anabolic diet

Anabolic Diet: Questions and Answers

Author: Anne Jonson

Diet & Nutrition Expert

You feel uncomfortable in your body because of a few extra pounds and you are thinking about starting an anabolic diet. Perhaps the latter is the potential solution to your problems, but unfortunately you lack information on it? Then this article will help you!

In our article, we will shed light on the most common questions the anabolic diet raises among internet users, while trying to give you some advice if you finally decide to go on the anabolic diet.

  • Based on the principle that carbohydrates make you fat, anabolic diets aim to reduce a person’s carbohydrate intake to 5% per day over a defined period of time. The diet consists of 2 phases.
  • The goal of the anabolic diet is to achieve a state of ketosis. During ketosis, the body gets its energy from fat reserves and not from carbohydrates.
  • The anabolic diet is suitable for both bodybuilders and strength athletes. Anyone suffering from chronic diseases should not take this diet.

What is an anabolic diet?

Developed in the 1980s by Canadian sports scientist and doctor Mauro Di Pasquales, the anabolic diet aims to burn fat while maintaining muscle growth.

It takes 2 to 4 weeks to reach ketosis. This can be recognized by a change in breathing.

Based on the principle that it is carbohydrates and not fat that make you fat, the goal of this diet is to consume as few carbohydrates as possible over a period of time in order to induce a pathological state of ketosis.

Glycogen is the form in which carbohydrates are stored in the body. The glycogen deficiency caused by carbohydrate malnutrition triggers a state of ketosis, in which the energy the brain needs is supplied from fat reserves. This will ultimately reduce your appetite, which will lead to weight loss.

What you need to know about the anabolic diet

Before we reveal some tips and tricks to help you follow your diet well and achieve your goals, let’s first give you some basic information about the anabolic diet.

Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about the anabolic diet.

How are the macronutrients distributed in the anabolic diet?

The two different phases of the anabolic diet are defined by different intakes of proteins, fats and finally carbohydrates.

Regular exercise is strongly recommended during the 2 phases of the program.

Phase 1

During this first phase you should not consume more than 5% carbohydrates per day so that the body breaks down the stored fat. Nonetheless, you will need to eat around 35% of high protein foods and 60% of high fat foods. This phase usually lasts five to six days, ideally Monday through Friday.

Phase 2

In contrast to phase 1, phase 2 only lasts 1 to a maximum of 2 days (ideally on weekends). These 2 days are often referred to as refeed days or loading days.

Think of phase 2 as a kind of break in your diet.

However, this phase is necessary: by increasing the carbohydrate intake to 60% and reducing the intake of protein (10-15%) and fat (30-40%), the body replenishes the glycogen reserves and activates muscle growth.

Is there a difference between the anabolic diet and the ketogenic diet?

If you’ve researched the anabolic diet on the internet, you may have noticed that it is often equated with the ketogenic diet. But is there a difference between the two diets?

The state of ketosis remains uninterrupted throughout the entire ketogenic diet.

According to our research, there is a difference between these diets: Although both have in common ketone energy intake, the anabolic diet is divided into two phases, while the ketogenic diet is just one big phase from start to finish.

On the other hand, the target group of the two diets is not the same: the ketogenic diet is suitable for both athletes and non-athletes, but can also be prescribed for the treatment of certain diseases such as epilepsy, diabetes or Alzheimer’s.

Who should not do the anabolic diet?

Your health and eating habits should be considered when considering an anabolic diet. Indeed, the large amount of protein required in this diet can be an advantage for some and a hindrance to others.
Although it makes sense for strength athletes and bodybuilders, this diet should not be recommended if you are a vegetarian, vegan, or if you have kidney problems.

  • Vegetarians and Vegans: It will be more difficult for this group of people to reach their recommended daily protein levels, as vegetarians cannot eat meat and vegans exclude all animal products (eggs, dairy products, etc.). Meat, eggs and high-fat dairy products unfortunately predominate in this diet, as they are primary sources of protein.
  • People with kidney problems: In the case of kidney failure, the urea from the proteins is no longer properly excreted by the kidneys, which is not good for the organism. For this reason, it is advisable to reduce your protein intake, otherwise health problems like high blood pressure can occur. An anabolic diet is far from adequate.

In general, the more protein you eat, the more our organs are stressed.

What is allowed and what is prohibited on the anabolic diet?

When you start an anabolic diet, your diet will likely change dramatically. It is important to research beforehand which foods to consider and which to avoid.

On weekdays, foods rich in carbohydrates should generally be avoided. However, foods that contain good fats are allowed and strongly recommended as part of an anabolic diet.

