Disadvantages of the anabolic diet
The anabolic diet also has some disadvantages. The enormous change in diet towards a very low carbohydrate content can be very difficult and exhausting for the person on the diet, as it often leads to a feeling of weakness and general listlessness in the beginning. Due to the change of the nutritional phases, the anabolic diet in combination with adequate fitness training also leads to a significant increase in muscle mass.
The diet is therefore quite strenuous for the body and is therefore not recommended for people who are already ill. For example, this form of diet is not suitable for people with heart muscle weakness or kidney disease. In addition, the anabolic diet is a comparatively one-sided diet that does not cover the body’s entire requirement for important and essential nutrients. For this reason, food supplements in the form of vitamins and trace elements are an important part of any anabolic diet. Another disadvantage of the anabolic diet is that the person’s eating habits do not change in the long term and no awareness is created for a healthy and balanced diet. The danger is that the person concerned returns to his or her original eating behaviour after completing the diet and the lost weight quickly increases again.
Criticism of the anabolic diet
For strength athletes who pursue specific athletic goals, the anabolic diet can be an effective temporary measure to lower body fat levels. A prerequisite for the effectiveness of the diet is strict monitoring of food intake combined with hard, targeted strength training. This is the only way to ensure that, given the energy deficit achieved by the diet, fat deposits are attacked first and foremost and the breakdown of muscles is prevented.
The change of diet in the anabolic phase can be accompanied by numerous side effects, which result mainly from the low carbohydrate intake. People with an eating disorder should refrain from measures such as the Refeed, as this may trigger so-called binge eating. It is also very difficult, especially in the first phase, to completely cover their needs for essential nutrients. By doing without fruit and vegetables to a large extent, deficiency symptoms can occur due to the insufficient intake of vitamins and fibre. In many cases it is therefore necessary to take food supplements.
What risks/hazards does the anabolic diet involve?
Especially the low intake of carbohydrates in the anabolic phase of the diet can lead to side effects for the users. These include headaches, reduced performance and even circulation problems. These complaints should disappear after about three days of the changeover.
Many people complain of a change in their digestion, with complaints ranging from constipation to diarrhoea. Health risks can occur above all if not enough essential nutrients are supplied. Proteins and healthy fats should be supplied in sufficient quantities during the anabolic phase, but often the intake of dietary fibres, vitamins and trace elements is often undercut by the low fruit and vegetable content.
Diarrhoea is a common problem for users of the anabolic diet. The frequency of visits to the toilet or the amount excreted is increased compared to normal excretion behaviour. Diarrhoea is not only unpleasant, but can also be a health hazard due to the loss of fluid and electrolytes.
The cause of the increased excretion can be the high proportion of fat in the anabolic phase, often protein powders are also poorly tolerated because some of them contain a high level of sweeteners. Thus, sweeteners in drinks often lead to diarrhoea. Cheese not only contains a lot of fat, but can also contain lactose, which leads to intolerance in some people.
In case of diarrhoea, one should drink sufficient quantities and supply sufficient electrolytes. In case of severe diarrhoea, which cannot be controlled, a doctor should be consulted. He can judge whether it is necessary to stop the diet.