Billed as a diet plan for those who aren’t overweight, the Body Opus Diet strives to make normal people extraordinary, providing them with the nutrition and exercise plans needed to take their bodies to the next level. Dan Duchaine, a former American bodybuilder, author and proud proponent of steroids, presented the Body Opus Diet in his 1996 book, “Underground Body Opus: Militant Weight Loss & Recomposition.”
Duchaine’s Body Opus Diet features two distinct segments. During the week, you reduce your normal caloric intake by 10 percent and consume no carbohydrates at all. Instead, your daily diet from Monday through Friday would see you getting 30 percent of your calories from protein and 70 percent of your calories from fat, with the fat derived from essential fatty acids found in fish, flaxseed, olive oil and similar sources. Then, on the weekends, you’ll flip the program entirely, consuming 10 percent more calories than your regular maintenance level and eating a carbohydrate-heavy diet, getting 60 percent of your calories from carbs, 25 percent of your calories from protein and 15 percent of your calories from fat.
It takes 9 calories of fat to equal 1 g of fat, while 4 calories of protein and 4 calories of carbohydrates equal 1 g of each, respectively. So when following the Body Opus Diet, if you eat 3,000 calories a day to maintain your current weight, you’ll eat 2,700 calories during the week, with the calories coming from 208 g of protein and 208 g of fat. On weekends, your daily caloric intake will jump to 3,300 calories and you’ll consume 495 g of carbs, 206 g of protein and 55 g of fat.
During the Body Opus Diet’s five-day cycle of low calories and low carbohydrates, the lack of carbs will result in depleted glycogen levels. Glycogen is simply glucose stored in muscle. Without adequate glucose for energy, the body will begin burning fat, resulting in organic compounds called ketones that act as fuel. Ketones cannot be converted back into fat, so unused amounts will be expelled from the body. Once the weekend hits, the high-carb diet replenishes the missing glycogen in a big way, triggering an anabolic reaction and creating dramatic muscle cell growth.
The Body Opus Diet’s anabolic reaction produces a natural pump for bodybuilders and athletes, swelling muscles without relying on illegal steroids or dangerous supplements. Depriving the body of carbs during the week also triggers fat burning, preserving the muscle that would otherwise be broken down when following traditional low-calorie diets.
The Body Opus Diet is meant for only those individuals interested in body building or for those who already have less than 15 percent body fat. Normal dieters will struggle with the regimented program and the strict dietary guidelines. Intentionally triggering ketosis can also place unwanted stress on the kidneys, which must expel the excess ketones. Never begin the Body Opus Diet without first consulting your physician, particularly if you have a history of kidney problems.