I was 20 years old the first time I went on a diet. After years of being the skinny kid and taking up weight training, I bulked up to my highest weight and largest waist ever. 12 weeks after starting my diet I was 20lbs lighter and 5 inches slimmer; thus began my black box dieting adventures. Two weeks ago, I embarked on what is widely considered the extreme smart bomb of the diet world: the protein sparing modified fast.
A protein sparing modified fast (psmf) is essentially the most scientific “crash diet” available, allowing the loss of 4 to 7 pounds of fat and 10 to 20 lbs of weight in 2 weeks time. For me, I wanted to try this before I visited my girlfriend in Ecuador as a means of being extra impressive. I also had a couple pounds of fat to lose coming out of 6 week cyclic gaining phase, so I was mentally, physically, and hormonally ready to go. This is how I planned to do it.
1. Eat Good Protein
Duh. Eat 1.25 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass (lbm) on non-workout days. Consume 2 grams of protein per pound of lbm on workout days. Protein sources include lean meats and milk protein isolate protein powder. Keep it simple.
2. Eat unlimited green veggies
They’re mostly fiber to begin with, which will increase satiety and keep you regular. I was mixing spinach into my protein shakes, which worked quite well. You’ll also gain a taste for veggies, which is part of the reprogramming aspect of the diet.
3. Take a multi-vitamin and 6 grams of fish oil each day
Essential fatty acids found in fish oil are, well, essential. Your body can’t make them so you must obtain them from diet. The multi just covers nutritional bases.
4. Constantly remind the over-concerned that you’re not going to die
All of the food you’re taking in is nutrient dense and/or biologically active, as opposed to the collagen protein used in the Last Chance Diet. This combined with the vitamins and minerals from supplementation will keep you right as rain.
5. Do this as long as you can stand
The max should be 2 weeks before embarking on a short refeed, but leaner individuals might find themselves returning to modified eating habits sooner.
This meant that on a normal day, I was taking in between 950 and 1400 kcal. While this might sound crazy, think about how many people have given their body less calories and nutrients when embarking on really dangerous shit like the master cleanse. This PSMF covers all of the nutritional bases while also attempting to reset your taste preferences. When starting any sort of effort to get lean, seeing results up front goes a long way toward compliance and motivation.
What were my results? I managed the stay on the diet 6 days before needing a 5 hour refeed. After which, I spent 3 more days on the diet before another 5 hour refeed. After a few days of my regular paleo-ish eating habits, I weighed in 5lbs lighter than when I started. While I was up to 9lbs lighter during the diet, the weight regained was water and glycogen. I’ve since returned to a cyclic, paleo-based style of eating, using some of the methods discussed in my post-workout nutrition post.
For more information, I’d suggest purchasing Lyle McDonald’s “Rapid Fatloss Handbook.” It’s worth every penny.
Also: I recently wrote a post of tips for making the fast tolerable. Read all about that here.