The Good Mood Diet
Susan Kleiner, PhD, RD, and Bob Condor Reviewed by Marisa Moore, RD, LD Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson March 2007
"Your energy levels will soar in days. Guaranteed." This is the theme throughout Susan Kleiner's Good Mood Diet book. The book further claims if you follow the diet you are:
- One day to feeling better than yesterday.
- One week to erasing depression.
- One month to losing weight for good.
The "Good Mood" plan encourages dieters to focus on the foods they love and learn to appreciate them without guilt. Kleiner establishes two distinct lists of "feel-great" and "feel-bad" foods. Feel-great foods include nuts, whole grains, fish and a variety of fruits and vegetables. Feel-bad foods include anything fried, refined sugars and starches, alcohol and caffeine in large doses. Unlike most diet books, weight loss is treated as a side effect of following the Good Mood plan. However, Kleiner does offer a plan of action.
During the first two weeks, dieters follow a plan consisting only of feel-great foods. During this time, the dieter eliminates all feel-bad foods including alcohol and chocolate. The idea is after week two, the desire for feel-bad foods will diminish. After two weeks, dark chocolate and red wine may be added back to the diet in small amounts.
The book provides standard 1,600-, 1,800- and 2,200-calorie meal plans. Certain foods are required every day including a nightly cup of hot cocoa, a serving of nuts or nut oil and a daily egg or serving of soy. The author recommends fish five times per week. In addition to the diet, the plan recommends adequate water, rest and exercise as well as a daily multivitamin-mineral supplement.
Nutritional Pros and Cons:
The Good Mood Diet is based on lean protein, whole grains and healthy fats. The book includes more than 40 recipes, plus shopping lists and tips. Kleiner offers long-term weight management solutions with chapters on outfitting a Good Mood kitchen, travel tips and the importance of exercise and rest.
However, Kleiner bases many of her recommendations on previous experience or trial and error evidence from working with clients, emphasizing her personal history working with elite athletes and other clients instead of scientific research. Declaring feel-great foods provide instant energy can be misleading and may set the reader up for disappointment.
The Good Mood Diet focuses on the connection between food and mood, which is a growing area of research. Kleiner recommends a balanced eating plan, which may also improve energy levels and mood leading to a healthier overall lifestyle.