How The Vertical Diet Works

    Vertical Diet

    Natalia Marin

    Natalia Marin
    Natalia Marin

    Updated on 11/26/2022

    Vertical Diet prioritizes proper digestion in addition to consuming meals rich in micronutrients to achieve the best possible results in terms of health and performance.

    You will need to be in a caloric surplus to achieve your goals of gaining a significant amount of muscle and increasing your strength. That means you will need to consume more calories daily than you will burn to reach your objectives. Put another way; you need to consume more calories than you burn daily. On the other hand, after a certain amount of time, all more food could stress your digestive system, particularly if you are consuming the wrong kinds of meals. That is especially true if you have a poor diet and don't get enough exercise. After all, attempting to deadlift with one's stomach in an awkward posture is not something that anyone loves doing and should be avoided at all costs.

    Stan Efferding, well-known for his work as a bodybuilder, powerlifter, and nutrition coach, thinks that he has conceived of a strategy that will end this problem. Stan Efferding feels that he has created a system to end this problem. This method of food consumption is known by its name, the Vertical Diet. Hafór Jlaus Bjornsson, the current World's Strongest Man and the holder of the deadlift world record, and Brian Shaw, who has won the World's Strongest Man four times, are strength athletes who are required to consume an extremely high number of calories. Bjornsson holds the current record for the deadlift, and Shaw has won the title of World's Strongest Man four times.

    Vertical Diet

    Additionally, Bjornsson is the current holder of the world record for the deadlift. Because they both employed the strategy, they were both able to achieve the desired results. (It goes without saying that in order for Bjornsson to get in better shape, he has switched from running to boxing and is consuming a notable amount fewer calories.)

    It has also started to make its way into the public, attracting folks like your average Joe who want to get rid of a few extra pounds and feel better about themselves. It is believed that the method established by Efferding will help in the digestion of meals and fix deficits in the intake of nutrients. If you follow the Vertical Diet, there is a possibility that you might experience some benefits in your health. If you are interested in gaining further knowledge on this topic, continue reading.

    What Is The Vertical Diet? 

    The Vertical Diet acquired its name from the arrangement of the food on a person's plate, which resembles the letter T when viewed from the top down. The diet's structure is also why it is so widely followed. At the very bottom, underneath the bottom of the T, you have certain carbohydrates, dairy, fruits, and vegetables that supply essential micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that are vital for organ health, hormones, and other things. These are the foods that make up the bottom of the T.

    YOU can find the categories of white rice and red meat at the very top of the chart along the vertical axis. Consuming them will enable you to fulfill all your requirements for the three macronutrients and most of your calorie requirements (protein, carbs, and fats). The amount of food you should consume daily will be determined by the goals you have set for your strength and body.

    Vertical Diet

    What is the justification behind the fact that you never eat anything other than white rice and red meat? Because these foods contain a lot of fat and protein, both of which are needed for digestion, Efferding believes that eating those foods is the most effective method for consuming as many calories as possible without having a detrimental impact on the digestive process of the body. That is because fat and protein are both needed for digestion. In addition, the meals that are still on your plate, the ones at the bottom of the list, contribute, in addition to other biological activities, to digestion.

    According to Efferding, "the Vertical Diet is about eating meals that are high in nutrients and are readily digestible to assist you to lose or gain weight, stimulate activities, and achieve improved nutrition overall" (The Vertical Diet: A Summary). To correctly complete the goal, micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants should be the primary focus of attention. That should be done so that you can accomplish the plan.

    One thing that ties together all of the foods Efferding recommends is that they are foods that are low in FODMAPs. That is the element that unites all of them and binds them together.

    What’s A FODMAP Food?

    Don't get stressed over it. You will not be asked to read any actual maps during this entire procedure. FODMAP refers to fermentable oligo-, di-, and mono-saccharides and polyols. That is what the abbreviation stands for. Simply calling it a FODMAP is another common way to refer to it. This abbreviation refers to short-chain carbohydrates, which are known to be problematic for many people, particularly those with issues with their digestive systems.

    Vertical Diet

    These components produce a range of "issues" in an individual who consumes excessive beans. The carbohydrates and fibers included in foods high in FODMAPs are challenging to digest, enabling the bacteria already present in your digestive tract to use the nutrients offered. The completion of this procedure will result in the production of hydrogen gas. If anything like this occurs, let's say that it's likely that people will keep their distance from you on a social level for a little while. That is because of the potential for negative repercussions. You need to ensure that you have adequate preparation for this.

