Success Stories ~ The Skinny On Antidepressants

"I started this diet 2 weeks ago. I have put on 12kgs since starting anti-depressants and I didn't even notice. 2 weeks on the diet I have lost 3.9kg, but most importantly I feel great. I was feeling so sick everyday and since the second day on the diet my body feels amazing. Not only that, but [a relative had a significant medical event] and is now on life support, I don't think I could have looked after my husband and 3 young girls if it wasn't for the power of this diet. I have managed to follow the eating plan whilst our world has been turned upside down, and I'm even making sure I get the carb snacks into my husband to keep him going. I can't thank you enough and EVERY doctor should be handing out a copy of your book. It's the best medicine anyone could ask for. 

I honestly think this diet would amaze anyone especially those who aren't even on medication. It took me 1.5 years to finally give in to doctors’ recommendations for meds, and it took me so long because I wasn't sure how I would ever get off them. I am 100% confident in myself that following your diet strictly would allow me to wean off my medication when the time is right. My [relative] is now at the end of [their] time here on earth but I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your brilliance in putting all this info in an easy to follow diet that is helping us [at the moment]. This week I only lost 100g, but might I add I have not even began the exercise part for obvious reasons. But even whilst we are at the hospital I can make wiser choices. And even in those moments when we can't bare to eat, a carbohydrate snack is keeping us on top of things. 

This diet is not just for weight loss, but for health and well being." 

From RA:

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The greatest news...is the fabulous mood I found myself in

From a reader who reports the following since beginning The Serotonin Power Diet:

"I have grown so much from what has happened and developed spiritually and am really grateful that my health is improving.

"I slept an entire night - no getting up, no insomnia, just a full sleep.

"The greatest news though is the fabulous mood I found myself in. We went to get my low-fat carby snacks and I did not lose patience in the market or get tired. I had my carb snack and then we ate lunch out at a restaurant that has customizable menu choices. I found myself grinning on the way home and singing around my house. I am so happy--really calm and happy for the first time in ages. My aches are also going away--in 2 days my aches are diminished. This is how I felt 'before' - the multiple illnesses. When my husband I first met and we had fun all the time.

"I was doing the low carb diet thing so I could lose and feel better - husband was very supportive. I found the serotonin power research and decided to change over. I was a little afraid to tell him - thinking he might think here we go again...but today I confessed and he was fine with it. He said he would enjoy reading the research (he was a life sci/bio major) and noted that low carb diets taught me alot. The first time I did low carb (years ago) I felt good until I had to add whole grains back - then I got sick, and sicker. That is how we figured out the gluten intolerance. Now I tried low carb again and my fibro pains came back with a vengeance--lo and behold, my serotonin was being blocked. Inadvertently using the low carb diet has taught us a lot.

"My mom is so thrilled she also bought the Serotonin Power Diet Book and is enjoying reading it - she is...starting on phase 2 or 3."

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Still 250 pounds thinner!

A wonderfully inspiring story from Judy: A few days ago I bumped into a former weight loss clinic of mine who I had not seen for about 3 years. I was so happy to see her, and what she looked like, that I almost cried with delight. For this client was not your ordinary individual seeking weight loss help. She was special; someone who fought many obstacles to lose over 250 pounds. Alyssa (not her real name) had been a thin, active attractive young adult before she experienced a variety of severe emotional disorders which effectively stopped her normal life. She was hospitalized for an extensive period for psychiatric treatment. Alyssa told us that it was common practice at the inpatient facility for her and the other patients to order vast quantities of take-out foods such as pizza and Chinese food that they consumed most evenings. Alyssa, like nearly every other fellow patient on mood stabilizing medications, developed new seemingly insatiable food cravings and an inability to ever feel full. So she ate and ate. Ultimately Alyssa recovered from her emotional disorders, but the medication regime, which caused her to eat almost constantly, left her weighing over 500 pounds. She could barely walk without being out of breath and experienced an almost constant need to eat. As she began to resume life outside the hospital, she resolved to lose the weight she had gained. But she feared that an ordinary diet would leave her desperately hungry, and she did not know how to begin to exercise.

