Hey guys. The Snake Man is in the building. A few members wanted me to post some info about the Anobolic Diet that I've been doing. So far I have put on a good amount of muscle and stripped some bodyfat with this diet.
Here is the article. Now keep in mind that this article I'm posting is long so prepare to sit for a while and read. After the article I have some pictures of my physique progress right now do to the Anobolic Diet. The pics were taken last month by my friend Meeka.
Eat Like a Man, Part I
Test driving the Anabolic diet
by Chris Shugart
Excuse me, but would ya' mind kickin' my ass?
Recently, a friend asked me what kind of steroids he should take. Now, he's a cool guy and we've been friends since high school, but ya' know what? I wanted to knock him to the floor and kick his teeth out. And while he was down there, maybe I would give him a wedgie, just for good measure!
Taking too much Tribex again? No, and it's not because I'm some sort of anti-drug zealot. While I am "natural for now," I'm keenly interested in steroids. I'm sure that I'll use them one day, especially now that I'm almost 30. No, I wanted to kick my buddy's ass because a) he seldom even lifts weights and, when he does, he sticks to the "chick section," i.e. machines, b) he's only been "training" for a year, and c) he's a goddamn vegetarian! Now, you tell me did he really deserve the privilege of chewing his food?
The point is this that there's a time for steroids but, in my opinion, that time only comes when you have truly maximized your potential and reached your natural genetic limits. How do you know if you've reached these limits? That question could spawn a huge debate, but here's my personal opinion. Everyone, regardless of body type, should be able to add a good 20 pounds of lean muscle though proper training, diet, and supplementation. I also believe that a person should be over the age of 25 and hit the weights hard for at least five years before considering some sort of ergonomic substance.
Now, I'm no Duchaine, and I know that the above recommendations are debatable, but I'm simply tired of 17-year-old kids asking me about steroids when they don't even squat or try to eat enough protein first! Hard training is really the easy part. Diet separates the "haves" and the "have nots," and it's the key to reaching those genetic limits. What kind of diet? That's easy, too. Eat like a man!
The Anabolic diet? Is that legal?
Although it's been around longer than BodyOpus, you may not know much about Dr. Mauro DiPasquale's Anabolic diet. The general public is really clueless. This is primarily because DiPasquale didn't design it for them. You see, the good doctor is one of us. He's not only a gifted physician, he's a former world champion powerlifter who's set records in five different weight classes. He's held top positions in several bodybuilding, powerlifting and athletic organizations and still squats over 600 pounds. He's written several books on steroids and their uses in sports, but he's written the book on using food to mimic the anabolic effects of steroids. This came about partially because the World Bodybuilding Federation (now disbanded) wanted their athletes to get clean yet maintain their muscle mass and low bodyfat percentages. Dr. DiPasquale refined the Anabolic diet to help them do this. Could the effects of anabolic steroids be reproduced through the manipulation of diet? The answer, DiPasquale decided, was yes.
You want me to eat... what?
Be prepared. The Anabolic diet goes against just about every "rule" that you've ever heard about nutrition. Dr. DiPasquale's ideas about putting on muscle and losing fat are the real kick in the teeth when it comes to popular dietary theory. In fact, when some people hear the words "high fat" and "red meat," they just about choke on their carb drinks. Just remember, most of the popular diets today, like the Zone diet or the Atkins diet, aren't designed to fit the specific needs of bodybuilders and athletes. While parts of these diets overlap with the Anabolic diet, they're written primarily for the average couch spud.
Also, since women are the number-one buyers of diet books, I'd guess the dietary guidelines in such books are geared toward them, not a 200-pound male who throws around hundreds of pounds in the gym as a hobby. This is another reason why the general public hasn't heard of the Anabolic diet. The cover of my copy depicts the sweaty torso of a pro bodybuilder. Maybe if it featured a smiling, old fart in a lab coat on the cover eating a carrot and used words like "toned" instead of "ripped" it, too, would top the bestseller list. It's certainly more sensible than most of the crap that's out there.
