7.01.2014

Doing the Fast Metabolism Diet

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:

Phase 1 (Mondays and Tuesdays) Unwind Stress and Calm the Adrenals
High glycemic (fruits and grains), moderate protein, low fat

Grains don't include refined sugars, wheat, or corn. Oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa are fine, as are pastas and breads if they are made with alternative grains. (My mom had to tell me that "sprouted bread" means that Ezekiel bread in the freezer section.)

The point of this phase is to persuade your body that it's no longer in an emergency "fat-storing" situation and to level your blood sugar.

Phase 2 (Wednesdays and Thursdays) Unlock Stored Fat and Build Muscle
High protein, high vegetable, low carbs, low fat (ie, the hard one. But it's just 2 days!)

The point of this phase is to push your metabolism to build muscle and burn fats.

Phase 3 (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) Unleash the Burn
High healthy fat, moderate carbs, moderate protein, low glycemic fruit

This is the phase where you are burning stored fat.

Here is what I ended up eating a lot:

Breakfasts:
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

Lunches:
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

So . . . now for the advice stuff.

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.

I created a Google Docs spreadsheet (I love me a Google Docs spreadsheet) with a table for each week. I entered in all the meals and snacks I had planned. Having the whole week planned out made it much easier to stick to the eating plan.

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.

Slip-ups: Of course there were days where stuff happened and I just didn't stick to it. And there were days when I couldn't resist a bite of ______. The "just a bite" didn't seem to really affect things too much. And, actually, just a bite was usually really satisfying. But more than that and I'd start feeling gross, and the next morning on  the scale I'd see that I didn't lose anything, or that I'd gained something back.

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!

50 comments:

Rachael said... [reply]

Thanks for this! My baby is getting ear tubes next week and we have a trial for my foster daughter's parents' rights being terminated next month, so I've been eating a lot of feelings lately, and now that the baby's one it's harder to pass it off as baby weight. I'm actually getting garbage plates for lunch with a friend (http://rocwiki.org/Garbage_Plates) but I'm emailing my husband about this diet!

Nemesis said... [reply]

Oh wow. Garbage plates look awesome. And yeah . . . sounds like you have an insane amount on your [notgarbage]plate.

Bebe McGooch said... [reply]

I was just about to ask you what exactly you've been eating. Thanks so much!

Bebe McGooch said... [reply]

So did you buy a spiralizer for your zucchini noodles? I'm very intrigued--especially after eating the dregs of my kids' macaroni and cheese for lunch. Bleh.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Bebe McGooch, I just updated the post to give more of a breakdown of the kinds of things I ended up eating a lot--hope it helps!

And no, I haven't bought a spiralizer, I just tried to slice them thin (with mixed results). I am intrigued by those things too!

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

And then there are moments where the real Miss Nem pokes through, "That mess is disgusting. Like sweet baby powder straight from a sweaty butt-crack disgusting."

This is why I love you.

abby said... [reply]

I've been on the diet for three days and in the past two days I gained a couple pounds. I also have a thyroid disorder and on Phase I I felt a bit off. It's a phase which most people like. I decided to eat some nuts and actually felt better. I did a My Fitness Pal on my day and I noticed the amount of fat I ate was extremely low. For me, I needed the fat. It's funny because on Pomeroy's website she mentions how Phase 3 is good for my issues because of the fat.

I think the reason this diet works is because it is forcing you to do the things you should be doing anyway. Eating a lot of veggies and whole foods as well as drinking water. The amount of water is a bit insane though and the weight you may be losing in the beginning is pure water weight. Luckily for me the water I need to drink is what most nutritionist recommend what we need per day. However 90 ozs of water may be a bit too much for some people and it's more than you need. She also doesn't count herbal tea as a liquid so even if you drank an 8 oz cup of it. You have to drink her crazy levels of water.

My word of caution is if you do have a metabolic disorder this diet might not be the right way to go. Mainly because of the extremes she makes your system go through. She talks in the book about getting your thyroid checked but even if you do have an awareness of a thyroid issue it may not work completely for you. I don't know if this diet will really jump start my metabolism again. I may have other issues, but at least it has gotten me into a whole foods path. Phase 3 is the way you are supposed to eat and I may just follow that path instead of the other phases. Whole foods are the way to go. You need protein, carbs and fat. She's just taking it all to an extreme. This article was useful in pointing out why her diet and others work for people and mainly it's because you are eating right http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-mark-hyman/weight-loss-_b_3466261.html

Nemesis said... [reply]

Abby, that's so interesting that your body responds differently bc of thyroid issues! and I'm with you--the amount of water I need is the amount I'm sure a nutritionist would suggest.

