The Feel Good Diet

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Join me on my "I Fit and Healthy" journey! Maria is an Upstate New Yorker interested in all things healthy-living related! She started the "I Fit and Healthy" Blog to document life and her pursuit of healthy living. By day she work in digital media and advertising. By night she’s a first-rate wife and mom of two crazy little girls! She is self-proclaimed addicted to her iPhone/iPad and always on the hunt for the latest health tools and fitness gadgets.

Sure, many diets can help you lose weight, but The Feel Good Diet takes it a step further.

It emphasizes the importance of keeping your serotonin and dopamine levels optimized while dieting.

Why is that important? Because these brain chemicals (a.k.a. neurotransmitters), control our food cravings, energy level and a sense of well-being.

Cheryle Hart, M.D., and Mary Kay Grossman, RD authors of The Feel Good Diet explain:

“Serotonin and dopamine work together in the hypothalamic area of the brain to regulate food intake. Dopamine rises with the anticipation of eating and peaks as you start to eat.

The dopamine peak causes the release of serotonin, which signals satiety, the feeling of fullness, and you naturally stop eating.”

According to the book, many weight-loss plans – specifically those that aggressively restrict carbohydrates – deplete serotonin levels.

This can have undesirable side effects, such as cravings, loss of will power, sluggish metabolism, and rebound appetite – which, in turn, is a sure recipe for yo-yo dieting.

The authors point out that “Long-term use of diet pills, stimulants, pain pills, and narcotics can deplete neurotransmitter stores.

The diet pill combination fen-pen worked because it caused the neurons to release large amounts of appetite-suppressing dopamine and serotonin.

Other diet pills containing stimulants, such as large doses of caffeine, similarly force the release of large amounts of dopamine and norepinephrine. Long-term use of these, however, causes depletions of neurotransmitters.

This results in profound rebound appetite and mood problems for many dieters, especially women.”

The Feel Good Diet not only explains how to lose weight safely and preserve your emotional health while you are at it – it uses “The Link-and-Balance Method” which combines protein and carbs to control insulin and boost your serotonin levels.

The book takes a sensible approach to exercise, i.e., “exercising smarter, not harder.” “Research shows that certain types of exercises actually end up slowing down your metabolism and increasing your weight gain,” say the authors.

Imagine that! They continue:

“I can’t think of anything more frustrating than spending countless hours of hard work and sweating without losing a pound of fat. Worse yet, you may even end up getting fatter.

Most people think that any kind of exercise produces weight loss. They do not realize that different types of exercises have different results.

For instance, cardiovascular exercises improve your heart and lung functions, but excessive amount actually burn up muscles, upset the stress hormones, and deplete neurotransmitters.

As a result, your metabolism slows down, causing you to retain fat rather than lose it.”

The Feel Good Diet combines recipes and daily meal plans with easy to follow exercise guidelines into two programs.

Depending on your lifestyle and personal goals, you get to choose which program to follow, but each program is designed to help you better manage cravings and achieve permanent weight loss while preserving your sanity.


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