Let's look at the goals of the Anabolic diet, and then we'll get into the details. According to DiPasquale, the Anabolic diet will:
naturally maximize production and utilization of the "Big Three" growth producers testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin
shift the body's metabolism from that of a sugar-burning, fat-producing machine to that of a fat-burning, muscle-building machine
decrease catabolic activity in the body
increase strength and endurance
help you avoid health problems and stay in shape year round
increase energy and decrease mood swings
decrease even "problem area" fat
...and perhaps most importantly:
scare the living shit out of vegetarians!
Peak your interest? Hell, it gives me a hard-on! What's more, the methods used to reach these goals are a lot like the girl at the front desk of your gym simple and easy. Here's a quick and dirty summary of the Anabolic diet:
Monday through Friday
Eat a diet consisting of 60% fat, 35% protein, and only 5% carbs. You'll get the fat and protein mainly from steak, hamburger, eggs, and fish. Turkey, chicken, and tuna are all okay, but the password here is red meat. You'll also eat full-fat cheeses, pepperoni, sausage, and certain nuts. The key is to generally avoid carbohydrates, eating only around 30 grams a day.
As for calories, the Anabolic diet has three phases maintenance or start-up, mass, and cutting. We'll focus here on the start-up phase, which allows a person to gain some muscle and lose some fat. During this phase, which lasts about three to four weeks, you keep the macronutrient ratios above and eat calories equivalent to 18 times your bodyweight. In other words, a 200-pound male would consume 3,600 calories per day. The next two phases will simply manipulate those numbers while keeping the same 60/35/5 ratios. The start-up phase ends once your body has adjusted in other words, you can shit without Metamucil and small pieces of plastic explosives and has gone through the "metabolic shift."
Saturday and Sunday
Switch gears. On the weekends, eat 30% fat, 10% protein, and a whopping 60% carbs! Bring on the pizza, beer, and cheap sluts!
Note: Cheap sluts were suggested by TC, not Dr. DiPasquale.
Almost anything goes on the weekend. DiPasquale only cautions against taking this carb-loading period overboard and making yourself sick. The weekend food festival is important for many reasons, but the best thing is that it allows you to go out and be sociable like you normally would on the weekend, instead of sitting back and watching your friends have fun while you scan the pathetic "lite" section of the menu. This has a powerful psychological effect. For one, you know that you'll get to satisfy any craving you have during the week on the weekend, making it much easier to stick with the diet.
How is that supposed to work?
If you're a practicing vegetarian like my friend, pick your atrophied ass up off the floor and continue reading. There's some very interesting science and real-world experience to back this eating plan. The theory behind the high-fat weekday eating is simple. According to DiPasquale, the less fat you eat, the more fat your body will want to store. You must eat fat to lose fat! He goes on to say that if you do not give your body any dietary fat, it anticipates famine and stores as much fat as possible to insure your "survival."
Now, before you run into the kitchen and start eating lard by the spoonful, realize that the high-fat diet doesn't allow for a free-for-all binge. The only way to help create this anabolic environment is to limit carb intake to 30 grams per day on weekdays. This doesn't put you into ketosis, nor is this a ketogenic diet. The approach could be best described as a "near-ketosis" diet. Just as Dr. Atkins and Dr. Sears believe, DiPasquale says that the high-carbohydrate intake of most Americans is what's making them fat, not dietary fat itself. When carbs make up the bulk of your diet, you burn glucose as energy. Insulin is secreted to utilize the glucose for energy or store it as glycogen in the liver and muscles. The problem is that the insulin also activates the lipogenic (fat-producing) enzymes and decreases the activity of the lipolytic (fat-burning) enzymes. In other words, you store more fat and use less of the fat that you already have. In simpleton's terms, those fat-free carbs will make you fat!
This isn't just theory DiPasquale backs it up with several clinical studies in his book. Besides "laying on the fat," excessive carb intake leads to mood swings, drastic drops in energy, and decreases in motivation. Think about it, high-carb meals increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, making you feel lethargic and sleepy. What else effects serotonin levels? Prozac, the drug of choice for today's fat housewife! More than anything else, the Anabolic diet teaches you how food can act as a drug on the body and, what's better, how to manipulate that "drug" to build muscle and lose fat.
