You may recognize Dr. Mike Dow as the co-host of Freaky Eaters on TLC or from his regular appearances on Dr. Oz and Rachael Ray. A cognitive-behavioral psychologist, Dr. Mike has helped thousands of patients overcome food addictions and eating disorders, and his new book, Diet Rehab: 28 Days to Finally Stop Craving the Foods That Make You Fat, explains how.
Diet Rehab differs from most diet books in that it focuses on the brain chemicals—serotonin and dopamine—that are triggered when you consume high-sugar or high-fat foods. Much like a drug, unhealthy food alters your brain chemistry, which makes it painfully difficult for most people to change their eating habits. As the book cover says, “You’re addicted to bad food, and it’s not your fault.”
Diet Rehab is also unique in that, rather than asking you immediately to start taking things out of your diet, the only changes you make during the first week involve adding nutritious foods into your diet. As you gradually add “booster foods” (foods that naturally boost your brain’s serotonin and/or dopamine levels, depending on which one(s) your brain isn’t getting enough of), you continue to eat your favorite “pitfall foods” (the sugary or fatty foods that you’re addicted to).
Additionally, Dr. Mike encourages readers to add “booster activities” to each day; these can be as simple as taking a bubble bath or phoning a friend. The activities boost brain chemistry as well so that, as you follow the Diet Rehab program and begin to gradually reduce your intake of addictive foods, your brain is making the chemicals it needs, and you don’t experience any withdrawal symptoms.
By the end of 28 days, most people will have lost weight and will have completely changed their lifestyle so that they can successfully continue or maintain this weight loss.