CHICAGO (CBS) – Low-carb diets are so popular, they can seem like the only way to go to drop the pounds. But two women are trying to show there’s a better way to lose weight, that includes carbs and improves your mood at the same time.
CBS 2’s Mary Kay Kleist explains how The Serotonin Power Diet works.
The basis of the diet is eating lots of carbs. In their book, “The Serotonin Power Diet”, doctors Nina Frusztajer and Judy Wurtman explain in detail which carbs to eat and when.
“Carbohydrates sets off a series of chemical reactions in your body that allows your brain to make more serotonin,” said Dr. Frusztajer.
For example, more protein in the morning, like a breakfast of yogurt and berries with some granola. For lunch: a salad with chicken and low-fat dressing.
And more carbs at night when serotonin levels are naturally lower, like stir-fry over pasta.
And snacks are the key.
“The purpose of the snack is really to boost your serotonin just an amount to take the edge off your appetite,” said Dr. Frusztajer.
The snacks should be high in carbs, like low-fat pretzels or popcorn, or hot chocolate and marshmallows.
“What we find is that carbohydrates enable weight loss because they result in a good mood and they also shut off the appetite,” said Dr. Frusztajer.
This all sounds too good to be true, but Dr. Christine Mackey, an internist, says no matter what the diet, research shows that they all result in similar weight loss.
“It doesn’t really seem to matter what diet you’re on, as long as you stick with it and incorporate other healthful behaviors, such as exercise,” said Dr. Mackey.
Dr. Frusztajer says for their clients who follow the right portions and the right carbs at the right times, the serotonin power diet works.
“We’ve had clients who report that for the first time they are able to just have a dinner, and throughout the evening they don’t have the cravings anymore,” she said.
Men naturally have higher levels of serotonin, so it may be easier for men to try to cut out carbs than women, and why many women feel pretty cranky on low-carb diets.