The weekend carb party is backed by science, too. The body is "shocked" by the sudden intake of carbs and responds by stuffing the muscles with glycogen and driving amino acids into the muscle cells. You may feel a little tired because of all the carbs but, on Monday, you'll experience the best pump of your life in the gym. Later in the week, you'll switch back to a fat-burning metabolism to maximize your gains. You won't gain much if any fat from the weekend splurge once your body goes through the metabolic shift during your first week on the diet.
Exactly what is going to happen to me?
Dr. DiPasquale says that, when bodybuilders bulk up and then go on a cutting program using the high-carb method, they tend to gain muscle in the mass phase only to lose it while dieting. The result is that, year after year, they tend to have about the same amount of lean muscle tissue. In essence, they're running in place. Using the high-fat approach, he states that he's seen bodybuilders gain 25 pounds in two years with a marked increase in definition. Note, he refers to competing bodybuilders who may go on several cutting programs a year. What's going to happen? You'll lose fat, build muscle, and feel better doing it.
With any revolutionary concept like the Anabolic diet, there's bound to be questions and concerns. Dr. DiPasquale covers these in his book, but we'll hit a few of the more common "buts" here:
But won't a diet high in fat lead to high cholesterol, cancer, and heart disease?
According to DiPasquale, other factors like smoking, obesity, stress, and lack of exercise contribute to high cholesterol just as much, or more, than diet. However, just to be safe, the diet recommends using fish oils and other cholesterol-lowering supplements. DiPasquale also notes that he hasn't seen any major problems with people on the Anabolic diet. Some even report that their cholesterol levels have decreased during the cutting phase of the plan. He goes on to cite numerous studies that show no link between dietary fat and cancer. Similarly, an unhealthy lifestyle and obesity, not fat intake, often lead to heart disease.
But won't I feel drained without my usual carb intake?
Once your body goes through a "metabolic shift" during the first week, your body will use free fatty acids, triglycerides, and ketones for energy. The human body has evolved to process meat and use it for energy. However, DiPasquale notes that during the first week, before you shift from a carb- and muscle-burning to a fat-burning machine, you may feel some fatigue and mental fogginess. Once the shift occurs, though, you'll feel stronger and more energetic than ever. Remember, it's the carbs that usually cause that drowsy, weak feeling after a big meal.
What supplements can I take?
DiPasquale recommends a fiber supplement to compensate for what you would normally get by ingesting carbs. Without it, you may experience constipation or swing the other direction and get diarrhea, since fats act as stool softeners. A fiber supplement like Metamucil is best just don't forget to count the carbs in your Metamucil. The book also recommends multivitamins to make up for any nutritional gaps and fish oils for omega-3s. Using MRPs might be tricky, though. For example, Grow! has 23 carbs per three-scoop serving. That doesn't leave much room for extra carbs during the day. DiPasquale also suggests that you take in your carbs during the evening. That way, any feeling of lethargy caused by the sudden carb intake won't matter much because your day will be winding down. My suggestion? Take a two-scoop serving of Grow! or other MRP after a workout. You're only getting about 15 grams of carbs but still reaping all the benefits of a post-workout shake.
But won't I constantly crave sweets and carbs?
You may experience cravings at first, until the body goes through the readjustment phase. To combat sweet cravings, you can eat a ton of sugar-free Jell-O with whipped cream, which doesn't contain any carbs.
But I'm already using steroids any point in trying this diet?
Dr. DiPasquale sees the Anabolic diet as an alternative to steroid use but says that, if you "choose to use," you'll see even better results than if you were just taking steroids and eating a traditional diet.
Any hints and tips to make this as painless as possible?
Compared to a traditional diet, the Anabolic diet is almost pain-free, especially after the metabolic shift occurs. The first week is going to be the toughest. Also, remember that I've only outlined the diet here you really need the book to get the full details. Dr. DiPasquale gives many helpful tips in the book, including several pages of sample daily menus. As for my recommendations, I personally went out and bought one of those countertop grills like George Foreman incessantly advertises. A thick a piece of hamburger takes about seven minutes. I'm also going through a break-in period before I start the diet next week. I started cutting down on my carbs about a week ago. My problem was breakfast. I usually have a Grow! shake as soon as I wake up, then an hour later I have oatmeal and a bagel with peanut butter. Gradually, I nixed the bagel, then the oatmeal. Next week, I'll have a traditional anabolic breakfast whole eggs and bacon, zero carbs.
