Fatigue and food compulsions

[Article updated on 19/09/2023]

The month of February symbolizes the middle of winter. The temperatures are still low, the days are gradually getting longer, but is that enough to avoid feeling that winter fatigue?

Before reading on

I’m not an expert in this field, but I am passionate about nutrition and health.

The articles you’ll find on my site are the result of in-depth research that I’d like to share with you. However, I would like to stress that I am not a health professional and that my advice should in no way replace that of a qualified physician. I’m here to guide you, but it’s important that you consult a professional for specific questions or medical concerns. Your well-being is important. So be sure to consult the appropriate experts and take the best possible care of yourself.

This winter are you feeling a drop in morale? A drop in energy?

Is this accompanied by a need to compulsively eat more sugar? Like seeking comfort in these sweet foods?

If you recognize yourself in these questions, it’s normal. In this article I will enlighten you on these symptoms and give you advice and tools to get your head out of the (cold) water!

Fatigue hwinter

The drop in energy experienced in winter is common and normal. Our behaviors are different during this season: we stay at home more, move less, the cold numbs our motivation to go out and fatigue sets in.

The drop in light also causes physical and moral fatigue. Just like the temperatures which drop and bring with them a feeling of heaviness, rigidity and drowsiness.

Signs of winter fatigue: exhaustion, weariness, drowsiness, irritability, reduced alertness and concentration, etc.

Winter fatigue can lead to mental fatigue that I call nervous fatigue and which will have consequences on your eating behaviors.

tired woman leaning her head against her computer to demonstrate her emotional or winter fatigue

Nervous fatigue

Nervous fatigue is therefore the consequence of fatigue that has been present for a while and is also due to an excessively fast pace of life. An active life which takes up all the space and which results in forgetting oneself.

A To do list that is too long and we never see the end of it, a day that is too intense.

This will lead to a feeling of exhaustion, “severe fatigue” and/or a persistent state of drowsiness.

Signs of nervous fatigue: exhaustion, lack of enthusiasm, reduced performance, anxiety, sleep problems, etc.

To compensate for this mental fatigue, the body requires quickly consumable energy, it seeks a “boost” effect that is as quick as it is ephemeral.

You may find there a first clue which could explain your recently observed sweet compulsions. Possible recent weight gain.

Eating compulsionre:cis what ?

To be clearly differentiated from bulimia and hyperphagia.

An eating compulsion is eating without hunger, exceeding your satiety threshold. This eating behavior is also called emotional eating.

Does this speak to you?

These snacking are the result of many sources: fatigue and loss of energy, need for comfort through food, seeking refuge in food, calorie deficit during meals which leads to an urgent need to eat, etc.

The reasons are numerous and in this article I will focus on chronic fatigue which induces this need to eat sugar to give yourself a false feeling of energy.

False since it is not sustainable over time, therefore not/not very effective and resulting in a feeling of guilt (and perhaps weight gain).

My advice

Now that you have a clearer picture of the reason(s) for your winter eating compulsions, I invite you to try these different methods in order to lighten your mental load and calm your mind.

Because if your mind is better, the need to look for the answer to your problems in food will no longer be relevant.

Meteo intelaughing

The very first step is to learn to understand yourself. And for this, I invite you to question your inner weather every day, several times a day in order to observe what feelings, what emotions are at play.

Learn to put words to what you feel, to put your finger on what bothers you, bothers you so that you can act on it.

Learn has understand your feelings

By helping yourself with these kinds of questions: “What do I feel? “, “How do I feel? “. This will help you identify your emotions and then let them slide over you, accepting them without trying to fight against them.

Being overcome by emotions is normal, to fight against it is to put yourself in difficulty and begin a fight against yourself which can only be lost in advance.

Take the time to breathe for 5 minutes every day.

You can take these few minutes to give yourself some time to breathe mindfully, to relax, perhaps to go for a little walk mindfully, or you can watch some videos of comedians who will make you laugh heartily. .

image of two plates presenting vegetables and nuts and starchy foods

Come back has Linstantefeels.

In the here and now. When you eat, focus on what’s in your mouth, turn off the screens and return to your senses and sensations.

When we have eating compulsions we tend to disconnect from the present, to forget ourselves, to shut down.

Use tasting as a way to come back to yourself, to what is happening.

Use your 5 senses to savor this food that calls to you: look at it, smell it, let it melt in your mouth, appreciate the flavors that burst on your tongue and those that stay for a long time.

Food ebalanceee, in quantitye sufficient

The composition of your meals will have a big impact on your compulsive snacking.

If you don’t eat enough during meals this will have two effects: causing you to be very hungry, compulsive snacking as well as fatigue, a drop in energy which will also cause compulsive snacking.

We often talk about eating less and not enough about eating more. Indeed, eating more balanced meals (portion of vegetables, starchy foods, proteins), with more quantities can make all the difference in keeping you going over time and avoiding snacking.

You will find other articles on the theme of balanced diet and do not hesitate to ask a health professional for more details if you feel the need.

I hope that you have found in this article all the tips that will be useful to you in reducing your winter fatigue and the eating compulsions that can be associated with it.