T Nation

Anabolic Diet


Hey out there. My brother and I are using the Anabolic Diet. We are in our second week. I have definitely lost some inches around my waist and I am getting some ab definition. (I can tell because my pants are so loose already that I have had to tighten my belt two holes. I know some of this is water, but I am not craving carbs and not hungry during the day, so I am diggin' this diet. I could eat like this all the time. But is that safe? Also, is it safe to use any supplements besides a multi-vitamin while on this diet?

Is anyone else doing this? If so, how has your progress been? What are some snacks that you have come up with. I have no problem coming up with main meals, but I am running out of ideas for mid-day snacking. Any help from staff or other readers appreciated. Thanks.



ALG, congrats on your positive experiences with the diet. I tried the anabolic diet several years back and although it rapidly got me shredded with no loss of muscle, I felt drained the whole time. 5 days is too long for me to go with next to no carbs. You obviously don't have this problem. I still follow a high fat, low carb diet, but I take in big carb feeds more frequently, right after workouts, and that seems to keep my glycogen levels topped up nicely, allows me to stay lean, and gives me plenty of energy. If the diet works for you I would stay stick with it! For long term use I would however encourage you to ensure you take in daily servings of low carb veges (especialy the cruciferous stuff like broccoli, cauliflower etc) and salad greens. I personally prefer grass fed beef and lamb, free-range poultry, and game meats to the sausages and burgers that are permitted fare on the Anabolic Diet. You can still pick cuts that will give you plenty of fat without all the sodium and additives of processed meats. As for your supplement question, I am sure they will be beneficial on this diet as on any other. If you have a co-operative doctor, the best thing is to get blood work done and see how the diet is affecting everything.


So far as I know it's safe long term. I followed it for at least a year, maybe two years, with some modifications.

First, most people cannot pig out on carb days without this adversely affecting results.
It's best for carb days to still be quite sane, probably around 15 cal/lb LBM/day.

I also did better having two separate carb up periods of 24 hours, rather than two carb up days that were back to back. I was doing twice a week workouts then. What I did was to start carbing up immediately after a workout, and then continue for 24 hours (going into the next day.)

If training more days per week than this, I'd still follow this approach, but on some workouts I'd have pre and post-workout Surge but otherwise have a low carb day.

Overally, though, I think John Berardi's approach of having P+C meals in the earlier part of the day, and then ketogenic in the later part of the same day, is a better approach than alternating different days for fats and carbs. But, the Anabolic Diet can work well.


Just bumping. Peace.


Thanks for the responses. Please keep them coming.





if i were gonna do anabolic long term (bulking), i would alter it probably and eat fruit with breakfast or something along those lines.




I do extremely well with the CKD approach (sort of). I can handle low/no carbs easily and for days on end, but it is very hard to control carb-ups...like something just triggers me to eat uncontrollably when I start carbing. I would definitely make sure you're getting sufficient calcium/magnesium and potassium. Snacks? How about 1.5 scoops Low-carb Grow or whatever your favorite pro powder is w. 5 or so tbsp. heavy cream and a pkt. of Splenda. Or 5 sliced melted string cheese w. a very small amt. of light spaghetti sauce? Sugar-free Jello w. carb-free whipped cream? These are a godsend for keto diets.


If you physically and mentally 'feel' good on this diet then continue with it. Keep the macros the same but take a healthier route. Instead of eating meats that are high in saturated fats, eat very lean meats and supplement your diet with flax seed oil and fish caps. I also highly suggest you take 1-2 tablespoons of Metamusil and a good quality multi-vitamin. These small changes address the health issues most advocates bring up. As far as snacks, you could try all natural peanut butter(unsalted with oil floating on top) and fat/sugar free jello.


Great suggestions, thanks everybody. I just got my blood test results back and, my good cholesterol was great. Unfortunately, my doctor said thsat my overall readiing was too high. I am going to start using flax or fish oil and I will start eating the leaner cuts of meats. In three months, I get tested again and , hopefully, the results will be better. Again , thanks for your responses.



