D.I.E.T. Did I Eat Today?
How Do You Feel About The Way You Look?
What Does Your Weight Have To Do With It?
What Is Your Perfect Weight?
How Can You Achieve It?
And, The 10 Best Diets Are…?
Want A Way To Weigh What You Want?
TOPIC: WEIGHT LOSS TRENDS
You have never lacked willpower or courage.
You are not weak or indulgent. Your body has been under stress from processed food, pollution, and the pressures of life [while] trying to help you survive the only way it knows how…. You… [can] gently switch from surviving to thriving. –
Alan Christianson, NMD, The Adrenal Reset Diet
“Food is the cure, not the enemy,”
Alan Christianson, NMD.
“Food is your friend” is a current diet trend. Another is eating a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats – all as whole foods with an emphasis on organic.
Others include going “Paleo”; excluding foods that are common “allergens”, including staying gluten free1; seeing calorie counting as a myth (vs calorie restriction, CR2); keeping the body alkaline. In addition, many diets offer vegetarian and vegan modifications.
Every year I am bombarded with diet books to review, particularly as the New Year approaches. This season, I received eight. I was particularly intrigued by The FAST Metabolism Diet by Haylie Pomroy.
Playing favorites, I include a complete review of Ms. Pomroy’s program. The others are listed on the back page as is a list of the Top 10 Diets.
Fast Metabolism DIET Food Is the Cure
1 Common allergens include wheat, soy, corn, dairy, and eggs. See Nutrition News, “Go Gluten Free”.
2 Calorie Restriction – The only diet that has been shown (among lab animals) to extend the lifespan of mammals. See our longevity issue, Nutrition News, “5:2, Is It For You?”, covering calorie restriction (CR) and intermittent fasting (IF).
The FAST Metabolism Diet
Lose Up To 20 Pounds In 28 Days” reads the cover of Haylie Pomroy’s book, along with “Eat More Food & Lose More Weight”.
Ms. Pomroy’s goal is to repair and recharge your metabolism, turning your body into a fat burning machine. This is accomplished by eating on purpose and following The Rules. (See “The Rules, back page.)
The plan is a 1-week program, containing 3 phases. The week program is repeated four times to complete the 28 day FAST metabolism diet.
Each week, food intake is designed to resuscitate the metabolism by targeting three different aspects of it in the three phases: Phase 1 is two days; Phase 2, two days (both phases are low fat); Phase 3 is three days delivering healthy fats. Lots of veggies are required eating on all days.
Two of Haylie’s dieting principles are: D.I.E.T. and “Confuse to lose”. D.I.E.T., the acronym, stands for “Did I Eat Today?”. Each day, you are required to eat 3 meals and at least two snacks, never going more than 4 hours without food.
Confuse to lose is a weight loss strategy. People who exercise regularly know that diversifying your program brings maximum results. This is true of diets also.
Surprising the body causes a different result. In this plan, your body is flooded with nutrients but never in the same way for more than 2 or 3 days in a row.
Further, it asks your body to do things it is not used to doing, giving your body a wake-up call and amping up your metabolism.
As Haylie explains it, a healthy metabolism does three things: turns your food into energy; releases stored fat; turns that fat into energy. This is what the three phases are designed to do as they help the body to Unwind, Unlock, and Unleash.
Fast Metabolism Diet
Phase 1: Unwind. Phase 1 is Days 1 and 2. Designed to calm your adrenal glands while coaxing your body to unwind. These are carb-loading days. Your eating plan looks like this:
Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Grain Fruit Grain Fruit Grain
Fruit Protein Protein
This is what we ate: Bowl of oatmeal with 2 cups berries • A pear • Beans & brown rice with herbs and spices; salad with herbs, lemon juice, and tomatoes [‘fruit’] • apple • dinner same as lunch with steamed green beans seasoned with lime juice, salt, and parsley. Go to bed late? Have a sweet crunchy apple.
Haley notes that she “wants the body to fall in love with food” in Phase 1. Biologically, sweet fruits and whole grains stimulate the endorphins in the brain and flood the body with very easily accessible nutrients.
This stimulates the activity of the five major players in digestion and metabolism: the liver, the adrenals, the thyroid, the pituitary, and all the mitochondria (powerhouses of the cells).