Another reason I think this and similar diets work is because you stop eating foods that tend to be big triggers for over-eating. I never really feel like going crazy on vegetables, meats, or fruits. I eat my meal or snack, I'm done, fine. But bring some sugar or white flour in there and IT IS ON. I will keep going until something ruptures.

Collene Auston said... [reply]

I've had my fair share of eating plans, but I've never seen them more holistic and comprehensive as that one I like how the sneak peek covers the daily nutritional plan, the food and all, as well as the weekly activity plan. I think that would be a fun guide to follow. I'm definitely going to try that out. Thank you so much for sharing!

Collene Auston @ QH2O+

Drs Joe and Deb said... [reply]

I used to have Hasimoto's disease of the thyroid,(Autoimmune)and have gotten all my labs back as well as countless others. Your gut is 100% connected to your thyroid. So in many ways this diet can help, but if certain foods are reactive to you, it doesn't matter how and what you eat. Finding the cause of each system is critical to success of any health plan/diet.
@abby

goingforit said... [reply]

Phase 3 confusion. What does the (/) mean in protein / fat? Do I have protein plus fat or a food like nuts that are a protein and fat combined.?

Janie said... [reply]

Long-time lurker, blah blah blah.

Question for you: Now that you've been off the diet for a while, have you been able to maintain your weight loss? I'm debating doing the FMD, but would love to hear how it's worked out long-term for you. :)

Nemesis said... [reply]

Janie, I hope you see this!

Yes, I did really well at staying within a few pounds of the goal weight I hit with FMD. The holidays brought some bad habits back into play (over-eating, too much sugar, etc.) but then I got back on track and started exercising more regularly and that helped a lot.

I haven't gone back and done another cycle, the way a lot of other people do to help maintain, but I think it would be helpful!

Nemesis said... [reply]

@goingforit, you asked, "Phase 3 confusion. What does the (/) mean in protein / fat? Do I have protein plus fat or a food like nuts that are a protein and fat combined.?"

Thanks for the question, I can see that's a bit confusing! Fat/protein means either a higher-fat protein or a lean protein + a fat.

Janie said... [reply]

Thank you for the update! I will probably start on Monday.

Dave and Kari McGrath said... [reply]

Have you used her membership website? Not sure I want to pay for it if it's anything like her app.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Dave & Kari, I haven't used her membership website OR her app, although I know people who've really enjoyed the app. I'll probably download it the next time I do the diet (like after another baby, etc.).

Kristen devries said... [reply]

For those reading this, and who like sweet things, PLEASE try stevia! I have been using it almost exclusively for several years in place of sugar and it tastes great. I think maybe the only people who wouldn;t like would be super hard core sugar addicts. Truvia is my favorite brand and has the same consistency as sugar. For baking, xylitol is better and also tastes awesome. BTW, I also did this diet. Maybe I didn;t have as much to lose? not sure, but I lost 8 pounds in 4 weeks.

Shelley Godfrey said... [reply]

Would you be willing to share your google docs spreadsheet or any shopping lists you have? That is what I find the most overwhelming about this diet is the planning, so any help I can get would be great. My girls and I really want to try it. Also, for $1.99 there is an ap that can help plan your meals and remind you when to eat and drink. Worth the money I believe if you are going to try this diet.

Patti Malone said... [reply]

I am on day 6. I am finding it too much food. I had a turkey burger and sweet potato from the cookbook tonight and could only eat half of the potato. The 105 oz of water is a challenge but have been doing it. I have lost 4 lbs thus far. Also what about spelt bread? Is that acceptable?

Berni Cepeda said... [reply]

Hi, Could you please share the Google doc chart?
Thanks!

Berni

Nemesis said... [reply]

@Berni Cepeda

I just shared it--go back in the post to see the link. Good luck!

Nemesis said... [reply]

@Shelley Godfrey

I've updated the post to share it, I hope you see this!

Lily Aronin said... [reply]

Did you add the extra fruit for nursing?