I think I need to meditate and have some celery...
The funniest thing about my vegetarian friend is he can't understand why he's fat:
"I don't eat meat! I take in almost no fat! How can I be fat?"
After reading this article, I'm sure that you'll see the humor in those statements. But they only go to show how John Q. Public has been miseducated. The latest stats show that 75% of Americans over the age of 25 are overweight. It's time that we analyze the low-fat, high-carb approach and admit defeat. That diet was a nice idea, but it simply didn't work. This is especially true for those who want to build muscle. As bodybuilders, isn't it time we stopped trying to get huge on diets designed to make us small? Could the Anabolic diet, with its history dating back to early man, be the real solution? We'll see. I start my Anabolic diet next week. If Dr. DiPasquale is right, I'll soon reach my natural limits. Then, maybe I'll look back in Testosterone Issue 18 and read that little ol' Steroids For Health piece by Nelson Montana.
Our copy of the Anabolic diet by Mauro DiPasquale came from Optimum Training Systems, complete with a video featuring DiPasquale giving an overview of the diet and answering questions from an audience. To order a copy of Mauro's book, call OTS at 1-800-582-2083. Additionally, Chris Shugart has agreed to write a follow-up article to describe the mass phase and the cutting phase, provided that there's enough reader interest. Let us know if you want to read more about the Anabolic diet.
Eat Like a Man, Part II
Living the Anabolic diet
the science behind building muscle
by Chris Shugart
Editor's note: Check out Part I of this article in Testosterone Issue 69.
An epiphany in aisle 8
It didn't hit me until that first week in the grocery store. There I was with a shopping cart full of eggs, hamburger, sausage, huge blocks of cheese, and an entire cow. The hooves kept hitting little old ladies in the ass as I walked by. I was feverishly reading labels and scanning the macros when my wife brought me the bacon that I had asked her to get. My response was swift:
"Lowfat turkey bacon! What are trying to do, totally sabotage my diet? I'm trying to get ripped here!"
That's when it hit me. Actually, two things. First, three pounds of turkey bacon hit me squarely in the back of the head (thanks, honey.) Then a thought hit me. I had more fat in my cart than Lee Priest has in his pants in the off-season! Why? To get lean, of course! Cue the "Twilight Zone" theme music.
I don't like to write about things that I haven't had firsthand experience with, so I had decided to try the Anabolic diet as I was writing Part I of "Eat Like a Man." (Come to think of it, it's a good thing that TC didn't send me to do that RealDoll article could've been ugly.) With all due respect to Dr. DiPasquale, I was skeptical. In fact, I was scared to death of a high-fat diet.
Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
Back in college, I was fat. Really fat. Two hundred and twenty-three pounds of blubber. My sophomore year, I finally shed my ego defense mechanisms, went on a low-fat diet, and lost 63 pounds. Actually, I cut my overall calories much too severely and lost muscle along with the fat. Then one day, my mom, of all people, told me the shocking truth I looked sick. In her words:
"You look like you have AIDS."
Oh, great, I thought, I do all this dieting to look better and now I look like I have a fucking disease! That's when I started digging into the bodybuilding magazines and books, and the rest is history. I educated myself, joined a gym, and went from a feeble 159 to a strong 180. In fact, my bodyfat percentage was much lower at 180 than when I weighed 21 pounds less. That was all several years ago, but I've never stopped learning about bodybuilding. But a high-fat diet? Fat? Hey, I had done fat and I wasn't about to go back to that pathetic state! Still, the Anabolic diet made sense....
Episode I: Ah, screw it I'll give it a shot!
Here's a quick and dirty recap of the Anabolic diet. Weekdays, eat a lot of fat and protein, but only about 30 grams of carbs per day. That looks like 60% fat, 35% protein, and only 5% carbs. It'll take about a week to go through the "metabolic shift." This is when your body goes from being a sugar-burning, fat-storing machine to a fat-burning, muscle-building machine. On the weekend, reverse things and eat 30% fat, 10% protein, and 60% carbs.