The adrenals are calmed by the presence of a steady rate of natural sugar. Importantly, they stop making stress hormones like cortisol (a major cause of belly fat).
The foods here also cause fat to be metabolized more efficiently. With the incoming healthy carbohydrates, your body comes out of crisis mode. It is persuaded to use the food as energy rather than storing it as fat. To quote Haylie, “We’re telling the body, ‘Shh, shh, it’s going to be okay’.”
Proteins and fats are harder to digest than fresh fruit and whole grains so there is a moderate amount of protein and only naturally occurring fat in phase 1.
As the body releases nutrients, your metabolism begins to recover from the starvation state. You’ll be eating fruits, brown rice, steel cut oatmeal, quinoa and amaranth, lentils, beans, and lean meats.
You’ll also be eating lots of green veggies and drinking lots of water: one ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight.3
Haylie teaches that refined sugar, juices, and dried fruits are too easy to digest and cause the metabolism to get lazy. She adds that everything you will be eating is nutrient dense, causing more calories to be used digesting the food. “Juicy apples and pears, pineapples and strawberries, watermelon and oranges? Fruit smoothies and spelt pretzels and brown rice pasta and oatmeal? Go for it!”
Remember, no added fat. When your body goes looking for fat, it pulls from your fat stores for its needs. Says Hayley, “…Phase 1 floods the body with nutrients and jump-starts your system in a way that challenges your body while also feeling deliciously indulgent.”
Phase 1 Exercise
Exercise: Each phase has its own exercise and asks for a commitment of exercising one day per phase per week (3 days). And, don’t work yourself to the bone. Doing so goes against the objectives of the diet. Take it easy! It’s only 4 weeks. Enjoy!
No surprise, the Phase 1 exercise is cardio-. You’re set to use up that nice glycogen you’re laying down. Make it vigorous, like running or elliptical or upbeat aerobic. If vigorous isn’t you, make it a brisk walk
Fast Metabolism Diet Phase 1
3 If you weigh 200 lbs, you will drink 100 ounces of water – about 3 quarts. This is to help move stored toxins you release while reestablishing efficient fat burning.
Fast Metabolism Diet Phase 2
Phase 2: Unlock. Days 3 and 4 differ completely from Days 1 and 2. These are protein days. You are eating lean protein, low carb, and low fat. The foods you eat push your metabolism to lay down muscle and scavenge fats. Your eating plan looks like this:
Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Protein Protein Protein Protein Protein
Veggie Veggie Veggie
If you eat meat, these days are really easy, not taking much imagination to fill in the blanks.
On the other hand, vegans get a break from The Rules with the use of three organic soy foods: edamame, tofu, and tempeh.4
This is what the vegan protein days look like: edamame for all snacks with other veggies like jicama and cucumbers. We eat eggs so egg white and spinach omelettes (colored with a little turmeric) with a side of broccoli • roasted tofu slabs with salad for lunch • tempeh burgers in romaine lettuce wraps for dinner with either steams or another salad or both. Certain veggies are allowed on each phase and there is no limit to how much vegetation you can eat within that phase. We use a lot of herbs, spices, and particularly chili flake, lemon or lime juice, and salt.
In Phase 2, the proteins mixed with the targeted veggies make it nearly impossible to store any of your meals as fat.
And, because of phase 1, your body is primed to release fat from your belly, hips, thighs, and butt. In addition, the amino acids of the proteins stimulate the liver, which begins to increase your metabolic rate. The protein you eat also provides the amino acid carnitine. This is the amino acid that delivers fat to the fat furnace in the mitochondria.
This phase is all about building muscle and everybody knows the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn.
The purpose of this phase is to unlock your stored fat, releasing it into the bloodstream, and putting it to work. The downside is that all this protein is very acid-producing. To maintain your body at a healthy pH, you eat lots of alkalinizing, low glycemic veggies. They keep your body balanced and your digestion working.
In addition, the alkalinizing vegetables promote healthy liver and gall bladder functions. Your liver is responsible for over 600 metabolic processes. This includes stimulating your body to release fat cells from storage. The gall bladder promotes fat breakdown. The nutrients released from the greens also support the thyroid. In addition, both the greens and high protein are thermogenic.