Nemesis said... [reply]

@Lily Aronin

Hi, Lily! I didn't because I'm not nursing. But a nursing friend is doing it at the same time and yes, she's adding in the extra fruit and it seems to be going okay. (She's losing weight but not losing her supply,)

joecoles222 said... [reply]

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Jack Faxfix said... [reply]
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert Makowiecki said... [reply]

Hi. I am looking for some info on this diet. I am a vegetarian male in my 50's looking to lose 20-30 lbs. I work a long day and really don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen. I get up each day around 6, walk my dogs, shower and leave for work around 8. I have an hour commute and my normal work day is 9/9:30 AM until 6-7 PM. When I get home I take the dogs back out for a shorter walk and have 2-3 hours to myself before bed at 11. I also go to the gym twice a week on the way home for weight training. Most of my meals are bought prepared from the local market since time is a premium for me. This is more than likely the cause of my weight gain. SO I have 2 questions for anyone to answer... The exercise seems pretty specific on this plan, will my daily dogs walks and gym workouts (mon & Thurs) be an issue? And how much time can I really expect to spend on food prep each night? Thanks in advance for your time.

Nemesis said... [reply]

@Robert Makowiecki

Hi Robert, thanks for reading and leaving a comment! My guess is that walking your dogs wouldn't interfere with the plan at all, since that's likely not a high-intensity carb activity. And I'd say that if those are the 2 days you can do weights then just do what you can do. There IS a lot of food prep but I can't say what that will look like for you--if you are only cooking for one, then big batches of her recipes will last 6-8 meals. If you have a slow cooker or pressure cooker to help reduce hands-on time that will help. And if you have a freezer you could make larger batches of her recipes and freeze them for later.

To be completely honest with you, when I started FMD back up this winter it just didn't work for me. I did it faithfully for 2 weeks and had no results. That's when a friend got me on tracking macros (If It Fits Your Macros) which DID work. I strongly recommend it because of the flexibility. You don't have to cut out any one food, and it's easier incorporate store bought or restaurant meals. Take a look if you're interested. http://www.iifym.com/

Good luck!

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Lisa Kay, Your Guide to Getting In said... [reply]

@Science Teacher Mommy You know one should never eat/use dry/powdered Stevia. There are additives that make it dry. Stevia is a liquid and should only be used as such.

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Chuck Kuehn said... [reply]

I have been on this High Metabolism diet for five weeks..going on six. While I am losing weight, you must be patient because I have followed the book and diet religiously and I have NOT lost 20 lbs in four weeks as promised. I have lost nearly 12 pounds in five weeks. So dont believe the hype but if you stick with it you will lose weight (probably healthier losing 2lbs a week anyways) For god sake anytime you stop eating sugar, lose the alchohol and caffeine something good should happen!! Chuck

MRC said... [reply]

What is the name of the app on iPhone?
Also, has anyone used the shakes she sells?

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JetSetDawn said... [reply]

Hi! I am trying this program again after putting on 5lbs over the holidays and not doing anything "right" for the past 6 weeks. I'd love to have your spreadsheet in an editable doc so I can add the foods I want to eat in it and print it out. Will you share?

Thanks!

Jade Graham said... [reply]

I've heard the Atkins Nutritionals company tell people to limit their protein per meal to 4 to 6 ounces, but not for the whole day. http://supplements-factory.org/

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A happy, healthy mommy! said... [reply]

Hi! I tried the FMD a year ago and lost 40 pounds! I didn't gain anything back until a DQ was built within walking distance of my home! Lol But I started it again 8 weeks ago and have only lost 10 pounds. I feel like it is bit working this time... and I have no idea why! Did you ever figure out why it worked for you the first time but not the second?

Vijay Sinha said... [reply]

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@Rachael

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Harason Wills said... [reply]

I was just about to ask you what exactly you've been eating.
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shaby vines said... [reply]


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María Javiera Cabrera Quinteros said... [reply]

Hi, i was wondering if you can mix veggies of different types as tomatoes, onions and cilantro, or has to be only one type of veggies? Other question, can I eat to different proteins in phase one as tuna with white eggs?
I like a lot your blog
Thanks

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Marco Lucido said... [reply]

Good Morning,
Just wondering how long you have had Hoshimotos and what you did to cure it. I've had it for at least 25 years, that I know about, and now my 11 year old son has been diagnosed with it. Would love to know what you did to cure it. Thanks!

Kim
@Drs Joe and Deb

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