    On the other hand, consuming an excessive number of these foods is likely to result in a lot more uncomfortable side effects than just a tiny bit of gas. That is because these foods contain a lot of gas-producing bacteria. Some people experience bloating, nausea, and diarrhea as a result of these adverse effects. It is well-known that they can pull fluids into the intestines, and as a result, they are known to put certain people at risk of having diarrhea. A high-FODMAP diet, also known as a diet high in fructooligosaccharides, mannans, and polyols, has been associated with an increased risk of the leaky gut syndrome. This syndrome is characterized by an abnormally large amount of undigested food that passes through the digestive tract.

    Following diets that are low in FODMAPs may, as a result, prove to be of great assistance to people who battle gastrointestinal sensitivity. These individuals may find this to be the case.

    If you are a top athlete who needs to consume thousands of calories every day, knowing this information can help you avoid some significant problems in the future. That is especially helpful for athletes who compete in endurance events. Because of this, the Vertical Diet does not allow its adherents to consume any foods that are high in fructooligosaccharides or galactooligosaccharides (together referred to as FODMAPs). That is done to promote healthy digestion in all individuals, including powerlifters and bodybuilders, who participate in the activity.

    Vertical Diet

    "Because the diet is about swiftly digestible macronutrients," high-FODMAP meals are either limited or cooked in a manner that lowers digestive pain, as stated by Efferding. (Because the diet emphasizes macronutrients that are simple to digest.) That is because the diet emphasizes macronutrients that are easy for the body to digest, which accounts for this result. Spinach, cucumbers, bell peppers, and potatoes are some examples of vegetables that have a low gas concentration relative to their overall weight. On the other hand, Cruciferous vegetables do not perform as well as low-gas veggies when it comes to optimizing the health advantages you may gain through dietary consumption. That is because cruciferous vegetables include a higher concentration of sulfur-containing compounds.

    Researchers have concluded that adopting a diet low in foods rich in fermentable carbohydrates, oligosaccharides, and polyols (low-FODMAP). It can be beneficial for individuals who suffer from conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). [Further Citation is required] (IBS). On the other hand, it is currently unknown whether or not this strategy is successful when applied to the population as a whole. Studies have indicated that following a low-FODMAP diet may result in a lower micronutrient intake (due to the exclusion of so many foods) and changed gut bacteria. Both of these factors might induce a variety of gastrointestinal illnesses. That occurs due to the removal of foods with a significant amount of fermentable oligosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPS).

    There is some excellent news about that. Following a diet low in fructose, mannitol, lactose, and polyols—also referred to as a low-FODMAP diet—may help lower the risk of gastrointestinal disorders brought on by physical exercise, according to the findings of one study (which, to reiterate, is fantastic for when you are pushing yourself to the limit to complete an intense lift). However, if you want to know whether or not it is an appropriate strategy to employ in the long run, you should talk about this with your primary care physician and your nutritionist. They will be able to tell you whether or not it is an ideal method to employ.

    Lectins, Phytic Acid, And “Antinutrients”

    Vertical Diet

    Anti-nutrients are chemical agents that interfere with the body's ability to absorb nutrients, which are essential for the body to carry out its functions correctly. One last item that needs to be covered is "antinutrients," so let's go into that. One more item needs to be addressed before we can finally get into what you are allowed to consume and what you are not allowed to drink on the Vertical Diet. Antinutrients are chemical substances that, when finished, prevent the body from absorbing essential nutrients in their natural form.

    Lectins and phytic acid, for instance, bind to minerals such as magnesium, iron, and zinc, making it more difficult for the body to absorb these elements. Zinc is another mineral that is susceptible to being altered in this manner.

    Consuming meals crammed to the gills with micronutrients is the point of the Vertical Diet, which you must have in mind if you want the diet to be successful. Therefore, avoiding anything that can inhibit the body from absorbing the vitamins and minerals that are ingested as part of the Vertical Diet makes perfect sense. That is because the Vertical Diet is a very low-carbohydrate diet.

    Or does it?

