When it comes to our physiques, I’m sure many of you will agree that you wish you could burn off excess body fat and build lean muscle mass at the same time. For many however, this is extremely difficult indeed. Unless you have exceptional genetics, then unfortunately as you diet and lose fat, you’ll also lose a fair amount of muscle in the process. That’s why bodybuilders go through periods of bulking and dieting. When they bulk up, they increase their calories in a bid to build more muscle, when they diet, they decrease their calories, which enables them to lose fat, but unfortunately they also lose muscle too. However, a former power lifting champion and highly respected physician by the name of Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, was able to create a diet designed to enable people trying to lose body fat, to do so, without losing any of their current muscle mass or size. This diet is known as the ‘anabolic diet’.
What is the anabolic diet, and how does it work?
Basically, the anabolic diet is described as a low carbohydrate based diet, which alternates and switches between periods of high carbohydrates, and low carbohydrates. It’s similar in principle to carb cycling, although perhaps carb cycling is similar in principle to this diet. The main goal of this diet is to transform the body into a machine which constantly burns fat, rather than using carbohydrates for fuel and energy. During the first phase of the diet, your carbohydrate intake will be very low indeed. This is designed to shock the body and get it ready for what lies ahead. The body uses carbohydrates for energy, and if you take these away, it therefore has no more sources of energy. For the first few days, you will feel awful, due to the fact that you basically have no energy. You’ll be tired, you’ll have a headache, you could feel dizzy or nauseous, but as the days go by, you’ll soon begin to feel better and better. This is because your body will then be forced to look for other sources of energy instead of carbohydrates, and guess what it uses? Yep, fats!
During the initial first stage of this diet, you’ll consume no more than 30 grams of carbohydrates per day. After 12 days, you then ‘carb load’ for 1 or 2 days depending on how intensely you train. Most people should time this diet so that their carb loading days fall on a weekend. This is because most people are off from work or school on a weekend, and it also gives them a little something to look forward to. The reason for the carb loading phase is that it replenished glycogen stores in your muscles, refueling your tank so to speak, which then gets you through the workouts in the week ahead, without experiencing any muscle wastage. The main reason for this stage however, is that as the glycogen and carbohydrates flood into your muscles, your muscles are then flooded with essential nutrients required to re-grow and repair themselves, creating an ‘anabolic’ effect.