Healthy Eating

Christmas Body Blitz: Week 1 Check In

I think it was over all good first week back into the swing of things (not excellent just good). My last exam was on Wednesday which threw my gym plan of a little as I wasn’t able to work out on Tuesday or Wednesday because I was busy cramming for my evening exam. I ended up doing 3 days of phase 1 as I didn’t want to hinder my brain function for the exam by depriving myself of carbs. Thursday Friday ended up being phase 2 so unfortunately I sacrificed one of my precious phase 3 days :(, not impressed.

So here’s how I worked out:
Monday: 30 minutes of treadmill interval training, check!
Thursday: Legs Day, Check!
Friday: Arms Day, Check!

I tried to go to the gym on the weekend but it didn’t end up happening which was a little disappointing but this week there will be no excuses. 3 out of 5 in week 1 is not the start I wanted, but week 2 WILL be better. I will be doing the third weights session today (Monday) to make up for it, I really want to make sure I get my squat reps day. 3 cheers for twice a day Monday’s… My body is going to be in hell by Wednesday.

Here are my results for week one:
Weight 68.4 kg, that’s 0.4 kg’s down from Monday last week. Not bad for week one considering I only got to the gym 3 times and had an extra day of phase 1.

I did photos this week. I got a new bikini which is mega push up seeing as my boobs are rapidly disappearing once again.
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I didn’t do measurements on Monday last week so this week will be the bench mark for this challenge, although as punishment/motivation I am comparing them to my last weigh in when I hit my goal weight back in July:
Weight: 68.4kg (-0.4 this week, +3.6 from July)
Right Leg: 62cm (+4 from July)
Left Leg: 61.5cm (+4.5cm form July)
Hips: 91cm (+4 from July)
Waist: 73.5cm (+6cm from July)
Right Arm: 28.5cm (+1.5cm from July)
Left Arm: 29cm (+2cm from July)

Note to self: no more sugar bingeing! It wasn’t really worth it was it.

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Gluten, Sugar and Dairy Free Chocolate Oatmeal Brownie!

This is a phase 3 recipe for anyone on FMD otherwise it is a generally delicious, gluten free, dairy free and sugar free brownie for everyone else.

Fresh From the Oven

Fresh From the Oven

Ingredients:

2 Cups of old fashioned oats (this will blend down to 1.5 cups)

3/4 Cup of coconut oil

1 1/2 Cups of Birch Xylitol (or Stevia)

1 Cup of Cacao Powder

4 medium sized whole eggs

Pinch of Salt

1/8 teaspoon of Baking Soda

Method:

  1. Put the oats in a food processor and blend until its near flour consistency, put to the side.
  2. Melt the coconut oil until it is liquid if it wasn’t already, then add the xylitol
  3. Sift cacao powder, salt and baking soda into the liquid mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs.
  5. Gradually add the whisked eggs to the liquid mixture ensuring that it is not too hot after melting the oil.
  6. Ensure the liquid iis mixed well and then stir in the blended oats until well mixed.
  7. Spoon mixture into a 30cm x 15cm rectangle non-stick baking dish (I line mine with cooking oaoer as well) and cook on fan bake at 150 degrees Celsius (300 F), for approximately 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and baking tray and allow to cool. Once cooled I cut the cake into 8 square pieces to finish.
Brownie cut into 8 pieces for a large serving

Brownie cut into 8 pieces for a large serving

Nutritional Info:

If you cut into 8 large pieces:

Coconut oil: 23.5ml

Oats: 1/4 cup

Birch Xylatol: 1/5 cup

Cacao Powder: 1/8 Cup

Egg: 1/2 Egg

For Calorie Counters see the breakdown below:

Oat Choc Brownie Recipe

So at 500 kcal per piece this is a treat. But it is always good to look at the type of macro nutrients you are eating. There is no lactose or refined sugar in these brownies, the carbs are coming from the oats and the cacao powder, which are way less refined than the traditional white sugar and cocoa powder, so the blood sugar spike is significantly reduced from that of a traditional brownie. The brownie was quite big so you could cut it in half again if you really wanted to. FM Dieters this is most definitely phase 3 with all the healthy fat. I wouldn’t have grains with dinner as they are optional and the oats in this recipe satisfy the requirement anyway.

Brownie with stewed plumb topping

Brownie with stewed plumb topping

I could have eaten the whole bowl of raw mix, this brownie is yummy! My oats weren’t as finely chopped as I would have liked so the mix turned out more like a crumbly cake instead of  a dense brownie but that didn’t effect the taste or level of enjoyment I got from eating it. I served mine with stewed whole plums, but I would say some frozen raspberries microwaved to mush would be equally as delicious.

I hope you enjoy this recipe I know that I certainly did!