    People have a difficult time accepting the idea that the reality of these substances is considerably more nuanced than they have been given to believe. People have been led to believe certain things about these substances. Both lectin and phytic acid have been associated with reduced risks of getting cancer, and phytic acid, which functions as an antioxidant, has also been associated with reduced chances of developing cardiovascular disease and kidney stones. Lower risk of developing kidney stones has also been associated with lectin consumption. As a result of these associations, there are even individuals who use phytic acid in the form of a dietary supplement.

    Vertical Diet

    The majority of studies on anti-nutrients have one major flaw in common: they focus solely on isolating the component in question and researching its effect on the body. That is the crucial limitation shared by all of these studies, an error that needs to be rectified as soon as possible. To put it another way, the researchers want to know how the lectin behaves when it is in its purest form and when it is brought into touch with a wide array of cell types. However, this is not how human bodies work; instead, lectin is frequently consumed simultaneously with other molecules, such as vitamin C, that can counteract the harmful effects of the molecule. That is how the body can function normally. Consuming a tomato in which the seeds have been removed illustrates this concept.

    The Vertical Diet does not prohibit the consumption of foods high in these so-called "anti-nutrients," but it requires that these items be fermented and soaked before being consumed by its followers. That is done to assist limit the possible adverse effects of these drugs on the body.

    What Can You Eat On The Vertical Diet? 

    A list of foods allowed on the Vertical Diet is provided, as is the case with the vast majority of other diets. Additionally, a list of foods that are not allowed on a diet is also provided. On the other hand, the list of things you can consume is somewhat limited, so let's begin with those before moving on to anything else you may drink.

    White rice and red meat will make up a significant portion of your daily diet, as was described earlier. You should become used to eating this kind of food rather quickly. Rice is a type of carbohydrate that is considered one of the options that are accessible that are the healthiest because it is simple to digest, contains almost no fat, and does not include any anti-nutrients. It is generally agreed that white rice is one of the healthiest options that you may choose. The use of brown rice is not recommended since it contains a high level of anti-nutrients, which can be found in high numbers. 

    Vertical Diet

    According to Efferding, red meat is the most nutrient-dense kind of beef because it is "laden with heme iron, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, creatine, and good fats." That is because red meat contains all of these nutrients in abundance. As a direct result of this, red meat is typically considered the only protein source.

    One of the most powerful arguments that you can make against the Vertical Diet is that it promotes eating in this manner, which is one of the most significant complaints that can be made. Dietitians and nutritionists have, in recent years, urged consumers to reduce their consumption of red meat due to the fact that it has been linked to increased risks of cancer and cardiovascular illnesses. Dietitians and nutritionists have made this recommendation because red meat has been linked to increased risks of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Because eating red meat has been linked to an increased risk of developing various diseases, these correlations have been formed. However, if you consume it regularly, you will quickly exceed this limit. Recent recommendations say that you should limit your consumption of red meat to no more than 18 ounces per week; however, if you do so, you will quickly exceed this limit. Before you start the Vertical Diet, you must get the go-ahead from your primary care provider. That will ensure that the diet is safe for you to follow. Following the diet in this manner will help to ensure that it is safe for you to do so.

    Those individuals who choose to act in this manner will be able to satisfy the vast majority of their daily calorie requirements by consuming only those two types of foods. The following are some examples of locations where one might be able to get red meat:

    • Beef
    • Bison
    • Buffalo
    • Lamb

    Vertical Diet

    Whitefish and white meat, such as chicken, do not have as many nutrients as red meat, so you should avoid ingesting them. On the other hand, red meat contains a greater variety of essential vitamins and minerals. This category includes fish that are white, such as the sole.

    You may find a broad and even base of plants underneath the rising pillars of red meat and white rice in the middle of the plate. Fruit, potatoes, spinach, red peppers, carrots, and juice are all products that can be harvested from these plants. In addition, some other animal products are included, such as butter, broth, and fish high in fat content.

    What Can’t You Eat On The Vertical Diet? 

    The list of foods that you can consume while following the Vertical Diet is much less than the list of foods that you cannot drink while observing the Vertical Diet, and that is because the Vertical Diet prohibits the consumption of certain things. It bears repeating that these meals, according to Efferding's hypothesis, will make it more difficult for your body to digest food and will not do much to provide it with the nutrients it needs to function effectively.