While she continued to take her medications, we helped her over almost two years with our weight loss plan that took away the incessant food cravings she had been experiencing. At first we told her to eat 5 meals a day and three high carbohydrate snacks so she would not feel hungry. The foods were considerably lower in fat and calories than what she had been consuming, and as the weight came off, we reduced the number of meals and calories she was eating. We also found a personal trainer who worked with her weekly to improve her stamina and increase her muscle strength which was weak due to her almost total inactivity. At first, she could not walk up and down the three steps in front of her apartment building without holding on for support. One of the first things the trainer did was help her buy walking shoes to support her weight. She could only walk around the apartment with difficulty when she first started to exercise but after several months, she was able eventually to walk 3-4 miles each day. And most importantly as she lost weight, she gained confidence in her ability to live a life without any restrictions due to weight or lack of fitness. As we worked together, I felt privileged to learn and share in her plans of what her future life would be like when her weight would no longer restrict her. And seeing her a few days ago, happy with her work, looking radiant, exuberant and full of good humor, I felt doubly privileged to learn that her future had arrived.

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Sugar to Relieve Symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

We have heard from a number of weight loss clients who also suffer from fibromyalgia that sweet and starchy snacks like breakfast cereal, as well as carbohydrate meals such as pasta, particularly eaten in the afternoon and evening, helped relieve their pain. Of course it is well-known that low doses of antidepressants effectively relieve fibromyalgia pain, and all of our clients with fibromyalgia have been on antidepressants. To remind myself of this form of therapy, I visited this fibromyalgia site which I thought gave a nice overview of the use of antidepressants to treat fibromyalgai:Fibromyalgia Symptoms.

They write "Though antidepressant drugs are typically used to treat mood disorders, they have also proven effective in relieving the pain and sleep-related disorders of fibromyalgia. When people with fibromyalgia receive antidepressant prescriptions, it is typically in order to interrupt pain cycles and restore restful sleep. Antidepressants are prescribed in lower-than-usual doses in order to treat these symptoms. Many people with fibromyalgia also suffer from depression. In these cases, antidepressant medications are prescribed in order to lift mood. However, regular doses of antidepressants are required in order to improve depression."

Judy just shared this story with me:

A few days a weight loss client told me that she eats sugary foods to help her pain. She has been suffering from fibromyalgia for decades and her treatment has included a variety of antidepressants. “They work,” she told me, “to control pain most of the time. But every so often the pain breaks through and then I have to eat something sweet. The sugar takes away the pain for about 30 minutes and it’s enough of a reprieve so I can deal with it when it comes back.”

Our client was afraid that if she went on a diet, she would no longer be able to use sugar when her pain again became intolerable. But to her immense relief, we told her that our diet plan insisted that she eat carbohydrates either in the form of a sugary or starchy snacks at least twice at day. And if she followed the plan, she could count on much longer periods of relief from her pain.

“It isn’t the sugar itself that is taking away the pain,” we explained. ”But sugar and other starchy carbohydrates trigger the production of serotonin in the brain. And this brain chemical, serotonin, will diminish the pain you are feeling.”

“Well I guess I won’t be losing any weight on your diet,” she told us sadly, "but if the pain goes away, I guess it is worth it.”

“Au contraire” we answered (using our very limited French), on the contrary, you will lose weight very easily. Because serotonin not only takes away pain, it takes away appetite and gives you back a better mood. But you don’t have to eat sugar. Any carb except fruit will get the brain to make new serotonin. You just have to be careful and eat the carbs on an empty stomach. Avoid eating protein with the carbs when you need to make serotonin for pain and appetite control because the protein prevents serotonin from being made.”

“What is a sweet snack I could eat on my diet?” she asked. “Well," we answered, “how about those sugary crunchy very low fat breakfast cereals?”

“You mean like Captain Crunch?” she asked.

“Sure,” we answered. “But you can’t eat the whole box. You have to follow the diet guidelines and measure your portions. You only need a certain amount for the brain to make serotonin. Any extra will just add unnecessary calories.”

“Pas de problem.” she answered in her limited French. “Not a problem. When can I start?”

