Catabolic Versus Anabolic Diet

Catabolic Versus Anabolic Diet

Robert CassarBlog, Beginner, Free, Intermediate 2 Comments

I am going to explain some of the different types of diets that are either “Catabolic or Anabolic” in nature, for musculature or physical development.

At the micro level all diets are both catabolic and anabolic in nature – but we are talking about the musculature and physical development at the micro and macro levels.

This subject goes deep and has so many nuances and differences, but we will take a look at some of these diets and they can either catabolize or anabolize your musculature, or physical development over time.

We will look at a few of the current diets that people are following and talk about their “Catabolic or Anabolic” effects on musculature or physical development of the body.

Many Die-ts Are “Catabolic” Instead Of “Anabolic” In Nature.

Plants are generally “Catabolic” in action and animal products that are unprocessed and grass fed/finished are generally “Anabolic” in action. I have found out, through bodybuilding/muscle developing, if we equally mix the unprocessed plants and unprocessed animal products together, we generally do not get a pure anabolic effect in the muscle building, or rebuilding the body department.

The simple equation would be: Catabolic Plants + Anabolic Animal Products = Neutral Effect. Unless you are a bodybuilder or peak performance athlete you will most likely not come to this profound understanding easily.

Plants are great for detoxification and cleansing, but not so good at all for adding pure muscle building and peak performance.

Grass fed/finished unprocessed animal products are the excellent source for muscle building, or getting an anabolic growth muscle effect.

This is my opinion based on 40 years of not only research, but experimentation with various diets and protocols while exercising for peak performance.

There is so much talk nowadays about what is the best die-t to have, or the positive or negative effects from various diets over time.

I am doing this video because I have changed my 15 year long experiment from a “98% Plant Based Detoxification and Cleansing Diet”, which was overall a moderate catabolic diet – to an “Un-processed variable Animal and Fruit Based Diet” for the last 8 months to rebuild and anabolize my body from a malnourished catabolic state I had acquired from the plant based diet.

I have gained approximately 22 pounds of lean body mass in 6 months on the Animal Based Diet and Fruit only, right before I workout. I went from 127 pounds to 149 pounds of mostly pure muscle and a few pounds of body fat.

What Kind Of Diet Are You Following?

These are some of the common diets people are following nowadays.

  • Standard American diet aka S.A.D.
  • Mediterranean Diet
  • Vegetarian Diet
  • Vegan Diet
  • Fruitarian Diet
  • Carnivore diet

We will investigate some of these diets below.

Ideology Diets

All the diets presented above have some type of Ideology that comes with the diet. The S.A.D. is a diet that most people eat and are just eating what tastes good and what’s on sale. I call this diet the Minion Diet or a Junk Food Diet. The ideology is survival, – going along to get along, or “I just don’t really care about my diet until I get sick and tired enough to change”.

Most people on S.A.D. have a lower IQ than other diets most likely because of all of the toxins, chemicals, processed fast food garbage they are constantly absorbing. Most foods that are processed and convenience oriented, are usually terrible for children when they are in their growing years. The school lunches in my opinion are complete garbage to feed your children if you want them to be smart, or get smart.

There are hundreds of nuances within all of these diets. Organic vs non-organic is one of them. Are you eating GMOs? – How much food are you eating at one sitting? How many times a day do you eat? The window (time between meals) when they eat? How do you combine your foods? Is exercise part of your lifestyle? Do you practice intermittent fasting daily? Do you eat 3-5 meals and snacks a day? Daily stress? as well as many other factors play a role in health, wealth and happiness within your current diet.

Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)

Generally Catabolic For Muscular Development And Anabolic For Fat Development.

This is the most common diet in the US and is typically a very unhealthy catabolic diet. But it is also an extreme anabolic diet, although not in the muscle department, but in the anabolic department of obesity because of the obesity/fat department. Many of the diseases we see today start with S.A.D. foods and drinks, eating as much as 3-6 times a day.

Many of the diseases we commonly see today are from the S.A.D. toxic diet.

