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If you started a new diet as part of your New Year’s Resolution, this may be the point of the year where you have given up or are in search of a different diet. With many diets on the market focusing on calorie-counting and extreme food restrictions, it may be hard to find a diet which suits your busy and active lifestyle. The Dopamine Diet is a unique diet that claims to combat overeating, which often contributes to weight gain. Whether you’re a serial overeater or are simply looking to try a new diet, here’s what you need to know about the Dopamine Diet.
What It Is:
Often called the ‘happy’ diet, the dopamine diet aims to use certain foods to trigger the production of dopamine in our bodies. As an organic chemical which functions as a neurotransmitter, dopamine is responsible for the brain’s reward and pleasure levels. In fact, increased dopamine can even contribute to happiness. Developed by celebrity chef Tom Kerridge, the Dopamine Diet addresses weight gain as a result of overeating. Eating food, especially high fat and sugary foods, increases our dopamine levels. These rising levels can lead to an increase in appetite, overeating and eventually, unwanted weight gain. The dopamine diet focuses on boosting one’s dopamine levels, without having to resort to consuming unhealthy junk food or fast food.
What It Offers:
The diet offers a guide to dopamine-boosting foods while following a five-a-day meal plan. Dopamine-boosting foods include dairy, unprocessed lean meats and fishes that are rich in Omega-3. Since key part of the diet is avoiding high fat and sugary foods, protein-filled foods are a good way to boost dopamine levels without having to resort to junk food. The key things to avoid are alcohol, and processed or refined foods.
Start your morning off with a high-protein breakfast of eggs with a side of lean turkey bacon. A couple hours, snack on some almonds. Almonds have good fats that will help boost your dopamine. For lunch try a lentil and chicken salad. As a second snack and of course, in moderation, treat your sweet tooth to some dark chocolate. For dinner, try a fatty fish such as tuna or herring with a side of vegetables.
Should You Try It?:
Even though there are some restrictions to this diet, cutting out high fat and sugary foods can only be beneficial to your body. It’s a relatively simple diet to follow with so many dopamine-boosting food options. While cutting out junk food is a common rule among diets, the dopamine diet may also beneficial to one’s overall mood. Before starting any diet, we recommend consulting a dietitian to ensure that it is right for you.