02/2016 update: I'm doing the diet again after my 3rd baby (holy cow, I'm so very outnumbered now) so I've made a couple of updates for things I'm doing differently this time around. I'm also sharing my original spreadsheet, so go ahead and make a copy to play around with!
08/2016 update: So . . . I followed FMD faithfully last February for weeks and made absolutely no progress. Which was incredibly frustrating. So then a friend told me about macros and helped me get set up, along with some short workouts I could do from home. Started working immediately and was fabulous. I didn't have to cut lists of foods out of my diet, it was easier to eat out and make room for treats or favorite foods, and I spent less time food prepping and less money on expensive ingredients. And now I don't recommend the Fast Metabolism Diet any more. And that's my story.
So a few of you have expressed interest in checking out the diet/eating plan I used to lose my baby weight. It's The Fast Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy. I wanted to throw out a bit more information in case it might be useful!
The idea is that you follow this for 4 weeks to get your metabolism back on track, and then keep going for as many more weeks as it takes to reach your goal weight.
Let me get this out of the way first. You can expect to lose between half a pound to a pound a day from the first day you start this. No lie. That is what (usually) gave me the willpower to just stick to the eating plan--knowing that in the morning when I stepped on the scale I will have lost weight.
For each phase there is a master foods list of all the vegetables, grains, fruits, proteins, fats, and condiments that are allowed in each phase, along with the recommended exercise. You use that to pick things you like and plan your menus. The book also gives you portion sizes depending on how much weight you want to lose. If you want to lose more than 20 pounds, your portions actually need to be bigger.
This is what a week looks like:
Here is what I ended up eating a lot:
Phase 1: Old-fashioned oatmeal w/blueberries and cinnamon (and sometimes some unsweeted applesauce to make it a little sweeter)
Phase 2: Egg white omelets with spinach, mushrooms, and sometimes bell peppers
Phase 3: Nut butter and blueberries on toast or fried egg & tomato on toast
Phase 1: Open faced turkey or roast beef sandwiches or turkey chili (recipe in the book)
Phase 2: Lettuce wraps with roast beef, mushrooms, and peppers inside
Phase 3: Turkey chili w/avocado, lettuce wraps w/deli meat and hummus, or sprouted wheat wraps.
Dinners (modified for each phase): fajitas, spaghetti over zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash, chicken bratwurst, lean hamburgers, shish kabobs, petite sirloin steak, sweet potatoes, burritos with ground beef or turkey and vegetarian re-fried beans, lots and lots of zucchini
Snacks (morning, afternoon, and sometimes evening):
Phase 1: Fruit
Phase 2: Lunch meat dipped in mustard
Phase 3: Celery w/nut butter or veggies w/hummus
Planning: Doing this takes a lot of planning. Take some time to read the book, to plan your menus and go grocery shopping and maybe eat any desserts you really wanted to fit in before you cut out sugar.
Groceries, Buying of: Eating "clean" the way Pomroy recommends (raw nut butters, nitrate-free meats, sprouted grain breads, tons of vegetables and fruit, etc.) can get expensive. I wasn't familiar with some of these items and ended up spending a lot on groceries. If I'd spent more time looking around and comparing prices, I could have spent less. So maybe do some price-checking at your grocery store, the health food/organic store, Costco/Sam's, maybe even Amazon for non-perishables before you start spending money.
Example: Raw almond butter at my local health food store was $18. Then last Saturday I snuck into Trader Joe's during a SLC trip and saw Trader Joe's brand raw almond butter for $6.99. There's also the option of making it yourself, which requires a food processor and a pound of raw almonds ($6 or less).
One smart thing I did was buy single servings of raw almond butter, raw cashew butter, and raw pecan butter at Natural Grocer. That way I could be sure I liked something before I went out and bought (or made) a 16 oz jar.
Another way to keep the grocery bill in control is to check out your weekly grocery store sales on Grocery Smarts before you plan your week's meals. So you'll know who's having a great sale on steaks or strawberries or bell peppers. I've been taking advantage of BBQ season sales on things like steak, lean hamburger patties, and chicken brats.
Cooking for other people: You don't really need to cook separate dinners for the other people in your family. They can eat the same thing you are eating, but they might add cheese or sour cream or a hamburger bun or flour tortilla, etc. Fact: GH lost about 10 pounds at the same time that I was doing this. He wasn't doing anything different, all we can figure is that it must have come from eating the dinners I was making. Or he has a tapeworm.
Eating Out: It's hard when you're not eating at home. It's really hard for me to stick with it when I'm at a restaurant or a party. Once when we had Sunday dinner at my in-law's I ate my meal before I went over. She understood and wasn't offended. But it's so hard for me to be surrounded by dinner rolls and desserts and all this stuff without trying some--and then trying some more. So that's where the willpower has to come in.
Let's see, other things:
Get on Pinterest. There are loads of pins with recipes designated as "Phase 1," "Phase 2," etc. This can help when you're in a meal planning rut.
(2016 update) If you have an iPhone or iPad, download the app. It's $3 and is worth it for the food lists alone, so you don't have to keep going back to the book to see which fruits/veggies/proteins are allowed in each phase.
Stevia is allowed as a sweetener, but I wouldn't bother. That mess is disgusting. Like sweet baby powder straight from a sweaty butt-crack disgusting. (2016 update: I just bought xylitol to try with baking this time around, will see how it goes!)
Mustard is just about the only condiment you can use, so treat yo'self to a kind you like.
If you have a grill, this is the time to use it. I ate shish kabobs at least once a week.
Turning zucchinis into spaghetti noodles? Surprisingly good.
Baked sweet potatoes with cinnamon on them? Tastes like dessert.
Good luck, you will be amazing!