Today I plan to take a look at two diets. In fact, two of the most well known in the bodybuilding world. However just because a diet is well known does not always make it a good diet or at the very least the correct diet for yourself.
We plan to discuss the Paleo diet and of course the Anabolic Diet. We will be speaking about the way they work and which one is more likely to give you better results for fat loss. The reason I say fat loss, and not weight loss, is down to the fact that any low-carb diet can cause you to lose weight. The problem is, it will just be water, not the fat stores we plan to hit.
Another rule of thumb that is always worth noting: it doesn’t matter if you are a bodybuilder, Olympic lifter, power lifter, wrestler, mma, martial arts, boxing, cycling, running, etc., hell, even if you are just starting to train and just want to lose weight, a high-protein diet will always be the most effective way to lose fat.
So let’s start off by taking a look at both diets in question.
The Paleo and Anabolic diets are of course two versions of a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that both claim to provide dramatic fat loss.
First off let us take a look at the Paleo diet
The Paleo diet is supposedly based on the diet we believe our ancestors to have consumed many years ago. You consume things such as fruits and of course vegetables, nuts and seeds, and fish and lean meat, preferably from wild sources, as these contain less saturated fat. Now products such as any kind of dairy that includes cheese, milk, etc are NOT allowed, neither are grains and legumes, and of course no vegetable oils, sugar, alcohol, and salts. You can’t consume processed foods on this diet at all under any circumstances.
Now, the Anabolic diet
The Anabolic diet, on the other hand, involves consuming less than 30 grams of carbohydrates per day on weekdays and 60 percent of your calories as carbohydrates on weekends. On weekdays, you consume 60 percent of your calories as fat and 40 percent as protein. On weekends, you get 25 percent of your calories from fat and 15 percent from protein. Low-carbohydrate days are meant to force your body to use its fat stores for energy, helping you burn more fat. High-carbohydrate days are meant to refill your carbohydrate stores.
Not too shabby? The Anabolic diet certainly has its place and I’ve seen it lead to dramatic fat loss in quite a quick time. And yes, I do mean fat loss. I.e waist size doing down drastically.
Many of my clients actually drop carbs out of their diet, almost completely relying on vegetable powders and supplements to get anything they lack their (such as fiber.) While this is not normally recommended by me, if you are trying this diet I do tend to recommend it highly.
So let’s look at the main differences between the two diets
The anabolic diet is extremely low in carbs and almost carb free, besides the weekend carb up periods where a lot of carbs are “ok.” You can eat plenty of meat, though red meat is by far the best, I’d cut out pork, and bacon etc. Stick to meats such as beef, chicken thighs, use extra virgin olive oil and fish oil supplements are a MUST on this (or any diet for that matter.) Try to aim for 12 to 15 grams per day.
Now on the other side of the room we have the The Paleo diet, which actually eliminates entire food groups and processed foods (processed food is always great to get rid of), while the Anabolic diet only restricts the consumption of carbohydrates during part of the week and doesn’t require you to give up any particular food completely.
Though again, as I stress above, to make the anabolic diet work correctly you WILL need to give up some of the “bad” fats. The macronutrient composition of the diets also differs. The anabolic diet involves consuming very high amounts of fat most of the week, while the Paleo diet includes a higher proportion of calories from carbohydrates and a much more moderate level of fat consumption.
It’s also worth noting that if you are a vegetarian, you won’t be able to follow either of these diets. Vegetarians can’t follow the anabolic diet, as it relies heavily on fatty red meat. They would also have a difficult time following the Paleo diet because it doesn’t allow grains or beans, which are staples in most vegetarian diets.
Both of these diets can be relatively expensive, but when you look at how much you’ll save but not buying soda, sweets, crisps, chips, eating out etc., I find it easily compensates for itself. The anabolic diet isn’t recommended for diabetics or those who regularly participate in high-intensity exercise. It can cause constipation because it is low in fiber, and it may initially cause tiredness, moodiness and an upset stomach.
Overall, I highly recommend you try out both diets. I think a lot of people struggle to get ripped and or as lean as they should on the Anabolic diet due to the fact that (yes, I’m going to slam it a bit here) it’s poorly written. He can say what he wants but you won’t get lean eating bacon and burgers all day. Eating red meats, chicken thighs, fatty fish etc. of course you can.
On the other hand, you can drop fat much quicker in the early stages on the anabolic diet and get very lean if you take it serious and use common sense.
The Paleo diet, on the other hand. might take slightly longer to see fat loss at first but you can do more HIIT training on it. If your weight lifting is intense and the cardio is brutal this can be a very effective way of losing fat.
I rate both diets highly and would love to hear your opinion and or results on the articles in question.