People in the S.A.D. group usually eat large amounts of processed and cheap grains and a variety of cooked foods, usually GMO and non-bioavailable forms of processed grains, sugar and plant oils, preserved meats/proteins and rancid fats loaded with a variety of super chemicals from pesticides to preservatives of many kinds.

Most fast food restaurants serve the typical S.A.D. cheap, synthetic and toxic foods. When you go to a commercial grocery store, most of the canned and petroleum based boxed items for sale in grocery stores are S.A.D. foods.

Current statistics tell us that we have over 100 million obese people in the USA, and over 100 million people that are also diabetic.

Obesity Levels from 1990 to 2019
Obesity Levels from 1990 to 2019

The S.A.D. diet is what I call an extremist diet or “See Food Diet”, which means if you see, it you can eat it.

“The Western pattern diet or standard American diet is a modern dietary pattern that is generally characterized by high intakes of red meat, processed meat, pre-packaged foods, butter, fried foods, high-fat dairy products, eggs, refined grains, potatoes, corn and high-sugar drinks.” – Wikipedia

This S.A.D. diet is usually both anabolic and catabolic in one. If you eat the suggested S.A.D. diet you most likely will catabolize the muscles and dense tissue, including the bone mass and anabolic in your body fat. On the other hand this diet will anabolize you in the “Fat Department”. The fattest people we see usually come from the S.A.D.

Most of us know this type of diet is a super toxic food source. Mostly a junk food die-t made up of anything you want to eat from fast foods, processed foods to synthetic chemically laced foods, comprised mostly of sugar, processed carbs and cheap processed GMO seed oils.

Collection of Junk Food
Collection of Junk Food

A diet where everything “ALL YOU SEE – YOU CAN EAT” is the S.A.D. Some people who exercise and are young and fairly healthy for a while before the S.A.D. diet makes you toxic and overweight, chubby, well rounded or fat.

The “YOU SEE ‘EM” diet is just another way to say you are on a S.A.D. diet. This diet is high in grains, processed carbs, sugars or fake sugars. Most people become overweight to obese in time with this “ALL YOU SEE – YOU CAN EAT” diet.

People who are on this diet long term have unrelenting side effects in the areas of diabetes, allergies, depression and of course obesity, to name a few.

According to the World Health Organization, in 2018, more than 650 million adults were obese in the world and 100 million of the obese people live in the US.

The obesity chart above is greatly made up of those people eating the S.A.D.

Mediterranean Diet

Generally neutral for muscular development and neutral for fat development.

Mediterranean Diet Triangle Chart
Mediterranean Diet Triangle Chart

The foundation of the Mediterranean Diet is vegetables, fruits, herbs, nuts, beans and whole grains. Meals are built around these plant based foods. Moderate amounts of dairy, poultry and eggs are also central to the Mediterranean Diet, as is seafood. In contrast, red meat is eaten only occasionally – src: Mediterranean diet for heart health – Mayo Clinic

Why Is The Mediterranean Diet Healthy?

A traditional Mediterranean diet consisting of large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish and olive oil – coupled with physical activity – can reduce your risk of serious mental and physical health problems by: Preventing heart disease and strokes – src: The Mediterranean Diet –

Vegetarian Diet

Generally neutral to catabolic for muscle development. Lacto-Ovo Vegetarians eat eggs, cheese milk, dairy and vegetables, but no flesh and they are slightly anabolic.

Selection of Vegetables, Fruits and Berries
Selection of Vegetables, Fruits and Berries

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, and may also include abstention from by-products of animals processed for food. Vegetarianism may be adopted for various reasons. Many people object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Some vegetarians will sometimes eat butter, honey, eggs, cheese and dairy – src: Wikipedia

Vegan Diet

Generally catabolic for muscular development and catabolic for fat development.

Variety of fresh Green Organic Vegetables & Lentils
Variety of fresh Green Organic Vegetables & Lentils

“A strict vegetarian who consumes no food (such as meat, eggs, honey or dairy products) that comes from animals also : One who abstains from using animal products (such as leather goods)” – src: Definition of Vegan by Merriam-Webster

Vegan and Vegetarian diets over time are usually catabolic in many departments, such as getting all of the essential micronutrients for growing muscle mass and malnourishment quickly, sets in due to lack of dense quality assimilable proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Typically eating raw or processed vegetables, starches, grains, fruits, greens and a variety of sugary liquids for hydration.