As I mentioned before, I scheduled a "break-in" week. That week, I reread DiPasquale's book, along with a lot of labels, and began to reduce my carb intake. Nothing drastic I dropped the morning bagel and cut back on other breads. I also bought myself a countertop grill for all of the mammal flesh that I was about to consume. By Monday, I was as nervous as a Backstreet Boy at a Korn concert, but I was ready to go.
To get a feel for each phase of the diet, I spent two weeks on the maintenance phase, two weeks on the cutting phase, and one week on the bulking phase. This is not how you'd normally go about the program, but I didn't think that you guys would want to wait several months for the follow-up, either. Here's what happened:
Maintenance or "start-up" phase
During this phase, which typically lasts three to four weeks, DiPasquale says that you can lose some fat and gain some muscle. Simply eat around 18 times your bodyweight in calories using the macronutrient guidelines mentioned. This week is supposed to be the toughest, according to DiPasquale, so I was expecting the worst: cravings, mental fogginess, bowel irregularities, fatigue, etc. The book even warns against running heavy equipment and says that you may feel like you're getting the flu!
After this hell week, the body will begin its "metabolic shift" and you'll feel even better than before you started. Still, I felt trepidation. I woke up Monday morning and cooked up a huge plate of whole eggs, sausage, and bacon. Before, I would have an MRP, a bagel, and maybe a little oatmeal, so all of this fat was a little hard to stomach at first. A typical maintenance menu for me looked like this:
Six slices of bacon
Two ounces of cheese
Sugar-free Jell-O with whipped cream
Two-scoop serving of Grow!
Sirloin steak or fish (sometimes both)
Multivitamin with extra antioxidants
Cereal and nonfat milk or pancakes
Pasta with shrimp
Fruit or bagels
Cheap slut, if available
Power Drive (to combat the mental effects of the sudden carb intake)
DiPasquale recommends taking in most of your carbs in the evening so that the ensuing insulin response won't kick you in the ass at work. I chose to take a two-scoop serving of Grow! after my workout, which is usually in the evening anyway. That means I was getting half of my daily allowance of carbs in one shot. The other 15 grams were spread out over the rest of the day. Granted, I could've had more freedom by skipping the Grow!, but I'm still a pretty firm believer in post-workout nutrition. Plus, when you eat meat and eggs all day, Grow! is like a creamy dessert! However, the sudden intake of carbs threw me for a loop. Within 30 minutes, I felt tired and thickheaded. It's easy to see why the doctor recommends saving most of your carbs until evening.
The results of the first week? By Friday, I lost two pounds. I was honestly shocked. The next week, I lost two more. Now, remember, this is the "maintenance" phase! Part of the reason I dropped weight was that I fell short of my scheduled 3,240 calories (and I'm sure that a pound or two was water.) Now, not getting enough calories wasn't a problem that I expected to have! I'm a former fatboy, remember? Still, it was tough to eat that much. I think it's because the food that I was eating was so filling. Before, I was eating six or seven equal meals a day and craving every one of them. Now, I was forgetting to eat dinner! In two weeks, the cravings that I had fought all of my life were gone! I had gotten fat back in college partly from out-of-control eating. I ate when I was stressed out with school. With the Anabolic diet, I felt like I was in full control. I have a buddy whose mantra is:
"Food is fuel for the body."
For the first time, I can adopt that principle. Food is fuel nothing more, nothing less. Shovel some down and get on with life.
Now, you may be thinking that it's easy to consume 3,000 or 4,000 calories a day. Sure, on a high-carb diet. For example, my old breakfast might've been oatmeal, a bagel with reduced-fat peanut butter, and an MRP. That can easily add up to 800 calories of "healthy" food. An Anabolic breakfast of three eggs and four slices of bacon is under 500 calories. Also, Anabolic food is much more satisfying and stays with you longer than high-carb meals.
Luckily, my hell week wasn't bad. My sweet cravings were minimal (the Jell-O and Grow! helped) and I didn't feel a big drop in energy. I noticed that I was easily irritated and short-tempered that week. Was it the diet? Maybe. The second week, my cravings were completely gone, my energy level was high and constant, and mentally I had no problems or, at least, no more than usual.