You don’t like low carb? Get over it. It’s only two days.
Exercise: Of course, it’s strength training. Focus on lifting heavy weights with low reps. Don’t know how? Take a class that uses weights or just check online. You can work at home with bottles of water or canned goods.
Fast Metabolism Diet Phase 2
4 Yes, Haylie Pomroy specifically speaks out against genetically modified foods. These are primarily soy and corn products. See Nutrition News, “CSI Health Crimes”.
Fast Metabolism Diet Phase 3
Phase 3: Unleash. About this time, your body is beginning to ask, “Where’s the fat?”
Phase 3 is 3 days of eating healthy fats. The purpose of this phase is to “unleash the burn”. The focus is on hormones, heart, and heat. Haylie calls these the “thermogenic three”. They are responsible for “boosting the burn”. Your eating plan looks like this:
Breakfast Snack Lunch Snack Dinner
Fruit Healthy Fat Fat/Protein Fat Fat/Protein
Fat/Protein Veggie Veggie Veggie Veggie
Grain Fruit Grain/Starch Veggie
Our food looked like this: steel cut oatmeal with 2 c berries/svg; handful of raw kale with a little oil and lime juice or organic kale chips • avocado with celery • whole egg avocado omelette; green salad with grapefruit (dressed with oil, lime juice, herbs, and chopped walnuts) • hummus with jicama • Lentil-veggie soup with toast. (Sprouted grain, flourless bread and tortillas are allowed!) Salad as before. Stay up late? Repeat a snack.
After four days of low fat, nutrient dense foods, your body is ready to burn the fats you unloosed on days 1-4; plus your fat burning mechanisms come into play to burn the fat you’re eating. Remember when nutritionists discovered that you need to eat fat to burn fat? Here you go!
No, you do not get to eat fried foods or hunks of cheese. You do get to sauté your mushrooms, onions, and garlic in olive oil or other heathy oil. And, you eat your fill of avocados, nuts, seeds, and coconut milk and coconut water.
Look like a lot of veggies? It is. In a “Science Geek Moment”, Haylie explains that we need the veggies to encourage the body to produce a lot of proteolytic enzymes to break down the cellulose. Then, those enzymes also help break down the fat. The plan won’t work if we don’t eat our veggies – even for breakfast!
When you start eating fat, your body gets a rest from scavenging fat to make energy. At the same time, it realizes that it doesn’t need to save you by turning your food into fat. It’s happy and starts to burn its own fat, right along with the fat we are eating. Surprisingly, eating fat after not eating it for a few days makes the body burn fat like crazy.
One of the most important actions in this phase is drinking our water allowance. Because so much fat is being released, your body is purging toxins. The water keeps the toxins and everything else moving.
Haylie even recommends taking a sauna during this phase. As she says, “…toxin release contributes to your new thinner, tighter look [as the] toxins disappear so does swelling and inflammation and even [cellulite] bumps.” If you don’t release those toxins and fats, they will be reabsorbed into your body.
FYI: Avocado contains a unique starch called manahexolose. This nutrient helps balance blood sugar, reduce insulin resistance, and turn up the metabolism.
Meanwhile, a nutrient found in raw nuts and seeds slows gastric emptying, giving the meal time to stimulate the hypothalamus and pituitary to signal satiation. Lastly, Phase 3 foods produce endorphins, the feel good hormones.
Perhaps most important personally, in Phase 3 you begin to see and feel the difference in your body. You have more energy. Your belly looks flatter. You look and feel more fit. People may start asking if you’ve lost weight. (Three pounds on weigh-in for me. Best result since before I turned 40 – Siri)
Exercise: This time it’s stress-lowering exercise like yoga. Take it easy, gym rats! Even getting a massage counts as exercise for these days.
Calculate Your Perfect Weight
The following formula is exceedingly useful in determining your healthy weight. It was developed by French physician Jean-Michel Cohen, MD, PhD, to help his patients identify a genetically stable weight.
- How much did you weigh when you were 18;
- How much did you weigh at your heaviest? (Not pregnant.)
- How much did you weigh at your lightest after 18?