Vegans are told to take up to 30 supplements with their meals daily. In my opinion this is a very malnourishing diet just because of the amount of supplements you must take, just to be in the RDA requirements of nutrition. Most vegan supplements are of a chemical or synthetic nature.

I am a peak performance athlete, and when I was on the vegan diet I started to lose a lot of muscular development, lean body mass, weakness in my strength within 6 months, and my male hormones dropped by 50%, verified by blood testing my testosterone levels several times. Testing was alway done in the morning hours when testosterone is generally the highest.

So, I immediately added fertile eggs, raw cheese, raw butter and raw dairy daily, and my testosterone came back up within several months.

In my opinion, it is very important to learn about phytoestrogens, oxalates , lectins and plant defense mechanisms called phytoalexins, if you are going to try this unsustainable diet.

Vegetarianism and Veganism are mostly ruled by ethics and ideology similar to a common religion or cult. They are not ruled by critical thinking, but by rules to follow the organization promoting the diet.

Vegans, Vegetarians and Fruitarians are recommended by many authorities, to take as many as 30 supplements daily, because of the malnourishment of the diets.

7 Nutrients That You Can’t Get From Plants

Fruitarian Diet

Generally catabolic for muscular development and catabolic for fat development.

Fruits, Nuts and Seeds for Fruitarian Diet
Fruits, Nuts and Seeds for Fruitarian Diet

“Fruitarianism is a subset of dietary veganism that consists entirely or primarily of fruits in the botanical sense, and possibly nuts and seeds, but without animal products. A fruitarian diet attracts criticisms and health concerns for those that follow the lifestyle.” – src: Wikipedia

Fruitarian Diet is also a very catabolic diet over time, losing muscles and dense tendinous tissues. This diet also seems to give rise to malnourishment and depleted bodily reserves quickly, since the nutritional content is more liquids instead of dense protein and fats.

I also tried the fruitarian diet for several months and had similar negative effects as the vegan diet. The negative effects were about the same but by the time I had gotten weak I was within less than 30 days vs the vegan diet. I was starting to really notice the weakness in around 60 days. So, if you are into peak athletic performance both veganism and the fruitarian diet would most not likely work for you if you expect to gain all around athletic performance.

Carnivore/Animal And Fish Based Diet

Generally anabolic for muscular development and catabolic for fat development as long as you are eating a grass fed/finished meat without hormones, antibiotics and vaccines added.

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Seafood, Eggs, Beef, Bone Broth For Carnivore Diet
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Seafood, Eggs, Beef, Bone Broth For Carnivore Diet

“The carnivore diet is a more extreme version of the keto diet, and, like the name suggests, involves eating only animal foods. You can eat all meat, including beef, poultry, fish, organ meats – such as liver and kidneys – and, if you’re feeling adventurous, entrails and brain.” – src: What’s the Carnivore Diet? – IFIC Foundation – Food Insight

Meat Is Not Just Meat

The carnivore category can be confusing at times. Are the animals being fed a natural diet of either grass fed and finished meat, or highly processed junk meats full of preservatives and toxic table salt?

Wild Fish Versus Farm Raised Fish

Fish that are farm raised are highly toxic fish fed an unnatural grain feed diet, high in herbicides and toxic chemicals. Both the conventional raised feedlot animals and farm raised fish, prawns and shrimp are pumped with antibiotics, hormones and yes, vaccines too.

“Salmon farming is a disaster both for the environment and for human health, and tests show farmed salmon is about five times more toxic than any other food tested.

In animal feeding studies, mice fed farmed salmon developed obesity and diabetes – effects researchers believe are related to toxic exposures.

Besides pesticides and antibiotics used in fish farming, the most significant source of toxic exposure is the dry pellet feed, which contains dioxins, PCBs and other toxic pollutants.

