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We hope our forum gives you what you need to stay on track, be successful, and feel good about yourself.
- Judy and Nina

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Ask Judy and Nina / Re: scale won't budge
« Last post by NinaFrusztajerMD on February 09, 2018, 06:18:00 PM »
Hello and welcome!  Thanks for writing in.  It's wonderful you've got an exercise program in place, and I also applaud you for trying something new to lose what you've gained since taking Lexapro. 

Generally, we find our clients and readers lose weight at a rate of about 1-2 pounds per week.  It's variable, though, and I strongly encourage you to stand back and look at the overall weight loss trend over time.  If you look at several months and you've lost 12 pounds, that's fantastic.  Some weeks you may lose 2 or 3, or more.  Just don't get discouraged if some weeks you don't lose, and there may even be some weeks when you gain a pound or 2 for a variety of reasons - stick with it during the challenging times!

You can ask us questions about how to tweak the diet to make it work for you, or ask questions about how you're following the diet.  Definitely try to notice how eating certain foods makes you feel - you know your body best.

The more weight someone has to lose, the faster the weight loss.  You may lose at a rate of one pound a week overall which is excellent.  The keys are:

- controlling your appetite so weight loss is comfortable and you don't feel deprived
- incorporating foods you like again, so you don't feel deprived
- planning ahead for meals and snacks
- mixing up your exercise routine and incorporating aerobic exercise (being in the Northeast, I get it that at times sidewalks are icy and the air is frigid!  Dress accordingly and walk safely - better yet, walk or jog indoors)
- be kind to yourself and stay connected to people who make you feel good about yourself
- try to get back on track going forward if you veer off track rather than beating yourself up or completely getting sidelined and throwing in the towel - you don't have to be "perfect"

Ask Judy and Nina / scale won't budge
« Last post by rkhaleel on February 09, 2018, 04:32:07 PM »
Hi.  I started Lexapro in December of last year.  After I went to 20mgs, I put on about 10 lbs.  when my dosage was increased a second time, I put on another 8.  I have tried everything to lose it under the sun and the scale won't budge.  I do pilates 3 times per week with a trainer as well as diet.  This is day 4 of the Serotonin Power diet for me.  I am very anxious to see if this works.  When can I expect to start seeing results?  And is there a coach/mentor type of person that I can talk to about whether I am doing this correctly? 
Bipolar Disorder/Depression Medication / Re: Forced To Choose
« Last post by NinaFrusztajerMD on February 09, 2018, 12:59:03 AM »
Hello and welcome.  Thank you for writing and sharing your story.  I am so glad you have found us and our book. 

So many people have had a similar experience to yours, with no answers from professionals to solve the dilemma you describe: having to choose between mental and physical health.  I so hope The Serotonin Power Diet will allow you to have both as it has for many people!

I assure you, many of our readers and clients who have gained a significant amount of weight find that by boosting brain serotonin with the proper schedule of eating and the right foods, their cravings are controlled, they can eat less while still feeling satisfied, and they lose weight and keep it off. Making changes in eating and keeping up some form of movement (you can build up your exercise gradually) can feel challenging at times but controlling cravings by boosting brain serotonin can make it all possible.  We wish all prescribing health care practitioners of psychotropic medications would prescribe The Serotonin Power Diet along with the medication!

If you find initially your appetite and cravings are not under control, consider following the menís portions until your cravings and appetite are under control and then gradually reduce portions, meal by meal, to the Womenís portions.  If you do that and by the end of week 2 you have not reduced fully to the womenís portion, consider staying in phase I for an extra week or 2 until you are following the Womenís portions.  If you are losing weight on the menís portions, consider staying with the menís portions until your weight plateaus and then reduce portion sizes.  The main point is, eat to control your cravings and give your body time to adjust if you need to otherwise if you feel deprived constantly you wonít stick with it and risk bingeing.

Youíve taken a great step getting our book (thank you for doing so), and I hope it leads to many more steps to feeling good about yourself - believe itís possible because it is. 

Bipolar Disorder/Depression Medication / Forced To Choose
« Last post by LadyG on February 06, 2018, 12:57:37 PM »
In the 10 years I have been taking Cipralex for anxiety disorder I have gained 200lbs.

The only time I can lose weight is by taking less medication or coming off it entirely. While taking the meds I could literally eat from the moment I get up to going to bed at night. Nothing makes me feel full or satisfies me. When I alter my medication to lose weight, the resulting self hatred when I see myself as I am is enough to drive me to exercise and lose weight.

This comes at a price, usually  episodes of despair and anxiety. Iím utterly fed up with having to make a choice of physical or mental health. The doctors literally have no idea what to do about this and a visit to them usually results in me feeling worse.

I have just bought this book hoping at last it might just be able to help. I would so appreciate any messages from people with similar experience. I feel my life is just passing me by.

Ask Judy and Nina / Re: New to SPD & Questions
« Last post by NinaFrusztajerMD on February 05, 2018, 07:36:40 PM »
Hello - I'm glad my response was helpful, thank you for letting me know. 

Please be hopeful and give yourself time to adjust to this way of eating, learn what works for you, to get into a rhythm, etc.  Just by being mindful of your eating and how certain foods make you feel is a positive step that I applaud you for. 

