If the diet-industry machine (a market predicted to hit $65 billion in the U.S. last year alone) is right, then the solution to your quest for happiness is simple: just get thin. Thin is leaping into the air and running in short shorts. It's wide smiles and arms flung up to the sky. "When I lose 10/20/50 pounds," we say to ourselves, "I will fit into those jeans I wore in high school, I will be confident enough to ask that girl out, I will finally get ahead in my career." So will losing weight make you (finally!) happy? We polled the pros to find out.
"Following an extreme diet may momentarily lower your weight, but it will also lower your serotonin -- a feel-good hormone -- and your testosterone, which is responsible for drive and energy, and even raise your stress hormones. If you're eating a hormonally balanced diet -- the right foods at the right time in the right combination -- a few things will happen as you lose weight: your stress-hormone levels will lower, resulting in better sleep and better mood; your blood-sugar levels will stabilize, giving you more energy and fewer crashes; and regulating your protein intake will help your body create more happy-making serotonin."
-- Natasha Turner, doctor of naturopathic medicine, Toronto