PCB concentrations in farmed salmon are, on average, eight times higher than in wild salmon.

Farmed salmon also does not have the nutritional profile of wild salmon, containing more than 5.5 times more omega-6 fat than wild salmon, which further skews rather than corrects most people’s omega-3 to omega-6 ratio.”

Src: Why Farmed Salmon Are a “Toxic Junk Food” – Dr. Mercola

In wild salmon, the amount and type of omega-3s found are based on the algae and plankton found in their diet. In farmed salmon, the omega-3 levels are dependent on what type of feed they eat, which is made from plants, grains, and fishmeal – src: What do they feed farm raised salmon? Farmed vs. Wild Salmon

Personally, I only will eat wild caught Salmon and/or fish that are called pelagic fish species from the ocean such as tuna families, marlin, mahi mahi, swordfish etc. Pelagic fish do not have a fixed home and roam the open seas for food, so they are much cleaner than local species because of the pollution from the land going into the seas.

The best and cleanest meat I have found is grass fed/grass finished meat, or wild game. This type of meat has NOT usually been injected with hormones, antibiotics and vaccines, this is always best.

Wild game is probably the most natural because the animal eats a variety of foods in the wild, and they are not drinking chlorinated water or receiving processed foods that are all toxic with laced chemicals and antibiotics etc.

Wild and grass fed meat always tend to be anabolic because of the high quality protein and fat grown from natural feed, thus giving you a healthy animal. I have found if you are eating the liver of a non-infected animal you are feeding your liver with all of the constituents it takes to rebuild your liver.

The kidney will feed the kidney. Eating the muscles ligaments, tendons and nerves of an animal or fish will transfer the dense amino acid structures back to the person who is eating them. As they say, you are or become what you eat 🙂

Toxic Herbicides In Grains Fed To Animals And Fish Causing Endocrine Disruption

Feedlot beef and chicken is fed toxic grains, mostly toxic herbicide laced corn and other moldy food. All of the flesh that is fed this toxic diet in my opinion should not be ever eaten because of the residue of the chemical toxicity of the flesh you are consuming.

Glyphosate and atrazine are some of the common herbicides used in commercial grain production. If you do not know what these chemicals are you should do some research on these powerful endocrine disruptors.

Berkeley – The nation’s top-selling weed killer, atrazine, disrupts the sexual development of frogs at concentrations 30 times lower than levels allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), raising concerns about heavy use of the herbicide on corn, soybeans and other crops in the Midwest and around the world – src: Atrazine Frogs – University of California, Berkeley

My Current Diet For The Past 8 Months

Theme of this diet: Reducing inflammation and rebuilding my lean body mass.

My current diet is an animal/fish and fruit based diet, which is a highly anabolic diet with strength resistance training times a week.

My current diet is what I am terming an Ancestral Diet or the Ultimate Elimination Diet. I have removed all of the grains, seeds, nuts and greens out of my diet. I do eat fruit but only when I am going to workout at the gym doing intense strength resistance training.

Flesh And Fruit Diet Or The Gecko Lizard Diet

Flesh and Fruit Diet can also be called a subcategory of the Ancestral Diet, or what I like to call the Gecko Lizard Diet. This is the current diet I am now trying again – flesh and fruit only. This food source is a total anabolic diet and is excellent for gaining strength, muscular development, stamina, lean body mass, testosterone, endurance and peak athletic performance.

I noticed the immediate strength increase, endurance and muscular size due to the increased blood pumping into the muscles the next day in my workout from the nutrient dense flesh, or mitochondria.

Gold dust day gecko licking the juicy red fruit of a green cactus at Moir Gardens, Kauai, Hawaii
Gold dust day gecko licking the juicy red fruit of a green cactus at Moir Gardens, Kauai, Hawaii

For the past 8 months I have been on a grass fed/finished animal and fruit based diet currently. I eat 2 meals a day while I workout, and 1 large meal on my non-training days.

Usually, when I am training in the gym with weights or cardio sessions, I will eat two semi large portions of protein and fat meals a day.

