Your body needs 3-4 weeks to adapt to the Anabolic Diet. The first 12 days can be very hard. A lot of people quit within their first 12 days on the Anabolic Diet because they feel crappy & lethargic.
This is normal. Avoiding carbs for 12 days forces your body to use fat for energy. The more carbs you were eating before and the heavier you are, the harder the transition from using carbs to fat for energy will be.
You’ll feel better by the time your first carb loading comes. 3-4 weeks into the Anabolic Diet, you’ll be fully adapted and feel better. In the meanwhile, here 7 things you’ll experience your first weeks on the Anabolic Diet.
1. Carb Cravings. The more carbs you were eating before starting the Anabolic Diet, the stronger you’ll crave for carbs. Tips:
- Don’t Eat Carbs. Carb cravings are a self-fulfilling prophecy: don’t eat carbs and the cravings will stop. Make the decision & stick to it. Fill your stomach with other foods and flavor your meals so you enjoy them.
- Count Days Off. Count the days off until your carb loading days (should be weekends). And when those days come, eat all the carbs you craved for. You’ll be happy it’s back to no carbs on Monday.
2. Diarrhea. Fat softens your stool. Your bowels must adapt to the change of diet. Diarrhea is common the first week on the Anabolic Diet. Drink enough water to prevent dehydration & eat green veggies.
3. Constipation. Most people don’t eat enough veggies. So they get their fiber from carbs. Since you’re not eating carbs for 5 days on the Anabolic Diet, you must get your fiber from elsewhere. Tips:
- Green Veggies. Dark, leafy vegetables are high in fiber. Eat spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, …
- Ground Flax Seeds. 1 or 2 tablespoons per day will provide you with enough fiber. Grind them for optimal absorption.
- Drink Water. Fiber binds to water. Drink 1 cup water on waking up, 2 cups with each meal and sip water while you train.
4. Weight Loss. Carbs hold water. Avoiding carbs for days will drain water out of your muscles. 5-10lbs weight loss the 1st week is common. Realize the bulk of this weight loss is water, not muscle or fat.
You’ll look skinny & flat in the mirror. Don’t worry about it. You’ll get the opposite effect after the carb loading days. And after 3-4 weeks on the Anabolic Diet this yo-yo effect will be less pronounced.
5. Irritability. Avoiding carbs for 12 days stops the production of serotonin, a chemical which elevates your mood. Expect irritability the first weeks.
6. Hunger. Fat satiates and makes you feel full longer. So you shouldn’t be hungry on the Anabolic Diet. 2 tips if you are:
- Get Your Calories. If you want to lose weight: wait until you’re 4 weeks in to the Anabolic Diet. Use the Cunningham Equation to determine your calorie needs. Read this post.
- Eat Veggies & Drink Water. An empty stomach will make you think that you’re hungry all the time. Make sure you eat veggies with all meals and drink enough water.
7. Low Energy. Avoiding carbs forces your body to use fat for energy. This can make you feel as if having the flu: sleepy, tired, weak, lethargic, … Eat enough food and consider dropping the intensity of your workouts (deload).
Persist. All of the above won’t last more than 1-2 weeks. You’ll feel much better after the first carb loading. And then you’ll be rolling on the Anabolic Diet. Count 3-4 weeks to be fully adapted to the Anabolic Diet.