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Anabolic Diet for Woman
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Anabolic Diet for Woman - 02-04-2012, 02:35 PM

By: Zach Cooper

Developed by Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, the Anabolic Diet has continued to grow in popularity over the past few years, especially as more people continue to seek out methods to control their weight. Before embarking on the Anabolic Diet, however, it is important to understand the benefits and negative consequences it can invoke.

Five Days of Restricted Carbohydrates

The main component of the Anabolic Diet involves restricting carbohydrate for five days in a row. During this time, you would avoid starchy foods such as bread, pasta or rice and consume the majority of your calories from fats and proteins. According to Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale's research, restricting carbohydrate intake for five days in a row will cause your body to resort to "fat adaptation," which means it will be forced to start using fat as its primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates. Di Pasquale claims that by forcing your body to start using fat as your primary fuel source, you will be much more successful in your weight loss endeavors.

Two Days of Carbohydrate Overfeeding

After five days of eating diets low in carbohydrates, the Anabolic Diet then calls for two days of high-carbohydrate consumption. This pattern is known as "carb cycling" and has become a popular method of dieting ever since it was introduced by Di Pasquale. The diet then continues to repeat, alternating between five days of restricted carbohydrates and two days of high carbohydrates, and does not cease until you have reached your desired weight. One reason this strategy appears to work well is due to its manipulation of leptin. According to researchers at the University of Chicago, a significant effect that dieting has on the body is a large drop in leptin, an important hormone for appetite and metabolism regulation. Fortunately, researchers at the University of Lausanne found that short-term overfeedings of carbohydrates, similar to those prescribed in the Anabolic Diet, can restore leptin to normal levels after they have been decreased due to dieting.

Decreased Athletic Performance

A negative consequence that occurs as a result of the Anabolic Diet is a major decrease in athletic performance. This decrease in athletic performance is an inevitable consequence of the low carbohydrate intake this diet imposes. Over time, the human body has evolved to run on carbohydrates, and glucose acts as the primary fuel source for the body during athletic events. While on the Anabolic Diet, your glycogen stores will become depleted, and your body will be required to use fat and amino acids for fuel, which is significantly less efficient. Because of this, the Anabolic Diet is not recommended for competitive athletes who must perform their best during athletic events.

Decreased Caloric Intake

A reason the Anabolic Diet has been shown to be so effective is due to the inevitable decrease in daily caloric intake that a low carbohydrate diet brings. Researchers at the University of Sydney have shown that starchy, grain-based carbohydrates, such as those that are limited on the Anabolic Diet, offer very little in terms of satiation. Because of this, it becomes necessary to eat large amounts of calories from these foods in order to feel full. According to a study performed by Christopher Gardner and colleagues, subjects who followed a diet with restricted carbohydrate-intake naturally ate less calories and lost more weight than those on a moderate or high-carbohydrate program.

Increased protein Intake

Another reason that the Anabolic Diet appears to be effective is due to the high protein consumption required. Because the majority of the diet requires restricting carbohydrates, protein is used as a primary replacement. This is advantageous because protein is significantly more satiating than carbohydrates or fat. Another reason why protein aids in weight loss is due to the fact that protein is significantly harder for your body to digest than other macronutrients, which leads to greater levels of postprandial thermogenesis. By increasing postprandial thermogenesis, higher protein intakes cause you to burn more calories at rest throughout the course of a day. In fact, one study performed by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health found that even when daily caloric intakes were equal, subjects who consumed a greater portion of their daily calories from protein lost more weight than subjects in the control group.


"The Anabolic Diet"; Mauro Di Pasquale; 1995
"Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism"; Twenty-Four-Four Leptin Levels Respond to Cumulative Short-Term Energy Imbalance and Predict Subsequent Intake; C. Chin-Chance, et al.; 2000
"International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders"; Effects of Short-Term Carbohydrate or Fat Overfeeding on Energy Expenditure and Plasma Leptin Concentrations in Healthy Female Subjects; M. Dirlewanger, et al.; 2000
"European Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; A Satiety Index of Common Foods; SH. Holt, et al.; 1995
"Journal of the American Medical Association"; Comparison of the Atkins, Zone, Ornish, and Learn Diets for Change in Weight and Related Risk Factors Among Overweight Premenopausal Women; CD Gardner, et al.; 2007
"Current Opinion of Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care"; The Significance of protein in Food Intake and Body Weight Regulation; MS Westerterp-Plantenga; 2003

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