Alcohol consumption should be reduced, not prohibited.

The more alcohol you consume, the more it affects the serum by lowering testosterone levels and growth hormone levels. So you can drink alcohol, but in moderation.

For how long can you do the anabolic diet?

The length of an anabolic diet depends mainly on the goals you set for yourself when you started the diet (e.g. the weight you want to achieve).

However, your body needs time to get used to a “normal” diet again after such a diet. Therefore, avoid abrupt transitions from one diet to another to avoid the dreaded yo-yo effect.

How fast and how much can you lose weight with an anabolic diet?

As for the results of the diet, of course, it all depends on the total duration. As a benchmark, it would be possible to lose up to 1 kg per week.

Compared to “Low Fat” diets, a study has shown that “Low Carb” diets (like the anabolic, but also the ketogenic diet, etc.) lose an average of three times more weight. An improvement in cholesterol levels was also noted, which was not the case on the “Low Fat” diet.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an anabolic diet?

While the anabolic diet has many positive aspects from a physical and psychological point of view, be careful, it also carries some risks that you should consider beforehand. However, to make it easier for you, we have compiled the advantages and disadvantages in a table below.


  • Burning fat while protecting muscle mass
  • Decreased appetite
  • Some foods are not totally banned
  • Improved stamina


  • Considerable budget for buying meat and fish etc.
  • Difficult metabolic change
  • Intestinal irregularities
  • Mood swings
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in body odor and breath
  • Stress on the liver and kidneys
  • Possible lack of minerals and vitamins

Anabolic Diet: Tips & tricks for muscle building and fat loss

There are a number of preventive measures you can take to make sure your anabolic diet is going well.

Some of these are described in more detail in the following sections.

Follow a varied weekly meal plan

If you are considering starting an anabolic diet, you should be aware that your diet will change significantly due to the strictly limited amount of carbohydrates. Therefore, customization is likely to be complicated at first.

For those who still don’t have time to set up a menu, there are already many on the Internet that you can simply download.


This way you always know what you will eat from one day to the next and ultimately don’t have to plan anything unexpected. The lack of a meal plan increases the risk of temptation and thus of deviating from the diet.

Well organized is the key to staying successful. Contrary to popular belief, there are many different and varied meal ideas that will delight your palate.

Do not avoid consuming high-fat proteins

Eating high-fat foods as part of an anabolic diet does not result in weight gain. These foods must be consumed to meet the fat intake required during the week.

Marine fats are particularly recommended for consumption during such a diet.

In general, it is foods rich in carbohydrates that lead to weight gain: Glucose from ingested carbohydrates is used as an energy store. However, the excess glucose is converted into body fat.

Eat clean carbohydrates on refeed days

During phase 2 of the program, called refeed, which lasts about 1 to 2 days, you may again consume a large amount of carbohydrates (between 45 and 60%), but be careful, by this we mean the consumption of “clean” Carbohydrates that are high in minerals and fiber to replenish glycogen stores.

The refeed days are not about consuming mainly fast food for 2 days, as is the case on “Cheat Day”.

Simple recipe ideas

The question of what you can prepare to eat during your diet will come up more than once, especially at the beginning, as you are not yet fully familiar with the diet program.

But don’t panic, we’ve thought of everything! Here you will find a compilation of different recipe ideas that will make it easier for you to get started with the diet and which will likely give you more recipe ideas:

  • Pancakes
  • Porridge with berries
  • Protein pizza with a tuna batter
  • Avocado boat with bacon and egg
  • Mixed salad
  • Coconut Thai soup

Onions aren’t your best friends while on an anabolic diet. Their high carbohydrate content (especially when pan fried) can get you out of ketosis.

Have patience and don’t give up

As with any other diet, patience is required. You won’t lose all of your excess weight in the first week. It will be a long and arduous process, especially at the beginning when your body has to get used to the reduced carbohydrate intake. Even if you slack off and think about quitting, remind yourself why you started this diet in the first place.

Our advice to you is: think positively, believe in yourself and ultimately don’t lose sight of your goal. We wish you good luck and good luck!

Summary: Anabolic Diet

It is obvious that this program will not be suitable for the greatest number of people, as the target group for this diet is rather small. The change between the 2 phases allows you not to deprive yourself of any food, which will facilitate the change in diet.

Before starting this diet, it is best to speak to your doctor beforehand in order to avoid any health problems associated with the diet later on. In any case, we hope that you

With all this information you can get a picture of the anabolic diet, be it in a positive or negative sense.

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