June 23rd 2014 – Cycle 2 Week 3 Check In

Ahhh so its been a bumpy week. It started out with night shift which was not ideal as night work always throws me off. I always get sick when I work nights even if it is just 1 night in the middle of summer. So I am happy to report that I didn’t get sick this time around. Despite my eating and weigh time being off I managed to do my weigh in on Monday and was surprisingly light. However my body has been acting weird. I wasn’t able to drink the amount of water I usually drink as on that night shift I am down on site full time which means the only toilet available is a portable toilet which I refuse to uses as the boys don’t exactly try to aim when they go (yuck). So I was probably dehydrated and tired and have been paying for it ever since. I weighed again on Wednesday morning heavy at 66.8 a whole kilo up from Monday (WHAT!). I didn’t get upset because those are the rules when you do multiple weigh ins but it motivated me to be very focused on drinking water and vegging out (eating large amounts of vegetables) on phase 2 days to help guarantee the number going down by next Monday.

Eating

On Sunday and Monday nights we had spelt wraps for dinner (breakfast for me being on the night shift). These were nowhere near as filling as a cup of rice and they contain gluten which I didn’t think about at 1st but then mum and I both had unsettled tummies the next day. Am I now gluten intolerant? Oh well who cares if I am, more motivation to stay on this healthy track if that is the case.

Another thing that I started to notice last week was that I am getting ravenously hungry on phase 1. I have been taking extra vegetables and lemon drinks and always eat as soon as I feel hungry but it is very annoying. I have decided I need to add a third snack of fruit like it says to in the book because I am up for extended hours and with exercising early in the morning he snack is easily added before breakfast, pre workout. Remember you should never feel hungry because then there is a risk your body is going to be cannibalising muscle for energy if you ignore it for too long.

Exercise

Even though my body has been a bit out of whack but I was determined to keep my fitness routine up. I feel like last week was so perfect and I wanted to keep up that standard. So I got up on Monday day (I wasn’t at work as I had worked the night before) and dragged my butt to the gym despite feeling very tired. My mum suggested that I have the day off as my body would have taken a hit form the disrupted sleeping pattern but I was determined. I did a lot of stretching and 30 minutes interval training (run, inclined power walking)on the treadmill, capped off by some mat based body weight ab exercises. I felt really good afterwards which was nice and I didn’t get sick so that was a plus. On Tuesday I managed to get a 30 minute game of squash in with my partner. Two ticks for cardio once again.

Wednesday rolled around and I was excited, Wednesday is legs day and I love legs day! Unfortunately it didn’t go very well. I think not getting enough sleep in the days leading up to it didn’t help. I felt stiff and un-energised. So much for my favourite day of the week. Arms day was average as well but I was having trouble recovering so all my weights were off and I missed 3 exercises off the routine because I got to 1hr 15 mins and decided that it was enough my arms were just failing. I have decided to start a separate lifting diary for anyone who is interested in what I actually do. Check it out here.

Exercise goal: Mum does this yoga class and they are having a weekend retreat in the Coromandal in August. She invited me to come and I said yes… Now it’s kind of hippy weirdo and it seems that that is the direction I am heading in as I have given up dairy and sugar and gluten, eating organic why not chuck yoga retreat in there two. What has happened to me? So the date is set for August 15th to 17th which is good motivation to get my ass into gear with stretching and Youtube yoga weekly.

Blog Goals

I started writing lifting diaries so I get a tick for last week (actually last 3 weeks) goal. Next up I want to start filling in the healthy eating menu tab with some of the recipes that I cook up! I think I will start with the desserts!

Progress this Week

Weight: 66.3 kg (Previously 65.8 = +0.5 kg) Waaaaah I jinxed it last week. My 1st gain in 2 months, also since starting FMD 😦

Left Arm: 27 cm (Previously 27 = same)

Right Arm: 27 cm (Previously 27 = same)

Left Leg: 57.5 cm (Previously 58 = -0.5 cm)

Right Leg: 58 cm (Previously 58.5 = -0.5 cm)

Hips: 86 cm (Previously 88.0 = -2 cm)

Waist: 66 cm (Previously 68.5 = 2.5 cm)

A strange trend I have noticed is when I am losing weight my measurements don’t budge but when I am maintaining or having a really small loss I am droping centimeters in my waist and hips. Weird. Anyway I will focus on getting a minimum of 8 hours sleep this week as I am sure that has had a major part to play in this weeks results.

Have a great week!

