The Anabolic Diet

Introduced by Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale in 1995, the Anabolic Diet is a low carbohydrate diet designed to increase lean muscle mass whilst burning fat. But this isn’t your run of the mill low carb diet and Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale isn’t your average doctor.

Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, a renowned physician, and former world champion powerlifter, who’s set records in five different weight classes designed the anabolic diet using food to mimic the anabolic effects of steroids. The anabolic diet isn’t for the average couch potato who’s decided to shed a few kgs, it’s for the dedicated gym goer who lifts weights in their spare time. This is workout nutrition designed to raise testosterone for lean gains of muscle mass, whilst burning away unwanted fat.

The Anabolic Dietanabolic diet - protein

The anabolic diet can be described as a suped up cyclic ketogenic diet. CKD’s are diets that cycle between periods of low-carb dieting to deplete glycogen stores followed by a brief “carb loading” phase to restore glycogen.

The restricted availabilty of carboyhydrates (less than 10% of total macronutrient intake) and therefore depleting glycogen stores in the body, forces the use of fat as it’s primary energy source.

Given that ketogenic diets are inherently very low in carbohydrates (generally <10% of total macronutrient intake) and higher in proteins and fats the body is diverted to utilise fats for energy since glucose stores are depleted.


  • 12 days of glycogen depletion – After determining total caloric intake (bodyweight x 18), determine macronutrient intake of 40% protein to 60% fats.
  • After glycogen depletion the diet begins – 5 days of no to low carbs followed by 2 days of high carb loading days.
  • Carbohydrate intake during low carb days should be less than 25g with carbs coming from vegetables and meats.
  • During carb loading days 15% protein, 25% fat, 60% carbs. This is to refill glycogen stores.

It takes up to 4 weeks for your body to adapt to the anabolic diet. Symptoms include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Moodiness
  • Tiredness

Once your body adapts to the depletion of glycogen stores, symptoms will become non existent. Hangriness (hungry angriness) is expected.

Is the Anabolic Diet for Me?

The anabolic diet is an advanced diet regime’ and requires the adherence to a strict protocol for it to work, which is why it is highly recommended only for the experienced weight trainer. The ingestion of carbs during high fats days will have adverse effects on fat stores and will greatly increase their amounts.

It is also important to note that such a diet will affect energy levels and may hinder performance in those participating in high intensity sports.