As over eaters, this time of year can prove to be quite challenging. With the time change, darkness falls upon us much earlier. The temperature is falling. And the holidays are just around the corner. Are these just excuses for us to over eat, or are these legitimate reasons we over eat?
SAD and Over Eating
We will address over eating on the holidays in a series of other posts, but for today let's talk about the time change and cooler temperatures and how these factors affect over eaters.
First of all, our hearts go out to anyone who suffers from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), especially those who live in Wisconsin where the winters can be quite lengthy--this disorder can ruin a person's life.One of the top reasons we over eat is boredom. Check out our poll on the blog's home page and share with us the #1 reason you over eat. According to Mayo Clinic, SAD is diagnosed more often in women than in men, but men may have symptoms that are more severe. Here is an excerpt from theNational Center for Biotechnology Information and U.S. National Library of Medicine that talks about those who are likely to gain weight during the winter months--those who suffer from SAD.
Eating style in seasonal affective disorder: who will gain weight in winter?
Kräuchi K, Reich S, Wirz-Justice A.
Source: Psychiatric University Clinic, Basel, Switzerland.Abstract
Patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) selectively eat more carbohydrates (CHO), particularly sweets but also starch-rich foods, during their depression in winter. The Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (DEBQ) was administered to female SAD patients, healthy female controls, and female medical students to determine their eating style, together with the modified Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ+). SAD patients showed higher values for "emotional" (EMOT) eating than the students, and these in turn had higher values than the controls. In comparison to controls, SAD patients and students head high values for the factor "external" (EXT) eating, but there was no difference between the groups with respect to "restraint" (REST) eating. This is in strong contrast to patients with bulimia and anorexia nervosa, who are high REST eaters, indicating that SAD patients do not have a similar eating disorder. Additional items showed that SAD patients selectively eat sweets under emotionally difficult conditions (when depressed, anxious, or lonely). Configural frequency analysis showed that seasonal body weight change (SBWC) is high in subjects with high EMOT and REST eating together with a high body mass index (BMI). This result is in accordance with the concept of disinhibition of dietary restraint in extreme emotional situations, e.g., the depressive state.What can you do to overcome SAD?
As stated on the Mayo Clinic website, if your seasonal depression symptoms are severe, you may need medications, light therapy or other treatments to manage seasonal affective disorder. However, there are some measures you can take on your own that may help. Try the following:
Visit Mayo Clinic's website for more information about SAD and other options for treatment.