Lifestyle

Vertical Diet: Full Breakdown

By Amber SmithOct 26, 2022 1:00 PM
Vertical Diet Full Breakdown

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

If you're looking for an effective way to lose weight and improve your health, you may want to consider the vertical diet. This unique approach to eating has been gaining popularity in recent years, and for good reason - it works! 

In this article, we will discuss the basics of the vertical diet and provide a full breakdown of how it works. We'll also cover some of the benefits associated with this approach to eating and offer some tips for getting started. So if you're ready to start seeing results, keep reading. 

Build lean mass and reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness with Elm & Rye Pre Workout.

The vertical diet was created by professional bodybuilder and powerlifter Stan Efferding to enhance athletic abilities and shape the physique. It has been traditionally used by high-level athletes but is now becoming more popular among average gym attendees.

Although little research supports its founder's claims, many athletes and bodybuilders thrive on a more balanced diet. Additionally, certain groups of people should avoid the vertical diet altogether. 

Why is it called the Vertical Diet?

To help you better understand what the vertical diet you must first understand what the opposite is, a horizontal diet. 

The horizontal diet lets you consume a bunch of various foods from different food groups, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and protein. With this diet plan, you are "eating the rainbow" and getting several nutrients that one food group generally doesn't have.

The vertical diet is a more efficient way of eating. You consume large amounts of only a few easily digestible foods, instead of combining many different types of food. This makes meal planning simpler and helps you meet your energy needs and absorb nutrients more effectively.

Though the vertical diet has helped some people, such as those with stomach problems, there is no evidence that it helps anyone else.

The vertical diet is so named because it focuses on consuming foods that are vertically arranged, or stacked from the ground to the top of a stalk. This type of diet emphasizes eating foods that are closer to their natural state, which can provide many health benefits.

Some proponents of the vertical diet argue that this approach is more in line with our evolutionary history, as hunter-gatherer societies ate foods in this way. In addition, the vertical diet encourages consuming more fruits and vegetables, which are an important source of vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients.

How do You Follow the Vertical Diet?

To follow the vertical diet, you simply need to focus on consuming foods that are arranged vertically, such as fruits and vegetables. You might start your day by eating a bowl of oatmeal or smoothie made with leafy greens and berries, followed by a large salad for lunch and roasted vegetables for dinner.

Along with emphasizing whole, unprocessed foods, the vertical diet also encourages mindful eating and avoiding distractions during meals. This can help you better focus on your food and appreciate its flavor and texture, while also allowing you to naturally eat smaller portions without feeling overly full or deprived.

There are several types of food you cannot eat when following the vertical diet. This way of eating entails multiple limitations and also some rules from the low-FODMAP diet. (To give a little more context, FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These are all different types of carbohydrates that your body has difficulty absorbing.)

If you want to lose weight, the vertical diet isn't an effective method because it focuses on calorie-counting to ensure you are eating in a caloric surplus to facilitate muscle gain.

Now, let's chat more about the vertical diet a little more in depth.

How to Follow the Vertical Diet 

This diet is designed for people who want to achieve their fitness goals by gaining muscle mass. The main tenets of the diet are eating lots of calories and tracking your progress easily so that you can make necessary modifications along the way.

The vertical diet is likely most useful for athletes and bodybuilders who are monitoring their food intake carefully. For someone young and healthy seeking to gain mass, the nutrient-rich side foods would help offset any negative impact from consuming large quantities of beef and rice.

Learning how to track and modify your intake lets you reap the benefits of consuming a wider variety of foods without as many restrictions. This option is often more enjoyable and cost-effective.

Which type of people out there should avoid the vertical diet? 

The vertical diet is not recommended for the following people: 

  • Anyone with a history of disordered eating or food obsession

  • Those who are simply looking for a quick fix or quick weight loss solution

  • People with existing medical conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease

  • Pregnant women or anyone who is breastfeeding

  • Children and adolescents under the age of 18 years old 

Overall, the vertical diet is not a good fit for most people. If you are seeking to improve your health and well-being, there are other dietary approaches that may be more appropriate for your needs. However, if you are an athlete or bodybuilder looking to gain mass as quickly as possible, the vertical diet may be worth trying in combination with a structured fitness and training plan.

As this diet's focus is on red meat, it wouldn't be ideal for those with colon cancer in their family history. Ingesting high levels of red meat have been linked to higher rates of colon cancer. Also, white rice has a fast-acting glycemic index; thus, blood sugar levels would rise quickly after eating it. Therefore, this diet isn't recommended for people who have blood sugar level concerns such as diabetes.

What foods can I eat on the vertical diet?

