Having struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember, I have tried more diets, pills and weight loss gimmicks than I can shake a stick at. Nothing has worked long term. Over the years, I have probably gained and lost enough weight to make up an entire NFL football team.
As far as weird diets go, if you've heard of it, I've probably tried it at some point. The problem is, it's always a short term solution for me. In my mind, once I lost the weight, I could go back to how I was before, always promising myself I wouldn't gain the weight back.
After having my two kids by cesarean and my mother's cancer diagnosis, I ballooned up to the heaviest I had ever been. When I realized I was going to have to go shopping for clothes in a size I never imagined wearing, I decided to go low carb. And that worked for awhile, but as with all diets, I slowly drifted back to my old habits, and the weight began creeping back up. I have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), so I have to eat every few hours which doesn't help.
Last fall, I joined a gym, but I still needed to do something about my diet. I decided to be more aggressive about my exercise and started the InsanityWorkout (follow up blogs one and two). I really started to get in shape, but I wasn't really losing weight. I needed to start eating healthier, so I started making little changes, but nothing seemed to work.
I happened to run across this book called The Fast Metabolism Diet: Eat More Foodand Lose Weight by Haylie Pomroy. Of course I was immediately skeptical having been on a million of these diets, but she made a good case for the damage done to a person's metabolism from chronic dieting. So, I bought a used copy and thought I would check it out.
I liked that she based her findings on scientific research and what we know about how metabolisms work. Long term, low calorie diets can actually cause your body to think it's starving, and it will pack away everything you eat as fat even when you go back to eating more calories. It can permanently change your metabolism. Made sense.
She claims that you can lose 20 pounds in 28 days. Lots of diets make those claims, so I decided to try it more for the healthy aspect and not so much for that claim. The diet itself is packed with protein, whole grains, veggies, fruit, and healthy fats. There are three phases during the week, but the rotation is easy enough to follow after the second week. The best part, is she claimed that it could be adapted to be a lifestyle change that would keep your metabolism burning, so that even if you cheat, your metabolism will burn the extra calories and not store them as fat.
The results? I was shocked. I lost 5 pounds the first week, which isn't unusual for a new diet. The difference is that I felt really good physically. I have to eat 5 times a day (6 if I am up longer) which is great for my hypoglycemia. I wasn't hungry. I have no headaches, no shakes, no stomach aches, no energy crashes, and I feel better when I exercise.
Despite all of that, I really struggled the second week, and I blew it. I cheated...a lot. The third week, I had several lunch meetings with people, but I tried to stick to it the rest of the time. My weight fluctuated...a lot.
But I'm trying to see this as a lifestyle change, so I had to find what would work for me. I have finally found a good balance. I was giving myself a cheater day on Saturdays, so I went back to that which has cut down my cheating during the week. She's a little wacko about chemicals which is fine. She insists on no caffeine and soda, but I went back to drinking coffee and diet soda. For convenience sake, I made some of the recipes ahead of time and put them in the freezer. They tasted great!
This week, I have been sticking to it. I had my cheater day on Saturday, and I even went out to dinner with my hubby for our anniversary on Wednesday, and I still lost another 4 pounds this week. I'm starting to feel like I've found something I can stick to that is good for my body. Today, I bought the Fast Metabolism Diet Cookbook and pre-ordered the new one that is coming out in December.