This post has been a long time coming. It goes back to July, 2017 when I was feeling frustrated that I couldn’t seem to get back down to 165 pounds. I was just bouncing around between 172 and 178. So I decided to do something drastic and try Lyle McDonald’s Rapid Fat Loss Diet. (Note, based on my results I signed up to be an affiliate for the program, so if you click the link and buy the program, I’ll get a small cut.)
The remainder of this article is a log of my progress on the diet over 11 days. I originally posted this in a fitness related Facebook group, but I’ve had enough people ask me about it that I figured I’d put add it here. In another post, I’ll give a few more details about the program
I’m still stuck at 174-176 lbs after several months, so I’ve decided to do a 2 week crash diet. In a nutshell, it’s very high protein, low fat, low carb. 200g protein, 6g fish oil, low carb veggies, and Halo Top half an hour before workouts. With this approach, I’m getting about 1200 calories a day. (Why did I do this in the middle of mango and cherry season? #terribletiming.) For the record this approach is called a Protein Sparing Modified Fast (PSMF) and is meant to be used very short term. I learned about this diet from Lyle McDonald’s Rapid Fat Loss Book. I just refer to it as crash, because that’s the term Lyle uses to refer to it. I’m currently 173 pounds.
Rapid Fat Loss Log
Day 1 Sunday
I’m 174.2 pounds. 33 inch waist.
Day 4 Wednesday
All right, end of Day 4 on the crazy diet (started on Sunday). So far, so good. I’m eating a ton of food, so not too hungry as long as I don’t go too long without eating. Averaging 195-210 grams of protein and 1150-1250 calories. (And that’s tracking even the Skinny Girl 10 calorie dressing and calories from salsa. Only thing I’m not tracking is the arugula and spring mix.)
- Weighted chins 55×4, 45×6, 25×8
- Squats 205x5x2
- Incline 180×4, 170×6
- OHP 130×5, 120×7
- Squats 205x5x2
The squats were really hard today, but to get done in time for work I was supersetting the warm ups with incline and the worksets with OHP. I also did the usual Greek God Program accessory lifts and abs both days.
I’m REALLY tired right now, but that’s mainly because I didn’t sleep much sleep last night because of kiddos wanting to sleep in my bed because of a thunderstorm.
Waist hasn’t budged at 33 inches.
All told, so far the main issue I have with this diet is I had to give up free lunch today, tomorrow, and Friday because I can’t get the free food to fit these macros.
I also made the mistake of trying cottage cheese. Pretty nasty stuff, especially when you can’t spare any calories to enhance the flavor. Guess I’ll have to stick with Greek Yogurt (basically the same macros).
Day 5 Thursday
Pretty much the same thing except no workout. I want to save the photos till it’s over, because it’s much more impressive without the intermediate photos ;-). But I can tell you that I now fit into my size 32 pants that I’ve been trying to get back into since October. This morning, I was 169.8 lbs!
Honestly I don’t feel bad. From reading people’s experience with this diet, I was expecting to feel like crap. Other than getting tired if I go too long without eating, I haven’t felt hungry or deprived (other than having to say no to free food at the office). Unless the suck comes on hard in the next few days, I might do a second round after a week or three at maintenance if my body dysmorphia says I need to drop more weight.
Question from the peanut gallery: Are you taking electrolytes?
Answer: I always eat a lot of salt. I’m getting several servings of low fat cheese and/or nonfat Greek yogurt for calcium but am also supplementing with a Calcium/magnesium supplement. I’m not overtly supplementing with potassium, but I probably should.
Even with the Halo Top and tracking carbs from tomatoes and cucumbers, I was only at 59 carbs yesterday.
This morning’s workout was
- Weighted Chins: 55×5, 45×6, 25×9
- Squats: 205 2×5 plus warm ups (those are beginning to suck)
- Plus rest of Greek God Program Workout B
The hard part will be that today I HAVE to go to the cafeteria for new Freshman preview day, so there will be temptations galore. Their real food might not be the best, but they have some awesome desserts.
Day 8 Sunday # 2
So far so good. I didn’t get enough sleep last night because I stayed up too late, but other than being a bit tired today, I’m not having many issues. Slight calf cramp this morning when getting out of bed (only for half a second), so I upped my potassium intake from 500mg to 1000mg (top of recommended supplement range). I’ve had these same cramps when not on the
I had three bites of my son’s Piña Colada snowcone this afternoon, but because I’m a flexible dieter, I didn’t call myself a failure and binge afterward. Pretty sure, it only added 5-10 calories. (editorial note: this turned out to be a giant mistake, because he was sick at the time, and I ended up getting his sickness.)
I’m beginning to get used to eating like this. I think I might eat this way 1-2 times a week once the PSMF is over to allow for the extra calories on birthdays and summer cookouts. While I wouldn’t recommend the whole PSMF to the average dieter, it does seem like a good 1 day strategy.”
Question from the peanut gallery: What are you eating?
Answer: General eating template:
Pre-workout because I’m working out in the morning (also functions as breakfast)
-1 cup (1/2 pint) of Halo Top
-1 pound of chicken breast (crockpot or grilled)
-Large salad with mixed greens, 100g of tomatoes, 2 persian cucumbers, no calorie or low calorie dressing (Walden Farms or Skinny Girl)
-28g no fat cheddar (might go on the chicken or might go on the salad.
-Another salad with a different flavor dressing
-1 cup nonfat yogurt (optional)
-Protein to get up to 200g (london broil, turkey breast, chicken breast, 95% lean ground beef)
That gives me somewhere between 1150-1250 calories and 200g of protein.
I don’t feel deprived at all eating this way for one day, and it’s a ton of food. (Note, this is based on a 145 LBM (175lbs at ~15% BF.
Question from the Peanut Gallery: How did you handle work?
Answer: There’s a refrigerator and microwave at work. I keep a bottle of chipotle Tabasco, salsa, and no calorie dressing there.
Day 12, End of Diet Recap
It’s day 12 off the PSMF. I had planned to stay on the diet through the end of today, but I have a free lunch at work, and a party at home tonight, so sacrifices must be made.
Weight: I started at 174, and today I was 167.4. At least 3-5 pounds of that is water and glycogen since a PSMF is ketogenic (glycogen depleting).
Waist: My waist went from 33 to 31.5″. I’m now wearing size 32 pants with extra room in the waist. Before the diet, I couldn’t fit into them comfortably.
Strength: I lost one rep on incline (but sometimes I lose a rep when eating normally), none on OHP, Squat, or Chins.
Feeling: For the most part, I felt great on the diet. I never felt hungry or deprived (except in the sense that I couldn’t eat the catered lunches at work). I forgot to take my magnesium supplement last night, and woke up with a leg cramp at 3am (although I’ve had similar cramps just on AFL). Other than that, I’ve had no negative experiences with the diet.
Like I said in my last update, I’m not sure that I’d do this again, but I can certainly see eating like this one or two days a week to occasionally to maintain a deficit. As promised, here are the before and after photos. They’re kind of subtle, but I definitely have a lot more shoulder definition and slightly more ab definition. My wife says I look like an underwear model again.
And of course if you’d like to learn more about the diet, you can buy the book here:
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