By Liface, from

What is The Metabolic Diet?

The Metabolic Diet is a fat-burning diet developed by Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale, who is a pretty big old dude and was a world champion powerlifter back in 1970s. He also knows his shit about biology, nutrition, and sports medicine.

Pasquale claims this diet is better than other diets at increasing muscle mass while burning fat because it switches the human body into a "fat-burning mode", while simulating the effects of anabolic steroids by increasing growth hormone, IGF-1, and testosterone.

For an exact explanation of the science behind this with way more detail than this thread will give, seek out a copy (either in PDF format or real) of The Anabolic Solution by Mauro Di Pasquale. There's two versions, one for powerlifters and one for bodybuilders, but they don't differ that much.
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The Actual Diet

The diet starts out with a 12-day "assessment phase". This is to test the dieter to see if he or she is comfortable with living on an extremely low-carbohydrate diet for five days a week. During the transition phase, the dieter eats 40-60% Fat, 40-50% Protein, and 4-10% Carbs (no more than 30 grams) per day.

Pasquale recommends starting the assessment phase on a Monday, meaning that the first carb-up day will be the second Saturday. This makes for 12 days of low-carb dieting, which shouldn't be too hard.

After the 12-day assessment phase, the diet moves into a "carb-up" phase for anywhere from 12-48 hours on the weekend. The dieter eats 25-40% fat, 15-30% protein, and 35-55% carbohydrates. After this carb-up phase, energy is attained via a glycogen high for at least Monday and Tuesday, allowing for easier workouts. Wednesday-Friday will be slightly harder.

The diet continues like this cyclically: 5 days of low-carb, 1-2 days of high-carb. It can be used to lose or gain mass by simply lowering or raising total calories.

On weekends, you keep your calories the same even though you are eating more carbs. You may be tempted to raise your calorie intake because you have a plethora of foods opened up to you, but do not do this.

What to eat on weekdays
Any high fat, high protein, low carb foods:
- Meats (pork, beef, chicken, turkey, venison, lamb, buffalo, etc.)
- Fish and Seafood (shrimp, lobster, anchovies, tuna, sardines, salmon, trout etc.)
- Eggs
- Cheeses (especially Brie, Camembert, Muenster, Gruyere, and Monterey Jack because they are low in carbs)
- Nuts (walnuts, almonds, peanuts, cashews, etc.)
- Monosaturated oils (olive, hemp, butter, fish, flax)
- Low carb vegetables (most except big beans, corn, carrots, and peas)
- Fiber (soluble and insoluble)
- Stevia/Splenda no-carb sweetener

If carb cravings appear, Pasquale recommends sugar-free Jello (or low-carb pudding) topped with no-carb whipped cream for staving them off.

The 30g of carbs can appear in any fashion. Some have found that taking them spread out in many vegetables works fine, some find that taking them only postworkout works better.


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Welcome to your week.

More Food Ideas
  • Liface's Fatty Peanut Butter Dessert
  • Liface's Fatty Shake - 1 scoop protein powder, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp soynut butter, 2 tsp fiber powder, ice cubes
  • Alfalfa's Fatty Peanut Butter and Cottage Cheese Mix
  • Lately, I've been mixing 3 eggs, tearing 3 strips of turkey bacon into little pieces, adding some shredded cheese and mixing it all up. Then I microwave it for 2 minutes and add some black pepper. It's filling and delicious and has only one carb (from the shredded cheese). - [spankari]
  • Miracle Noodle - a low carb, mushroom-based noodle - [Agatsu]
  • Netrition Low-Carb Products - tons of low-carb variants of common foods
  • Pizza
    Fry up 1 mission low carb tortilla in olive oil to get it crispy (3g carbs). Top with La Prefereda taco sauce (0g carbs), then some sliced canned mushrooms sauteed in the olive oil as well (1g carbs). Sprinkle on some cheese of your liking (0g carbs), then add as much pepperoni slices as you want (1g carbs). Sprinkle more cheese one (Og carbs) and microwave for a few seconds to melt the cheese. Voila, lots of fat and protein, filling, and only 5g carbs. - [Fenarisk]
  • Quesadilla
    Spoon 2 tbsp of sour cream (1g carbs), La Preferada taco sauce (0g carbs), steak strips (0g carbs), a little spinach (1g carbs) and anything else you like with low carbs (I like jalapeno bits that are around 1g carbs). Sprinkle cheese over everything (0g carbs) on a mission low carb tortilla (3g carbs, I prefer green onion ones). Top with another mission tortilla, smoosh it all together, and fry it up in olive oil until it's sealed and crispy. Alternatively if too much stuff is in there just put the sour cream on the side. Total again is like 5g carbs. - [Fenarisk]
  • Chicken Shaq-Fu
    Cook up a chicken in olive oil and set aside. In a pot bring to a simmer 1 small carton of heavy whipping cream. When it's simmering, add a slight bit of nutmeg and pepper, and toss in enough handfuls of parmesan cheese to create a nice sauce. Set this to the side to cool down a little. In a skillet saute a cup of chopped broccoli in Smart Balance Light(it's like butter with no carbs and lots of extra omega-3 in lieu of saturated fats) and some olive oil. Toss in maybe 4-5 chopped anchovies, just enough to give a salty taste and a bit of the power these tasty little italian fishies give. Toss in enough red pepper flakes to your liking (I usually use half a tablespoon) and saute everything for maybe 10 minutes so the broccoli is still barely crisp. Throw the chicken in with the whole mixture and add the sauce in as well. Let it sit for a few minutes and enjoy. The entire dish is maybe 5g carbs which is just from the broccoli. - [Fenarisk]
  • Sweet Tooth Fake Pudding
    Instead of just mixing up jello gelatin snacks with whipped cream, which can get old sometimes, make the gelatin desserts the long way with boiling water. Cut the water out and use heavy cream instead, as well as a tiny bit of melted butter and cinnamon for something like strawberry banana. Voila, you now have something more like mousse and tasty as all hell, with about 2g carbs. - [Fenarisk]
  • Low Carb Pancakes

Other Questions

Is this diet okay for women?
Yes, see this article on the women's T-Nation offshoot, Muscle with Attitude.

They don't sell low-carb tortillas in my area!
Try ordering them online. This company makes some decent ones (they unfortunately do not ship to Canada).

Is it ok to carb up the first weekend?
No. Follow the same plan, just as everyone else is doing.

If I fall off the wagon, should I restart with a carb restriction phase?
The starting phase should be restarted for any sustained period of time off the diet. This can even mean a week.
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Health Concerns
Pasquale recommends that anyone starting the diet first get bloodwork done that includes at least LDL, HDL, triglyceride, uric acid, fasting blood sugar, and thyroid stimulating hormone levels. It is possible that this diet will raise your cholesterol if you have a cholesterol problem. HOWEVER, studies have shown that this diet actually lowers serum cholesterol.

Other Links

I'm going to be starting this diet today (simply because I want my carb-up days to be Friday and Saturday instead of Saturday and Sunday). I know that jakez0r is already on this diet so he can pop in and answer any questions about it