June 16th 2014 – Cycle 2 Week 2 Check In

Another week under the belt (excuse the hilarious pun) and I am feeling very excited and nervous. I am now entering uncharted waters so to speak. I have NEVER been this light since starting my weight loss journey which is obviously extremely exciting for me. But there is the little devil on my shoulder whispering in my ear that it could very well stop at any minute. Since starting I haven’t not lost weight from one week to another. I have been consistently trending downward and I feel like when it happens I will be devastated. Isn’t that just typical human nature though. I am getting great results but I cant enjoy them because I am too worried about what might happen in the future. I need to live in the moment more and celebrate this success…

Exercise:

I started the week out right at 5:30am on Monday I was in the gym doing a cardio session. Just some treadmill interval training for 30 minutes as that is all I have time for. My stupid gym had an extended hours trial a few weeks a go which got me hook on gyming at 5 am, I know what a fitness nerd. But post trial the hours have gone permanently to 5:30 so I have very limited time in the mornings as I must be out of the gym by 6:15 to get to work on time. Anyhow Tuesday was squash with my partner so 2 ticks for cardio!

Both Wednesday and Thursday I managed to get my weights in. Wednesday was legs day which went extremely well. Now I am down to 1 legs day a week I often try and squeeze as many leg exercises as I can into my session. I know that its not good to work out for to long as it exhausts the muscles but I love legs day so much I ended up going for 1:30 hours which I paid for the next day. I also made up a new arms n abs day for Thurday to help me get excited about, well, both those things. My arms have always been weak, even when I was power lifting my max bench was crap compared to my squat, a measly 50 kg (110 lb). Also my hole life I’ve been told I have a weak core. So I created the most exciting weighted ab and arm session I could think of and I actually really enjoyed it. With the scale sliding down my abs have been showing signs of existence. I never had a six pack or even much definition when I was at my leanest while swimming. The best I ever got was a flat stomach and some ribs. So I am hoping this workout will really help them pop! As for my arms, I don’t really want to look too tank and the fat loss alone has been toning them up. However I know that I need to work on them so teaming them with abs seemed like a good idea as I only have 2 days to weight train on FMD.

Eating

Well of course it has been another perfect week, 100% clean eating which I have been rewarded for by results! This week I decided after a life time of hating nuts that I really like cashews. It’s weird how much the way things taste has changed for me since cutting out refined sugar. Cashews are nearly dangerous now I could smash a whole bag if I’m not careful :).

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Sunday seems to be turning into dessert night, a little nerve racking as it is right before weigh in but it doesn’t seem to be having an effect. This week my mum made a rhubarb crumble which was yummy. I added plum juice to mine. It was weird having crumble without ice cream but it was still very good.

Blog goals for this week:

Something about exercise. I really need to get on to that…

This Weeks Results:

So this is the second biggest loss since I started. The 1st week was the biggest at 2 kg but I have been plodding along at 300-500 grams. I drank plenty of water this week and really got into the veggies on phase 2 which I think helped. The exercise was on point and I had a lot more healthy fat in phase 3 with my new found love of cashews! I was expecting a slightly heavier weigh in as I worked night shift on Sunday so my eating and weigh time are all messed up but this is the lightest I have ever weighed as an adult!

Weight: 65.8 kg (Previously 66.8 = -1 kg)

Left Arm: 27 cm (Previously 27 = same)

Right Arm: 27 cm (Previously 27 = same)

Left Leg: 58 cm (Previously 59 = -1 cm)

Right Leg: 58.5 cm (Previously 60 = -1 cm)

Hips: 88 cm (Previously 88.0 = same)

Waist: 68.5 cm (Previously 68.5 = same)

Here come the photos!

Back update:

FMD Cycle 2 Week 2 Results - Back

Not a lot of difference between the beginning of cycle 2 and today. I really hoard the fat on the back of my hips which sucks. My measurements haven’t moved much in this cycle but the weight is dropping off so hopefully will see some progress here at the end of this cycle.

Side Update:

FMD Cycle 2 Week 2 Results - Side

Have noticed the only difference between 2 weeks ago and now is my side ab definition is coming in. My ab definition is something that is slowly coming into sight so I am very excited about this.

Front Update:

FMD Cycle 2 Week 2 Results - FrontGrr again you can see how I love storing fat on my hips. Ab definition is coming in nicely here. I just really cant wait to lose this hip fat 😦

So highlights this week for me was I noticed my abs which are coming in and my calf muscles seem to be more defined which is something I remember from my swimming days. I always have had nice slim calves!

FMD C2 W2 Highlights

Heres hoping next week is equally sucessful.

🙂 Have a good week!

 

 

Surviving Phase 1 on the Fast Metabolism Diet

I am writing this series to share my experiences on this diet and sharing my tips and tricks to make it a little easier to get through the common difficulties of each phase. Phase 1 is my favourite phase as I am a fruit lover and this phase accommodates most fruits. Plus you get to feel full from having all those grains. If you like this post you can check out my tips on how to survive phase 2 here.

