Monday, July 22, 2013
I quit the Fast Metabolism Diet after 3 weeks. I think I was doing something wrong in Phase 3, although I couldn't figure out what it was. I'd lose weight in phases 1 and 2, and then gain it back in phase 3, and so each week I lost only 1-1.5 pounds, not the 5 pounds per week the diet claimed.
I was tempted to just finish the four weeks to try to figure out what I was doing wrong, but another reason I quit is because for phases 1 and 2, every week, I'd have terrible migraine headaches. It really got to be too much for me to handle. I didn't want to take Tylenol for them because I'd be ingesting way too much medication to keep them under control. I'm not entirely sure why I kept having the headaches, but I'm positive it was because of the diet. I think that my body might be burning a lot of fat in phases 1 and 2--I'd always lose a pound or two the day after my headaches--but that also releases a lot of the hormones stored in my fat, and since I started peri-menopause, I've been getting terrible hormone-induced migraines like clockwork when my body's hormones fluctuate for my time of the month. I can't remember from my college biology classes which exact hormones fluctuate for my ovulation and which for my period, but I get hormone migraines twice a month, right before each one. And so I'm wondering if the diet was causing my hormones to spike and cause the headaches.
I'm also baffled as to what I was doing wrong in phase 3 to make myself put so much weight back on. I did my best to do the right portion sizes, and I chose foods only on her list in the book.
I didn't much care for the food choices on the diet. Phases 1 and 2 were really hard, because I don't like eating so low fat. Even soups couldn't quite disguise how dry the turkey and chicken breast was. I didn't mind the steaks and I like eating the lower fat cuts anyway, but I couldn't eat steak all the time--I don't really like eating too much meat in general, it just doesn't appeal to me.
Also, the no dairy, wheat, soy, and corn was harder than I expected. (The no sugar wasn't as hard as I expected it to be, especially because I could eat so many fruits in phase 1.) I really missed milk since it's one of my main protein sources and so easy on my stomach.
Some great things I got out of the diet:
It made me up my water intake. I had been drinking 80 oz or more a few years ago and got out of the habit, down to only 64 oz, but while on the diet, I was drinking 150 oz a day, mostly because I seemed to be thirsty a lot (it was also really hot here where I am). I'm not quite drinking 150 oz now, but I'm again at about 90 oz.
It made me eat more veggies. I had thought I ate a lot of veggies, but I ate even more while on the diet. I've kept up that habit and it's great.
It put me in the habit of eating every 3 hours. I've kept that up and it's great because I don't feel as hungry and so I don't binge on unhealthy food.
It made me appreciate my running more. I was recovering from an ankle injury while on the diet so I paused my marathon training, but now that I'm off and can run 3 times a week again, I'm really loving it. I missed it a lot. I realized I'd rather run and lose 1-1.5 pounds a week than be on a restricted food list.
I think the diet has improved my metabolism a bit, and it's carrying over into my overall health. I'm now hoping that the running will help me lose more weight than it did before the diet, when my metabolism was so sluggish and the exercise didn't seem to be doing anything to help me.
I've learned to love beans more than before. The diet seemed to have lots of options for beans as protein rather than meat (well, for phases 1 and 3, anyway), and I found I enjoyed that a lot. It made me be more creative about my use of beans as protein, thinking about beans in my diet in a way I hadn't considered before.
It made me see how my starch intake was pretty high. I didn't realize before how much rice and bread I ate and that my starch portions were too large. I still like a lot of rice with my Japanese curry, but now I know that I can have some starch-less meals to make up for it. The diet made me realize that I don't always need a starch with every meal.
I think I just did something wrong for Phase 3 of the diet, I don't think it doesn't work for me. I might try it again in a few months.
I even suggested it to my friends, because many of them don't have the problems with meat that I do and don't mind eating so much of it. They have more food discipline than I do, too, and so they may be able to stick to the food list without problems.
Hopefully the diet did help my metabolism a little and I'll be able to lose weight a little easier now than before I went on the diet.