Built's "Do It Yourself" Diet

BBQ Chicken Thighs with Steamed Asparagus
How to Create Your Own Low-Calorie Diet

As many of you know, I've been struggling with my weight, and especially low-carb diets, for quite some time now.

After abandoning my own personalized low-carb diet plan, Sherrie, owner of the Pinch Of blog and A Pinch of Health low-carb forum, told me about Lyle McDonald.

Lyle McDonald has a website and forum called Body Recomposition.

At the time, she told me that the only way she was able to lose the last of her own body fat was by doing something called re-feeds. She thought the information I would learn from reading Lyle's forum could help me, so I decided to take a look at it.

And I am extremely glad that I did.

If I hadn't gone there, I never would have learned the truth about low-carb diets. Nor, would I have discovered The Do It Yourself Diet created by Built.

Discovering the Got Built? Blog

Lyle's forum is where I learned about the PSMF diet (a protein-sparing modified-fast), and the truth about low-carb diets.

While there, I happened to see a post that guided me over to another forum called Beyond Low Carb. The owner of the Beyond Low Carb forum goes by the screen name of Built, and she used to have a blog called Got Built?

One of the most popular posts at her blog was called:

The "Do It Yourself" Diet – Comfort Food For Life

The blog post was about how to put together a sensible, yet flexible, diet yourself.

To kick off this do-it-yourself plan, you plot out:
  • Adequate protein (a minimum of 1 gram per lb of lean body mass)
  • Adequate fat intake (a minimum of 1/2 gram per lb of lbm)
  • High fiber (25 grams that you gotta get from whole foods)
The aim of this weight-loss diet was to keep full, so after setting your:
  • protein
  • minimum fat intake
  • and fiber
The rest of your calories can come from whatever you want! Just make sure you're eating at a calorie deficit.

The Truth About Low-Carb Diets

Low-carb diets work initially by metabolic advantage until your body learns how to use ketones effectively.

If you go on-and-off of a low-carb diet enough times, or if you flat out stay on a low-carb diet too long (because you have more excess fat than can be shed before the body firmly adapts to that alternate fuel pathway), you are left with the same diet path that everyone else is:

Calorie Deficit!

The Name of the Game is Comfort Foods

When it comes to calorie deficits, the name of the game is using comfort foods to keep you satisfied while eating fewer calories.

Everything you eat should taste good.

However, the definition of comfort isn't exactly the same definition it was for me when I weighed 256-1/2 pounds.

Before I turned to the Atkins Diet for help in 2007, comfort meant lots of homemade bread. Now that I'm gluten free, my definition of comfort has changed.

I'm more likely to make a casserole of scalloped potatoes and pork chops or a rich-and-creamy chicken or shrimp alfredo.

Shrimp Alfredo Dish
Chicken or Shrimp Alfredo is the ultimate
comfort dish, even using gluten-free noodles!

For you, the definition of comfort might be quite different than mine, so sit down and work up your own list of favorite foods. There is no reason to eat bland or just okay foods when you're in weight-loss mode.

In fact, there's never a good reason to eat foods you don't like.

Do-It-Yourself Low-Calorie Diets

I'm really into do-it-yourself diets.

If you've been following me for any length of time now, you have probably figured out that I never follow a diet, as written.

None of them!

And that includes Dr. Atkins' work.

We are all individuals with our own unique health challenges that need to be taken into perspective.

Most diet books are authored by someone who invented a diet that worked for them. After experiencing some degree of success, they wrote a book for the masses. The book isn't magic. It just details exactly what the author did to lose the weight.

Many people have trouble understanding this point.

For example, there are a lot of people who struggle with The South Beach Diet. The book recommends that you add a serving of fruit and a serving of starch back into your diet for the first week of phase 2.

And yet, Dr. Agatston himself, now on maintenance, can't eat that many carbohydrates. He rarely eats grains, he said, so a lot of South Beach dieters are pretty confused.

As for Dr. Atkins, he made his One Golden Shot count, then drank orange juice every morning thereafter and ate white potatoes on maintenance, enjoying about 100 carbs per day.

He ate just enough to keep his body out of ketosis.

Yet, we have a lot of his hard-core followers running around telling the sheeple that ketosis is for life.

High-fat is for life.

Everyone should be eating low carb -- forever!

Dr. Atkins wife tried to correct some of the misconceptions over at her Veronica Foundation website, but there's just too many people who don't want to know the truth.

It's similar to how they all went bezerk when Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. tried to move the low-carb community in the direction of eating lean meats a few years back.

They are too addicted to high-fat foods to go there.

So all of the low-carb gurus stay fat.

They are happy and content to be eating a low-carb, high-fat, high-calorie diets. They have been doing low carb long enough that their body has completely adapted to the use of ketones, so without a calorie deficit, they are going to stay that way.

Because of that, it's time to figure out how to get the rest of the weight off ourselves.

What I'm Currently Doing

Currently, I'm doing a low-calorie, low-carb diet patterned after Lyle McDonald's Rapid Fat Loss Diet because Dr. Simeons' Protocol was a bit harsh. Foods are limited to what was available in Italy in the '50s and what worked well for 100% of his patients back then, which is why the success rate for that diet is quite high in comparison with others.

Personally, I've been grateful for what I've learned from Dr. Simeon's book, from the HCG Diet community, and from taking homeopathic hHCG itself (back when it was still legal).

It seems that no matter which diet rainbow I'm currently chasing after, I always learn something.

My Experience with the HCG Diet

I'll be honest.

The claims of resetting the hypothalamus is flat-out garbage.

Dieters constantly struggle to keep the weight off in between each diet round, even when they move to a low-carb diet. I'm guessing this is because they're eating too many calories and too much fat for their new lower level of body fat.

The rest of the so-called science in the book isn't much better. It mostly parallels what we know about low carb and very low-calorie diets today.

Dr. Simeon's Protocol runs about 500 calories and 50 to 60 grams of carbohydrates, if your glucose control is good enough to allow you to eat the fruit without cravings – mine wasn't.

However, the HCG drops were a fairly good appetite suppressant, and the fat the body used for fuel just happened to be in the typical places that women pack it away to feed a baby when first pregnant.

So for me, it worked.

It fit my needs.

It got rid of my thigh pockets and the fat on my hips that a typical low-carb diet never touched before.

Course, it could just be that I've never been this thin before either, not since I was pregnant with my first son. I have jumped over several hurdles, though, several set-points that were right in a row, and I'm currently hovering at my last one.

I'm just above 150 pounds today (October 2010). Once I break through that, I'm hoping the rest of the way will be a downhill stretch.

But I'm not holding my breath.

The body does like to fight fat loss every step of the way, and I've been fat for a very, very long time.


  1. Nice info, Now i'm following your blog :(


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