The Fast Metabolism Diet: After the Ball

Last night, I made chocolate chip cookies and only ate three. This is the first time this has ever happened. Usually, I eat them until they’re gone, shielding the plate with my arms like I’m guarding my dessert in a prison movie, and snapping at everyone’s hands as they try desperately to grab one or two.

I’m still not 100 percent sure how much I lost, but I think it’s around 15 pounds. Hopefully, it’ll stay off. I feel great, even after a day or so of not eating strictly on-plan. I’m a confirmed label-reader now, and I haven’t had fried food in so long, I don’t even crave it anymore. So maybe that’s more important than the actual weight loss. It’d be great if this diet made a healthier eater in the long-term. I still haven’t had any coffee or Diet Coke.

This morning, when I was making my breakfast, my dad said that it seemed to him that the best part of the diet was that it reined in my portion sizes.

“It’s easy to go from eating just a little bit of butter on your toast to eating ALL THE BUTTER on your toast,” he said. This is totally true.

Then, my mom got up and admitted, when I accused her of looking skinny, that she’d lost three pounds in the week I’ve been home. Which is great, except that she doesn’t need to lose weight and so we hate her, of course. (I mean, love … but hate, you know?)

Today, we’re all going on a day trip to the Cape and I’m still going to pack a million snacks. It’s good for my metabolism, but also, it keeps me from getting low blood sugar, which pretty much ruins my personality.

And now I will leave you with this amazing photo, courtesy of my friend Melissa and the site It is, according to the site, “an apparatus for measuring metabolism”:

I'm so glad they don't use this anymore.
I’m so glad they don’t use this anymore.

Day 25 of the Fast Metabolism Diet: Transition

Well, I wound up transitioning sooner than I thought I would, in part because, without getting too graphic, I was in a fair amount of intestinal distress last night after a day of faithful phase 2 eating. The meat phase, as I have come to think of it, has never been my favorite. I refused to eat meat at all as a kid, and although I’ll eat just about anything now, too much animal protein still makes me feel a little barfy. (Note to my vegetarian and vegan friends: this does not mean I’m joining your team. Do not leave me lil love notes promising me I’ll feel better when I start eating nothing but nuts and berries.)

This is actually good, because it gives me a chance to do something I wanted to do, which is transition out gracefully. I’m going to avoid wheat and dairy for a few more days, and continue eating five times a day, and smaller meals when I do. Hopefully, this will keep me from feeling sick and gaining a ton of weight back.

As for weight loss, Ma Smash showed me how to fool their scale into giving me a good reading, and it looks like I lost about 14 or 15 pounds. That means I have about 10 to go to get back to where I wanted to be. This is perfectly in line with what I was hoping for. Haylie says to keep going til you hit your goal, but I need a break from the intense level of planning.

It’s been a great experience, and I’m in danger of becoming a cultist. Apologies to anyone who mentions that they’re desperate to lose weight in my hearing. I promise I won’t start mailing you copies of the book, unsolicited. But I’m definitely going to keep this one in my quiver for future tune-ups. (And, if the rest of those pounds don’t come off over the summer, I might do another round later on.)

I’m going to keep blogging about this through the weekend, so we can all compare our transitions/finishing up/starting another round. I hope all my diet buddies are feeling good this morning.

We are the champions! By which, I do not mean spark plugs!
We are the champions! By which, I do not mean spark plugs!

Image: Keijo Knutas/Flickr

Day 24 of the Fast Metabolism Diet: I Have No Idea What I Weigh Now

There’s a scale at my folks’ house, but it’s so inaccurate, my parents set it to minus five pounds to make up the difference. The issue is that my dad is six feet tall and strapping, and my mom is so small, she could make a matchbox her bed. The end result is that the scale is confused and upset.

I’m almost glad, to be honest. Before I left, I was weighing myself every day, which is one of those things they tell you not to do when you’re in Weight Watchers. Most of the time, on this diet, it’s very satisfying. Many days, you’re down a pound, or even two, from the day before. But on those random days when the scale creeps up, it feels like disaster. (Especially during the high-protein, low-carb phase, when I’m pretty much grossed out all the time anyway.)

The good news is that the diet is definitely working, even with my bender last weekend. My yoga pants are loose, people. My yoga pants!

How are you all doing with your weight loss? Are you where you hoped to be?


Image: Karen Eliot/Flickr

Day 23 of the Fast Metabolism Diet: Corn Palace

I’m now close to the end of the diet, but I keep forgetting. For example, yesterday, I made chili, and used up the last of the dairy-free tomato soup. My first thought was, “Oh, I better get some more for next week.” Only next week, of course, I don’t have to be scrupulous about making sure the tomato soup is dairy-free.

I’m still going to stick with a lot of the recipes, though, so it’s good that I’m programmed. My goal is to reintroduce foods slowly, so I can see if I have any problems with the stuff I’ve been avoiding. Except for corn syrup and soy. I’d be happy to avoid those forever.

I was talking to my dad about the diet plan the other day, and he pointed out that the obesity epidemic in this country started right around the time we swapped out sugar for corn syrup, and then put it in everything. I have no idea if this is true, because that would require research, and frankly, I’m so busy with work right now, I’d have to pay myself to do that, or I’d feel like I was putting one over on me.

