The Anabolic Diet – My Experience So Far
The Diet Protocol
The diet is what Mauro calls a phase-shift diet. That is a fancy way of saying that you cycle your eating with two distinct periods of eating – one very low-carb and one high carb. Basically, as your start the diet you go with 12 days straight of eating no more than 30 grams of carbohydrates per day – this is called the Start-Up Phase. Your primary foods during this time include lots of meats and fats. Think steak, chicken, turkey, buffalo, any fish, shellfish, olive oils, butter, bacon, avocado, and full-fat cheeses. Your ratio of macros are generally 40%-60% fat, 40%-50% protein, 4%-10% carbs or 30 grams of carbs max.
After those 12 days you then do a 12-48 hour carb-up where you still eat the protein and fats, but reduce the proteins slightly and focus more on carbohydrates. Your macros on these carb-up days will be somewhere around 20-40% fats, 15%-30% proteins, and 35%-60% carbs.
Once you are done the 12-days you then start a 5 day low carb phase (Monday to Friday) and then on the weekend you start your carb up for 12 – 48 hours. The length of time you do the carb up is very dependent on you – as soon as you start to feel bloated you stop. Easier said then done, but over time you get the hang of it. During this phase of the diet, Mauro says you can really eat whatever it is you want. Pizza, donuts, sugar cereals – anything that is high carb. However, this does not mean it is a license to gorge yourself on sugar laden crap. Too much sugar is still a bad thing. Really, your should focus your food choices on things like bagels, breads, sweet potatoes, and pasta. That way you will fill your muscles with the glycogen you need to grow muscles and recover.
My Experience So Far
The Anabolic Diet works by manipulating your muscle building hormones. The key is eating the right combination of foods at the right time. I have found that this is working well. I am still gaining strength on my 5/3/1/ Program and I don’t feel tired or weak. The weekend carbs-ups are enjoyable, however I need to be sure not to let them get away from me. Once I have some sweet stuff I can open a whole floodgate of food desires so I really need to watch that.
The toughest period was the 12 days to start the program. Going low-carb for that long can be tough, but if you focus on doing what Mauro says – not reducing your calories during this period – then it is definitely manageable. Eating lettuce and other vegetables helped as well as they provided me with some good satiation.
As I progress on the program I will keep you updated on my experiences. Stay tuned for more…