Serotonin Power Diet Day 1 - The Sugar Addict and serotonin
Monday, March 30, 2009
Well, today is the day that I have decided to try a completely new approach to weight loss and binge control. My new plan is based on the "Serotonin Power Diet" by Judith Wurtman and Nina Frusztajer. Many of the concepts go completely against what I HAVE been doing, but then again, what I have been doing has not been working. The concept behind this diet is that people tend to have cravings and binge on carbohydrates and sweets because the brain is not making enough serotonin, which we need to feel content and satisfied. Also interesting is the lab research which shows that the brain cannot make new serotonin if it is fed protein alone OR protein plus carbohydrates. In order to make new serotonin, the body must receive carbohydrates ONLY. That's' not to say that you never eat protein on this diet, in fact, the authors state how important it is that our bodies receive adequate protein for muscle growth and other things. However, the idea is that you eat 3 carbohydrate snacks a day, timed very specifically so that your body can metabolize them without the interference of protein. Also, for the first 2 weeks, while your body is making new serotonin, you eat only carbohydrates and veggies at dinnertime. After two weeks, you add in small amounts of protein at dinner time. SO, the first 2 weeks of the program is called "Serotonin Surge" (Phase 1) and it looks like this:
Breakfast: 1 serving of protein
1 serving of fruit
1 serving of carbohydrate
Snack 1: 1 hour before lunch (this snack consists of ONLY carbohydrates - no more than 3 grams of fat and no more than 5 grams of protein and under 180 calories )
Lunch: 1 serving of protein (4 oz)
2 cups of veggies
Snack 2: 3 to 4 hours after lunch (carbohydrates ONLY)
Dinner: 1 large serving of carbohydrates (i.e. a large potato or sweet potato or 1 1/2 c pasta)
2 cups of veggies.
Snack 3: 3 hours after dinner (carbohydrate ONLY).
This is what my food looked like today:
Breakfast: 1/2 cup raspberries with 1/2 c cottage cheese and 2 slices sprouted grain bread with 1/2 T apple butter
Snack 1: 1 cup of all bran guardian cereal
Lunch: large salad with 4 ounces of smoked salmon and balsamic vinegar
Snack 2: nature's path flax plus granola bar.
Dinner: 1 large sweet potato cut into coins and baked as "fries", 1 cup of steamed spinach and cucumber and tomato salad with balsamic vinegar.
Snack 3: 4 cups of air popped popcorn.
I am definitely excited to see how my body reacts to this. This is really the first time in 3 years that I have tried something radically different. All I know is that all my efforts at eating clean were consistently derailed by my cravings and 3 to 4 day binges. Now, the research I am reading suggests that protein at each meal, though it may be nutritionally sound, blocks your brain from producing serotonin. If you are like me and have issues with mood (the "blues", anxiety. depression), then you need all the serotonin you can get!!! I always felt that my inability to control my binging was related to something neurochemical going on in my body, and this approach seems to back that up.
I am hopeful. This is day 1 and I hope to stick to this for the full 12 weeks. I will blog my journey and hope that I have positive results to share!