- What is your current weight?
Add A & B. Divide by 2. Label that Y.
Add C & D. Divide by 2. Label that Z.
Add Y & Z. Divide by 2.
Voilà! Your perfect weight!
Fast Metabolism Diet Rules: The 10 Do’s
When, you check out the rules, you’ll see that you are also releasing foods that can be “metabolism crushers” like processed foods, fake phoods, sugar, wheat, corn, dairy, alcohol, and caffeine. These foods can cause irritation or inflammation in the GI tract, causing bloat and even body aches and pains.
The 10 Do’s
- You must eat 5x/day. Three meals and 2 snacks. No skipping.
- You must eat every 3-4 hours, except when sleeping.
- You must eat within 30 minutes of waking – every day.
(If you don’t want breakfast, have the snack and eat later.)
- You must stay on the plan for the entire 28 days/4 weeks.
- You must stick with the phase specific foods. (Lists in book.)
- You must follow the phases in order.
- You must drink half your body weight in water every day.
- Eat organic whenever possible.5
- Meat choices must be nitrate free.
You must follow the phase specific exercise plan at least 3x/week.
Fast Metabolism Diet Rules: The 10 Do’s
5 Especially true for animal products, Ed. Most commercial beasts are fed GMO corn and soy. The GM part stays in their meat and eggs.
Fast Metabolism Diet Rules: The 10 Don’t Eats
The 10 Don’t Eats
- No wheat (except sprouted wheat bread and tortillas).
- No corn.
- No soy. (Vegan exception on Days 3&4. See text.)
- No dairy.
- No refined sugar.
- No caffeine.
- No alcohol.
- No dried fruits or fruit juices.
- No artificial sweeteners. (Only stevia is allowed.)
- No fat-free “diet foods”.
Not stated in The Rules: No processed foods. Just whole foods cooked and raw. This means no meal bars, no microwave meals, no canned protein drinks.
Fast Metabolism Diet Tips For Success
The Nutrition News staff of three has undertaken this D.I.E.T. We are ovo-lacto vegetarians and consider the discipline and food involved with FAST metabolism to be a tune-up. As the newsletter goes to press, we have just completed our first week. My tips are based on our experience.
First, if this diet appeals to you, buy the book and read it. It is engaging and easy reading. A big bonus is that Haylie is a fantastic coach. (She has helped thousands to lose weight permanently.) The newsletter is an overview, not a guide. You must have the food lists for the phases. They will surprise you.
Haylie’s weight loss formula and diet strategies are often based on her training as a large animal veterinarian.
She often refers to the way cattle are fattened up on corn and soy and how prize horses are fed to show them at their best, glowing and muscular.
When you read the book, you will understand the importance of not deviating from the program. In addition, you will be coached on returning to “normal eating”. Haylie gives the example of her own family’s weekly eating pattern. She also gives you how to’s, including how to eat during the day when you know you’re going to splurge at night.
Secondly, PLAN AHEAD. Shop for the week and have all your “Crash Stash Snacks” at the ready. We did our cooking on Sunday and at night. We did not use the freezer as much as Haylie, but we did freeze grains and beans.
Lastly, Haylie recommends that you start Phase 1 on a Monday. (We did.) This is not written in stone, but do look ahead and stage the diet around the Phase 3 days of healthy fats. They are your reward for staying with the program on the other four days. Bon apetite!
Diet Books & Diets
Here is a list of the diet books I received.
Batayneh, Rania. The 1-1-1 Diet
Campbell, Thomas. The Campbell Plan
Christianson, Alan. The Adrenal Reset Diet
Mercola, Joseph. Effortless Healing
Sears, Barry. The Mediterranean Zone
Shaw, Beth. Yogalean
Watson, Brenda. The Skinny Gut Diet
All these diets – Where’s the dessert?! Sweet Paleo: Gluten-Free, Grain-Free Delights by Lea Hendry Valle.
US News & World Report’s
10 Best Diets of 2015
#1. DASH Diet
2. TLC: Therapeutic Lifestyle
3. Mayo Clinic
5. Weight Watchers
8. Jenny Craig
9. The Biggest Loser
10. Dr. Dean Ornish