Dieting–What happens when you stop caring

In March, I started following a diet and workout routine based on Lyle McDonald’s “Ultimate Diet 2.0.” (Yes, it sounds gimmicky, and McDonald explains the origin of the name in the book). To me, that was meant to be an experiment to see if I could gain muscle mass while losing or maintaining weight (and specifically, took better for my trip to Hawaii). Along the way, I posted a bunch of blog entries about my observations around dieting, and then I just kinda stopped. I thought I’d use this entry to talk about the results of that experiment and where I am now.

First, the numbers:

  Weight Bench Press Squat Deadlift
Effect of Diet 172lbs +10lbs +60lbs +20lbs
Results since diet 178lbs 0 +30lbs +20lbs


It’s kinda hard to tell from just looking at the numbers, but with UD2.0, I was able to roughly maintain my weight, break through a plateau I had been hitting for weeks on the bench press, and add some weight to squats/deadlift (you can probably ignore the +60lbs on the squats – there’s a long, boring explanation as to why that was so impressive).

However, the cost of this was that I was hungry a bunch, spent a lot of time on Sundays prepping food for the week, and I was mostly brain-dead on Wednesdays toward the end of my depletion phase.

After a few weeks of dieting and a trip to Hawaii, I just stopped caring. In my world, this means:

  • If I’m hungry, I eat.
  • Aim for ~2000 calories/day.
  • Lift weights 3x/wk
  • Try to get lots of protein (~1g/lb of bodyweight).

Even though I gained ~6lbs since I stopped UD2.0, I’ve continued to improve on the bench, squat, and deadlift without brain-dead-on-Wednesdays tax and without having to feel hungry all the time.

So what’s the moral of the story? UD2.0 was pretty cool, and I thought it really helped me break through a plateau I was hitting. However, it’s probably not a terribly practical long-term solution, and for normal people, you probably just want to be able to have your definition of “not caring” somewhat resemble mine (or better!).

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