The Fast Metabolism Diet

by 9:04 AM 1 comments
This has been a Summer marked by beautiful weather, lovely people, and for me, weight gain. It really hit home when I went in for my physical on a few weeks ago and I was asked to step on the scale. I literally gasped when I saw the number. It was nine pounds over the most I've ever weighed. As I sulked through the nurse's questions, in the back of my mind I was asking myself 'what happened to me?'

A few things happened. In the month of June, we were eating out a lot. Restaurant portions are huge, but I always manage to stuff everything down. I was drinking a cider almost every night, and not working out as often as I usually do. Then we went to Mexico, where we were eating donuts and drinking piña coladas all day every day, and where my only exercise was paddling around the pool and Shaun T's Hip Hop Abs. If I developed any abs from this, they are hiding beneath my belly. Also, when we came back from Mexico I wasn't sleeping well, which also contributes to weight gain.

I was definitely in denial about all of this. I knew that I wasn't fitting into my clothes, and that my lower back hurt from added tummy weight, but I kept telling myself it was temporary, and that I was just bloated. The doctor's appointment was a wake-up call for me. It was time to change.

I started going to Bar Method five times a week again, and I lost four pounds in doing so. After that, it kind of plateaued. I weigh 135 right now, with 20% body fat. It's not about the weight, of course, but unfortunately the weight is a reflection of my increased body fat.

When my parents got back from Mexico, they started going on a diet that has been going really well for them called the Fast Metabolism Diet. My sister followed them after about a week. I thought that it was only for meat eaters, but when my mom told me it has plans for vegetarians and vegans, I thought I would have to try it. After browsing the website, I decided to go for it. I got the cookbook at Barnes and Noble, and the app for iPhone.

Basically, the plan is to eat whole, plant-based foods. Every week has three phases: in the first phase you eat mostly fruits and carbs, in the second phase you eat mostly vegetables and protein, and in the third phase you eat all of that plus healthy fats and oils. The diet finishes after four weeks, unless you want to lose more weight, in which case you have to add more weeks.

Prior to starting the diet, here are my pros and cons:

     Pros

  • The diet isn't calorie-restrictive
  • It calls for drinking large amounts of water, which is an important thing for any healthy person
  • The vegan version is plant-based with no processed soy products
  • The inclusion of the app makes it much easier to find foods that are within the diet, and to remember when to eat
     Cons

  • The dietician asks you to eat all-organic. She says that pesticides and other toxins in food are filtered through the liver, and you need your liver to be in it's best condition. That makes sense, and we do tend to eat organic anyway, but it's a big grocery bill when almost everything we're buying is produce.
  • There are some weirdo ingredients, like coconut vinegar, that I couldn't even find in Whole Foods. I had to order that one through Amazon.
  • Prep time! I believe in eating whole foods, but eating only whole foods for 28 days is going to be a challenge.
  • Planning time. Even though the app generates a shopping list based on the meals you plan to eat, the serving sizes are random, and the list is grouped by recipe instead of by grocery section. So you might have "1/2 avocado" on the list, and then you scroll down to see "2 avocadoes" later on the list. It took me a while to go through, re-calibrate the servings, and make a grocery list that made sense.
  • No caffeine, no alcohol. The alcohol I can do, but no caffeine!? I thought it was supposed to be good for you anyway. Haylie says no, you can only lose weight with caffeine if you're on a calorie-restrictive diet. Whatever, Haylie! 
  • Only 2 days of strength training, which means my Bar Method membership isn't going to get it's full benefit this month.
This weekend, I went shopping for all the food for week one, and prepped a lot of the veggies. I've been nursing a bad cough/cold/whatever all week, which put me in a mood. I had to ask the people at Whole Foods for a lot of help finding all of the stuff (thanks Dino!) and I spent a lot of money (thanks Amir!). Then I spent about 3 hours chopping and washing all of the vegetables on Sunday. I had never prepared jicama before, so that at least was kind of gratifying. 

Whole Horror: the grocery receipt for ONE WEEK's worth of food.


I also went off of caffeine on Saturday, which was awful. I was already sick, though, so I figured 'why not just be really miserable all at once?' And I WAS. It's Monday morning, now, though, and I feel kind of chipper. I woke up at 5:30 AM of my own volition. Amazing! 

Anyway, I'm definitely going to be updating as I go through this. 28 days to a healthy body before I start grad school, yay!



Marina Gafni

Marina Gafni is a 28-year-old speech pathology student. She lives with her husband in San Jose, CA.

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