The anabolic diet is a special form of nutrition, the aim of which is the reduction of body fat while maintaining or building muscle mass. The word anabolic comes from the Greek and is derived from “adjournment, postponement”. It therefore describes processes in the human body that are associated with the build-up of body tissue, for example the build-up of muscle mass. The anabolic diet is characterized by a low intake of carbohydrates and instead a high intake of protein. The anabolic diet is mainly used by bodybuilders and athletes in order to achieve a defined physique.
In the anabolic phase, in which the body is forced to empty the carbohydrate stores of liver and muscles and go into ketosis, i.e. the extraction of energy from fat deposits, carbohydrates are strictly limited. They should not account for more than 5% or <30g of the diet and should be ingested in the form of vegetables if possible. Fruit contains a lot of sugar and is therefore not recommended.
Fats (about 60%) and proteins (35%) make up the largest part of the diet in this first phase. The diet is therefore very meat- and fish-based, nuts and cheese are also present in large quantities. For example, a day in the anabolic phase can take the following form: For breakfast we have an egg dish with tomatoes.
Nuts, cheese or avocados are suitable as snacks. As main meals, meat of many kinds is possible, such as beef steak or chicken breast fillet. Salmon and other fish is also allowed.
It is important that you consume fewer calories than your body consumes, i.e. that you have a calorie deficit. Persons who follow an anabolic diet usually adhere strictly to a special diet plan, which is divided into two phases. In the first phase of the anabolic diet, the plan includes a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.
Foods that are eaten with preference include eggs, nuts, cheese and cottage cheese, butter, meat, fish and few cooked vegetables. Protein powders can also be integrated into the diet plan to bring an extra amount of protein into the body. Other dietary supplements, such as vitamin supplements, are often part of the dietary plan as well, because the small amount of vegetables and fruits that are integrated in the anabolic diet does not cover the need for vitamins and other important nutrients.
Foods that are not part of the anabolic diet include potatoes, rice, pasta, corn, sweets and certain vegetables that are rich in carbohydrates. These include peas, chickpeas and lentils. Instead, vegetables that are low in carbohydrates can be integrated into the diet.
Suitable vegetables include cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini and onions. The duration of this first anabolic phase of the diet lasts between five and twelve days and aims to empty the carbohydrate stores in the muscles and liver as quickly and effectively as possible. The metabolism changes and burns more fat to cover its energy requirements.
Phase 1 is followed by phase 2, also known as the Refeed Phase. In this build-up phase, the nutrition plan changes radically. Now carbohydrates are allowed again, but fat and proteins are reduced.
Rice, potatoes, pasta, fruit, etc. may be taken again. This replenishes the body’s glycogen stores and the muscles regenerate and hypertrophy faster with appropriate training.
All previously banned foods may be consumed. This is to flood the previously emptied carbohydrate stores with carbohydrates again, so to speak. The body quickly stores carbohydrates in the muscles, which greatly improves muscular endurance and leads to an increase in training performance. This refeeding phase should not last longer than one or two days in order not to undo the effect of the anabolic phase. As a suggestion, every fitness enthusiast will find many sample nutritional plans on the Internet that can help with starting an anabolic diet.
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