The word "diet" often conjures up the idea of a bare-bones meal plan that deprives us of life's most delicious (albeit unhealthy) indulgences. If you're intrigued by the clean eating movement—but worried you'll still feel hungry at the end of the day—these fast metabolism diet recipes will keep you fuller longer.
It's important to fuel your body with nutritious foods to promote physical and mental well-being. But what is the fast metabolism diet, anyway? Developed by author and nutritionist Haylie Pomroy, this eating program lets go of calorie counting and focuses instead on a balanced diet. It's designed to hack your metabolism into working at its most optimal level. The 28-day plan is comprised of three phases over the course of four weeks:
- Phase 1: Focus on eating moderate proteins, low-fat, and adding fruits.
- Phase 2: Focus on eating high-protein, high-vegetable, and low-carbohydrate.
- Phase 3: All of the above, plus the addition of healthy fats and oils.
As Pomroy notes, each phase uses healthy foods to "calm your adrenal glands, reduce stress on your liver, and feed your thyroid so it can produce the hormones T3 and T4, the superstars of a fast metabolism." The diet also helps to decrease the activity of cortisol, the "belly-fat hormone," and promotes overall health with whole foods.
Read on to learn about the fast metabolism diet, and how to feel full and energized longer by trying these simple recipes.
The Recipe: Jambalaya
The Hero Ingredient: When spiced up with cayenne pepper, nitrate-free chicken or turkey sausage are the stars of this filling and saucy dish. Pomroy writes that this healthy Jambalaya is "the perfect balance of protein, grain, and veggies, making it an ideal one-dish meal for Phase 1."
Pro Tip: Make this recipe vegetarian by swapping the meat with tempeh sausage and veggie broth to keep a high-protein diet.
Chicken-Sweet Potato Tacos
The Recipe: Chicken-Sweet Potato Tacos
The Hero Ingredient: Sweet potatoes and peppers add a healthy dose of vegetables to this Phase 1 dish. A splash of lime juice paired with cumin and chili powder brings out the bold flavors in this easy recipe, while grilled chicken ensures the proper protein serving in this section of the fast metabolism diet.
Pro Tip: This recipe can also be cooked in a grill basket without using foil. If you're cooking directly on the grill, Pomroy notes to serve right away and to be careful of steam when opening the foil.
Smoky Cilantro Strip Steaks and Vegetables
The Recipe: Smoky Cilantro Strip Steaks and Vegetables
The Hero Ingredient: Pomroy's smoky cilantro sauce is the star of this simple strip steak recipe. Cilantro, fresh chile, garlic, tomato paste, and vinegar combine with cumin and paprika spices for a burst of flavor that's roasted with the meat.
Pro Tip: If you don't have a food processor, combine ingredients for the sauce in a blender. Pomroy points out that this sauce can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Lemon-Blueberrry Spelt Scones
The Recipe: Lemon-Blueberry Spelt Scones
The Hero Ingredient: Lemons and blueberries bring a natural sweetness to this healthy dessert. Along with enjoying servings of fruit during Phase 1, these scones are a metabolism-boosting indulgence with vitamin C, antioxidants, and heart-healthy properties.
Pro Tip: Pomroy recommends serving this dessert with an additional 3/4 cup of Phase 1 fruit for a balanced diet.
Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad
The Recipe: Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad
The Hero Ingredient: Pomroy says that Phase 2 is a time for stimulating the liver, and the fresh garden vegetables and grilled chicken in this quick recipe are a great way to promote health. "Add in a creamy cajun dressing, and this Phase 2 salad will not only stimulate the liver, but helps unlock the magical process of turning protein into beautiful muscle," she notes. Paprika, thyme, and cayenne pepper are a few ingredients that add a kick to this salad's timeless flavor.
Pro Tip: You'll want to reserve a few teaspoons of seasoning at the beginning of preparation. Blend with the remaining ingredients at the end for the perfect drizzle to top this healthy dish.
The Recipe: Smoked Salmon
The Hero Ingredient: Salmon shines in this recipe. The hearty fish filet is complemented with sea salt, fresh dill springs, cracked black pepper, and hickory wood chips on the grill. Unlike store-bought smoked salmon, this recipe skips the added sugar for a burst of flavor that's all-natural.
Pro Tip: "You can add your favorite seasonings to the marinade process or before placing them on the grill," Pomroy says.
The Recipe: Jicama Tacos
The Hero Ingredient: "Who knew that thinly-sliced jicama would make the perfect tortilla for tacos?" Pomroy says. This simple ingredient swap is great for a diet high in prebiotic fiber, she notes, which helps the body absorb micronutrients from other foods. Cook slices of this star vegetable in a pan with water (adding as necessary) until the jicama becomes soft.
Pro Tip: While Pomroy recommends using a mandoline to slice your jicama, she says a knife will also work just fine. "If you do use a knife, cut a thin slice off of one side of the jicama to keep it from rolling around when you stand it on edge to slice it."
Mini Cinnamon Rolls
The Recipe: Mini Cinnamon Rolls
The Hero Ingredient: Phase 2 gets sweeter with these mini cinnamon rolls. They can be enjoyed in all phases, and Pomroy's fast metabolism dessert and snack mix is the star of these delicious desserts. Cinnamon and vanilla combine in the glaze for a classic cinnamon roll flavor without the unhealthy ingredients.
Pro Tip: While two rolls make a great snack, you can also enjoy four rolls as a full meal protein during Phase 2.
The Recipe: Lasagna Rolls
The Hero Ingredient: Cashew cheese adds a rich, nutty flavor to this hearty meal. Phase 3 of the fast metabolism diet is all about hitting each of the food bases and mixing in good fats and oils, and that's where this creamy ricotta substitute (which is high in healthy unsaturated fats) comes in.
Pro Tip: Prep the cashews by soaking them in cold water eight to 24 hours before dinner.
Loaded Cowboy Burgers
The Recipe: Loaded Cowboy Burgers
The Hero Ingredient: The list of ingredients for these hearty burgers may seem long, but when they come together, they offer a full serving of vegetables to complement fresh, extra-lean ground beef. Sweet onion, mushrooms, coconut aminos, and vinegar are sautéed together and used as a topping to give this burger its "loaded" name.
Pro Tip: Pomroy recommends opening the buns and placing them in the oven (directly on the rack) during the last eight minutes of cooking for a toasted finish.
Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowl
The Recipe: Cuban Chicken and Black Bean Quinoa Bowl
The Hero Ingredient: Mango salsa adds a tropical flavor to this simple Cuban chicken bowl. With fresh cilantro and hot red chile, this star fruit gives a bold, zesty flavor to the dish. Mix it up with quinoa, black beans, sweet potatoes, and chicken for a healthy bowl that'll make you want to switch from Chipotle to homemade for good.
Pro Tip: While Pomroy suggests marinating your chicken overnight for the fullest flavor, it only needs 20 minutes of marinating in the refrigerator to deliver its unique taste.
Mixed Berry Cobbler
The Recipe: Mixed Berry Cobbler
The Hero Ingredient: The mixed berries, which are rich in antioxidants, are heart-healthy and add a delicious flavor to this cobbler. "This yummy Mixed Berry Cobbler rivals its sugar-filled cousin," Pomroy says, because it packs in all the flavor of this classic dessert while using healthy ingredients. It also hits the spot during Phase 3 of the fast metabolism diet.
Pro Tip: Enjoy this refined sugar-free dessert during Phase 1 by omitting the coconut oil and almond butter, and swapping out the nut milk with rice milk.