The vertical diet focuses on eating lots of protein-rich foods, including:

  • Red meat such as beef, pork, and lamb

  • Poultry such as chicken and turkey

  • Fish and seafood 

  • Eggs 

  • Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt 

  • Nuts, seeds, and nut butters 

The diet also emphasizes eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy fats from sources like olive oil, avocados, and coconut milk. Complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole grains, and quinoa are allowed in small amounts. Some people choose to follow the vertical diet in addition to other dietary restrictions or guidelines, such as keto or the paleo diet. 

What foods should I avoid on the vertical diet?

In order to gain the maximum amount of muscle mass, you will need to avoid certain foods while following this diet. These include:

  • Processed meats and convenience foods 

  • Refined grains like white bread and pasta 

  • Sugary snacks and desserts 

  • Alcoholic beverages 

  • Diet or low-calorie sodas 

Overall, it is important to focus on eating a balanced and nutrient-rich diet while following the vertical diet. This will help ensure that your body receives all of the vitamins and minerals it needs for optimal health and muscle gain. And remember, this diet should be used in conjunction with regular exercise and strength training to see the best results!

What are the benefits of the vertical diet?

There are a number of potential benefits to following the vertical diet. These include: 

Increased muscle mass and strength. 

Vertical diet followers often report increased muscle mass and strength as one of the key benefits of the diet. This may be due to the high levels of protein and other nutrients found in the foods emphasized on this diet. In order to see the best results, it is important to follow the vertical diet in conjunction with a structured fitness and training plan.

Better overall health and wellness. 

By focusing on high-quality, nutrient-rich foods and limiting processed and refined foods, the vertical diet can help improve your overall health and wellness. This includes reducing your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, as well as improving energy levels, mood, and overall quality of life.

Better sleep quality. 

In addition to improving your physical health, following the vertical diet can also improve the quality of your sleep. Foods that are rich in magnesium such as leafy greens, nuts, and seeds can help relax your muscles and reduce symptoms of insomnia or other sleep disorders.

Potential reduction in risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes.

Studies have shown that a diet rich in red meat, processed meats, and refined grains can increase the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. By following the vertical diet, you can help reduce your overall risk of these diseases and improve your health over time. 

Improved metabolic function and energy levels.

The foods emphasized on the vertical diet are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats. These nutrients can help improve your metabolic function and boost energy levels, helping you feel more energized throughout the day. 

Enhanced athletic performance and recovery time.

Since the vertical diet focuses on lean protein and other essential nutrients, followers often report improved athletic performance and faster recovery time after intense workouts or sports competitions. For athletes looking to gain an edge in their training, the vertical diet can help give you that extra boost of energy and nutrition you need to succeed.

The Downsides to the Vertical Diet 

There are some downsides to the vertical diet, these include: 

It’s restrictive. 

The vertical diet is fairly restrictive, focusing primarily on animal-based proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats. This can make it difficult to follow for those who have certain food sensitivities or dietary restrictions such as vegetarianism or veganism. 

It can be hard to stick with. 

Because the vertical diet is so restrictive and focused on limiting processed and refined foods, it may be difficult to stick with for some people. This can make it challenging to maintain over the long term without a lot of willpower. 

It may not be nutritionally complete. 

Since the vertical diet emphasizes certain food groups over others, it can be difficult to get all of the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. It is important to speak with a qualified dietitian or healthcare professional before starting the vertical diet in order to make sure that it will meet your unique nutritional needs.

Can you lose weight on the Vertical Diet?

While there is no one "magic" diet that will guarantee weight loss for everyone, many people do find success with the Vertical Diet. This diet emphasizes nutrient-rich foods and mindful eating habits, which can help you feel more satisfied and in control of your food choices throughout the day. Plus, by focusing on balanced protein intake and limiting processed and refined foods, you may see improved metabolic function and energy levels that can help support weight loss efforts.

That said, the Vertical Diet is not necessarily designed as a weight loss diet specifically. If you are looking for a more structured weight loss program or are interested in losing weight quickly, it may be best to consult with your healthcare provider or a dietitian to determine the best approach for your specific needs. With the right guidance and support, however, the Vertical Diet may be a great way to start making healthy changes in your life that can lead to long-term healthier eating habits. 

If you are interested in trying the vertical diet, there are many online resources available that can help you get started. You may also want to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a nutritionist or dietitian, to get personalized advice on how to make healthy changes that work for your lifestyle and preferences.

Whether you are looking for an alternative approach to traditional dieting or simply want to try something new, the vertical diet could be a great option for you. With its focus on real, nutrient-rich foods and mindful eating habits, this diet can help you feel energized, healthy, and satisfied with your food choices.

Build lean mass and reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness with Elm & Rye Pre Workout.

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2023 Kalmbach Media Co.