In this new weekly series, I will breakdown different dieting strategies, the pros and cons behind these diets, who they are best suited for, and practical applications for use in your own diet. I will also give out a few different (very easy and simple) recipes to try that relate to the dietary technique being discussed.
Popular dietary fads fade in and out faster than your grandmother’s television set she has from 1960 (you know, the one that sits in the big wooden box with the dials and no remote control). This is what makes them “fads.” A diet that is popular today could be forgotten next month. If a diet lasts the test of time you could say there is some merit behind its efficacy.
Dan Duchaine was once heralded as a steroid and performance enhancing drug aficionado and guru. Duchaine is a published author and appeared many times in the media for his knowledge of steroids. Potentially lesser known is his knowledge on diet and nutrition, specifically his diet “Bodyopus.” Essentially this was the first type of carb cycling diet, where you would eat low carbs for five days and higher carbs for two days.
As we all know, carb cycling can be very effective for many different bodybuilding goals. Years later Lyle McDonald took this diet even further (potentially making it even more popular) and came out with the Ultimate Diet 2.0 (UD2). It is based on the original diet that Duchaine came up with, but with some tweaks.
The diet has two different phases: a low catabolic and low carbohydrate phase, and an anabolic high carbohydrate phase. For four days, you spend time in an extreme caloric deficit, specifically carbs. This diet works in conjunction with your workouts, which makes it very unique. After these four days being in this low caloric state you complete a workout to expend the remaining glycogen stores. When the glycogen stores have been depleted you then get an influx of insulin with a high carb up period. The premise behind this is that after a period of severe depletion, the body will soak up the glycogen and it will not be stored as body fat. The carb up will help keep metabolism burning at a quicker rate than eating in a deficit for a longer period of time.
Typically, a week is laid out in this fashion:
Day 1 and 2: low carb days paired with short, intense workouts with lighter weight.
Day 3: low carb day, but a rest day from the gym.
Day 4: Split into two different sections of low carb and high carb.
Start the day with lower carbohydrates, but only consume about 75 percent of the daily calories from the first three days.
Consume roughly 30 grams of carbs pre-workout, as opposed to no carbs pre-workout, which is heavy with high intensity.
End of Day 4 and Day 5: Following the workout consume 7-8 grams of carbs per pound of lean body mass until the end of Day 5.
Day 6: Consume 2 grams of carbs per pound of lean body weight with a full body workout.
Day 7: Rest day with carb consumption in the gram per pound of lean body mass range.
Figuring out what those carb and calorie numbers can be very tricky. Basically, find your base maintenance calorie number and start there. Say your maintenance calories are 2000 to remain at your current weight. Cut that number by 20-30 percent in the form of carbs. Eat protein and fat at the same rate and then reintroduce carbs back into the mix in the above explained method. This diet is not recommended for someone with higher than 15 percent body fat (for males).
- Rapid results can be seen, especially in body fat loss. During the carb depletion phase the body will be required to use fat for fuel, as there is no glycogen to be used for energy.
- Workouts are tailored around the diet, which is something very unique in a diet. For those that need structured diet and workouts in tandem this could be a good fit. Intensity remains high, but volume is low on the lower carb days so performance should not suffer too much. On higher carb days strength should remain relatively high as the body is then in a caloric surplus. A premium is placed on recovery outside the gym.
- Carb loading is great for the psyche, as you know in your mind that you get carbs in a few days. This is similar to a cheat, but without the extra added fats and junk.
- Gastrointestinal distress should remain at bay, as the higher calorie days will be very needed for the body. Fiber needs to be kept relatively high though, as most fiber is found in higher carb foods. I would recommend supplementing with some kind of fiber supplement.
- Workouts are not too lengthy, so it’s easy to balance this aspect for someone with a busy life outside the gym.
- Results will come on fast and visibly. The physique you show on Tuesday morning will not be the physique you see on Saturday morning. Vascularity and fullness will be high on the weekend (if that’s how you set the days up) and you will look lean and flat during the week.
- For those with experience of dieting this could be great. Bodybuilders and other physique athletes could see great results.
- Insulin sensitivity will remain high.
- This is not a diet for a beginner, or really even an intermediate person. This is a very complicated diet. Figuring out where your maintenance calories are at is only the beginning. As weight changes, the calories need to follow suit.
- Ectomorphs could have a difficult time gaining weight on this type of diet. For those that need higher carbs, it will be difficult for the few days of lower carbs. Truthfully, this is not a diet that would work particularly well for those wanting to gain body weight.
- This is the kind of diet that has to be followed precisely (many would argue that every diet has to be followed precisely). One slip up during the week throws the whole program off its axis. Much like a ketogenic diet, this diet is structured in a way that it must be followed exactly to see results.
- It’s very technical and dependent on one day to feed the next. Some will have trouble juggling this type of diet with work or social life.
- Each diet day is reliant on that day’s training session. If getting to the gym on that particular day is a challenge this could be an issue.
- Blood sugar fluctuations could be very dramatic on this particular diet.
The committee (me) has convened and came to a ground-breaking decision….
The committee is a fan of the UD2 diet. Now this is very person dependent, but if you are a bodybuilder or looking to improve the look of your physique by fat loss then this diet might be for you. The unique advantage to this diet is that training sessions are built around the diet, and not the other way around. Performance in the gym should remain relatively high, and strength should not fall too much.
If you are looking to push your physique to a lean, hard, and muscular level, the UD2 diet might be for you!
Zucchini Beef Enchilada Boats
- 1 pound ground beef (I like 93/7).
- One can red enchilada sauce.
- Two Roma tomatoes.
- Red pepper to taste.
- Salt to taste.
- One avocado.
- Roughly 1 cup of shredded cheese.
- Three zucchini squashes.
- One can green chili peppers
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Brown ground beef and season with salt and red pepper.
- Chop and dice Roma tomatoes.
- Slice avocado into one inch pieces.
- Add can of green chilies to ground beef.
- Slice and hallow out zucchini to make boats.
- Stuff zucchini boats with beef mixture. Top with tomatoes, avocado, half can of enchilada sauce, and cheese
- Bake covered for 15 minutes.
- Remove and uncover. Top with the rest of enchilada sauce and bake for an additional 10 minutes uncovered.
Approx. Macros per two halves of zucchini (Makes three servings)
Protein: 23 g
Carbohydrates: 7 g
Fat: 12 g