Book: “The Fast Metabolism Diet: Lose up to 20 Pounds in 28 Days,” 256 pages, $26, by Haylie Pomroy with Eve Adamson. Published by Harmony, 2013.
What you get: Pomroy, a celebrity nutritionist, uses food to repair and optimize your metabolism. Each week you eat in three phases. On Phase 1, which lasts for two days, savor healthy carbs like oatmeal and fruit. Phase 2, also for two days, is all about lean proteins and low-carb veggies. For four days in Phase 3, flood your body with healthy fats like salmon, avocado and nuts. Repeat the phases for three more weeks for a total of 28 days, and eat a snack every morning and afternoon. More than 70 recipes help guide you through breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks during each of the three phases.
In her own words: “You can lose 20 pounds in four weeks by eating real food, never counting calories, and creating a healthy, fast metabolism…. This is not a book for first-time dieters. This is a book for last-time dieters.”
What we made: Not only is the following dish delicious, but it helps burn up body fat.
COCONUT CURRY CHICKEN
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons curry powder
14-ounce can coconut milk
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound boneless, skinless organic chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 packed cups baby spinach
½ cup cooked quinoa, warm
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and salt, and sauté over medium heat for about 7 minutes, until translucent. Add the curry powder and sauté for an additional minute, until the spice fully coats the onion.
Incorporate the coconut milk, tomatoes and tomato paste into the mixture. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes, until sauce slightly thickens. Fold in the chicken and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, or until cooked through.
Stir the spinach into the mixture and cook for 3 minutes or until wilted. Add a pinch more salt to taste, if needed. Serve warm over the quinoa.
Our assessment: I tried the diet with the help of some friends: Dewitt Jones, 69, who captured our imaginations as a National Geographic photographer for 20 years, is a motivational speaker and filmmaker.
Jones’ wife, Lynette Sheppard, 58, is a writer, nurse, artist and consultant. She authored “The Everyday Enneagram: A Personality Map for Enhancing Your Work, Love and Life … Every Day” as well as “Becoming a Menopause Goddess.” Jones and Sheppard divide their time between the Hawaiian island of Molokai and Lake Tahoe.
Karen Kellermeier, 25, is a hairstylist at Salon Ventures in Beavercreek.
Here’s a look at our journey:
Starting the diet:
Sheppard: The first week I felt sluggish and headachy, so clearly I was moving out some toxins.
Jones: I was definitely ready for it. And I was intrigued by the idea of resetting my metabolism, though I didn’t quite believe it.
Kellermeier: The first four days of the diet were definitely difficult, but the whole week is foggy. I was completely exhausted.
Post: On Day 2, I was tired and agitated, but by Day 5 my body and mind had calmed down.
The tough part:
Sheppard: Phase 2 was my least favorite phase because the vegetable list seemed so limited. I missed my carrots and zucchini.
Jones: If I “screwed up,” which I occasionally did (one day I just had to have a bowl of popcorn), I didn’t beat myself up and just went back on the plan the next meal.
Kellermeier: I thought my first week, during Phase 2, if I cheated at all, it would be this phase. It’s only protein and vegetables.
Post: My willpower was the weakest during Phase 1 because I’d crave the healthy fats of Phase 3.
Sheppard: Well, that 6 pounds of loss the first week sure helped; also, it was so much easier that my spouse and I were doing it together.
Jones: I’m pre-diabetic and worried about eating fruit in Phases 1 and 3. About the last week of the diet I tested my blood sugar and, to my amazement, it was about 20 points lower than before I began. That was over a month ago, the blood sugar has stayed down and I get to eat fruit again!
Kellermeier: My father died at age 52 from a heart attack and complications of being overweight. That is a constant reminder to me to get healthy.
Post: I’m 53, and just a few pounds above my ideal weight makes me feel sluggish.
What we gained in knowledge:
Sheppard: Most Menopause Goddesses I know have a serious slowdown of their metabolic state so, like me, they try every diet and permutation of each. The Fast Metabolism Diet makes intuitive sense to me. You have to have fuel to burn fuel.
Jones: I cannot believe how much the diet has changed my relationship to food. I’ve stopped eating almost all processed food.
Kellermeier: I’ve lost weight and have more energy than I dreamed just by eating.
Post: I now know how to control my metabolism with the right foods.
What we lost in weight:
Sheppard: 12 pounds
Jones: 12 pounds
Kellermeier: 11 pounds
Post: 7 pounds