Each person needs to experiment with their eating to find a diet that best controls their symptoms. For anyone, we always recommend a balanced diet that includes wholesome carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats whether your goal is pain control, weight loss, or general well-being. We just like to let people know that a little sugar can go a long way in making you feel good.

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...the results are amazing

Here's what one reader has said after keeping 20 pounds off for a year and a half:

"It's hard to stay skeptical on this program, as the results are amazing. And I am sure you have noticed that it is not just about the pounds melting off, but the added energy, restful nights, and the general feeling of contentment."

- B.D.

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Loving it!!!

We love hearing when people feel so good on The Serotonin Power Diet - weight loss is the icing on the proverbial cake. Here's what one reader wrote:

"Feeling so good already and so satisfied on the diet! My cravings for sugar have gone!!! and my mood is FANTASTIC! Loving it!!!"

- B

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[THIS DIET] IS AMAZING!

We are always so thrilled when people respond so well to the diet, like one of our readers:

"The diet is going so well - I am so happy with it and I love eating the carbs and the snacks! I feel like a different person already, no more cravings for sugar, more energy, sleeping well and feeling in such a good mood! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR CREATING THIS DIET! IT IS AMAZING! Tomorrow will be one week on the diet - so I will weigh myself tomorrow and see how much I have lost."

- B.S.

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I have zero cravings

From another enthusiastic reader:

" I just started about two weeks ago and have lost about 5 pounds so far. Amazing. I have been prescribed antidepressants for a sleep disorder and they are still adjusting the dosage. I was very concerned about weight gain and found this diet simply by the grace of God and Google. I was sceptical at first, but I must say that so far any cravings are contained and I feel in control. That in itself is a miracle as I have always felt slave to my carbohydrate cravings. This diet is like a walk in the park and I simply can't believe I'm not only hungry, but I have zero cravings. Who-dah thought! ;D"

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The cravings are pretty well gone

We saw this post on our weight loss forum:

"I have been following the plan for three weeks and have to say that it is the easiest plan to follow I have ever tried. One week into it my 82 year old sister had and incident after our morning water workout and I ended up taking her to the emergency room. I took her in on Monday and the following Thursday she had a pace maker implanted. Through all the time in the ER and in various hospital rooms, I stuck to it. I carried snacks with me. One day I even took my lunch along. The whole point here is that I did not waver from the plan and it was not hard to do.

"I was dignosed with panic disorder about 30 years ago and have been on antidepressants on and off for most of those years. Needless to say I have gained a ton of weight. No diet has worked because I can't stick with it. I have been on the plan now for three weeks and have lost 4 pounds. While this is not a whole lot of weight, the good part is that I'm not discouraged or unhappy about the loss because I feel so much better and the cravings are pretty well gone. Plus, I get to eat Sugar Corn Pops which I have avoided like the plague for years Grin

"I want to encourage all the new folks to do as instructed by the book and with the wonderful email support of Judy, we will all be looking and feeling better."

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Oh my goodness, that's me, that's me!

From a happy reader who can relate to many other Serotonin Power Diet clients and readers:

"I got your book yesterday and have been reading it going "Oh my goodness, that's me, that's me!"

"I have been saying for years that the antidepressants have turned of my ability to feel full and no one every took me seriously. Maybe the doctors ignored me because they didn't know what to do about it. Who knows????

"I have to go read some more now and make a shopping list.

"Thank you!"

-KB

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I feel like I've been blessed with a miracle

This is a note from a reader who found us on facebook:

"I felt a need to thank you for your work with the SPD book. My story is familiar to you of course -- and I am so grateful for the validation.

"Two years ago I was at my goal weight, as a lifetime member of Weight Watchers. Then, I developed a serotonin disorder and got bad enough that I needed medication to "pull out of it". I began to feel better -- sleeping through the night, no more vasovagal episodes, no irritability but the pounds steadily came back on. And I had changed nothing else! Worse yet, my physician vehemently denied that the SSRIs could have anything whatsoever to do with my gain.

"I started this plan a week ago and I feel like I've been blessed with a miracle. THANK YOU."