That meal breakdown for phase 1 is:

Breakfast

1 Grain Serving, 1 Fruit Serving
Snack 1 1 Fruit Serving
Lunch 1 Protein Serving, 1 Vegetable Serving, 1 Grain Serving, 1 Fruit Serving
Snack 2 1 Fruit Serving
Dinner

1 Protein Serving, 1 Vegetable Serving, 1 Grain Serving

I usually don’t get hungry in this phase but if you find that you do I would suggest adding more vegetables. I take extra tomatoes as snacks as well as salad or boiled vegetables seasoned with spices. I found the large grain servings were an adjustment in the 1st couple of weeks, having 1 cup of rice for lunch and dinner was a little over whelming. I would suggest you need to find a couple of different grains to have for lunch and dinner so you don’t get sick of anything. I have oats, rice and pasta each day otherwise by Tuesday night I have eaten 4 cups of rice which is just a little bit sickening. I suppose it’s OK if you love rice though! This phase is easy to pre-prepare, especially snacks as they are just a piece of fruit.

Typical Phase 2 Food and Meal Prep Diary:

Note I am on the smallest portion size as I only have a little bit more weight to lose so ingredient quantities may vary for you. If you need to lose more you get to eat more!

Breakfast: I always make my breakfast the night before in phase 1 and 3. I make fridge porridge which soaks overnight and is always delicious. I get ½ cup of old fashioned oats and combine in a plastic container with ½ cup of defrosted frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries and strawberries) and ½ a cup of apple and some rice milk/water for consistency. I defrost the berries as I like them to mush into the porridge and I find that they stay frozen in the fridge overnight if they aren’t thawed a little 1st. The apple I make myself as I find that canned apple or baby food apple that you can buy from the store is firstly expensive and secondly has refined sugar added to it. You can skin and chop up the apple to boil it and then puree it. Alternatively, one day I got lazy and just grated a green apple, skin on, into the porridge and it was equally as good. If you are using rice milk then you are supposed to treat it as part of your grain serving so just be careful of that i.e. rice milk and oats combine = ½ cup for me. I then leave this in the fridge overnight and grab it and go in the morning. I eat it when I get to work at about 7:15am.

Phase 1 Breakfast

Snack 1 &2: Snacks are so easy on this phase. Just pick fruit that you like and there you go, no prep required in most cases. I usually opt for apples, pears and oranges. Sometimes at the markets they have cheap pineapple and mango’s so I get those and make a mini fruit salad that you can have for both snacks. I like to challenge myself to not eat the same fruit twice in one day which keeps things interesting although not everyone has this luxury as fruit is seasonal depending on where you live.

Phase 1 Snacks

Lunch: I keep lunch simple. It’s winter where I live so I have boiled veggies (cabbage, broccoli, beans, carrots, garlic and spinach) with some kind of roast or fried meat. If I am frying I use a nonstick pan with herbs and spices in water or leftover broth (no oil in this phase) and the opposite grain that I plan to have for dinner. Either brown rice quinoa mix or rice vegetable pasta spirals. My most common mistake is I forget the fruit with lunch. I feel so full by the time the main meal is done I forget about it and remember an hour later that I didn’t have it which is annoying so remember your fruit!

Phase 1 Lunch or Dinner

Dinner: Dinner is similar to lunch. Some kind of meat and try and alternate boiled vegetables or salad with whatever you had at lunch. Same with the grain I have pasta for 1 and rice for the other.

An experiment for interest only – No counting remember!

As a little experiment I plugged the above typical phase 1 food diary into myfitnesspal.com as I did in the phase 2 post. Can I just reinforce that Haylie says no counting and I don’t do this on a regular basis, trust me, the feeling of freedom I get from not having to calculate everything I put in my mouth is overwhelming, I’m never going back! But out of interest as someone who was a calibrated kcal counter I wanted to see how it compared. Here are the results:

Phase 1

Approximately 1600 calories which is pretty decent. Note the macro percentages: Carbs: 66.5%, Fat: 10.9%, Protein: 22.6%. I definitely don’t feel hungry on this phase despite the amount of carbs. I guess that the fruits are pretty low GI.

