Anabolic Diet: Building Muscle + Sample Weekly Meal Plan

November 03, 2022

What is an anabolic diet?


The anabolic diet is a low-carbohydrate plan configured in cycles. Its purpose is to promote muscle gain and keep fat at low levels. 


The anabolic diet is created for people who want to gain muscle mass that, according to its creator, comes to mimic the effects of steroids. It has other associated advantages, such as fat loss and appetite control. It is a diet that works in different phases, so you must follow the guidelines for it to work. 


Benefits of the anabolic diet


The benefits attributed to the anabolic diet stem from Di Pasquale's work (the creator of the diet) and what he shared in his book. Here are some of them:


  •  It promotes fat loss


The diet urges you to eat more fats than carbohydrates, so the body must pull fats as a source of energy. Therefore, your body will utilize fats as the energy source .


  • It reduces appetite


The anabolic diet is very satiating, and it allows more food ingestion than other diets. Therefore, it suggests that users should not get hungry while following the anabolic diet.


  • It helps to gain muscle mass


One of the key foods in the anabolic diet is red meat. It has a high concentration of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acids), a fatty acid that promotes fat burning and muscle mass gain.


  • It provides more energy


Although it may seem to be a contradiction because of the low carbohydrate intake, carbohydrate control is beneficial: no sudden variations in sugar levels, no heaviness, and no mood swings.


  • Improved health


The foods used in the anabolic diet are extremely healthy. For example, the Conjugated Linoleic Acid present in beef strengthens the immune system.

Phases of the anabolic diet


We have mentioned that the anabolic diet goes in phases, which allows athletes to follow a pre-structured regime more easily. 


  • Induction

It lasts from week 1 to week 4, and the key is to multiply the weight in pounds by 18 to determine caloric intake. A 4000 kcal diet may seem like a lot to you, in case this is your number, but it's no more than 30 grams of carbs a day. Your body starts learning to use fat for energy in this phase.


  • Bulking

You must calculate the weight you need to reach. A starting point for defining your goal is to add 15% to your ideal weight in pounds. Let's say you weigh 192 pounds. Fifteen percent is 13.05, which added to your weight is 205.05 pounds.


Those 205.05 pounds represent the weight you need to reach to build muscle. Ideally, you should put on no more than 2 pounds a week, which is just under 1 kg, but if you are not gaining enough weight you will need to increase your intake.


Calculations are important so that you can go through the bulking phase and have sustained growth. It is one thing to gain weight and another to gorge yourself. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the personal context: the anabolic diet for women will not be the same as for men, whose caloric demand is usually higher.


  1. Cutting


Once the goal is reached, it is necessary to return to the initial habits and try to reduce the menu by between 500 and 1000 calories.


To know the exact data, calculate 18% of your weight in pounds and subtract it. Then subtract the result obtained from your daily calorie intake, so that the percentage of fat is below 10%.


How does it work?


What you need to keep in mind is that the types of food also have to fit into a cycle. The carbohydrate intake should be low during the week, with no more than 30 grams per day. In addition, the diet should be 60% to 65% fat and 30% to 35% carbohydrates.


On weekends, on the other hand, it is recommended to increase the carbohydrate intake between 60% and 80%. The percentage of fat and protein should be between 10% and 20%.


Sample anabolic diet menu


The usual foods in an anabolic diet are meats, eggs, milk, and dairy products, vegetable oils, seeds and nuts, and leafy green vegetables. Within the meat group, red meat is the most recommended.


Here are two samples of anabolic diet weekly menus, one for Monday through Friday and one for the weekends. 




  • Breakfast: whole eggs, bacon, and lettuce

  • Mid-morning: half a cup of cottage cheese

  • Lunch: steak with broccoli and cream cheese

  • Snack: Serrano ham 

  • Post-workout snack: protein shake with a little oil.

  • Dinner: Chicken in an oily sauce with a corn tortilla and salad.

  • Snack before going to bed: cheese with seeds and oil.


Weekend menu sample 


  • Breakfast: oat porridge with milk and toast with jam.

  • Mid-morning: one or two pieces of fruit, depending on size. You can also eat some bread.

  • Lunch: chicken breast with salad and quinoa.

  • Snack: fruit and low-calorie cookies.

  • Dinner: brown rice with tomato sauce and cheese. You can complement it with a salad with a low-fat dressing.

  • Night snack: a slice of bread, fruit, and fresh cheese. 


Final Word


The anabolic diet is designed for healthy muscle gain by calculating your meals and following three clear phases including induction, bulking, and cutting. 


This diet has been rocking the bodybuilding world for several decades, and it's excellent for everyone looking to build muscle mass, lose fat, and increase athletic performance.