Denise T.

Stay-at-home mom Denise T. had given up on losing weight: “I figured that I was genetically destined to be fat my whole life.” That all changed when a friend introduced Denise to the Fast Metabolism Diet and enrolled her in a Facebook support group.

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

DT: My best friend and college roommate, Julie, watched Haylie on her first Dr. Oz appearance. Julie called me and was so excited and adamant that we try this diet. She forwarded me the food lists and signed me up on a Facebook support group. I read the book and watched the ladies on Facebook losing weight. After deciding that there was something on each phase that I could actually enjoy eating, I decided to give it a 28-day try.

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

DT: Definitely the phasing. Not only was I enjoying the foods, I didn’t have the normal sugar and carb cravings that I always struggled with (and eventually lost to) in past diets. In the beginning I printed off a spreadsheet for each phase, with the meal map and the approved foods that I like, and kept it on my refrigerator.

Q: How did you feel while on the diet?

DT: I’m not going to lie, my first week was hell. I had lived on sugar and carbs, so getting them out of my system was not easy. I had massive fever blisters, zero energy and I was a bit edgy. (Ummm, my kids say I was super crabby!) But by the end of the first week, I felt fantastic.

Q: Did you notice changes other than weight loss?

DT: Yes — on my ninth day on the diet, I walked on a treadmill and I noticed that I just had so much energy and felt fantastic. Afterward, I thought: This is how people are supposed to feel all the time! I was euphoric, mentally and physically. It was amazing, probably the best I had ever felt in my life. I regretted that I wasted so many years in a haze of unhealthy eating and being overweight.

Q: What were your favorite foods/phase? 

DT: Phase 1: Mango, barley (never had it before, love it now!) and nitrate-free corned beef on Ezekiel bread: I thaw Ezekiel bread in the microwave, it gets steamy, then I grill it in a green pan without butter – it tastes delicious. I also make a mango-mustard-vinaigrette sauce to spread on top and add a pickle. Kind of a faux Reuben sandwich, but healthier and better. And a family favorite: Brown hamburger and an onion, add a couple cans of diced tomatoes. Put on top of spelt spaghetti for a quick, easy dinner.

Phase 2: Spinach-ade: Blend a handful of spinach and the juice from half a lemon with vanilla creme stevia and ice! (You can also add a couple tablespoons of cooked rhubarb and 3 scrambled egg whites to get your protein in. The egg whites taste less “eggy” if you prepare them a couple days in advance.) Also red bell peppers with cinnamon sprinkled on top and filet mignon. Or I grill onions in beef broth until brown, grill a 96 percent fat-free hamburger on top of the onions, add a pickle, and top with tamari ginger sauce. (9 tablespoons tamari, 2.5 tablespoons vinegar, 1/2 onion chopped, fresh shredded ginger to taste; blend in a blender)

Phase 3: I was a big coffee fanatic! I switched to Teeccino. I hated it at first but after adding almond milk, I LOVE it. (1 cup Teeccino plus 1 cup almond milk, blend with ice and stevia and it makes a delicious cold coffee drink!) Breakfast: Coconut pecan oatmeal! Or sweet potatoes diced and tossed with coconut oil and sea salt, roasted at 425 for 20-30 minutes.

(Editor’s note: Check the ingredients on Teechino — some varieties like the French Roast work fine for the Fast Metabolism Diet, but some flavored versions contain dried figs and dates (not on the diet), and some flavors contain almonds (suitable only for Phase 3.)

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

DT: The first week was the hardest. It would have been nice to know what to expect with the sugar/carb withdrawal. I knew my caffeine addiction would take 3-4 days, but I didn’t know that sugar and carbs were addicting too. (Duh!) I kept telling myself that if crack addicts can kick their addiction, then I could too. So I just took it one meal at a time. It helped that I was never ravenous.

Getting through Phase 2 each week continues to be a struggle. It gets easier the longer I am “off” sugar and carbs, but I still find myself feeling cranky by the end of Phase 2. Also, buying organic is too expensive for our budget, so I just buy it when I can. I’ve still had success even eating non-organic foods. If I can’t afford nitrite-free deli meat, I don’t eat it.

Q: How much have you lost?

DT: I’ve lost 45 pounds since March 4! I had given up on ever losing weight, I figured that I was genetically destined to be fat my whole life. I’ve gone from a size 22W to a 14/16! Isn’t that unbelievable? Woo-hoo… no more shopping in the plus-size department!!!

Q: How are you keeping it off?

DT: I’m still phasing. I still have another 45 pounds to go, but I’m elated that I’m halfway there! I haven’t exercised much, but we’re joining a gym and the kiddos are heading back to school, so I plan to start phase-specific exercise to help get rid of the last 45 pounds.

Q: Do you have any advice for others who are just starting (or thinking of starting) the Fast Metabolism Diet?

DT: Do it! Get a friend and/or find a Facebook support group with some people who have had some success. Go on Pinterest to find recipes. Start out simple: Circle your favorite foods on each phase list and eat them. My taste buds continue to evolve. Follow Haylie on Twitter and Facebook and just do it. White-knuckle it though Phase 2 — Phase 3 is totally worth it! Read the book, then read it again and again.

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