I hate MyPlate, and I’ve hated it ever since the US Department of Agriculture first put it on a website as a viable diet plan. I also hated the food pyramid, but I hated it less than the MyPlate disaster. You might be asking yourself why I hate MyPlate, and I’m happy to tell you. This disaster recommends dividing your dinner plate into four quadrants for fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins. There are only two ways this diet… er... excuse me… meal plan is gonna go. You’re either going to eat too much or too little, because how high do you stack those quadrants without measuring anything?

 

The MyPlate Three Day Pass Out – A Case Study

What has a vegetable ever done for your stomach? Vegetarians are going to be angry at this statement. After all, their entire diets are based on plants. That’s fine. I’m not bashing vegans or vegetarians. If the diet works for you, do it. Vegetables don’t work for me, and they didn’t work for the individual in this case study. Why? Because if I want to feel like I’m starving all day, I’ll load up a plate with broccoli and green beans. BTW, those are two of the very few vegetables that have 0 carbs or as close as you can get to it without that vegetable actually being a leaf. Vegetables do have vitamins, minerals and macro and micronutrients, so eat them for their medicinal purposes, but other than that, I consider them empty calories. (Empty Calorie Definition for that statement – Food that leaves you just as hungry as before you ate it.)

 

On to that case study. I’ve been talking to a lady that needs to lose a lot of weight. At 5’4” and 220 pounds, she needs to lose 80 pounds. She’s headed for severe obesity very quickly. Some medical issues she has make it very difficult for her to lose weight, and before you go smacking the diabetes train, she doesn’t have that, but suffice to say what she does have, may be worse than diabetes as far as being able to lose weight. It’s severe enough that she needs a nutritionist.

After months of fighting and bitching and calling and writing and emailing and yada yada, she got that coveted nutritionist! HURRAY!!!! She can finally get back on track. She can finally lose that weight!She gets her appointment, goes in, explains her issues and gets put on… Wait for it… Wait for it…. MYPLATE!!!! Shit. MyPlate is not why we pay $100 an hour for a nutritionist. 

She Asked

  • Can I go on Keto? - No

  • Can I count calories – No

  • Can I measure my food? - No

  • How do I know if I am getting the right macro and micronutrients? - Don’t worry about it.

  • How much protein should I be eating? - Don’t worry about it.

  • How much fat should I be eating? - Don’t worry about it?

The Meal Plan

  • Follow MyPlate exactly how it is written. So.. uh… look at the plate diagram?

  • Do not count calories.

  • Do not measure portions…. Except only have a half cup of spaghetti and half a breadstick. Uh what?

  • Don’t weight your food…. But tablespoon out your sauces. What?

  • Eat SIX times a day. (Oh for fuck’s sake, they don’t even recommend that for diabetics anymore.)

  • Don’t keep a food journal.

  • Measure salt. No more than 300mg a meal. (Six meals. Here’s the limiting factor.)

There’s a recipe for disaster if I ever saw one, but I told her, go ahead and do it. BTW keep a food journal! This bastard is gonna fail, and it’s going to fail hardcore. When that happens, I said, you need to have documentation so that you can convince this idiot nutritionist that this diet doesn’t work for you. And following it specifically as it was given to you. If you do not follow this as it was given to you, she will tell you to keep going for another month (It was 30 days between appointments) because the onus is always on the dieter. Dieters are always considered liars. It’s kinda like having mental health issues. If the shit isn’t working, it’s your fault, not the plan’s fault.

 

She kept the food journal. What she ate and how she felt after eating it. Her comments to every meal – I feel like shit.

 

  • Twenty four hours after starting this diet, she was chronically starving.

  • Forty-Eight hours after starting the diet, she was passing out.

  • Seventy-two hours after starting this diet, she was in the ER!!!!

 

Holy shit. I knew she was going to be hungry. What I didn’t predict was the passing out and having to go to the Emergency room after three days of being on that monstrosity for a meal plan.

She’s okay. It didn’t do any lasting damage to her that we know about. If you’re wondering, she lost 1 pound in three days. It wasn’t worth it. 

So, while she’s passing out, she’s emailing and calling the nutritionist. She’s not getting an immediate response, hence the ER visit. In the aftermath, probably while she was in the ER, the woman called her back 3 times.

The End Result

She’s off MyPlate. She’s allowed to eat 3 meals a day and 1 snack if she needs it. Her salt is still limited, but it’s limited to 1800/3 = 600mg. She can count her fat, protein and carbs, which means she can increase her protein and fat intake. Hello, Keto, which is what they should have eased her into in the first place!

No one should eat as many damned carbs is what’s on the MyPlate Diet. There’s two to three carbs sitting on that damned plate, depending on what you chose for your vegetable. If you’re wondering, the three carbs are the grain, the fruit and the vegetable. AKA: If you decided to eat a piece of bread, a serving of peas and an apple. If you’re wondering, that’s: 

  • Medium Apple: 21 carbs

  • ½ cup Peas: 12 carbs

  • 1 bread slice: 12 carbs

  • 4oz steak: 0 carbs

  • 2 ounces steak sauce: 11.3

  • 1 cup of skim milk: 12.5 carbs

Total Carbs: 68.8 Fun fact, this is 276 calories of carbs.

If you’re wondering how that differs from what I eat, we can look at my lunch from yesterday. You’d call it breakfast, but anyway.

  • 2 slices of bacon – 0 carbs

  • 1 American cheese slice – 0 carbs

  • 1 bacon and cheese egg patty (Schwans) – 4 carbs

  • 32 grams of dehydrated hashbrowns – 25 carbs

  • 3TB of ketchup: 11 carbs 

Total: 40 carbs (160 calories of carbs, if that matters to you.), 28 protein and a lot of fat, which has a glycemic index of 0. You can look that up. Fat has a minimal effect on blood sugar. I do well on a lower carb, high fat, high protein diet. 

Now, you’re thinking… Butbutbut where are your vitamins and minerals!!!!???? First, I don’t eat apples unless they’re in a pie covered in whip cream. I mean really. If I’m going to eat carbs, I’m going to make them delicious. I don’t eat peas very often. I think I’ve had the bag of frozen peas in my freezer for 6 or 8 months. I also don’t eat a lot of bread, and the bread I do eat, I make myself, so I wouldn’t eat those starches that I listed above. I do eat broccoli, green beans, onions, tomatoes and peppers and most of my food is spiced with pepper, garlic, paprika, turmeric, cumin, etc. I eat a lot of spices and vegetables that are typically considered ‘flavoring.’

The Bottom Line: I wouldn't eat that MyPlate mal plan if hell froze over first.  If I needed any further convincing, the lady's story above would have done it. Give me a food scale and a calorie counting app every time. I like that method.  the food scale ensures I eat what I think I'm eating, and the calorie counting app helps ensure I get the appropriate amount of fat, protein and carbs that I want on a daily basis.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nutritionist, doctor or anyone that has a degree in nutrition or medicine. These are my own personal thoughts based on my own research and years of trying to find the best diet for myself. If you want specifics for any diet, meal plan or weight loss plan, always talk to your doctor, hire a nutritionist and/or do your own research.

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