Anabolic Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

anabolic-dietThe Anabolic Diet by Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale is promoted to enable dieters to reach their fat loss goals without losing muscle mass. It has a strong following in the bodybuilding community although it could equally apply to any exerciser who wants to achieve their ideal physique.

The Anabolic Diet is a low carbohydrate diet that alternates with periods of high carbohydrate eating. The basic concept is that you will turn your body into a ‘fat burning machine’ rather than one that uses carbohydrates as the major source of fuel.

Anabolic Diet Basics

The initial phase of the diet is very low carb, which is designed to get your body into fat burning mode as quickly as possible. During this phase dieters may experience some uncomfortable symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, and brain fog, which generally go away within 48 hours as the body makes the switch from running on carbohydrates to running on fats.

For the first week of the diet carbohydrate intake is limited to 30 grams a day or less so as to ensure that the changeover happens as quickly as possible. Exercise during this week can also speed up the change from carbohydrate to fat burning.

Once the switch over has occurred dieters then start to incorporate periods of eating high carbohydrates. The importance of this phase is emphasized because it is essential for optimal exercise performance.

In general dieters follow the pattern of eating a low carbohydrate diet during the week and a high carbohydrate diet on the weekends. During the week dieters eat 55-60% fat, 30-35% protein and no more than 30 grams carbs per day. Di Pasquale claims that the diet doesn’t work if your fat intake drops to below 40%.

Dieters are advised to eat 5-6 small meals daily and to always eat something when feeling hungry. Calorie intake is set at the equivalent of 18 times body weight. E.g. A 150 pound individual will start with 2700 calories. Dieters are given instructions to chart their progress and adjust calories either up or down depending on their goals.

Anabolic Foods

Chicken, fish, meat, cheese, butter, almonds, peanuts, tofu, diet soda, artificial sweeteners, low carb vegetables, fish oil, mustard, pickles, sour cream, Caesar salad dressing, sugar free jello.

Sample Diet Plan

Sample weekday low carb plan for 3000 calories

5 hard-boiled eggs
6 oz ham

Morning Snack

½ cup cottage cheese


8 oz corned beef
2 oz cream cheese
1 breadstick

Afternoon Snack

6 oz jack cheese


8 oz chicken
2 tablespoons salsa
1 corn tortilla

Evening Snack

1 oz pistachio nuts
2 slices American cheese

Sample weekend high carb plan for 3000 calories

2 English muffins with 2 tablespoons jelly
1 bowl cereal with nonfat milk

Morning Snack

8 oz applesauce
1 bagel (no butter)


Chef salad (no egg or cheese) with low fat dressing
2 dinner rolls
1 cup canned fruit salad

Afternoon snack

1 banana
2 graham crackers


3 cups pasta with marinara sauce
1 cup green beans
Salad with low fat dressing


1 angel food cake
1 cup strawberries
1 tablespoon Cool Whip

More healthy Low Carb Recipes can be found here.

Exercise Recommendations

Exercise is essential for this diet and is recommended for its effects on increasing fat loss, improving cardiovascular health and enhancing general well being.

These exercises that can be used as part of the Anabolic Diet.

Costs and Expenses

The Anabolic Diet is out of print and not easy to find in stores and copies of the book can cost $99.95.

Also available by the same author is the Anabolic Solution which retails at $39.95.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.


  • Effective for dieters who want to lose body fat and to maintain or even increase muscle mass.
  • Provides an alternative to drug use for bodybuilders who wish to gain muscle.
  • Reduces the experience of fatigue and impaired exercise performance that is common on continuous low carb diets.
  • Provides sample menus for both 1500 and 3000 calorie diets.
  • Frequent meals and variety in the diet structure may increase metabolic rate.
  • Dieters are allowed to eat when they feel hungry.


  • Controversial approach to dieting.
  • Safety of high fat diets is questionable.
  • Some dieters do not do well on low carbohydrate diets.
  • Alternating low and high carbohydrate intakes could severely disrupt glucose balance for sensitive individuals.
  • Does not encourage the intake of fruit and vegetables.
  • Extremely low intake of fiber and likely to lead to constipation.
  • Meal plans are not very appealing and lacking variety.
  • Recommends a variety of supplements including vitamins, amino acids, protein drinks, fish oils, evening primrose oil and antioxidants.
  • Not good for athletes involved in high intensity exercise.
  • Not easily adapted to a vegetarian diet.

