Anabolic fasting is a particular form of Intermittent Fasting. It is a diet specifically designed to train your body to eat the right foods at the right times to help you lose fat while still retaining and building lean muscle.
Rather than just a low carb diet where you reduce the amount of carbs you take in and increase cardio, instead you fashion your diet to meet your needs but still shed pounds. Many people include intermittent fasting as a part of this type of diet plan. So if you don’t just reduce carbs, how does it work?
What is anabolic fasting all about? It’s about strategic fasting and the use of carbs properly to keep your body in tune with what it needs. It starts with getting your body used to not eating carbs on a daily basis.
The First 14 Days
The first 12 days of anabolic fasting is a time when you eat as close to zero carbs as possible. These carbs should come from fat and protein sources, not dairy or grains. At first, this is going to be hard on your body if you are used to eating carbs. You will be tired and irritable, and most of all hungry. Stick through it.
The last two days of the first two weeks, you will eat what is a called a reefed or high carb diet. This is designed to reset insulin levels and jumpstart your metabolism into the fat burning process.
Once you have completed the initial two weeks, you will then start a pattern of 5 low carb days followed by 2 high carb days, usually separated as weekdays and weekends. This keeps your body in a state of fat burning and low carbs while still providing you with the protein and fuel you need.
It breaks down something like this:
- Weekdays: 40% protein/60% fat/~25 grams of carbohydrates (these carbs should come from fat and protein sources and should not include any grains or dairy)
- Weekend: 15% protein/25% fat/60% carbohydrates
This is going to require some meal planning and thinking ahead. So how do you put this into practice on a daily basis?
What are your meals going to look like on the various days? Here are some simple meal planning ideas.
Low Carb Days:
- Breakfast: Whole eggs, bacon, spinach.
- Snack. Italian or French cheese.
- Lunch: Ground round, broccoli, and olive oil. Italian or Spanish ham.
- Post Workout: Whey Protein, olive oil.
- Supper: Fish, salad, olive oil, cheese cubes.
- Nightly Snack: French cheese, ground flax seeds, and fish oil.
High Carb Days:
- Breakfast: Oatmeal, raisins, milk.
- Snack: Fresh, in season fruit. Apples, berries, and other similar fruits are acceptable.
- Lunch: Chicken, quinoa, spinach.
- Post Workout: Whey Protein, Olive oil
- Supper: Whole grain pasta, tomato sauce, and Parmesan cheese.
- Evening snack: Cottage cheese, fruit, cheese cubes
Of course, there are variants of these that are perfectly acceptable is you are looking to substitute different kinds of fish, steamed greens, other cheeses or high protein snacks. Just be sure you are keeping the balance and getting the fats you need as well.
Words of Caution
First, this type of diet, much like the keto diet, is not for everyone. Not every day is for fasting and allowing yourself cheat days is necessary from time to time. There are some common things that might trip you up, so plan ahead.
- Eating on the Go: You will need to plan to take your meals or snacks with you so that you are not tempted by things you should not be eating when you are at work or out and about.
- Eating Out: Speaking of eating out, eating at restaurants can be problematic. You need to look at menus ahead of time, and if there is nothing you can eat, plan to eat ahead of time, and just drink water or another beverage while there.
- Family and Friend Gatherings: These are other instances where people will ask what you can eat, and sometimes it is hard to explain to them about the diet you are on. Do your best, eat ahead of time, or bring something you can eat to share with everyone.
It is tough to stick with anabolic fasting and keto style diets when you are doing normal, everyday things. You must plan ahead, be dedicated, and stay on top of the foods you can and can’t eat.