For anyone looking to get more healthy taking the time to understand a dietary approach is a smart way to make sure you choose something you can do for the long haul, that’s how you reach real success, so what is anabolic eating?
For a typical bodybuilder the approach is to cycle high and low carb days to help build muscle. This approach has a focus on a very similar diet to a ketogenic diet for many looking at it from the outside. For those looking to lose body fat it is a focus on high protein and fiber rich foods to help maintain full feeling.
So lets focus more on what the diet is and why it works when you are fit and lean along with what you should change when you are overweight or obese to allow this same plan to work for you without being overly restricted.
What is an Anabolic Diet?
An anabolic diet is, to me, a diet focused on ensuring adequate to positive protein intake to help ensure muscle growth and ensuring the carb content contain fiber to help be filling but also have a low caloric impact.
When you focus on protein you hit satiety easier and once satiated you can control impulses much more reliably than when hungry. Most diets fail because they strip away foods until satiety can’t be reached.
I used to watch RJF (Remington James Fitness) as it was keto, then carnivore, he has found a healthy balance though within the anabolic diet which is below if you like him take a look over here at his YouTube!
Then I found out that this is more large than I thought and I found something that I think works well with my lifestyle as it is difficult to hike and explore on a restrictive diet.
It was also nice to hear someone speak about the fact that you need to hit your minimum protein level and after this carbs and fat are energy sources so maintaining proper protein helps save muscle loss.
Difference in a Modified Anabolic Diet for Fat Loss
Where the standard focus on an Anabolic diet will have portions that aim to remove carbohydrate from the intake for fat loss we are going to focus on balancing out low fat items with high protein foods.
You want to know your caloric needs as it is beyond proven science, unlike the weird dogmatic groups out there, calories in versus calories out provides you RESULTS.
Now you want choose “sedentary” for your activity level, no matter what workouts you are doing. Write down the maintenance calories it provides you as this is for you to maintain your weight.
Find the listed “ideal weight” and choose the low to mid range listed ideal weight for your protein intake daily.
This is my information, it isn’t where I want to be, if anything somehow the pandemic made me lazy where it should have given me focus to get more results.
|Current Weight||274 lbs|
|Caloric Maintenance||2280 calories|
|Ideal Weight (Protein Req)||158-171 lbs|
|– Cal From Protein||171*4=684 calories|
|Calories Available||2280-500 (weight loss) 1780|
|– Calories Available After Protein||1780-684=1096|
|– Split 30% Fat||328.8 cal / 9 = 36.53g|
|– Split 70% Carb||767.2 cal / 4 = 191.8g (max fiber)|
What this shows is that you need to know your numbers to be successful, you need to be weighing and tracking everything you eat and everything you drink.
I prefer Cronometer personally to track on my phone but I know a great many people enjoy writing in a normal paper journal, figure out what works for you and keeps you accountable.
The goal is to lose a pound of body fat per week and to keep your muscle mass, the issue most diets cause is a loss of fat and muscle but as the muscle goes so does the calories it burns on your behalf behind the scene.
Sounds a lot like what people call your “metabolism” slowing. I am fairly certain this isn’t the case and you are actually cutting body muscle which is what powers the so-called “metabolism”.
If you lose faster than around a pound per week you may be cutting fat but also muscle, your goal is to keep every ounce of muscle possible as this will amplify your losses in fat over time.
How Can the Anabolic Diet Help Weight Loss?
If by weight loss you mean body fat loss then yes the anabolic approach to dieting can help you get results, and if you are good and really document and eat to plan it can be impressive looking pretty fast.
The key to the anabolic diet is the higher normal range of protein which the body has to consume to utilize making it a food that while listed at 4 calories per gram comes in at a smaller number.
In addition by eating foods that are higher in fiber you are getting foods that will fill you up but also contain much less calories as fiber is mostly excreted and not processed in for energy.
Why Choose an Anabolic Diet vs Keto Diet?
Honestly much of this comes down to public eating and lifestyle, if you are home and able to prepare your own food most the time keto is very good at helping you stay full and satieted.
The issues I have with keto come down to the zealots who tell you to eat less protein because it somehow turns to sugar, and to eat all the fat you want without limit, those both grant a license for super accelerated fat gains.
While with an anabolic approach to dieting you can eat anything and balance out the nutrition and focus on enjoying yourself, one meal doesn’t detonate your results and cause you bloating and water weight retention.
Why Focus on Limiting Fat Intake?
At the core your focus on limiting fat intake is focused around the issue with caloric intake versus output. Fat is amazing and not a bad thing to eat when you need more calories and a way to eat more without volume.
Limiting your fat intake on a anabolic diet will help you drop the number of calories that will be eaten, this drop in calories by swapping out higher fat foods to lower fat options allows you to eat similar volumes of food with much less caloric value.
By taking the calorie count down and not bastardizing a food group like carbohydrate nor fat you can help yourself to lose weight with much more control.
Every time you change out a gram of fat for a gram of carbohydrate or protein you cut the calorie count on that meal or food by 5 calories, while this seems small this little change over each meal, over a week, can mean real significant change!
Example Days of Anabolic Eating From Males and Females
Final Thoughts on What is Anabolic Eating
As of December 1st I have started in on an Anabolic eating plan while learning first hand how it can help me to drive down body fat by keeping me full on less calories.
Unlike a ketogenic diet plan this approach allows you access to almost any food you could believe but with tweaks to ensure they are keeping you full on fiber and protein allowing for more effortless weight loss without hunger.