Exercise:

Exercise for phase 1 is of course cardio. I always try and do at least a 30 minute session on both of the days and I like to mix it up. It’s not all about slogging on the bike, treadmill or cross trainer at the gym. If you hate boring yourself on the cardio equipment maybe you could consider a more social team sport or activity you can do with a friend. I play squash with my partner every Tuesday which is fantastic cardio, constantly sprinting and changing direction. Or if none of that kind of thing is available to you could do something like swimming or water walking as both these exercises are low impact and a bit different from the usual brick wall that you stare at while you’re on the bike. If you really must use the cardio equipment there are also ways to spice up your cardio routine in the gym. Doing interval training is an option, I like to do run walk combos for example 1 minute walk on an incline of 5% followed by 1 minute running on the flat, repeat 10 times. Then week to week you can keep improving the speed you run or the incline you walk and eventually pump up the intensity even more by playing with the times i.e. 30 second walk 1:30 run. This gives you something to focus on and a goal to strive for each week. Also the varying speed keeps you body guessing and gives a way more satisfying burn! This method is easily transferable to the elliptical, rowing machine or bike. Finally, in more recent months I started HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). This seriously gets the heat pumping and can be as complex or as simple as you want it. Generally you can’t do this for more than 20 minutes if done properly it really is fun and you will be sweating bullets! I use this when I can’t get to the gym (or can’t be bothered) as you can do it at home with no equipment.

I think that is another good point, you should be sweating. Your heart rate should be elevated, your armpits should be sweaty and your face should be pink. That doesn’t mean that you have to do sprints or anything too crazy because everyone’s fitness levels are different. The main thing is that you feel mildly uncomfortable, no more leisurely walks in the park because that is not going to rev up your metabolism!

My closing statements:

This phase is my favorite for eating but my least favorite for exercising. I think that it is important to find fruits that you like and convince yourself that they are treats. I definitely believe that the psychological aspect of this diet is very important. You need to believe hole heartedly in what you are doing and enjoy the things you are eating. There are plenty of yummy dishes that can be made in this phase because you have all the elements: curries or stews with rice, pasta dishes with tomato sauce, soups full of lentils and deliciously fruity porridge for brecky. I always like to hit the beetroot, carrots and tomatoes hard on these days because I miss them on phase 2.

It is also important that you do at least 1 day of cardio training, even if it just a 20 minute HIIT session, to really get your heart pumping and metabolism all fired up. I do notice the effects especially when I work out in the morning. I am a lot hungrier than usual and have to up the vegetable and water intake so I don’t go looking for other things to eat! If you do workout in the morning make sure you eat beforehand. I swap my snack and breakfast around and just take the extra veggies to fill in any gaps throughout the day.

Good luck on phase 1 and enjoy your food because up next is phase 2 and you want to go into it feeling satisfied!

My Review of the Fast Metabolism Diet

I wanted to write this review without reciting the book to help anyone who is considering this diet. The diet definitely appears extreme on the surface but I wanted to share my account of it and how it really has surprised me and changed, well, my life! If you are curious to see my results check them out here. This review is purely about the expereience.

The Fast Metabolism Diet – What it’s all about

The purpose of the Fast Metabolism Diet (FMD) is to heal your metabolism in 28 days and subsequently you are going to lose a little weight. Unfortunately it appears very gimmicky as they advertise it as “lose 10 pounds in 28 days by eating more!” Let’s face it, if someone told you that you could lose 10 pounds in 28 days you would be asking where to sign. But just put aside the advertising hype for a second and understand what it is that you are signing up for. What this diet entails is eating in a strict and particular way which will satisfy the nutrient and energy requirements of your body and calm the hormones encouraging the body to stop storing fat and start burning it instead, hence the weight loss part of it. But weight loss is not the only side effect of this diet although that is how it is sold to you. There are also countless benefits to your health as well. There is no starving, no hunger pangs and no calorie counting if you are doing it correctly which can be kind of scary if you have come from serial calorie counting or low carb diet background. There are carbs galore on this diet! Although it is a 28 day diet depending on how badly damaged your metabolism is or how much weight you want to lose it may take a couple of cycles to reach your goal so don’t be disheartened if you complete the 28 days and haven’t lost all the weight you intended, you should hopefully recognize the benefits not only in the way you feel but your appearance too. Remember the scale isn’t the be all end all of fat loss measurement.

The diet is set out in 3 phases which complete a “round” if you like, in 7 days. Therefore there are 4 “rounds” in 28 days. Each phase has a specific function which is explained in the book and there is a set grocery list and set portion sizes for each phase which vary depending on the amount of weight you want to lose. These are important so follow them. I printed all 3 grocery lists, the portion control table and the phase specific meal plan (fruit, grain, protein, and vegetable on what day for what meal) and stuck them to my fridge so there were no excuses.

The diet a nutshell

Phase 1 focuses on fruits and grains and is personally my favourite phase. You can eat most fruits and the grains really keep you full. This phase is on Monday and Tuesday and you are encouraged to do a cardio workout on 1 at least, or both of these days. Phase 2 is protein and vegetable only phase, however there are certain vegetables that comply so things like carrots and tomatoes are out because of their high GI values. It is extremely limited and this is the hardest phase for most people. You have 3 main meals of protein and vegetables and 2 snacks of just protein, although vegetables are unlimited if you get hungry. In this phase you are supposed to do resistance training i.e. lifting weights for at least one or both of the days. Phase 3 is a popular favourite amongst most people as it allows healthy fats such as nuts, oils and hummus, with moderate grain and protein and very restricted fruits (just certain berries and peaches which aren’t in season for me at the moment :().

