You may still decide that supplemental therapy could be of benefit. If so, the list of treatment options includes hormones, vitamins, enzymes, herbs, and minerals including formulations specific to ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and homeopathy. Hormone therapy (estrogen alone or an estrogen-progesterone combination) can be either synthesized de-novo (synthetic) or so-called bio-equivalent which means means it is derived from a plant source such as wild yams or soybeans and therefore thought to be closer to a human form. 5-HTP and L-tryptophan, serotonin precursors, are also used but are most effective in combination with starchy or sweet carbohydrates which allow the precursors to enter the brain where serotonin is made.
With all of these therapies, however, there is risk involved. For example, hormone therapy is associated with an increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular events, and the contents of some "natural" remedies are not scrutinized by appropriate health regulation agencies nor are they often evaluated in reputable clinical trials, so both the risk and benefit can be questionable. At any rate, therapeutic choices must be made individually and with a qualified health care provider.
Our advice is to keep it simple and safe. After all, relief is indeed only a bowl of oatmeal away.
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"Well, I recently lost 40 pounds on Atkins," replied the slim 30-something woman.
I couldn't help jumping in. "Congratulations, that's wonderful!" I said to her. "I'm curious, though, how was your mood?"
The young woman's eyes widened, she took a deep breath, and gave the slightest smile. "I was a total bitch! It was awful."
Fortunately, The Serotonin Power Diet not only keeps you from becoming a dieting monster; in fact, simply following the diet will make you feel great while you lose weight.
People continue to lose weight on many diets out there. If you truly follow any weight loss diet, you will lose weight. Following it, though, is the key. A recent study published on March 7, 2007 in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that overweight premenopausal women lost more weight on the Atkins diet compared to the Zone and Dean Ornish diets. The average weight loss over one year was 10.4 pounds compared to 3.5 and 5.7, respectively. (A pound lost is a pound lost, but it's not like any of these diets is going to make the average dieter dramatically slimmer). Some of the study participants were interviewed by journalists, and after losing 23 pounds on Atkins, one woman gained back 15 pounds. Another Atkins loser lost 30 pounds but regained 20 and now follows a different diet to maintain her weight loss. So what does this mean in the long run?
We all want weight loss: it's a great way to feel good about yourself, and it's the single best way to improve your heart health profile.
I'd love to see a study comparing The Serotonin Power Diet to Atkins including how easy it is to follow in the long term as well as assessing the dieter's mood. A diet that allows you the emotional comfort from food will keep most dieters happy. And that's great motivation to stick with any diet.
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One of the most wonderful things about the release of The Serotonin Power Diet is that it's given us a way to let so many people know about an effective way to lose weight associated with antidepressants and other mood stabilizing medications. It's such a relief for readers to learn that there's nothing wrong with them because they eat a second dinner because the first one didn't make them feel full, or that they don't have an eating disorder just because they crave chips, pizza, and cookies all the time. It's chemical. And it happens to so many people, many of whom never had a problem with their weight before taking the medications.
Nobody knows exactly why this happens, but the medications increase cravings, make you think about food all the time, make it difficult to feel full even if your stomach is stuffed, and cause fatigue that gets in the way of exercise making it even harder to burn off extra calories that get consumed.
Even if prescribing physicians don't adequately warn patients of the weight gain side effects, at least plenty of people are talking about it on the internet. Do a google search of "antidepressant weight gain" and you'll find that The Mayo Clinic, Psychoology Today, Duke Medical Center, iVillage, and About.com sites all have something to say about it, not to mention the many message board discussions on the topic. (We do wish, though, that these sites did spread the word that weight loss on antidepressants is as easy as eating a handful of pretzels 30-60 minutes before a meal, or eating pasta and vegetables for dinner instead of chicken).
The bottom line is this: you are not alone in your weight gain struggles. And, by boosting your brain serotonin with the right foods, you certainly do not need to struggle any longer.
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A client of ours, Martha, used to spend hours every evening arguing with herself about whether or not she should go back into the kitchen to eat some cookies. She would start to go in, then stop herself, watch some television and when the commercial break came on, start toward the kitchen. Eventually she would go into the kitchen, open the bag of cookies and eat only the broken ones. Sometimes she would bang the bag on the counter so more would break.
“I could waste two or more hours every night with my cookie struggles,” she said. Now that I am eat pasta or potatoes for dinner, I stopped wanting cookies. But I have all this free time on my hands because I am not picking cookie crumbs out of the bag. So now what do I do?”
This is a serious problem. If you are used to spending the evening hours eating or trying to prevent yourself from eating, you have to find something distracting, pleasurable and fun to do. And we don’t mean doing laundry or paying bills or washing the dog. People who give up smoking have the same problem; i.e. what do they do with themselves since they are not smoking?
Our suggestion to our clients is that they think of the evening as playtime. They should allow themselves to have fun; they have worked hard all day and probably into the early evening. Now is the time to indulge the playful, creative, maybe artistic side of their personality. Crafts are a good start and learning a new one is a good way of rewarding yourself while you are on the diet. Join a knitting or quilting group or scrapbook group. Maybe you always wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument or a new language. There are numerous courses on line in which you engage in active discussions with your distant classmates. Or finally give yourself the time to relax with those books you have been meaning to read. How nice to lose yourself in an enjoyable activity while you are losing weight.
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study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition describes how high glycemic rice eaten four hours before bedtime helped men in a clinical study fall asleep more quickly. We hear this all the time as our clients report that by minimizing protein for dinner and sticking to satisfying carbs such as pasta, potatoes, bread, and rice along with some vegetables, they sleep better than when they eat chicken or steak for dinner.
The AJCN study found that higher glycemic index versions of rice eaten four hours rather than one hour before bed was most effective. It makes sense. Higher glycemic index foods cause more insulin to be released hence more serotonin is made. Eating the rice at dinnnertime rather than at bedtime offers maximum time to feel relaxed in the evening and also can cut down on after dinner munching on foods that may interfere with falling asleep. Diabetics or those who choose to avoid eating high glycemic index foods will still benefit from low glycemic rice, the study says, so by all means stay within your preferred food choices.
Save the protein for breakfast and lunch and eat those sleep-inducing carbs for dinner. An added benefit is the more you sleep, the easier it is to avoid weight gain and to lose weight.
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