Success on the Fast Metabolism Diet: “It was a family thing”

M.K. and family

Thanks to an underactive thyroid, 58-year-old Margaret K. found herself gaining weight, even when she didn’t eat enough to properly feed her body. Finding Haylie’s book on the shelves of her local Barnes & Noble provided the impetus for this special-education teacher and new grandmother to change not just her body, but also the way she experiences life.


Q: What led you to try The Fast Metabolism Diet?

MK: I have an underactive thyroid; I got fed up with not eating enough and [still] gaining weight. A friend of mine joined a very expensive gym with a weight-loss program. I had read the Fast Metabolism Diet book at Barnes & Noble, and the plan my friend was paying a lot of money for was very similar. I said, “I’m gonna do this for 28 days.”

The best part is how my family joined in with me. It gives hope—it’s helpful having family in it with you. You can still struggle with these things, but still eat, and feel good.

Q: How was this diet different than others you’ve tried in the past?

MK: I could eat. And what Haylie had written about eating food as medicine. I always felt that I can’t possibly eat that much, because I will definitely gain weight—but I gain weight when I don’t eat. I took her at her word, I tried it, and it worked.

Q: How did you feel while on the diet?

MK: I felt wonderful, and I continue to feel really wonderful. I was actually just going to start another round of 28 days. I’ve pretty much been doing “Phase 4” maintenance since August. (I did two rounds of the diet.)

Q: Did you notice changes other than weight loss?

MK: Yes. I’m sleeping—I really wasn’t sleeping well before. Obviously the weight loss. People keep telling me “You look great! You look healthy!” Overall lightness. Personality. I feel like myself—I hadn’t felt that way in a very long time.

I cannot begin to tell you how many people that I’ve recommended this to are doing it. I have a cousin who came to see me, I hadn’t seen her in probably two months—she came to my house after the first round and said “You look wonderful! You look great!” Underactive thyroid runs in the family. She started the diet and she looks great—she’s lost about 28 pounds since June! Other people notice and tell me I look great, too—they know how much I’ve struggled with underactive thyroid.

Q: What were your favorite foods/phase?

MK: Phase 2 is always a struggle—lemon and lime smoothies help power me through. And the pepperoncini roast.

I like the other two Phases equally well. In Phase 1 I absolutely love brown rice pasta, which I had never eaten before. The turkey chili is excellent. The chicken barley soup I’ve made on a number of occasions; the mango smoothies, I love.

In Phase 3, the toast with almond butter and berries. And I’ve learned to really like foods that I never thought I’d eat. For example I’d never eaten a sweet potato—I couldn’t eat them before, I don’t know why—but I’ve learned to love them.

I find that now, being in maintenance, I’m still losing. I don’t even realize it but when I get on the scale every week, I’ve lost around a fifth of a pound.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect and how did you overcome it?

MK: Missing dairy. I really miss dairy a lot, but I tried using rice milk and decaf tea—it works just as well when I really need a cup of tea. I have not had caffeine since May 6. I’m amazed at that! I have had an ice cream cone but, you know what, I felt so crappy after eating it that it really wasn’t worth it. I really learned what makes me feel good.

The whole thing was just an educational experience for me. I really can’t say that enough. I’m amazed by how I feel. And I joined a gym during the second round—I do the three days a week of exercise.

Q: How much have you all lost?

MK: I’ve probably lost about 36 pounds now. My husband has lost 34–he gets up every day at 5 o’clock and walks 5 miles a day. We’re doing Phase 4 all the way through. It’s changed all our lives. My daughter has lost 18 pounds and her boyfriend lost 13. It was a family thing.

Q: How are you keeping it off?

MK: We’re pretty much living like Phase 4. I just want to be healthy for the rest of my life—I want to keep feeling this way. That’s really all I can say. I just feel so good, and I’m not gonna give it up.

I know that if I struggle, I can always pick it back up. But I don’t think I’m going to [struggle], because I know how I feel now.

[Editor’s note: You can find information on maintenance, “Phase 4” here.]

Q: Any advice for others who might be just starting the FMD, or thinking of trying it?

MK: It’s only 28 days. You can do anything for two or three days at a time. I kind of looked at it like that when I started: two days, [another] two days, I can get through this. The first week was the most difficult.

Listen to your body. If you really listen to your body, you’ll hear it. It speaks volumes. I just feel great. I can’t thank Haylie enough.

I have to go to the doctor next month—I can’t wait to see the bloodwork. I haven’t felt this way in 20 years!