The Rules

There are also rules; no dairy, no caffeine, no corn, no wheat, no preservatives, no sugar, no soy, no alcohol, no dried fruit, no juices, no artificial sweeteners, no non grocery list foods to be added, drink half your body weight in pounds in ounces of water, minimum exercise 3 times a week as per phases. No skipping meals, follow the phases in order and eat every 3 hours. So this sounds like no fun right? Pretty much every food you enjoy is off the menu. I know that definitely in New Zealand dairy is a staple of our diets and sugar is in almost everything that has a wrapper, as I found out.

It sounds extreme. So how are you supposed to cope with this?

Yes when I first read the rules I was like there is no way that I can give up sugar let alone all that other stuff. I am pretty lucky as I am a very fussy eater. I don’t drink coffee, tea, fizzy drink or alcohol or have any kind of craving for beverages like fruit juice. I have always drunken large amounts of water so this was very easy for me. The only aspect of the dairy replacement that I had to adjust to was not having cow’s milk on porridge, but I actually love the alternative (fruity oats soaked overnight in the fridge) so that is another plus. It was the wheat corn and sugar that were the most challenging for me. Previously I had been a huge sugar consumer. We are talking blocks of chocolate in one sitting, bags of lollies and whole packets of cookies nom nom nom. I didn’t have that sick feeling that people get when they eat too much sugar, I could just keep going and I definitely craved it. So I was very nervous about how I would go. Boy was I amazed that pretty much everything in a package in the supermarket has 1 of those 3 ingredients in it. Sugar in ready roasted chicken, sugar in tomato pasta sauces, dextrose (corn derived) in meat such as corned beef and chicken bacon, wheat is in everything as well. So it’s safe to say that the easiest way to comply with this diet is to make everything from whole natural foods. Don’t buy sauces or processed/flavoured meat. As for how I went on the no sugar side of things. I actually was full enough and my hormones were probably balanced so I didn’t actually crave or even feel tempted to have a piece of cake or chocolate. In fact I planned to eat out at a buffet at the end of the 28 days and was dreading it because I didn’t want to ruin my streak. I also found that my pallet changed after the 1st two weeks as well. Fruit suddenly tasted so much sweeter, and everything else was way tastier for some reason. I guess sugar dulls your taste buds?

Tips to get through:

  • Read the book: there is so much information in the book. It explains why you are doing each and every little thing. It explains why you can’t have certain foods at certain times. It explains why you probably feel really crappy in the 1st two weeks especially on phase 2. There are so many helpful hints and I would actually recommend re-reading it. My mum has read it 3 times now and every time she tells me something we over looked the 1st time. If you don’t want to pay the money then get it out from the library, that’s what I did. Haylie is releasing a new version soon I believe so when that comes out I’m going to buy it for sure.
  • Plan EVERYTHING: I would definitely say that you cannot do this diet successfully if you don’t plan. There is way too much to think about, you are constantly eating and if you are a busty person who works all day and pretty much just comes home to sleep then pre-preparing meals is what you will be doing. It’s extremely hard to find places to eat out or “healthy” fast food chains that comply with this diet. Plus, when you plan it saves you running back and forth from the supermarket every other day because you forgot something or ran out of phase specific veggies or fruit.
  • Get ready to cook A LOT: as stated above you will be cooking all your meals from scratch. Fortunately my mum is home all day so she takes care of the cooking 70% of the time and I just buy the food. Alternatively you can…
  • Cook once, eat twice: Because there are only 2 days (or 3 for phase 3) I like to cook a double meal and have it for lunch 1 day and dinner the next. Or just have the same dinner two days in a row. When you realize how much cooking is involved then you learn to appreciate leftovers. Another great tip is to cook big meals, split them into portions and then freeze them for those times when you just cannot be bothered cooking. After a while you build up an inventory of meals and trust me they are life diet savers!
  • Keep it simple to start with: I went crazy and got hold of the cook book and made all sorts of disgusting healthy smoothies and buckwheat pancakes which were just yuck. For the 1st two weeks just make simple food that you are used to. Roast meat, boiled veggies, rice, porridge, omelettes. These were and still are all staples for me.
  • Learn the jargon: when you first step into the world of organic whole foods you will encounter 101 ingredients that could be grown on an alien planet for all you know. You need to do the research. Just Google every ingredient on the food label or in the recipe. Just because something is organic or gluten free it doesn’t mean that it is FMD compliant. Usually there are corn products in gluten free stuff. There are also ingredient substitutes for your favourite recipes. The big ones for me are; Birch Xylitol which I use like sugar, it is FMD compliant and it doesn’t have the blood sugar response that sugar has although it still has calories, Cacao powder which tastes the same as cocoa powder just way more expensive, brown rice pasta which to me tastes no different to the real deal and sprouted grain bread which may be hard to come by but if you are used to eating seedy brown bread the difference is minimal. My mum actually made this beetroot chocolate cake on the weekend and it was delicious. So there are compliant desserts that don’t taste like crap I promise you, you just need to work your way up to them and learn the substitutes.

