Dr. Susan Kleiner in The News
Jennifer Lail could not ever remember feeling good about her body. Not until she tried the Good Mood Diet. She lost 10 pounds over the first three months and 24 in a year's time. She dropped a few dress sizes, Plus, within days of going on the plan, Jennifer gained something even more valuable. Feeling good about herself.
"It would not be an overstatement to say the Good Mood Diet has been a miracle for me," says Jennifer, 36. "I continue to follow the plan closely. I feel good in my body and, more importantly, have experienced virtually no depression since I changed my diet in January of 2005. Eliminating the cycles of depression makes me feel like I have been given a great gift of time."
Another big plus for Jennifer is getting a good night's rest. "One thing I noticed from the first night was I started sleeping better," says Jennifer, who plans to run a 10K race this spring, a first for her. "That alone improved my energy level and my mood. I conducted an intensive job search during my early weeks on the diet-and I never felt stressed out."
Jennifer has influenced numerous friends who read or heard she was following the Good Mood Diet. They notice she is happy and not at all feeling deprived.
"I love good food, and the amazing thing about Dr. Kleiner's plan is that I honestly never feel hungry in a way that I can't satisfy with a Good Mood snack," says Jennifer. "It is second nature now to grab for something that supports health rather than something that detracts from it. I encourage folks who, like me, despaired of ever finding a food plan that works to read her book or participate in one of her workshops."
For Linda Behlke, one of the best things about the Good Mood Diet is not feeling like she has to be perfect.
"Dr. Kleiner made it clear from the start of our diet club, nobody is going to be perfect," says Linda. "Every other diet I have tried-and I have tried them all-you feel like either you do it perfectly or you are a failure."
Here's an important point that Dr. Kleiner makes. If you don't quite follow the Good Menu menu plan some days, don't sweat it but do your best to still eat the Good Mood foods such as one egg, your daily serving of flax seed meal, the whey protein shake, a hot cocoa before bed. You will still be doing something positive even on the most stressful days.
Linda lost 12 pounds in her first three months of the Good Mood plan-and that was during the winter holidays season. She especially likes "shrinking" into clothes that were too small just weeks ago.
"Things are going GREAT!" says Linda. "I'm amazed that I don't have any cravings and it seems painless to follow the program - I'm not tempted to overeat or indulge."
Linda has special reason to appreciate the Good Mood Plan. She has multiple sclerosis.
"It can cause major fatigue," Linda says. "With Dr. Kleiner's plan, I have so much more energy and hope." And fewer pounds.
As a single father with two teenage boys, Benito Cervantes found it hard enough to simply get dinner (and breakfast and lunch and snacks) on the table. His stress level and waistline were getting away from him.
He lost eight pounds on the Good Mood plan in two months-and, better yet, gained a significant energy boost. That comes in handy with two teens in the household.
"I wake up more refreshed and ready for the day," says Benito, who is a private investigator with a demanding schedule. "My stomach used to get upset when I drank my morning coffee, but that has disappeared."
Benito says the Good Mood Diet is family-friendly. "I am introducing meals to my kids that they will actually eat and enjoy," he says. "That is such a wonderful change for me."
Trish Zuccotti didn't need to lose pounds when she hooked up with Dr. Kleiner in mid-2005.
"I wanted to change my body composition," says Trish, who is a senior vice president at the Expedia.com travel website. "I wanted to lose fat."
As an experienced competitive weightlifter, Trish knew she might even gain a few pounds because muscle weighs more than fat. But she also changing body composition would provide more power in her arms and legs. The plan surpassed her wildest expectations.
"I was following the same workout routine, which was intense as I got ready for the world championships last summer," says Trish, 58. "I just felt phenomenally stronger on Dr. Kleiner's diet. My energy level and mental acuity are unbelievably good, especially for my job."
Trish won a silver medal at the world championships. She gives a full measure of credit to the Good Mood Diet.
"It's the only thing I changed about my routine," Trish says. "I recommend this plan to anyone who wants to get better in a sport or their jobs or both."
A common response among Good Mood Dieters is they really don't feel hungry on this plan. Felicity Mansanerez, 29, wasn't sure about that claim when she started the program. As a nurse and kickboxing enthusiast, Felicity wasn't looking to lose lots of pounds, just those elusive last five to eight.
"It wasn't fair," she says, smiling. "I would go out with my friends, my skinny friends. They would eat whatever they wanted and not gain weight. I felt like I couldn't eat without gaining pounds. So I was either hungry or guilty about eating."
When Felicity started the Good Mood Diet, she felt a surge in energy. "I was waking up without an alarm for the first time since I was a kid," she says.
But after about five days on the plan, she reported being hungry at times. Dr. Kleiner adjusted her mid-morning snack and lunch to include, get this, more fats and carbs.
"Felicity was burning lots of calories with work and the kickboxing workouts," says Dr. Kleiner. "She needed more food as fuel. After that, she never felt hungry."
As she followed the plan, Felicity felt more toned and less tight in her clothes. Plus, she didn't worry so much about enjoying an appetizer or two with friends. Her commitment to eating regularly throughout the day made all of the difference.
Sharon Lee Hamilton is a 40-something mother with two young children. She loves the Good Mood diet for its effect on limiting the effects of stress in her life.
"I felt more calm around the kids and last year we went through some challenging times during a foreign adoption process," says Sharon. "Rather than gain weight during all that, which is what normally happens, I lost four pounds."
One of Sharon's successful strategies was making sure to eat a Good Mood Breakfast every day. She experimented with Dr. Kleiner's menu and recipes to find dishes that worked for her busy life. "I just loved eating a meal in the morning, yet it only took me minutes to get everything ready."
Many Good Mood Dieters are unsatisfied alumni from high-profile programs, including Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and Atkins. They discover an important difference of the Good Mood plan in just days, sometimes even after 24 hours.
"I felt good and keep feeling good," exhorts Louise Goodman, who lost 10 pounds in her first three months in a Good Mood Diet Club. "I could never follow those other diets and plans. The Good Mood plan is one I will follow for life. It's the first time I have ever connected food to my moods.
"It works. When I fall off the plan for a day, I notice I feel lousy."
With the other diets, Dr. Kleiner says the opposite occurs. On Atkins, for instance, you feel "cranky" while walking the high-protein tightrope and only feel in a good mood when you go off plan.
"I have absolutely no cravings," says Louise. "I trust the program and I have never felt this way about a diet before."