Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My Journey From The Anabolic Diet To Paleo...

Back in 2003 I found the kettlebell...this changed the way I looked at training and set me on the path to where I am today. At the same time I discovered the Anabolic Diet. It is basically a high fat, medium protein and low carb diet 5 days a week with a 2 day carb-up at the end of every week. This diet worked wonders on my body as it allowed my to get lean while eating virtually everything I wanted on the weekend! ( I usually eat carbs Friday night thru Sunday night). I am 5’7” and weighed 197 lbs when I started the diet/kettlebell circuit training and dropped to 165 lbs in 6 weeks. My waist shrunk from a 34 to a 30 while keeping my strength.

In April of 2010 I started Crossfit training a few times a week and migrated to the Paleo Diet. For those who don't know what that is...

I basically CAN eat:
meats (steak, chicken, tuna, salmon, pork, BACON)
eggs (whole)
fat-nuts (almonds, etc, unsalted) olive oil, avocado, coconut
Fruits, veggies-tomatoes,broccoli, asparagus,carrots, apples, oranges, grapes, kiwi, pineapple, watermelon, strawberries, lettuce, cucumber,
Spices: garlic powder, italian spices with no salt or sugar
Drinks: Water & coffee (black)
* I try to drink at least a gallon of water a day
* Did I say I can eat BACON?

white starchy carbs of any kind (bread, potatoes, rice cakes, rice)
Legumes (green beans, peas, peanuts)
sugar or sugar substitute
Dairy, cheese, milk
Drinks, soda or alcohol

The also use fish oil and whey protein powder.

My previous diet worked for me aesthetically but after a while it was causing me stress in the forms of stomach aches (when I went back to carbs) and head aches from the diet coke, sugar free red bull and other artificially sweetened drinks I was consuming. All I became focused on way "net carb content" and did not really care if the "food" was laden with sugar alcohol or other fillers. I also was not too concenred with the actual nutritional value of the food as long as it was almost free of carbohydrates.

My snack was usually Cool Whip - which is.....basically processed oil? I really don't know what it is. But I know what it isn't. It isn't cream or even real "food".

Since I found the Paleo Diet I feel 100% better, have stopped having stomach issues and/or head aches since starting the diet and have given up diet soda. I have also added back in fruits and vegetables - foods that I avoided because they contained carbs.

I have also seen a marked improvement in my performance during my Crossfit and kettlebell training while my bodyfat hovers around 8%. My weight is currently between 155lbs and 160lbs which is lower than the 165lbs - 170lbs I used to carry around but I find that I am a lot stronger than I was previously.

For example, since starting  Paleo at a bodyweight of 155lbs I have:  Overhead Pressed - 175lbs, Overhead Squated - 231lbs and Deadlifted - 465lbs.

In the end, the only way that you can stick to a "diet" is if it becomes part of your lifestyle and just the "way you eat" instead of a temporary change in eating habits. Everyone needs to find what works for them but an important question to ask yourself is - "Does my current nutritional plan help me reach my goals"? Since you are reading this you are probably interested in getting stronger, faster and leaner. If that is the case then maybe it is time to zero in on your nutrition. It is probably the missing puzzle piece that you have been searching for. 

It has been an enjoyable journey for me. I find it a comfort that I can eat what I enjoy eating and help myself move toward my training goals without sacrificing my health and well being.


Clint said...

Awesome! Thanks for sharing your experience.

I had actually tried the anabolic diet per your recommendation many moons ago. It was working great, but it created a great imbalance at home, so I eventually reverted back to my old ways. I'm currently working on a modified paleo diet to shed some lbs and improve overall health.

Rob O'Brien said...


I totally understand. I went through that as well. My wife is happier with me eating fruits and vegtables now AND I feel alot better with similar results. Good luck and let me know how it goes.


David said...

How about a combination of the Anabolic Diet and the Paleo Diet?

Meaning, eat what is Paleo, and cycle the carbs like on the Anabolic / Metabolic diet.

greenmom123 said...

I always enjoy your posts. I can always count on you to motivate me and inspire me to push harder and never give up on my goals. Keep it up! Thanks!