When you get past the 1st couple of weeks and get in a routine this stuff becomes second nature and is actually really easy. I was the biggest chocoholic before and never in my wildest dreams would I think that I would want to continue this lifestyle by choice. But I honestly feel better for it. I am more aware of my body, the way it feels when I eat certain foods and the general feeling of being healthy is like high of its own. It really is easy once you have taught yourself the basics. It definitely helps having someone else in your household that is doing this too, although it is not impossible to do it on your own especially when you are the one cooking for the family.

I would like to end this post with the some food for thought. Even though I had more rapid weight loss on low calorie high protein diets there was something different about this for me. I definitely feel like it was fat that I was losing as opposed to other times where I was just getting lighter. I have come to realise something with the number on the scale yo-yoing up and down for the last year and a half. Be wary of rapid weight loss. When it comes off fast it tends to go back on even easier. Even though on FMD I lost 3.2kg in 28 days which is only 7 out of the advertised 10 pounds (not a bad effort), it felt different for some reason. It didn’t feel like I was punishing my body. I instead have this elated feeling of happiness and wellbeing. There is a famous quote which I feel applies to my experience on this diet (not sure who said it) “Once you start to see the results it becomes an addiction”. I challenge you to take charge of your health and give this a go even just to experience the high you get from having a clean system. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take and you never know this could very nearly be the last diet you ever go on.

Surviving Phase 2 on the Fast Metabolism Diet

I thought I would write some phase specific tips on how to get through each phase of the FMD. I will start with phase 2 as this seems to be the hardest phase for everyone. I will admit in the 1st few weeks I hated phase 2 with a passion, I mean fine no grains but then they take away carrots and tomatoes as well? Come on! But now I’m on my second cycle of 28 days don’t seem to mind. I think it is because I figured out how to prepare the food in a way that I like and I found a silver lining. I love weight training so I think of that as my treat. The food is boring but my reward is a fun gym session. Plus, because I work out after work I just imagine all the protein as I am eating it and how it is going to help me feel awesome in the gym and really kick my body into fat burning mode, because as you must know by now high protein diet plus the long lasting calorie after burn of weight training equals metabolism fat burn in over drive!

So the meal breakdown for phase 2 is:

Breakfast 1 Protein Serving, 1 Vegetable Serving
Snack 1 1 Protein Serving
Lunch 1 Protein Serving, 1 Vegetable Serving
Snack 2 1 Protein Serving
Dinner 1 Protein Serving, 1 Vegetable Serving

Now remember, vegetables are unlimited so every meal could technically be Protein and Vegetable but it’s up to you. Obviously these are not the most glamorous meals so this is the time to really go hard on herbs and spices. Some of my favourite things to have on this phase are soups, stews and of course roasted meat with boiled vegetables. My favourite snacks are meatballs.

Typical Phase 2 Food and Meal Prep Diary:

Breakfast: I will get up slightly earlier on these days as I don’t like to pre-prepare phase 2 breakfasts. I always have an omelette as I can’t imagine vegetables at breakfast any other way, it’s just wrong! I have a small non-stick fry pan the perfect size for omelettes which I picked up for $10 from a homeware store. I put in a ¼ of a cup of water, half an onion (red or brown) and kind of let the onion boil until it’s nice and soft. Just before all the water disappears I add spinach (about 4-5 medium leaves ripped up into small pieces by hand) and let that soften up as all the water boils off. I then add pre-cooked meat, usually chicken or ham (this morning I tried leftover mince this morning and it wasn’t bad!) and then immediately add the egg whites. Once it is cooked I serve with raw sliced red capsicum because they are crunchy and sweet. Now I cheat a little on the quantities in this omelette as I have 50 grams of cooked meat and the three egg whites whereas the portions indicate that a protein serve is 3 eggs OR 100 grams of meat. I am on the lowest weight loss amount therefore smallest portion sizes, I’m sure it would be easier for people who need to lose more weight as they get to eat bigger portions. I eat breakfast at 6:30am, I find that this keeps me full for long enough to get me through to the snack at 10:30am which is a little more than the 3 hour max you are supposed to go without eating but I did add 50 grams of meat so whatever.