    Grains

    On a diet, carbohydrates like pasta, cereal, and bread are off-limits because it is thought that these items contain phytic acid and gluten. This rule is only broken when we're talking about fermented sourdough bread, so keep that in mind. This proposal is met with some degree of skepticism by the dietitians that we spoke to because it contains a sizeable number of the essentials for human health micronutrients. Consuming whole grains is associated with a lower chance of colon cancer and cardiovascular disease, as shown by research that the Harvard Medical School conducted. 

    Vertical Diet

    Oats

    They are commonly regarded as needs in bodybuilding; nevertheless, the Vertical Diet does not permit their consumption due to their substantial amount of anti-nutrients. Like other types of grains, oats have been shown to lower the chance of developing a variety of ailments when consumed regularly. This protective effect extends to a wide range of conditions.

    Legumes

    The term "legume" refers to a group of plants that includes items like beans, chickpeas, lentils, and soybeans, among other things. The term "legume" refers to the genus of plants known as legumes. Then they are well-known to be a source of lectins, and as was said before, it has been established that lectins have the ability to cause a buildup of gas in the digestive tract. As a result, consuming these can cause a person to experience bloating. On the other hand, if you adhere to the Vertical Diet, you are only allowed to destroy them after they have been fermented and soaked in water. That is a prerequisite for eating them.

    There is mounting evidence to suggest that eating a diet high in legumes can significantly reduce the risk that a person will develop various diseases. They are an essential component of the Mediterranean diet, which is highly recommended by a lot of people because it helps prevent a lot of different conditions, including diabetes, and because they contain a high concentration of fiber, which has been linked to the prevention of a lot of other diseases. That is because studies have shown that eating a diet high in fiber can aid in the prevention of a range of conditions.

    Processed Vegetable Oils

    Vertical Diet

    The overconsumption of omega-6 fatty acids has been conclusively linked to inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. The omega-6-rich acid concentration of these foods is extremely high. Even if you are not following the Vertical Diet, you should still eliminate all processed oils from your diet because nutritional experts have recommended that people reduce their consumption. Even if you are not following the Vertical Diet, you should still eliminate all processed oils from your diet. Even if you are not following the Vertical Diet, you should still ensure that none of the fats you eat have been processed.

    Coffee

    According to Offering, consuming coffee can lead to dehydration and makes digestion more challenging. Additionally, coffee might trigger anxiety, and consumption of coffee is also associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Even if the claims in this article are backed up by research, you should approach them with a healthy dose of skepticism.

    "I don't indulge in the practice of putting things that I like into my body, and I merely make sure to consume stuff that won't affect me negatively, "he elucidates for us. It is possible that improving the health of your digestive tract and the bacteria that dwell in your gut will make you feel better than relying on these tried-and-true methods of gaining comfort on a day-to-day basis. This is a possibility.

    Research has shown that some components, such as polyphenols, contained in coffee lower the chance of developing cancer; however, the same compounds may also be found in herbal tea. Coffee is one of the few beverages containing these compounds, and other beverages besides coffee also have similar chemicals.

    Sugar Alcohols

    Vertical Diet

    You can locate meals, including protein bars and ice cream, that are suitable for a diet that contains these all-natural sweeteners. Examples of these goods include Erythritol and xylitol, two examples of sweeteners that fall into this category. Indigestion is a common adverse effect of taking them; however, it does not occur nearly as frequently as it does with grains and legumes because they are not as fibrous as those other foods are. Because reducing your use of sugary and alcoholic beverages does not result in any undesirable consequences, You can now put this debate to rest for good.

    High Raffinose Vegetables

    Because cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus are not permitted on this diet, this particular limitation is the one that is likely to spark the most amount of controversy. Why is it that you have decided not to consider their thoughts? The offending substance is known as raffinose, and it is a form of sugar that is resistant to digestion. Additionally, consuming raffinose might occasionally result in the production of gas. Raffinose is another agent responsible for this predicament. There are a variety of legumes, cereals, and vegetables that all contain raffinose in varying amounts.

    Even though this is, in fact, the case, the fact that the foods mentioned above are among those that have the highest nutrient density of any food everywhere in the globe is indisputable and cannot be disputed. Consuming them is also related to a lower risk of inflammation, cell damage, and cancer, in addition to the previously mentioned benefits.