If I do not workout intensely in the gym that day for an hour or less, I eat one large meal at night. The meal consists of dense protein in the forms of wild fish, eggs, cheese, butter, beef, chicken, organ meats such as liver or kidney.

When I eat 1 meal a day I am usually fasting all day for a 24 hr period.

On my fasting day I will make a morning tea with Yerba Mate and then have distilled water throughout the day, then eat 1 large meat meal in the evening.

Low Oxalate Anabolic Diet = Animal Products And Fruit = Strength Training

My current diet and experiment is to reduce overall inflammation and gain lean body mass back = Animal products and low oxalate fruits.

This is an anabolic diet, if you workout 4 days a week intensely, to help a catabolic body regain back some lean body mass and reduce excess body fat.

Lunch is at 12PM and dinner is at about 8 pm or so. That’s about 6-8 hours of fasting in between meals.

There is approximately 16-18 hours from my dinner to my lunch. I eat fruit 5-10 minutes before I do strength resistance training.

I have Yerba Mate Tea every morning with Potassium Bicarbonate and Omica Organics Liquid Stevia Vanilla. I drink lots of water with Magnesium Minerals all morning until lunch. Every time i urinate I drink 20 more sips of water until lunch time.

Anytime, I eat a dense protein and fatty meal, I will not have any liquids for about 1.5 to 2 hours to make sure the protein and fat can digest completely in the low pH acid of 1.5 – 2 without being diluted.

I like to train with another person so we can help each other spotting while exercising, and it keeps you disciplined and scheduled when you have an appointment with another person to workout.

I will always have a few pieces of fruit like an orange or a few bananas/raisins 5 minutes before my workout for explosive energy.

Never mix your fruit with animal protein and fats. The protein and fats need to be digested in a pH of 1.5 – 2 for about 2 hours to break down the dense protein and fats thoroughly.


Eating flesh or uninfected grass fed animal products/wild caught fish are an anabolic diet, with a minor catabolic effect if you fast for 15-18 hours a day.

Animal products are generally always anabolic when you are adding in intense resistance exercising to increase strength and muscular physical development, and become catabolic while you are intermittently fasting for up to 18 hours.

Fruitarian and vegan diets are principally catabolic for gaining musculature or physical development most of the time.

I know from personal experience that using dense high quality grass fed beef protein and adding in strength training exercises 4x a week will definitely use the amino acids/mitochondria to build more dense muscles.

The anabolic state helps people achieve their fitness / health and developmental goals.

Remember, anabolism helps muscle tissue grow and maintain an optimal state, bone density, neural conduction and brain function all have the ability to increase through the anabolic process.

Benefits From Anabolism – Rebuilding Muscle

In order to gain, or regain, the body’s strength from a depleted state, the human body needs a proper diet and exercise to stimulate the body to grow and to feed the body with high quality protein and fats is of high importance.

People that are increasing their physical activity will generally need more quality dense nutrition converting into energy in order to counteract the catabolic state.

Some forms of exercise combined with a deficient or lacking diet, will actually break down muscle tissue and release negative catabolic stress compounds decreasing testosterone hormones that can further act to deplete energy storage and rebuilding the body.

People who intend to lose weight, gain muscle or maintain a desirable physique all similarly benefit from consuming nutrient dense foods before and after physical activity. This help provide the body with energy which will eventually reach, not only the muscle tissue, but the entire body and mind.

Hope you enjoy this “Catabolic Versus Anabolic Diet” Video :))

Dr. Robert

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Comments 2

  1. Now I totally understand about catabolic and anabolic meanings. Thank you very much for the very important information! There is one thing I don’t understand…about eating liver.
    Liver is an organ which detoxify something and isn’t it toxic for us to eat? Why is it ok?

    Thank you.

    1. Post


      If the animal is healthy, then the organ meats and flesh is healthy to eat. This is why it is important to only eat grass-fed animal products if you can. If not; the liver might be toxic with conventional grown animals, but still nutritious at the same time.

      Hope that helps 🙂

      Dr. Robert

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