Losing weight is fun: the serotonin diet

“The easiest way to lose weight is to satisfy your brain,” announced Judith Wurtman, PhD, head of one of the world’s largest scientific laboratories — at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Худеем весело: серотониновая диета

Topic Judith Wurtman — women’s health and how a variety of diets affect it. Together with a colleague, she wrote a book called “The Power of the Serotonin Diet”, one of the main manifestos of a new healthy lifestyle.

The point is that in order to lose weight, you need to have a lot of energy and enjoy life, and for this you need to make friends with your own appetite. It will not go off the scale if you balance the level of serotonin. This chemical element is one of the neurotransmitters of the brain, responsible for many important processes in our body. First of all — for appetite, mood and libido. When the level of serotonin drops, we feel attacks of acute hunger — and such that we are terribly hungry for something “tasty”, and the more harmful, the better. If there is chronically little serotonin in the brain— this is already depression (prozac and other antidepressants are designed so that serotonin is eventually increased). And when he is normal, on the contrary, we feel the fullness of life – literally and figuratively, even if the last time we ate parsley six hours ago.

Худеем весело: серотониновая диета

It is with a lack of serotonin that some doctors associate obesity with the “upper type” – when you get fat in the abdomen and waist. The synthesis of serotonin in the body is stimulated by tryptophan, an amino acid found in foods rich in fiber, proteins and complex carbohydrates (they are also called “slow” — they take a long time to digest and do not cause a sharp rise in glucose levels). Conversely, easily digestible empty carbohydrates, as well as strict protein diets, coffee and alcohol reduce serotonin levels. In practice, this means that you need to eat oats and everything from whole grains, brown rice, legumes, turkey, seafood (they contain a lot of polyunsaturated Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids), bananas, dates, figs, dried apricots, sesame and other nuts, sweet potatoes, shrimp (rich in magnesium which also indirectly increases serotonin levels), celery, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, dark chocolate. Of all alcohol, only dry red wine is useful for serotonin. This is a pleasant diet — you need to limit yourself just a little, you can eat bread, pasta from durum wheat and other wonderful things. But it is very important when there is and how much.

Худеем весело: серотониновая диета

Dr. Wurtman’s recommendations

  • If you are hungry, slow carbs will help you. It is better not to mix them with proteins — you need to wait at least three hours before and after carbohydrates. The protein content in a carbohydrate portion should not exceed 4 g, fat – no more than 3 g.

  • Eat carbohydrates at the beginning, not at the end of a meal. If bread was brought to the restaurant (preferably from wholegrain flour), it is quite possible to afford a piece. 

  • Proteins are for breakfast and lunch, in the afternoon it is better to save yourself with carbohydrates (bananas, dried fruits, a piece of chocolate). For dinner — carbohydrates and quite a bit of protein (for example, pasta with asparagus and shrimp). Serotonin will rise, and you can easily do without sweets for tea. By the way, serotonin improves the quality of sleep.

  • Stress — especially if you do a hundred things at the same time – causes serotonin hunger. So, you need even more serotonin — this can be achieved by moving more and being in the sun. When it gets really cold, buy vitamins and trace elements that have a beneficial effect on the nervous system: B6, B12, B5 and B8 (inositol), E, magnesium, chromium, zinc, selenium, L-lipoic acid and biotin. Wash it all down with St. John’s Wort, aka St. John’s Wort.

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Худеем весело: серотониновая диета

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