Snack 1 &2: My snacks are usually the same for both snacks on both days, cook once eat twice I always say. Or four times in this case. I like to cook up pork meat balls on Tuesday night. You can even have them a phase 1 protein for dinner and save the leftovers for phase 2. So I take 600 grams of pork mince (this makes a dinner and phase 2 snacks for two people) finely chop an onion, celery, fresh coriander and ginger as well as adding garlic herb salt and 1 egg white for binding. I put all that stuff in a bowl and mix with my hands. Then roll little meat balls weighing approx. 40 grams (these will shrink down to approx. 25-30 grams when cooked) and put them on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Then I cook them in the oven for 20-30 minutes and just keep checking them till they look like they are done, Yum! Note my phase 2 snack portion size is 50 grams of meat, this may be different for you.

Extra tip: don’t forget the fruits in this phase are lemon and lime. I like to dissolve birch xylitol (FMD compliant substitute I use for sugar) in boiling water then add the juice of a lemon and lime and add cold water till it’s the desired temperature. This is a supplementary drink that you can have between meals and snacks if you feel hungry.

Lunch: I generally keep lunch simple. I either have a cut of meat which is roasted in the oven with boiled vegetables or a simple soup which I can re-heat at work. So if you want soup here’s what I do. I have an element top pressure cooker which is like the opposite to a slow cooker. It’s a big pot traps all the heat and steam inside as it boils and uses pressure to cook the food really fast. So all I do is chuck in the pot raw beef or chicken, herbs and spices that I like such as garlic, salt, cumin, mixed herbs, coriander, rosemary and vegetables such as celery, spinach or silverbeet, cabbage, onion, broccoli and of course a cup or so of water. Then put the lid on and let it do the rest. Of course you can do this in a normal pot or slow cooker it will just take longer. I like chunky soup but you can also whiz it up in the food processor if you like smooth soup. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 15 to cook so it’s super easy! Make a double if you want lunch for 2 days. Again cook once eat twice.

Dinner: Phase 2 dinners for some reason I always opt for a big juicy eye fillet steak or again roast meat and boiled vegetables. You can fry the steak in a non-stick pan and just use water or broth (left of juices from other times you have cooked meat) instead of oil. I season mine with garlic herb salt and it always hits the spot. I also boil my vegetables in garlic herb salt, I am slightly obsessed with it, I put it in everything!

An experiment for interest only – No counting remember!

As a little experiment I plugged the above typical phase 2 food diary into myfitnesspal.com which is what I use to lose my 1st 12kgs by calorie counting. Now I know Haylie says no counting and I don’t do this on a regular basis, trust me, the feeling of freedom I get from not having to calculate everything I put in my mouth is overwhelming, I’m never going back! But out of interest as someone who was a calibrated kcal counter I wanted to see how it compared. Here are the results:

Phase 2

Approximately 1200 calories which is surprising low considering the amount of meat. Keep in mind am I on the smallest portion size as I don’t have a lot of weigh to lose. However this used to be my daily limit so it’s not that unfamiliar and I know phase 1 and 3 are a lot higher (I will do this again in surviving phase 1 and 3 posts). Note the macro percentages: Carbs: 29.7%, Fat: 14.2%, Protein: 56.1%. Again very interesting if you are or were into this kind of thing.

My closing statements:

This phase is boring but your key to making it through is flavour. I used to I get hungry so I take extra salad. I like to get red capsicum and cucumber diced, half a lemon juiced and a sprinkle of cumin. Or just take extra salad or boiled vegetables. I like to drink a big glass of water if I get an inkling of a hunger pang. But Haylie does say that you shouldn’t be hungry and if you are it’s because you aren’t eating enough vegetables.

The real adjustment in this phase is that you need to make sure you are getting enough vegetables and you need to make sure that you are drinking enough water. Common symptoms that people seem to have are headaches and constipation which usually is caused by lack of the above. I also have a magnesium supplement (dissolves in water) which helps with the muscle soreness from the weight and cardio training that I have done by the time I am in this phase and when I take it I notice I go number twos more often (too much info I’m sorry). Not sure on the science behind that but I’m sure there is a reason.

I wouldn’t recommend weighing yourself after this phase as I was always my heaviest on Friday after phase 2 had finished. I think it might be because protein doesn’t digest as quickly so maybe there is more food working your way through the system at this time making you heavier? That’s my guess and is no way scientific by the way. Find a silver lining in this very grey cloud like I did with weight training and focus on that even if it is “ Just 32 hours to go and it will be phase 3 and I can have *insert favourite phase 3 food here*”. You just have to grin and bear it, it’s only two days you can do it I believe in you!

If you liked this post please check out how to survive phase 2 here.