What is the Vertical Diet and How Does it Work?
The vertical diet was designed by a bodybuilder for maximum muscle mass gain. But calling it a diet may be a bit misleading. A better way to describe it is an eating strategy. This strategy involves consuming small amounts of fruits, vegetables, fish, dairy, and legumes as a way to get all the micronutrients your body needs. This forms the base or “horizontal” part of the regimen. The “vertical” part includes large quantities of food that give your body the fuel and raw materials it needs to build muscle. These foods include white rice and red meat.
A Complement to Exercise
When you do exercises meant to stimulate muscle growth, you want to complement your workout with a full night’s rest and the right foods. The idea behind the vertical diet is that the red meat supplies your body with the amino acids, iron, and B vitamins it needs to build muscle. The white rice is an easy-to-digest carbohydrate that converts to energy for protein building. And the micronutrients are there to support this entire process.
Not for long-term use
This is not a weight-loss diet. On the contrary, this eating strategy will have you packing on the pounds in muscle. But as with all fad diets, it isn’t sustainable for the long run. Red meat is high in saturated fats and artery-clogging cholesterol. You still need fiber from fruits and vegetables, as well as antioxidants to protect your cells from the damage caused by protein synthesis.
Yes, muscle-building requires tearing down muscles and rebuilding them. But your body isn’t a construction site you can just demolish and renovate in one fell swoop. In actuality, it’s more like thousands of chemical reactions happening all at once. But many by-products of these chemical reactions are harmful and can cause cell damage. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants can help protect your cells.
So…should you try it?
Sure! If you want to fuel your body without using protein shakes and other highly-processed foods, give it a try. The vertical diet is an excellent way to ensure you’re getting enough calories each day. But if you’re looking for a healthy lifestyle change, the vertical diet may not be right for you. If you’re unsure about how you should proceed, speak to a licensed dietician or your doctor.