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The Serotonin Power Diet: Use Your Brain's Natural Chemistry to Cut Cravings, Curb Emotional Overeating, and Lose Weight

3.9 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews
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ISBN-10: 1594863466
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

JUDITH J. WURTMAN, PhD, received her PhD from George Washington University is recognized world-wide for her pioneering research into the relationship of food, mood, brain, and appetite. The author of five books for the general public, she has written more than 40 peer-reviewed articles for professional publications. She divides her time between Massachusetts and Florida.

NINA FRUSZTAJER MARQUIS, MD received her master's degree in nutrition from Columbia University and her medical degree from George Washington University. Her articles on weight, stress, and lifestyle have appeared in numerous publications. With Judith Wurtman, she founded the Adara weight loss centers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston, and Miami.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books (December 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594863466
  • ASIN: B00196UBL2
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,407,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Franklin on February 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In 1998 I weighed 135 pounds, and struggled with anxiety and bipolar disorder. 2 doctors and several medications later, I am now symptom free, but found my weight often flucuating to as high as 225 - not good for a woman 5'6". The medications that have changed my life for the better, have wrecked my self image. I have tried everything - The Zone, Atkins, Weight Watchers (I gained every week at the meeting), Jenny Craig, 3 personal trainers, 2 nutritionists, and a hospital that told me that because of the medications I take there was nothing they could do for me. My last nutritionist was kind enough to tell me that I needed to eat Slim-Fast 2x a day, and a small dinner for the rest of my life, and work out 60 minutes a day at a minimum. She also indicated that I might be able to take off 15-20 pounds, but probably not all of the weight.

I don't know if my situation is familiar to anyone out there, but I wanted to post to let you know that for the first time I have NO carb cravings. That has been my biggest problem. That and the fact that I am so tired from the medications that I just find it hard to get motivated to workout.

I bought this book thinking that it wouldn't work - nothing ever has. Then I read the study online, and I figured, "what do I have to lose?" Apparently 4 pounds the first week, and 3 pounds the second week on the diet. I have also dropped my calories to 1400 a day (from about 2500), and am now working out 30 minutes a day because I finally have the energy! I was hungry the first 4 days, and now I find myself realizing that I forgot to eat.

The premise is simple: 3 meals and 2-3 snacks. Snacks are all carbs to release serotonin, which helps make you feel full so you aren't as hungry when meal time comes.
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Format: Hardcover
As a nutritionist who specializes in helping people eat with food intolerances, such as the gluten-free diet, I particularly love the Serotonin Power Diet for my clients. I have studied for 10 years how diet impacts brain chemistry and the immune system. The idea that the brain contains the master switch to turn off appetite is more than exciting, it is scientifically sound. Research at MIT and elsewhere confirms that Mom was wrong: this diet allows you to spoil your appetite and reap the weight loss and mood benefits. Mom just didn't know about serotonin!

My gluten-free clients initially lose weight as they shift away from wheat-based bread, pasta, cake, and cookies. Some who suddenly cut out all simple carbs experience a drop in serotonin level that leads to mood swings- this is particularly difficult since people who have recently eliminated wheat are also fighting a withdrawal from the mild opiates in wheat protein. I now advise my clients about the principles of the Serotonin Power Diet, to ease them emotionally through this transition period.

The initial weight loss, however, is usually reversed once the client becomes familiar with all the great gluten-free versions of their favorite foods and where to buy them. Gluten-free dieters learn to carry their own snacks with them, so The Serotonin Power Diet, as a snack-based diet, works very well for my clients who want to lose weight. Remembering to eat a gluten-free starchy snack before meals and in the evening is a cinch.

There are so many ways to make this diet gluten-free and, as I advise my clients, include more whole grains.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After going on an antidepressant medication and gaining 30 lbs in 2 YEARS I was desperate to figure out what was going on with my body. This book explains it, is interesting, is easy to read and has helped me lose 6 lbs in 2 weeks without starving and with eating regular food. I was about to give Nutisystem almost $300 and decided to try this. $8.99 beats $300 any day!!!!
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Format: Hardcover
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In 1996 I discovered Dr. Wurtman's "Managing Your Mind and Moods through Foods" . I had experimented with almost every popular get well feel good diet and method in a lifelong quest to counter family genes that included diabetes, obesity, and severe bi polar episodes.......Following Dr. Wurtman's suggestions changed my life. It is ten years and I can safely say, Dr. Wurtman has discovered the way we humans can control our appetites and moods...and sleep.......At the core is brain chemistry, self regulated by snacks! Her most recent book, "The Serotonin Power Diet" offers clear and practical and effective ways to manage yourself in very healthy ways......This book should be required reading for anyone embarking on fad diets or who are considering medication for their health or mood problems. William K. Joseph
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Format: Paperback
I started an SSRI 18 months ago, and since the very beginning have had constant weight gain. In those months I have gained 45lbs. Before the SSRI I was a consistent weight with little to no fluctuation. I believe the gain was due to a strong as insatiable appetite. No matter how much I ate, I was never satisfied. I was eating food that I never even would look at before. Every diet I tried failed because I constantly wanted to eat and could not control it.

I was initially very skeptical about this book, as no other diet seemed to work. I read the book and seemed simple enough to follow. It comes from research that states eating protein and carbs together does not produce new serotonin. They then theorize that those who are on SSRI's are not able to produce serotonin properly and therefore cannot satiate appetite. The book sets a plan to rework the way that eating creates new serotonin. It introduces carbohydrate snacks to increase serotonin between meals and therefore reduce overeating at main meals.

I have been following this diet plan for about a month and have finally seen weight loss. I am still in disbelief that eating small snacks between meals could keep me from the desire to eat all day long. There are even times when I skip the last snack of the night because I am not hungry for it. I don't know if I would have believed this diet would work if I didn't try it myself. I feel as if I can finally eat the way I did before taking SSRI's.
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