Celebrity nutritionist Haylie Pomroy has just celebrated 20 years in the biz. She’s an advisor to Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and Robert Downey Jr., and now she’s sharing her secrets with the world. Her new book, The Fast Metabolism Diet, is crammed with tips, tricks, recipes and facts that make lifelong health easily digestible.
What we love most about this book is the new definition Haylie gives to the word DIET — Did I Eat Today? — and she’s made it very clear that eating delicious food is the key to losing weight. What’s not to love?
We spoke with the mom of five over the phone from New York about her love of asparagus, her new book and how to phase-in health . Read on for Haylie’s top 10 tips on how to make the most of your metabolism:
1. Eat, eat and eat again
With Haylie’s diet you must eat five times a day or 35 times per week, “That’s three meals and two snacks every day. You may not skip any meals or snacks. It’s nonnegotiable!”
The ideal eating plan: Munch on something every three to four hours.
2. Make time for pleasure
“Stress triggers the metabolism to slow down, and the system senses an emergency and goes into fat-storage mode. Pleasure has just the opposite effect. When you take pleasure in the food you eat, you actually work with nature to speed things up.”
Added bonus: The positive feelings you have for your food will transfer to how you live your life in general, giving you a happy makeover!
3. Have a vegetable with every meal
“Ideally you should be getting five vegetable servings a day, so make sure there’s at least one vegetable with each of your three meals a day.”
If you’re not a veggie fan feel free to consider smoothies: “I’m fine if you want to do it in a puree form. As long as you use the entire vegetable, you don’t want to lose all the fibre and pulp.”
4. Drink lots of water
“You want to drink half your body weight in ounces throughout the day. One of my favourite quotes is that ‘dilution is the solution for pollution’. Drinking water is so important during this process because you release so many fat-soluble toxins and you really want to make sure you dilute that amount and get it out of the body.”
Double your benefits: Try adding lemon or lime to your water for a citrusy flavour and to help stimulate your digestion.
5. Get enough rest
“Sleep really lowers those stress hormones and lets the body have time to build hair, skin, bones and muscle. Because muscle is constantly contracting, relaxing, beating, pushing and pulling, it takes a lot of fuel to create and maintain it. This is why muscle consumes more calories, or energy, than fat and why you need to make sure you’re well-rested.”
Make it last: Eat within 30 minutes of waking. “If you don’t eat right after you wake up in the morning, you are requiring your body to think, work, drive and do everything else you need to do in your day on zero fuel.”
6. Prepare your own food
“When I was writing my book I read a study that found people spend more time brushing their teeth each day than preparing food. At first I was really shocked and then I looked around. There are people who are eating all their meals out or on the run. They can have days or weeks when they don’t touch their kitchen. That really blew me away!”
Cook once, eat twice: “I have a tendency to make leftovers. They freeze really well so I love to take those to work the next day.”
7. Pick the right type of exercise
The Fast Metabolism Diet is broken down into three phases. Haylie’s paired different types of exercise with each phase to boost the benefits to your body.
“Cardio is great for phase one because it needs a lot of quick, nutrient sources, so the high glycemic fruits and the carbohydrates are perfect. Cardiovascular exercise can also help to reduce stress hormones.”
Try it today: “Jumping rope is an incredible choice if your knees can sustain it.”
“In phase two, because of the lean proteins and the heavy alkalinizing vegetables, it’s virtually impossible for the body to store fat, but it’s very conducive for building muscle. Weight lifting stresses the muscle, causing it to remodel and repair. I typically tell people to focus on the largest muscle groups. You want to make sure you’re using your legs a lot.”
“Phase three is all about stress reduction. Dietary fats take a lot of energy to break down so that’s when we want the low-impact, stress-reducing exercise. With this phase my favourite choice is the massage.”
8. Skip Starbucks
Haylie’s diet requires that you cut caffeine for the plan’s 28 days. “We really want to be able to use the liver to break down our foods and our fats, so we don’t want the caffeine to monopolize that.”
If a caffeine-free month seems like an impossible task, here are some of Haylie’s tricks to make the process a little easier:
1. Add cinnamon to your morning smoothie
2. Take the herb feverfew to beat the withdrawal headaches
3. Drink milk thistle tea. “It’s really good for the liver and it helps the body support the withdrawal from the caffeic acid.”
9. Low fat isn’t always better
Non-organic fat-free milk is the number one hazardous food item Haylie warns against. “It’s got an incredibly rapid rate of sugar delivery and there are things that are added to it to give it a palatable, creamy texture, but they really slow down the metabolism. It’s probably the worst thing, so skim lattes are a big problem.”
Make the right food choice: Opt instead for unsweetened nut milks or coconut milk she says.
10. Love food and love yourself
“We have this bizarre belief system when it comes to weight loss. If something is depriving, isolating and doesn’t taste good, how can we possibly achieve our goals?
The Fast Metabolism Diet allows you to be social and engaging. It’s sustainable, dynamic and doable. But it’s not just about weight loss. You’ll get better hair, skin and nails because it stimulates collagen and elastin production giving you that radiant glow. But the biggest thing I would say is that if you’re ready for compliments and you’re ready to fall in love with food then this is definitely the program for you.”
The Fast Metabolism Diet is out now, Random House, $29
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