The Metabolic Diet | Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale
“Welcome to the Cutting Edge of Diets, Nutrition and Supplementation” by Mauro Di Pasquale, MD
What is the Metabolic Diet? The Metabolic Diet can be the answer to everyone’s dieting quest. The Holy Grail of Diets. Unlike all other diets, the Metabolic Diet is like a living entity in that it adjusts itself to each individual’s macronutrient needs. By using the Metabolic Diet you can dial in your metabolism to the kind of diet that’s best for you. The secret to a successful diet is finding your carbohydrate set point.
The Metabolic Diet encompasses all the various diets that are carbohydrate conscious including those that are champions of low dietary carbohydrate intake to one degree or another such as my Anabolic Diet, Atkins’ Diet Revolution, Protein Power, the pediatric ketogenic diet, and Barry Sears’ Zone diet; and those that follow the more conventional high complex carbohydrate, lower fat approach.
The Metabolic Diet – The one thing that all these diets have in common is that they all feel that the level of dietary carbs, whether low or high, is one of the most important factors in the success of the diet. Dietary fat is also important in most of these diets with dietary protein often relegated to the back seat.
Both high-carb and low-carb diets have their critics – The diets that restrict dietary carbohydrates to less than the currently accepted 55 to 70 percent of dietary calories are often criticized by the conservative majority, including dieticians and other health professionals, who feel that high fat intake is responsible for our overweight society and that the only cure is the universal implementation of high complex carb, low fat diets.
The Different Diets – In the low carb group of diet gurus there are proponents of every level of dietary carbohydrate intake from the almost zero amounts espoused by the ketogenic diet used to treat some forms of epilepsy in children to the Zone diet that proposes that only 40% of the daily calorie intake come from carbohydrates. The low carb diet is seen as an unhealthy fad diet. And in some ways it is.
First of all let me state that for weight loss purposes all diets work. All it takes is a drop in calories to a level below your calorie needs. The proponents of the lower carb diets feel that the type of weight lost is as important as the amount of weight lost. As such they feel that conventional high complex carb, low fat diets result in the loss of lean body mass, especially all important muscle, and less fat than the same amount of weight lost with a carbohydrate reduced diet. Also, it’s important to realize that the low carb diets run counter to the general dietary rules that are accepted by physicians, dieticians and other health professionals. The low carb diet is seen as an unhealthy fad diet; in some ways it is. Especially in its ketogenic mode where an excess of ketones build up in the body and are excreted and detected in the urine. Detractors to the ketogenic diets maintain that the ketosis is dangerous and can lead to life threatening ketoacidosis. Proponents of the diet, on the other hand, maintain that the dangerous ketoacidosis seen in diabetics is unlikely to result from dietary manipulation. There are various reasons put forward and some validity for both claims.
Dietary ketosis, whether or not it can lead to the dangerous ketoacidosis, is not a desirable state to stay in. That’s because it is a starvation state and leads to excessive muscle catabolism if it’s allowed to continue unabated for any length of time. As such, at least in the case of continuous ketosis, the results on muscle mass and energy can be counterproductive for anyone who exercises as chronic ketosis is conducive to losses in muscle mass, strength and exercise performance. Another criticism of the low carb diets is that it decreases muscle and liver carbohydrate stores, in the form of glycogen, and as such decreases one’s ability to do useful high intensity and endurance exercise.
Studies have shown that athletic performance, both high intensity and endurance, is dependant on muscle and liver glycogen stores. As such, the general consensus is that a lower carb diet will decrease glycogen stores and will impair performance. On the other hand, many recent studies have shown that acclimatization to a lower carb diet results in endurance performance on par or even greater than those on higher carb diets and higher initial body glycogen stores. If we decrease carbs too much. . . both liver and muscle glycogen will be at a constantly depleted state.
That’s because the body tends to preserve its glycogen stores and use fatty acids as a primary source of energy. The end result is, even though there is less glycogen in the muscles and liver, it lasts longer and performance, rather than suffering, may actually improve. And it’s the same in our everyday lives. If we decrease dietary carbs then the body will utilize both dietary and body fat for energy, sparing the initially lower levels of glycogen and also sparing the use of amino acids, obtained to some extent by cannibalizing skeletal muscle. On the other hand if we decrease carbs too much, and the amount depends on the individual, as we’ll see later, then both liver and muscle glycogen will be at a constantly depleted state with not enough glycogen to support any type of beneficial exercise. Also the state of ketosis that is present under these circumstances presents its own set of problems as mentioned above.
The One-Stop Solution – I introduced the Metabolic Diet in order to address the issues that both groups have brought on the table and come to a consensus that both groups can live with. After all, the two groups have much in common about dieting, especially in the importance of calories and the necessary lifestyle changes, especially exercise, that must accompany any diet if it is to be successful in both the short and especially the long term.
As such, the Metabolic Diet can be viewed as a one-stop solution to the age-old dieting dilemma. The principles behind this diet are based on research and science. You won’t see the nonsense here that you find in most of the diet books and plans out there. I’m not going to make you take leaps of faith so that you become a believer. What this diet plan will do is give you enough solid information so that you can reasonably assess the low and high carb arguments and come to your own conclusion on what kind of diet is right for you. Whether it’s a low carb variant or a traditional high complex carb low fat diet.
:: Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale :: is one of the most influential voices on diet, performance and athletic training in the world. His innovative work in finding safe nutritional alternatives to anabolic steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs has won him praise from athletes, trainers and fitness experts around the globe. Dr. Di Pasquale was a world-class athlete for over 15 years, winning the World Championships in powerlifting in 1976 and world games in 1981.