Questionable Techniques

The long-term effects of this diet are highly questionable and dieters would be advised to seek a more balanced approach that will not place them at risk of health consequences in search of the ideal physique.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Andi

    I have read this book and found it very intresting. What about suppliements on this diet? I take Animal pak and a protein isolate drink.

  • pat butler

    i started the diet 4 weeks ago.I think i did everything right so far.I feel
    powerful in training and very focused.I have dropped 7 pounds and added weight to every lift every week.

  • Mat

    I’ve followed this diet for around 8 months. Feel much better and definitely don’t feel as good when I decide to eat a carb based diet for a week or so.

    As far as results – I do Crossfit around 4 days a week and feel my recovery is great. Have lost about 5kg of fat and gained about that in muscle.

    This isn’t a diet – it’s more of a lifestyle – all my meals are what I would consider ‘healthy’ with good fats, low sugar, void of processed carbs and plenty of muscle building protein.

    I’ve started eating a few extra carbs such as oatmeal and some fruit – keeping it under around 100 grams a day – it’s a happy medium for those who don’t like the idea of super low carb. Testing this out and seeing how my body responds in the next few months to training.

    • adriana

      Hello Mat, I read your comment and seems the diet is pretty well fit for you. I would like to know if you drop your fats during low carb day when you feel hungry??? I don’t know how to calculate my %’s, how you did that?? Adriana. The thing is I want to lose the fat not muscle, I would like to do a bikini competition.

  • TommyO

    ive been on this diet for 4 weeks now and must say i was blown away the first two weeks, i lost 11 pounds in 1.5 weeks, i have to weight test my scale to make sure it wasnt broke, yes there are times when you lack variety but thats a technocality for the reward. weight drop. carb loading is so tempting on the weekend but your mind starts to think of the pros if you regulate the weekends too, no give up the loading, just do it responsibly!

  • miko

    Been on this for 3 weeks i workout 4 times a week and spin class 3 times a week only lost 4 pounds what’s up with that? Too much fat? Not enough? Darn! !! Ill keep going I bit longer

    • Rich

      Get rid of the spin class, it releases too much cortisol, this makes the body hold onto fat
      Just workout 3 times a week lifting heavy compound movements, no longer then an hour at the gym.
      Make your main cardio just walking.
      Once every 10 days do a spin workout on your own if possible for no longer then 10 minutes, kinda 2 mins hectic spinning with a minutes rest and so on.
      Looks like at the moment your doing waaaay to much

  • vishal

    whoever wrote the cons on this diet is a freakn moron

  • Ed

    Hey Jessica,
    This diet was designed by a powerlifter for people who want to increase muscle safely. If you have increased weight, it is probably due to increased muscle mass. Judge the diet by inches lost, not pounds.

  • jessica

    I been on this diet for 5 months and i gain 10lbs i used fit day to track what i been eating during the week and with in 2100 cal and 30 carbs a day and I train 5 days a week and work really hard. what m i doing wrong

  • JT

    Because of my bodyweight the first 12 days of the diet I consumed 4800 calories a day. I went from 266 to 255, doesn’t make sense I know,but my body must have been in shock from the lack of carbs. I just finished 1 month and now weigh 251 and have cut the caloric intake to 3000 daily. I have to say this diet works….I have never been stronger and fuller in all my years of training. I only do a day and a half of carbs to cut back on bloating,but my monday workout is phenomenal.

  • adam

    this diet deffinately works well if done properly.
    in my experiance, strength, energy, and wellbeing all improve allot. also i never feel bloated except when i carb up.
    i reccomend 1-1.5 days carb up for fat loss.
    2-3 days carb up for maintaining bodyfat and gaining muscle.

  • Marco

    This diet is a great option and is healthy. There is a lot of sientific back up. The only problem is that it work very well for certin body types. I am hypoglycemic so it works very good for me. I can’t do the full weekend carb load but if I put it on one day then it works wonders for me. Anyone wanting to try this diet should contact there doctor and have a blood suger test done and blood type check and of course have approvel from your doctor. Good luck… :)

  • Dave

    Worked with this plan without exercising In November and December 2002. Dropped 22 pounds in 7 weeks and my blood work all improved. Worth a 4 week try but does require discipline and a game plan.

  • Sherlan

    wtf 5 eggs. who are u kidding.

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