On Sunday, my weeklong experiment of eating exactly what the USDA says I should came to an end.
I wish I could say I'd stayed equally stalwart in my dedication to the plan all week, but that wouldn't be quite true. I sort of lost enthusiasm and dedication, unsurprisingly, just as the weekend hit. On Friday, for example, I had to visit several restaurants for work (woe is me!). Later on, I had a couple more drinks than I was supposed to, and I didn't resist when my roommate offered me amazing brown butter blondies she'd baked herself.
To some extent, this was all a sign of my lack of resolution and commitment, I admit. But on another level, it was also a test of the system's flexibility. I really didn't go crazy over the weekend. So how does MyPlate deal with going a little off the wagon? If it can't deal with it at all -- if it can't account, in the words of Weight Watchers spokeswoman Jennifer Hudson, for the "extra-cheese, extra-large world we live in" -- then it's not going to be useful as a dietary guide for Americans. Because no one this side of Chris Traeger can eat 100 percent healthy, 100 percent of the time.
After one week, despite my cheating, I lost a pound without being hungry all the time. So that's not nothing. On the other hand, I had a rather unpleasant time and became a little neurotic about having to tally up and photograph everything I ate. So more to come on those notes. Until then, click through the slideshow below to see everything I ate during my weeklong USDA diet: