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High Protein Low Carbohydrate Diet Bodybuilding

by Walter Eddy

Following will be a complete description of the diet itself, plus how it works and 'other names 'it' goes by.

The carbohydrate depletion diet is also known, in various forms, as the Atkins diet, anabolic diet, ketosis diet, steak and egg diet and many others. This 'diet' should probably not even be termed a 'diet', as it is a manipulation of the body's physiological responses - much more so than more common diets. Yes, this 'diet' has taken on many forms and names, many have made a profit of their 'new' diet, the effects of which were discovered over 50 years ago in diabetic research. Carbohydrate depletion, as a form of weight loss diet, is what I'm referring to.

Please note, this can be dangerous, never try this without talking to your Doctor first. If you are the least bit diabetic this could easily kill you, as happened to many when the book about this diet came out around 1970. The full impact of this diet was not clearly understood at this time, and through mis - information, many people died, and the book was quickly removed from the market. After things quieted down the diet was, for the most part, 'forgotten' about. That is not to say it disappeared, that would be far from the truth. It just began to take on 'other names' and fancy formulas. One of, if not the biggest, 'bodybuilding type' supplement companies today, built an 'empire' partly from incorporating this diet into their ($ three figure) supplement program. Many others have, or have tried, to profit from this 'secret' as well. Only now are people once again learning the truth about this diet, what it is, and why it works.

Bodybuilders use it. Doctors have known about it for decades. Many supplement companies are using it as a 'trick' to make you think their product works great.The medical community has know about this 'diet' for a very long time. 'Man' cannot 'store' fat unless insulin is released by the body. Insulin is only released when you eat carbohydrates (carbs). Eating fat, and or protein, without carbs, will not release insulin. What's more, if you do not eat carbs, the body begins to break down fat at a very rapid rate in order to create a substitute for the 'carbs' that it is not getting. This starts about 24 hours after the body has been deprived of carbs, and continues to increase in rate with time, resulting in death if allowed to progress to far. During this process ketones are created, a by product of the process of converting fat to energy. The level of ketones in the body can be measured through blood test and over the counter 'strips' that measure them by urine content. These can measure the degree of 'Ketosis' that the body is in. At mild ketosis the body is 'depleting' fat stores at a rate much more rapid than any 'conventional' type of diet. The reason being that this 'conversion' of fat to energy is much less efficient than 'normal' energy production. What's even more interesting is that you can eat large amounts of fat and protein, while on this diet, and still loose weight.

A full technical explain explanation of this would probably bore most of you, so I won't go into that here. If you are interested in the 'complete' workings of this you should be able to find it in any relevant college text, printed as far back as the 1950's.


This diet is safe for average healthy people if, if, if, they check with their Doctor first. The diet is really very simple, there are many, many variations, but one of the safest methods is to cycle this diet, 3 days on and 3 days off, being sure to eat about 50 grams of carbohydrates on the 'on' days. (Even healthy people have been known to have bad reactions to this after 5 continuous days.)


As the name 'steak and egg diet' implies, this is a meat and egg diet. You can eat fish, chicken, beef or any kind of meat as long as nothing has been added to it. This means no processed meats (hams, balony, etc.), and no breaded meats. Bacon is ok, if it is not sugar cured. You may also eat boiled and fried eggs, or scrambled as long as you don't add milk. Pure oils and butter are ok. This all sounds great I'm sure -- but you really won't have much of an appetite for these foods while on the diet. If fact you may have to 'force' yourself to eat. Try to be sure to get plenty of protein though, it is important to maintain protein levels on this diet, I would suggest a minimum of 1 gram per 2 pounds of body weight per day. You should eat about 50 grams of 'carbs' each day (200 calories). Eggs have a few, depending on size, be sure to count them. Count 1 gram of 'carbs' for each average serving of meat you eat. The rest may be gotten from any source, but it is suggested that you get these from fibrous sources (green beans, lettuce, etc.). You may drink water, and should drink as much as possible, and sugar free diet drinks. Use 'Keto' strips, these can be purchased over the counter, and are used to tell if the body is going into ketosis, (used by diabetics). Ask your Druggist about them. Use them the first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking anything. You should be in mild ketosis by the 3rd morning, if not cut back on the daily 50 grams of carbohydrates next cycle, don't extend the current cycle.

It is also important to 'burn up' the carbs that are stored in you body through exercise. Starting on the first day try to do 2 or 3 hours of moderate exercise, the more the better. The average person 'stores' about 1800 calories of 'carbs' (about 1 pound in the form of glucose and glycogen), and it is important to use most of this up the first day. Fast walking is an excellent way to do this, treadmills, bikes, aerobics, etc. are also good ways. If you train with weights take it easy - your muscle 'protein' will not 'recover' well, if at all, during the 'on' days of this diet. Keep training moderately, as much as possible, for the next 2 days. Expect to loose 3 to 5 pounds, each 3 day cycle, if done correctly. You will actually loose up to 10 pounds, but about half of this will be water and you will gain that back during the 3 off days.


On the 'off' days you should stick to a normal - very low fat, complex carbohydrate - diet. Also you should keep your calories at or slightly below maintenance levels. If you don't know what this is use this formula as a guide, 1/2 calorie x bodyweight x 24, this should get you close to your daily maintenance level.


This diet should only be used short term, maybe 2 months at a time tops, once a year. This is all the time most people will need, anyway, to get their body fat below 10 %. (Which is lower than the average person will want to go. Note that the lower your body fat levels get, the more your body will rob protein from the muscles, on this type of diet.) Once again, I cannot stress how important it is, that you do not go on this diet without consulting your Doctor first.

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The information presented is intended to be used for educational purposes only. The statements made have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (U.S.). This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Please consult with your own physician or health care practitioner regarding any suggestions and recommendations made.

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