Here's to feeling your best,
Ask Judy and Nina / Re: New to SPD & Questions
« Last post by nikitis on February 02, 2018, 02:42:30 PM »
Hi Nina,
Thank you so much for your detailed reply. This information is very useful. I have just started this diet 2 days back, and finding that snacks are helping to curb some of the appetite for dinner/lunch and preventing me from talking huge portions for lunch/dinner.
I will continue to monitor and update.
Trying to he hopeful.
Ask Judy and Nina / Re: New to SPD & Questions
« Last post by NinaFrusztajerMD on February 01, 2018, 04:49:43 PM »
Hello and welcome, thanks for writing in and sharing your story with us here.  I am glad you are feeling hopeful.

It's not entirely clear how antidepressant medications contribute to weight gain.  Some suggest increased thirst or dry mouth that leads to more eating, fatigue that makes people want to eat to restore energy, or even better mood that makes people enjoy eating more.  The physiology isn't fully understood.  We have heard from many readers and clients that they feel they're not eating more yet the weight increases.  Sometimes factors like hormonal changes or injury that causes reduced exercise can take place coincidentally at the same time as starting medication, but I hear you on the fact that you notice a definite correlation between starting the meds and weight gain. 

The Serotonin Power Diet itself has no known effect on metabolism. 

For your schedule of eating, in Phase I you could have breakfast, snack, lunch, snack around 5pm, and snack around 7 or 8pm, then dinner - or you could have one large afternoon snack by combining the 2nd and 3rd snacks and eating them at, say, 5 or 6pm.  By Phase II when you're only having two snacks a day, you could choose what time of the afternoon works best for you.  In Phase II, another option given the 9pm dinnertime, you could have a portion of your dinner carbs plus the afternoon snack at around 5pm (that would mean a smaller dinner portion of carbs and larger afternoon snack portion of carbs).  You can see what works best for you.

In terms of portion sizes, read the labels and for snacks and dinner, focus on the grams of carbs (should be about 30-35 grams of carbs for the snack, and about 60 grams of carbs for dinner.  Vegetarian options like beans (chick peas, etc.) will have some protein which is fine for dinner - just have half of the portion of carbs as beans (for example a half cup - check label for portion size) and the other as bread or chapatis/rotis (1 or 2, for example, depending on the size - choose low or no fat options).  Although we want everyone to pay attention to portions, it's not an exact science - if you find you're not losing weight given what you're eating, you know you have to cut down. 

We're cheering you on,
Ask Judy and Nina / New to SPD & Questions
« Last post by nikitis on January 31, 2018, 03:03:06 PM »
Hi Judy & Nina,
Extremely glad to have found this forum/topic. I have been on anti-depressants for anxiety over 5-6 years. As everyone here, I put on 20-30 lb with in 1-2 years of using them. Before medications, I used to eat a lot - still never put on weight. Slowly I realized that its the medications that made me get this extra pounds, and tried everything - moderate exercise, replace rice with quinoa etc. Nothing worked well. I quickly gain my weight back. I tried to go off the medications, (and did it for a few months), but its not an option for me. I got good relief when I found SPD, and now hopeful about it. I got my book, and trying to go through it fully, but i understood the basics behind this. But I have a couple of questions.

1. Is 'increasing appetite' is the only mechanism through which meds add weight? It could be some other reason apart from medications, but in my case - I see some correlation between my weight chart - medication usage. On the other hand, I dont feel that I'm eating a lot (unless I'm actually consuming more than required food during my dinner.) I dont binge eat, but I have heavy dinners (to what I feel). If not for appetite increase, is there any other way medication is making me gain weight? Like any metabolism issues?

2. Now coming to SPD, does it also help with metabolism issues too?
3. I still have to go through the entire book, but one thing always popped up as a problem for me for any diet plans is to arrange specific meals every day - given our hectic schedules. But I found SPD is more generic in that terms. Could you just suggest main 3-4 important changes that I need to add to my diet (like some simple snack ideas) ?  Another issue is that I do have my dinner late like 9PM,and my lunch is usually at 1PM - Now your SPD plan suggests to have 1 snack 3 hr after lunch, and 1 snack after dinner. Now I may not have enough time after dinner, so can I have 2 snacks between lunch & dinner?
4. I am a strict indian vegetarian. I am lite short of good snack/dinner ideas and especially - quantities. Lets say - if I have chapatis/rotis for dinner, how many should be good?

5. Finally I'm a little afraid of adding more cards to my daily routine. Does this help, even if I wasn't eating a lot before?

It will be great if you can let me know, and i'm looking forward to continuing this diet.
General Topics / New to SPD & questions
« Last post by nikitis on January 31, 2018, 02:58:21 PM »
Moving this to other section,
General Topics / Re: Oversleeping meal times
« Last post by NinaFrusztajerMD on January 29, 2018, 06:33:48 PM »
I forgot to answer your question about dessert: anything that is low fat, like angel food cake is good but really, any cake without frosting, cookies that are low in butter and chocolate - biscotti without nuts are great or rice crispy squares, sorbet, candies, etc. - just check labels and choose something low in fat and protein.  If you eat something that has a slightly higher than desirable protein or fat content, that's OK - just have a very small serving.

What a great reason to celebrate!
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