Dr. DiPasquale was right, however, about the bowel irregularities. I had to break out the Metamucil early on. One serving at night usually helped. The only problem is that Metamucil and other psyllium supplements have carbs. I hated wasting five grams of carbs on a fiber supplement. DiPasquale doesn't recommend tablets like Fibercon, either, because the fiber content is actually very low. I tried them anyway, and he was right again. Still, I threw in a couple with every meal for the heck of it and was able, at least, to reduce my Metamucil intake. Supposedly, the body will adjust in this area, too.
The cutting phase
Here's where I did the diet a little ass-backward. I tried the cutting phase before the mass phase just to see what I was getting into but you'd normally do the mass phase first.
Anyhow, macronutrient ratios stay the same in the cutting phase, as do the weekend carb-up ratios you simply lower your daily caloric intake. One thing I like about this diet is that you can easily customize it to fit your needs and metabolism. With the cutting phase, DiPasquale recommends that you drop the calories by 500-1,000 every week until you're losing 1.5-2 pounds per week. If, however, you lose more than two pounds a week, you risk losing too much muscle. So add 500 or so calories back in until you reach the two-pounds-per-week maximum.
The book contains several sample menus of every phase. The cutting phase menus are set at 1,500 calories per day, although DiPasquale points out that some guys can cut up on 3,000 a day or more. I knew that 1,500 was too low for me, so I consumed between 1,800 and 2,000 calories per day. My menu looked the same, I just used less food. Once again, I experienced no craving or hunger. Several times, I looked at the clock and thought, "Damn, time to eat again!" and I'd stomp off to the kitchen to grill a steak. By the end of the week, I had lost four pounds, way over the limit! I ate plenty of pizza on the weekend and tweaked my diet the next week and lost the maximal two pounds. This was too easy.
The mass phase
This is the only time I found the diet to be a little complicated. First, you decide what's your ideal weight. Obviously, if you weigh a buck-forty and decide that your "ideal weight" is 260, you may have some serious body image issues, indeed.
DiPasquale uses the example of a 200-pound competitive bodybuilder. His ideal weight might be 215 pounds. Now, take this ideal weight and add 15% to it. This is the weight that you'll shoot for while bulking. Our 200-pounder should overshoot his ideal weight by 15%, which would put him close to 250 pounds. To do this, he should consume 20-25 calories per pound of desired bodyweight everyday. That would put our guy eating 5,000-6,250 calories daily. If he's gaining about two pounds a week, he shouldn't be adding too much fat.
Now, here's the really tricky part. You keep eating this way until a) you reach your goal of ideal weight plus 15%, or b) you reach 10% bodyfat. You're already over 10%? Then you don't need to be bulking, chubby! Seriously, you have to keep in mind that the Anabolic diet was originally designed for natural, competitive bodybuilders. Drug monkeys might be able to balloon up to Pillsbury Doughboy size during their off-seasons, but the natural guys just can't get away with it. So, when you reach 10% bodyfat or your goal weight, stop and either get on the maintenance phase or go right into the cutting phase. If you've done everything right, you should weigh three or four pounds heavier in your next contest. Go through this program several times a year, and you could add 10-15 pounds a year of lean muscle. That may not sound like much but, to a natural competitor who's been about the same bodyweight for several years, it's damned near a miracle.
I really didn't want to go on the mass phase. I liked the increased definition in my abs that I got from the cutting phase. However, I decided to try it for a week just for the experience. You know what? I flunked out. Yep, I just couldn't consistently reach the required number of calories. I fell short by at least a thousand calories every day. By Friday, I should've gained at least two pounds. In reality, my weight remained the same. However, if I should decide to bulk up again, I think I have the bugs worked out.
But wait, let's examine what happened here. I ate like a pig tons of yummy, fatty food experienced zero cravings, had tons of energy, ate what I wanted on the weekend, and became more defined while getting stronger! In the words of a certain groovy British spy, "Yeah, baby!" Now, five weeks isn't long enough to see vast improvements in muscular size, but I did have several people say that my arms and chest looked bigger. Also, during the five weeks, my max dumbbell bench press and max curl went up a few pounds.
