Oh a whole thread just for this!!! I love it! OK I will go down the list of questions you asked.
1) I left the normal foods in the house and continued to cook for my family. I felt no need to make them suffer just because I had let myself go. Plus its hard to describe but your not really hungry, and seeing the scale every morning with a 1 to 2 lb lose really motivates you to keep going.
2) I didn't have any side effects really accept for dry skin, maybe I was a little dizzy but I was dizzy before not sure but I think I was dangerously close to diabetes. Oh also you don't go #2 very often, I went about every 7 days. They have a tea you can buy called smooth move to help you out. The hormone is like nothing compared to what your body produces when you are preggo so those things really don't apply. I had a little bit of joint pain in my knee which i'm sure was from the lack of oil in my diet that helps lubricate your joints.
3) No pregnancy symptoms, not enough medicine to cause those. I did get a positive preggo test though, just checked to see if it would come up positive I knew I wasn't pregnant.
4) The best way to mentally prepare is to eat everything in site you know you will miss and make sure to eat a ton of mexican because after the diet it is really hard to find anything mexican to eat. Also to shop ahead of time and have all your food ready to go. Like I would buy 1 lb of 96/4 hamburger meat and weigh it all out on my scale to the 3 1/2 oz stick it in baggies and throw it in the freezer. So that way in the morning I would decide what I wanted and pull it out to dethaw. My favorite thing was the hamburger mixed with the old el paso seasoning and put over diced tomatoes to make like a taco.
5) Oh another thing I forgot to add to the bad effect is I lost a ton of hair after my weight loss, I also lost a ton of hair after having both of my babies. No biggy though it grows back!
6) Snacking was the hardest part for me, my family sits down after dinner and snack on popcorn and everything else and I wanted to so bad sometimes I couldnt stand it! But it was the habit I missed not that I was hungry. Be careful when you make them food, wash your hands quickly to get the oils off. It sounds silly but your skin will soak oils in quickly. Oh I remember in the beginning I had no idea I had this habbit but I would make the kids food and pop things in my mouth as I went, an extra bite here and there I didnt even know I was doing it. I almost did it several times on the diet, or to lick my fingers after I got something on my hands. I tried to be prepared for snack time and I would save my strawberries for the evening and make a shake, or I would get out a lemon (you can have the juice of one lemon daily) and I would sit there and pour salt on it and snack on it. Or I would take lemon and squeeze it over ice and salt it to make a lime ice kind of thing. OHHHHH I almost forgot GUM that helped me so much, I liked Orbit cinnamon and mint.
7) I never had a problem with soda so maybe someone else could help you with this. I made lemonade with truvia, used the vanilla stevia with water, used a blender to chop up ice with water, or lemonade to make a lemon chill type thing. I used truvia with unsweetened tea.
other questions, I used my regular shampoo, with a bar soap, didnt have a problem, but I see your point on the soft soap, maybe get a bar soap for the time being. I stayed away from make up, but then again I am a stay at home mom and live in pajamas.
Last thing is if you need a cheat day have it! I would pick a day and go all out and eat everything in site! Give yourself an evening to go crazy when you absolutely can't stand it anymore. But then get back on it the next day. My mom would have a bite here and there and I always thought that was so crazy because it would mess you up every day instead of one day of major cheating. Good luck and if you have any more questions you can call me anytime!
"The wisest man in the room is the one who's made the most mistakes!"