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Shed quarantine pounds in 28 days

Senior Master Sgt. Paula Macomber Bio photo

Senior Master Sgt. Paula Macomber bio photo

RENO, Nev. --

To say I gained a few pounds over the quarantine last year would be an understatement. Here I was working from home—right in the next room were cupboards of ‘junk food’ and I didn’t let that go to waste. A handful of chocolate chips here, a bag of Frito’s there and by Christmas, I was a good 15-20 pounds over what I am comfortable with.

I don’t like buying new clothes because I grew out of my current ones--I believe that only enables you to get bigger, but this was downright uncomfortable. Often times, I’d unbutton my top button and go out a notch or two on my belt, but this was ridiculous! I finally gave in and bought some cheaper ‘fat pants.’

I knew I needed to do something, but what? How do you lose weight? In all my life, I have been fairly slender; even though, I felt fat at times, I never was at a stage where I literally NEEDED to drop weight. I gave blood 3 times in 2020, all three times, I noticed my cholesterol was much higher than normal, but that had to be something else? No, reality is that when you get fat, your cholesterol will go up. I am no doctor, but that cannot be good.

One day I ran into a co-worker in the hallway and I told him I was trying to lose weight and he said that he and his wife had read The Fast Metabolism Diet, by Haylie Pomroy and did the diet. He said for the first time in many years, they felt great and had lost that uncomfortable ‘belly fat.’

I went home that night and downloaded the book. Once I started reading it, I really had a hard time putting it down. Finally, a ‘diet’ that makes sense to me. Pomroy was born with food allergies, an autoimmune disease and fragile X syndrome; when a horrific car accident led her to learning how food affects you and how to heal yourself from many different types of ailments using food.

Although, not a doctor, she was on her way to become a veterinarian and changed her degree to nutrition because of her passion for finding answers in food. The book provided me insight to a dieting strategy that I wasn’t sure I could maintain, but for four weeks, I was willing to give it a try.

Here are the high points of the diet:
• You will eat 5-6 and sometimes 7 meals per day EVERY DAY
• Eat every 3-4 four hours per day
• Eat within 30 minutes of waking up
• Only eat the foods allowed on your ‘phase’ (explained in the book)
• You also commit to: no refined sugar, no caffeine, no diary, no wheat, no corn, no soy, no alcohol, no dried fruit or fruit juices, no artificial sweeteners no fat free or diet foods
• You must drink ½ your body weight in fluid ounces per day in water
• You must stay on the plan the full 28 days

There are other rules (eating organic, eating nitrate free, following the phases in order and only exercising 3 times per week). This sounded like a lot of rules, but it’s only for four weeks

Not that I have ever been that great of an ‘eater’—known in middle school to take the coins my grandad had hidden (just for me) and eat $1.05 worth of Eskimo Pie ice cream bars for lunch, but I do feed my family healthy foods now.

As I embarked on the diet, eating within 30 minutes of waking was probably the most difficult part because, honestly, who wants to jump out of bed after waking up to prepare a meal? Not me, I like to start my day a little slower. My strategy for this was to have the food ready, waiting by the stove, so that I could pop up, throw on my robe and head to the kitchen to get going.

Although this part was the hardest rule, it was probably the most beneficial—not for the eating but for my mental clarity it provided me each day. I could start my morning in peace—no kid, no dogs, no pressure, just me and the food to start my day. It was nice.

The diet is set up in three stages:
•    Day 1 and 2: Eat foods that calm your adrenals and unwind stress in your body, mostly grains and sweet fruits (and some meat)
•    Day 3 and 4: Unlock stored fat and build muscle—the majority of food is protein—meat/eggs (and lots of vegetables)
•    Day 5, 6 and 7: Unleash the burn, hormones and heart days where you are eating nearly a normal diet

For me the first two days of the week were the best and the last three were second best. I struggled with the ‘meat days’—eating large amounts of protein made me feel sluggish, but it’s only for two days and then the last 3 days (which ended up the weekends for me) were awesome—with good healthy fats like avocado, nuts, and coconut milk, etc.

The second most difficult part is the volume of food that you are eating. I felt like I was constantly eating. The foods that you eat most are vegetables. But you really do not starve yourself from anything—just on certain days you are eating certain things.

I did the diet more to feel better and lose a little of that COVID fat. Boy, do I feel better! I am no longer dependent on coffee and sugar, but I still want some chocolate. I found that the more food I prepped on the weekend, the less stress I had and I loved that part. I also noticed that my son ate a ton more vegetables in the last 4 weeks than in the last six months. BONUS, BONUS!

I am typing this the morning of the last day of the diet and I feel great. I read the book right before Christmas and didn’t want to start then, so I did some ‘prepping’ for the diet. That meant slowly cutting back my caffeine (hence sugar and dairy) and eating less sugary foods. Before I even started the diet, I lost a whopping 8 pounds! During the diet I lost 10 pounds, which included: 5 inches in my waist, 1.75 inches in my hips, 1.25 inches in each thigh and 1.5 inches in my upper arms.

So as far as the book and diet review, it was easy to read, the diet was easy to follow and I would highly recommend both. Anyone looking to try a different dieting strategy would benefit from reading it. Pomroy also has several other books on more specific dieting strategies with shorter time-frames, and I have read two of those as well. She includes a downloadable App that you can track your food, exercise and water which makes it very easy to follow the diet.

I truly believe in her methods of losing weight and getting healthy. I give the book an A+ for the ease of reading and B+ for the content. The diet speaks for itself, it works.