Questions and answers
Since posting Part I of this article, we've received tons of feedback. I'll try to cover some common questions here. But if you're serious about giving this diet a shot, you still need to pick up the book by calling OTS at 1-800-582-2083.
Will it work for everyone? No, of course not. Not even steroids work for everyone. (In fact, we think the guy's name is Roger and he lives in Bumlicker, Georgia.) I recently had an interesting talk with Dr. Ken Kinakin, founder of the Society of Weight-Training Injuries Specialists and all-around smart guy when it comes to weight training. He told a story about his brother (a competitive natural bodybuilder) who used the Anabolic diet. He had previously tried the high-carb approach and the Zone diet but, because of his hypersensitivity to carbs, the Anabolic approach worked wonders for him. His girlfriend also competes, and when she tried the high-fat diet, it made her sick. She simply couldn't oxidize the fats. The moral of the story: Just as in training, there's no "best way" to eat. Personally, I think that most people would benefit from the Anabolic diet, but you just have to try it for yourself.
Do I have to carb up for two days? The length of your carb-up period is up to you. Two days is probably best for most people, but you're welcome to tweak this a bit. DiPasquale says that some people can take three days to carb up without "laying on" too much fat. Others may only need one day. Personally, I tried both, and the standard two-day recommendation is best for me. Start there.
Does DiPasquale recommend a specific type of training, like BodyOpus does? No, although the book assumes that you'll be weight training.
How long is the cutting phase? The cutting phase doesn't have specific guidelines regarding the length of the phase. The diet was originally proposed for competitive bodybuilders, so Mauro assumes that they know what they're doing. However, the book goes into detail about contest prep and gives you a weekly "countdown" to prejudging. He says that if you're at 8% body fat, you can get in contest shape in two to three weeks; however, he recommends a 16-week "pre-contest" phase of diet and training. Once again, it's not important unless you compete. So basically, cut until you reach your goal.
Isn't all of this cooking very time-consuming? What about the cost of food? Yes, I had to adjust my schedule to fit in all the cooking. The grill sped things up, but only a little. I also bought a special tray that allows me to cook bacon and eggs in the microwave. I expected my grocery bill to go down. I mean, I wasn't buying any protein bars, cereals, milk, egg substitute, etc. However, my bill went up a bit because of the fish and meats. Not bad, really. I've spent more on worthless supplements, as I'm sure we all have Neurogain comes to mind!
Does the diet really mimic the effect of steroids? Yes and no. No, you're not going to explode Lee Priest-like in a matter of weeks. (Besides, everybody knows that Metabolic Thyrolean makes him look like that, right?) Yes, by manipulating your diet, you can maximize production and utilization of growth hormone, testosterone, and insulin. Basically, the diet can stimulate the body's production of anabolic hormones to help you "be all that you can be" naturally, but it's not going to take you out beyond your genetic limitations like drugs.
Every day, I hear people say, "I'm just so tired today," as they drag around in a confused, lethargic state. They'll usually suck down a few more cups of coffee to fix the problem. These same people are usually overweight and have tried and failed just about every program out there. I'd venture to guess that it's the carbohydrates in their diets affecting their energy levels and hampering their weight loss. (DiPasquale even notes that high-carb diets can decrease T levels!) The funny thing is that these people would never try the Anabolic diet. They've been so brainwashed that they continue to eat high-carb/low-fat diets despite the fact that they're making no progress in the gym! My wife keeps herself in great shape, but even she is reluctant to try it. I'm not sure that I want her to, really. It might boost her strength and increase her bacon-throwing power!
When you change your diet, you have to ask yourself:
"Could I eat this way forever?"
Think of all the "miracle" diets out there, basically telling you that you can never eat certain foods again. So you end up getting on the program temporarily, with temporary results. When I asked myself that question, I thought, yeah, I could stick with the diet for years, if I wanted. I mean, I'm getting leaner, building muscle, eating plenty of steak, and having portabello fajitas and Dos XX on the weekend. Why would I stop now? And remember when I hinted in Part I that I'd probably try steroids one day when I'm sure that I've reached my natural limits? I might still, but the Anabolic diet has pushed that day back. And the learning continues....