Still, it makes sense to me. Dad says that when he was a kid, soy and corn silage were what they fed the cows to fatten them up. If it works on a cow, it should work on us. Maybe we should keep corn for cookouts and corn palaces.

What foods are permanently on your no-eat list now?


Image: bl0ndeeo2/Flickr

Day 22 of the Fast Metabolism Diet: What Will I Do When This Is Over?

A couple of commenters mentioned that they were worried about what they’d do when the diet was finished, and I know how they feel.

Julia said:

“I have a fear … can we go back to eating like a ‘normal’ person after this? I wasn’t THAT bad this weekend … I even went for a long run! I think returning to normal after this will take a careful examination of what and how I am eating and how I got myself into this mess in the first place.”

And Stacey said:

“I am very concerned that when the 28 days is up, one slight change to my meal plan, such as wheat bread rather than Ezekiel bread, will result in my gaining back any weight I lose. I also plan to stick with a lot of the meal plans/ foods that are on FMD, but I don’t want to feel like I do now if I eat slightly off the plan. So frustrating.”

I’m a little worried about that, too. Of course, I know ideally, we would all have done the diet straight through with no deviations. In theory, then, our metabolisms would be healed and we could eat like a normal person without blowing right back up like a raft. In practice, most of the folks I’ve been talking to found that hard to do. (Parents, I’m especially in awe of your ability to stick to the diet at all. If I had kids, I’m pretty sure I’d be eating literal garbage out of the trash can and counting chasing my kid in the mall as cardio.)

For me, I think the key is going to be to incorporate some of the recipes and most of the guidelines into my daily life. I don’t think I’ll go back to drinking caffeine, for example. And I’ve never liked soy, and am happy to keep that out of my diet. Same for corn derivatives. It’s hard to do, but worth the effort, just to know that my food is secretly conspiring to make me fat even when I’m not overeating.

As I said yesterday, I’m also going to add things in slowly. So, maybe dairy first, to see how that affects me, and then gluten. If I can keep my portion sizes down, I should be able to figure out what affects me most.

Still, like the others, I’m worried that I’ll feel like a human trash can if I eat anything off-plan. What do you think you’ll do when it’s over?


Image: Peter Zen/Flickr

Day 21 of the Fast Metabolism Diet: Bender

Saturday night, I drank wine, eat cheese and wheat, and stayed up til 2 a.m. I woke up Sunday morning looking and feeling like this guy:


Needless to say, I spent the bulk of the day trying to hydrate again, in between naps. Let me tell you, there ain’t no hangover like a cheese and wheat hangover. Yikes.

When I do go off the diet, I think I’m going to have to be really careful about how I reintroduce off-diet foods. For instance, probably I won’t introduce them with wine. Also, I’m thinking that I might try incorporating first either wheat or dairy, and then add the other one a few days later, to see if I have food sensitivities.

In general, I’m planning to eat a LOT less of the off-plan foods, even when I’m done with the diet. How about you guys? Do you have plans for how you’re going to go off the diet?

Image: zoomar/Flickr

Day 20 of the Fast Metabolism Diet: In Hummus, We Trust

Hey, did you guys know that normal grocery stores don’t carry sprouted grain bread and other gluten-free products? It was a rude awakening for me. (Celiacs, I hear you gritting your teeth.)

Yesterday, I arrived in sunny old Westwood, Mass. on the Amtrak, only three minutes late, to be greeted by my father, who immediately suggested we go to the grocery store to stock up on diet-safe foods. This is a a sacrifice not to be underestimated: I am a nightmare in a grocery store, partly because I’m used to ordering groceries and having them delivered, and partly because my head doesn’t work right. I become totally ADHD, unable to concentrate on the aisle I’m in or the food I’m looking at. Or I do the opposite, and concentrate too much.

“Berries,” I intone to myself. “Beeerrries. Now which ones are low-glycemic, again?”

People understandably start shuffling away from me nervously. Not a lot of ladies talking to themselves in the Roche Bros. in Needham, Massachusetts, and the ones that are have been drinking since they got up.

Now, I don’t mean to insinuate anything bad about suburban grocery stores. In general, they are a palace of fresh produce, especially compared to city grocery stores, which generally look like someone took all the apples and bowled them down an alley for funsies. But unless you go to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, you’re not going to find a lot of specialty food items in a suburban grocery store. There’s very little organic produce, the “ethnic” food section is likely to comprise one can of Goya beans, and if you’re a celiac, well, you can go fuck yourself. There’s gluten in everything. I’m pretty sure the flowers in the florist section up front are sprayed with wheat.

All this to say that I just had a plate of hummus, vegetables, turkey, and blackberries for breakfast. It was oddly delicious, if not totally breakfast-y. Today, at some point, I’ll hit the Whole Foods and look for sprouted grain or, failing that, rice bread. Which is usually a compromise best left unmade, but I am desperate for some bread.

Blackberries are one of the low-glycemic berries, it turns out.
Blackberries are one of the low-glycemic berries, it turns out.