Tom Kerridge's Dopamine Diet ~ My low-carb, stay-happy way to lose weight

Is this a Diet Book?

This isn’t a diet book, you won’t find a long list of ‘dos and don’ts, you won’t find daily meal plans, or any sections on weighing and recording your results etc. Instead it’s more of a cookbook where Tom shares the recipes that he cooks to allow him to follow his new high dopamine lifestyle. And having met Tom and seen his progress you can tell that it has worked for him.


The book starts with an introduction about how and why Tom changed his diet and the rationale behind it. It’s not technical or prescriptive at all. Instead, it’s an honest introduction on how a very large person who loved their food decided to make a signi cant change and how they made that change work for them. From that perspective, I find it hugely inspirational.

In The Kitchen

The recipe section of the book is broken down into sensible categories making it easy to cook from. The categories are based on the type of dish rather than categorising Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner etc, and this reflects the way in which he typically eats now. Instead you will find sections on Soups and Broths, Hot & Cold Salads, Omelettes & Pancakes, Minced Meat Dishes, Braises & Strews, Pan- frying & Roasts, Sweet Things & Baking

In the main the recipes look great and come with carb count information. For me, there’s enough variety to suit casual dining from family sharing dishes – Shepherd’s
Pie with Cauliflower topping – through to something a bit more substantial and suitable for casual entertaining, which takes me back to his TV show days when I first had a glimpse of his life. For dessert lovers there are also eight dessert dishes (using sugar substitutes) and a couple of low carb breads.

Dopamine is a chemical which signals to the brain’s reward hub. From a food perspective dopamine is created when we the amino acid tyrosine is broken down and used by the body. The dopamine hero’s are:

• Dairy, Eggs, Oily Fish and Seafood, Fruit, Well Sourced Meat (think free range, grass fed), Nuts, Vegetables, Spices and Chillies.

• Add to this a healthy dose of 70 per cent dark chocolate for sugar cravings, and you just about have Tom’s diet


Finally, on top of all the food changes, Tom took up a form of exercise that he loved, swimming, and he encourages everyone to find something they “don’t hate and do it every day if you can”.