    Garlic And Onions

    Vertical Diet

    Where do the most delicious and savory flavors come from, and what elements are responsible for their formation in foods? It is strongly recommended that you abstain from consuming these foods at all costs because of their high concentration of FODMAPs. If you cut out these aromatics from your diet, the flavor of the food you consume may suffer directly, but your physical welfare will not suffer in any way due to your decision to do so.

    It is possible to use replacements such as fennel, celery, bell peppers, or carrots, all of which are foods that contain a low amount of fructooligosaccharides. That is something that you may do (FODMAPs).

    Vertical Diet Macronutrients

    It is possible to convert the Vertical Diet from a low-fat eating plan into a high-carb eating plan or a low-carb eating plan, depending on the amount of food you consume while following the procedure. The Vertical Diet is an eating plan that generally incorporates a small quantity of fat in its provisions.

    The amount of total calories you consume in a day is determined not only by your resting metabolic rate but also by the amount of physical activity you engage in; despite this, the core macronutrient composition looks like this: protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

    • You should consume one gram of protein daily for every pound of total body weight that a person carries around.
    • People should consume 0.30 milligrams of fat for every pound they weigh.
    • Carbohydrates, in their various forms as fuel, make up the remainder of the caloric content that is found in your body.

    Vertical Diet

    If you want to know how many calories you need to consume each day to meet your caloric needs, the first thing you need to do is determine your basal metabolic rate. Your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories you burn daily to stay alive and maintain weight. If you want to know how many calories you need to consume each day to meet your caloric needs, the first thing you need to do is determine your basal metabolic rate. Find out how many calories you need to consume each day to meet your caloric needs if you want to know how many calories you need to finish each day. Experiments of the kind required to determine this could be carried out in a laboratory, but doing so would not only be expensive. Still, it would also take a significant amount of time.

    Suppose you want to preserve your current weight while simultaneously gaining muscle at a sustainable rate. In that case, it is recommended that you reduce the number of calories you consume each day by between 300 and 500. If, on the other hand, you want to decrease the weight you carry, you will need to boost the number of calories you take in daily.

    The Takeaway

    When one considers the individuals who put Efferding's system to use, the efficacy of the system is as plain as the nose on your face; there is no room for doubt in this regard. These people are continuously monitored and coached by a few of the most brilliant minds in sports nutrition, and they are elite athletes.

    It may not be immediately apparent how you can apply the Vertical Diet to people who live their lives in the real world.

    Even though you covered the vast majority of the problems in the section before this one, we will review them again here.

    Vertical Diet

    Research has found that consuming an excessive amount of red meat is associated with an increased chance of acquiring cancer as well as cardiovascular problems. This increased risk is because red meat contains high levels of the carcinogen cadmium.
    Foods such as beans, which are removed although they are nutrient-dense and necessary food sources, are not included in this category of foods, and that is because it does not contain foods such as beans.
    Alterations in gut microbiota may occur if an individual consumes a diet low in fermentable oligosaccharides, polyols, and polyol esters (FODMAPs).
    However, when looking at a diet so focused on assisting food digestion to be as effective as possible, it is not hard to see why its biggest fans are strongmen and powerlifters who consume up to 12,000 calories daily. That is because the diet assists food digestion to be as effective as possible.

    Consuming foods that are high in FODMAPs, high in fiber, and high in fat — all of which are prohibited for adherents of the Vertical Diet — could potentially make it more difficult for you to consume the quantity of food that is necessary for you to continue performing at your optimal level. Because FODMAPs, fiber, and fat are all more filling than fat, and because fiber takes longer to digest than fat, this is the result.

    While following this diet plan, you will learn how to reduce your consumption of a variety of foods, the vast majority of which have the potential for a more significant number of benefits than they do for potential drawbacks, and you will also learn how to do so in an efficient manner. That is something that can in no way be disputed. Those who follow the Vertical Diet are strongly urged to take a wide variety of Omega-3-rich meals, including fruits, vegetables, meats, and other foods. That includes eating a variety of fish. Because of this, you shouldn't have to be concerned about not getting enough vital nutrients like vitamins and minerals as long as your diet is well-planned. (In addition, no rule or law prohibits the use of supplements to compensate for any shortages.)

    Frequently Asked Questions