Anabolic Reverse Intermittent Fasting
The anabolic diet and intermittent fasting go hand in hand; they are two peas in a pod, as the saying goes. The anabolic diet is a fantastic way to time your nutrition to get the most out of your foods in conjunction with a good workout routine. Add fasting to the mix, and you'll likely see more results, but if you add reverse intermittent fasting, you'll set yourself up for even more success.
It is crucial to keep in mind that the anabolic diet is intended for short-term use. As a long-term diet, it likely wouldn't be ideal.
What is the Anabolic Diet?
Dr. Mauro DiPasquale is credited with the anabolic diet. Dr. DiPasquale has had an impressive career as a competitive powerlifter and presently is a licensed physician in Ontario, Canada.
The anabolic diet works by alternating low-carb days and high-carb days. Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches, and fibers found in fruits, grains, and vegetables. They also happen to be the body's preferred energy source; they are fast-acting and are typically turned into energy as soon as they are ingested.
Dr. DiPasquale wanted to create a food regimen that allowed a person to gain muscle and lose body fat. The name was created in response to anabolic steroids. DiPasquale believed that carb cycling would mimic the effects of anabolic steroids minus the use of steroids.
If you look at any typical diet, it can be broken down into macronutrients: carbs, fats, and protein. Tweaking the ratio of macros you get becomes vital if you have specific goals regarding building or maintain muscle mass while wanting to lose fat at the same time.
By cycling carbs, you allow your caloric intake to remain where it needs to be among the three macronutrients. This is done by favoring fats when the carbs are cycled out.
The plan has a few critical phases laid out. You can go into them in greater detail by obtaining a copy of The Anabolic Diet by Dr. Mauro DiPasquale. Below is a basic outline of how it works.
You start off the first 12 days eating as low carb as is manageable for you. You then fuel up with carbs for the subsequent 2 days.
After this initial change up to your regular diet, you then go into what is known as the 5:2 carb cycle. You eat 5 days a week, making sure not to go over more than 30 grams of carbohydrates.
During the week, 55-60% of your macros come from fats, 30-35% from proteins, and 5 to 8% from carbs (remember not to go past 30 grams of carbs during the week).
The other two days change up with carbs at the top of the list. You're looking at about 30-40% from fats, 10-15% from proteins, and 45-60% from carbs. On these days, there is no limit on the number of grams.
Three main phases make up the plan.
The "Start-Up" or "Maintenance" Phase
This phase typically lasts about four weeks. The starting point for caloric intake, according to Dr. DiPasquale, would be 18 times your bodyweight.
EX: You weigh 180 pounds. 180 X 18 = 3240 calories.
This phase is a trial run of sorts. It is intended to get your body used to the new demands the anabolic diet places on it.
The "Bulk" Phase
The goal of this phase is to hit a desired bulk weight. This phase allows your body weight to increase 15% above your ideal weight. To achieve this, DiPasquale recommends eating 20-25 calories per pound of your ideal body weight.
You end this phase once you reach your ideal weight.
The "Cutting" Phase
The goal of this phase is to trim the fat and keep the muscle. Your aim is to lose 1.5-2 pounds of fat per week. You achieve this by dropping the total caloric intake.
For the first week, you drop about 1000 calories per day from the large amount of food you were eating during the bulk phase. The following week it's recommended that you drop 500 calories per day.
This phase continues until you reach the desired percentage of body fat. Most people who want to see that muscle pop are around 8-10%.
This is doing it without fasting.
So… What does it look like when you add fasting into the mix?
What is Anabolic Fasting?
Anabolic fasting takes Dr. DiPasquale's diet and combines it with the lean gains protocol of fasting. This creates an eating window and a fasting window instead of only eating when you're hungry or when you can fit it in.
The lean gains protocol calls for a 16:8 fasting window. You fast for 16 hours and consume your food for 8 hours.
Founder of Muscle Farm, Corey Gregory, calls it "anabolic fasting." He found that using intermittent fasting and the anabolic diet protocol allowed him to gain muscle while trimming fat.
Corey was able to use intermittent fasting with the diet in a way that stabilized insulin levels. By creating the proper carb spike, hormones release that are vital for building muscle and burning fat (growth hormone and testosterone).
With Corey's method, he has two quality meals a day that fall within the protocol. His meals consist of protein, vegetables, and fat.
This keeps his insulin stable all day. He'll have a meal around noon and the second one around 6pm.
When the evening comes, he'll have something carb related for the spike.
The same 5:2 protocol is adhered to. When the refeed days come, the limit on carbs is lifted.
So what about reverse intermittent fasting?
Why Anabolic Reverse Intermittent Fasting Works
Strong Coffee Company CEO and top celebrity trainer, Adam Von Rothfelder, has discovered that reverse intermittent fasting works.
Reverse intermittent fasting flips the script on the lean gains protocol. Instead of a fasting window of 16 hours and an eating window of 8 hours, we have an eating window of 8 hours (upon waking) and a fasting window of 16 hours.
The reasoning behind this is basically embedded in our DNA. We have biological clocks that respond to the sleep-wake cycle. We were created for this cycle. Do you know what helps us stay in time with this significant cycle?
That's right! Breakfast gets you better sleep! And remember, breakfast is an action, not a particular "food." Check out this article in L.A. Weekly to get more in-depth information.
Suppose you tailor the anabolic diet to the natural sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm). In that case, you'll release hormones that will help with your gains and impact the biological clocks that help you get better rest.
As we all know, rest is the often-overlooked component to seeing real success with a diet and exercise program.
The best part, if you flip the window of when you fast and eat, you'll also retain all the benefits of intermittent fasting.
So if you're new to the anabolic diet, or intermittent fasting, think about doing it in reverse. Even if you've done it for a while, try flipping the fasting window. There are a lot of benefits to reverse intermittent fasting that will help you on your fitness journey.