently drives us to eat carbohydrate-rich foods to produce more serotonin. Unfortunately in our modern world, we tend to gravitate towards the high-sugar, high-fat, processed carbs rather than whole, nutritious carbs, which leads to weight gain.

When serotonin levels are optimal, serotonin acts as an appetite suppressant, meaning it curbs cravings and shuts off hunger. 

It's no surprise, then, that studies have shown a link between depression (often associated with low serotonin levels) and obesity. It's also why a common side effect of anti-depressant medications known as SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) is weight loss.

Serotonin deficiency and weight gain in the winter

So how do serotonin levels become lower in the winter? Well, remember when we said sunlight is also important for serotonin synthesis?

Sunlight helps to increase the production of tryptophan hydroxylase, an enzyme that is needed to convert tryptophan into serotonin.

That's why you get that good mood boost when you feel the warm glow of the sun on your face. It's also why you may experience the "winter blues" or seasonal depression in the winter months, when there is less daylight hours.

And finally, it's also part of the reason why you're more likely to experience weight gain in the winter. 

Naturally increase serotonin to avoid winter weight gain with the Winter Mood Boost Bundle!

The PYM Winter Mood Boost Bundle was specifically created with nutrients to help you increase serotonin in the winter. The bundle includes:

  • Mood B Complete: a methylated B complex vitamin plus vitamin D to support serotonin synthesis
  • Mood Omegas: omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA to reduce inflammation and increase serotonin release
  • Mood Chews: amino acids GABA and L-Theanine to reduce cortisol levels and increase serotonin

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Other ways to naturally increase serotonin levels

Maintain good gut health

The gut absorbs tryptophan to produce serotonin in the gut and brain. If we have poor gut health, it may impact our body's ability to absorb and utilize tryptophan for serotonin synthesis.

An easy way to maintain good gut health is to take probiotics. PYM Mood Biotics are formulated with 6 strains of bacteria shown in research to reduce stress, support gut health, and boost your mood. 

Mimic sunlight with a light therapy lamp

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) lamps, also known as light therapy lamps, mimic sunlight to trick your brain into producing more serotonin.

Get quality sleep

During sleep is when the synthesis and regulation of neurotransmitters like serotonin happen! Sleep deprivation disrupts this delicate balance, impeding the optimal conversion of tryptophan.

Plus, irregular sleep patterns can affect the circadian rhythm, the body's internal clock, further influencing serotonin production. So, prioritizing sufficient and restful sleep is essential for maintaining healthy serotonin levels and supporting overall mental well-being.

PYM Mood Magnesium is a blend of the three most proven types of magnesium to support quality sleep, reduce stress, and improve mood.

Spend time with friends and loved ones

Spending quality time with friends and loved ones helps lower stress levels, which boosts serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine levels. So don't let the cold keep you isolated!

Keep moving

Exercise helps to naturally boost serotonin levels. While it may be harder to work up the motivation to work out in the colder months, it'll be so beneficial for your overall health, mood, and weight! Nowadays there are plenty of free or low cost at-home workout programs available online, so you don't even have to leave your home!