Check out the "Atkins and friends" website. There is a recipe section with literally hundreds of keto recipes. There are tons of great snack recipes as well as deserts and main courses. There is one for peanut butter cookies that I love when I'm craving carbs. It's basically some all natural pb, a little whey protein,some flax meal, an egg, vanilla and splenda to taste. Bake it a 375 for about 10min. I also like natchos made with lean ground beef and those carb free soy natcho chips with some cheese on top. Ya the chips taste like ass on there own, but there not bad under beef and cheese and they satisfy the need for crunch.


Just a q about your training if you don't mind. What were you doing twice a week while on this diet? Were they full body? Were these training sessions just weight training or was aerobics incorporated? What was your goal while on this diet and were you able reach them? Were they purely physique goals? A year or two seems like a long time, how did you come off the diet? Sorry if I'm asking too many questions.


re your blood tests- did you get your homocysteine and blood triglycerides checked? I know the medical profession has this fetish for cholesterol, but I would place more emphasis on these. If you go too low in fat on a keto diet you might start to feel drained. Cheers.


I trained chest and legs one day, and back and shoulders the other: bodyparts were trained once per week, for the most part two sets per exercise,
two or three exercises per bodypart except for back, which was four or five exercises. In some cases I would do five sets, but if so typically a 5x5 program at 80% 1RM. I was training for
both size and maximum weight achieved
for reps at the end of each training cycle, starting each cycle with about 60% 1RM and
ending at about 90% 1RM.

I felt that it worked well for me and the
combination got me into the best condition
of my natural period of training (which was
six years.) I didn't do aerobics.

All I did to come off the diet was to use isocaloric dieting. Actually, I'm pretty sure there were intermittent periods of a few weeks at a time during the Anabolic Dieting phase where I was off it and eating isocalorically, but the great majority of the time I was on the diet. I liked it quite well
both for fat loss at some times and muscle gains at others.


Thank you Mr. Roberts. It helps a lot. Just one more question. I noticed you didn't mention arms. Was this just not put in the post or did you not work arms due to the big lifts in chest and back? Thank you again.


Thanks for the suggestion. I will call my doctor and get those results.


You're solution to the carb-up is interesting! I've always had trouble in that area, either too many carbs or not enough. How many grams of carbs did you take in at your twice weekly carb-ups? And what did you weigh at the time?
thanks Bill!


Bill and all, I too found it hard to carbo blast only over the weekend and found splitting it reasonably between wednesday and saturday worked for me. when I "blasted" an entire weekend and skipped a meal on tuesday, my sugar was so low I got a migraine and puked my brains out all night! Sorry for being gross, but has anyone else expereienced this? My guess is my insuline levels spiked so severly from gorging on carbs the entire weekend that my sugar was way too low to go without eating for a pronlonged period. I litereally had to eat everything the next day to get back to normal.
It was really wierd. Like a 3 day hangover. THat's why I'm not a believer in pounidng the carbs for two days straight. I'd even take it easy on one carb day. But then I'm prone to hypoglycemia.
Whatever the case the diet is in my opinion the best that's out there!



Bronx Bomber, at that time I wasn't doing
specific arm training, because I was following
Stuart McRobert's advice of letting the arms rely on the benefits of compound movements (presses, rows, chins, etc) rather than isolation movements.

For the most part I think this is advice
in a good direction -- most trainers devote
too great a percentage of their workouts to
arm specific work, which would be better devoted to compound work, particularly for the back which is often inadequately trained. However, personally I prefer doing limited
isolation arm training before the compound
work. For example, I do Med-X triceps extensions before doing overhead presses and
bench presses. This does not impair shoulder
and chest development in my case because the triceps are not limiting for them, but does
enhance (I hope so anyway) results for triceps. The same is true for biceps and back training.

I also think that specific, limited periods during which arms are targeted can be beneficial. So I don't now subscribe completely to McRobert's argument there, but as an overall philosophy most would do well to move closer to it than they currently are, I think.