Have You Heard About This New Diet? (YOU MAY WANT TO READ THIS)

By Edward Casanova | Coding Journal | 8 Oct 2019


The thing about this diet is that is mostly aimed towards professional bodybuilders, high-performance athletes, cross-fitters… you get the idea, not your average Joe


  1. Introduction
  2. Body
    A. What is the vertical diet?
    B. The foods you can eat
    C. Restrictions
  3. Highlights


I know… another diet that probably doesn’t live up to the hype.

There’s just a myriad of alternatives out there and some of them are not even supposed to be for average people, like this one.

We all have an inner competition spirit but we must also be honest, not all of us are willing to spend our mornings and afternoons cooking a bunch of meals, packing them in toppers and carrying them around.

As you may guess, it was designed by an elite powerlifter named Stan Efferding in order to enhance the performance of elite athletes.




It’s all about the organization of the macro and micronutrients.

The key difference between this diet and its contrary, the horizontal diet, is that it emphasizes a limited number of high-quality, nutrient-rich foods that are easily digestible.

This diet is not for the overweight or lazy couch potatoes because it involves carbs, a lot of them.

The reason behind this is because its creator, Efferding, believes that in order to maximize nutrient partitioning (the way your body utilizes the nutrients from the foods you eat) and muscle gain the foods must be nutrient-dense, easily digestible and with a solid foundation of highly bioavailable nutrients.

Contrary to losing weight you want to stack in mass by being on a calorie surplus (eating more calories than the ones you use).



Alright, let’s get ready to feast.

This diet allows:

• Dairy: full-fat yogurt, whole milk, cheese
• Eggs: whole eggs
• Oranges and orange juice
• Carrots
• Cooked low-gas veggies (butternut squash, carrots, celery, parsley, zucchini, cucumber, bell pepper, eggplant, spinach, small steamed potato)
• Fatty fish: wild Alaskan salmon is highly encouraged
• Fruits: mostly oranges, 100% orange juice, cranberries, and 100% cranberry juice — but all fruits are allowed
• Legumes: beans and other legumes, only if soaked and fermented
• Low-FODMAP vegetables: carrots, celery, zucchini, cucumber, bell peppers, eggplant, spinach, butternut squash, etc.
• Oats: only if soaked and fermented
• Oils and fats: extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, butter, nuts
• Potatoes: white and sweet potatoes
• Poultry: chicken, turkey
• Red meat: beef, lamb, bison, and venison (Efferding addresses that you shouldn’t consider a hamburger the same as a steak, partly because ground meat tends to be assembled from all the odds and ends of the cows and scraps leftover from portioning out steaks and roasts). Also, ground meat isn’t the same as ground sirloin or ground round. The latter two are from a single cut of meat contrary to multiple ones as with the primer.
• Rice: white only
• Sodium: bone broth, chicken stock, iodized table salt

Although it may seem pretty low in variety we should take into account that high-performance athletes consume multivitamins and other supplements that may fill in the gaps that the diet leaves in the blank.



According to Kristin Kirkpatrick (dietary advisor), the diet is far too limited because it doesn’t seem to contain foods that are nutrient-dense but also a great source of fiber such as brown rice, beans and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli.

The diet is repetitive possibly making it harder to stick to in the long run and low in prebiotics (excluding garlic, onions, and barley).

Although it may be possible to adapt with intermittent fasting or a paleo protocol, it’s definitely not vegetarian or vegan-friendly.

• Added sugar: candy, pastries, baked goods, soda, sports drinks, etc.
• Coffee: regular and decaf
• Grains: brown rice, bread, pasta, breakfast cereals, wheat flour, unsoaked oats, etc.
• High-FODMAP (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols) vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, kale, etc.
• Highly processed vegetable oils: canola, soybean, corn, safflower, etc.
• Legumes: unsoaked lentils, beans, soy, peas, and peanuts
• Onions and garlic: all forms of onion, garlic, and shallots
• Other beverages: alkalized water
• Sugar alcohols: erythritol, xylitol, sorbitol, etc.

You are able to consume a little portion of these foods as long as there aren’t signs of any digestive symptoms, such as gas or bloating.

Not to forget that it’s fairly expensive considering that it bases most of its caloric intake on foods such as grass-fed beef and organic produce.


The thing about this diet is that is mostly aimed towards professional bodybuilders, high-performance athletes, cross-fitters… you get the idea, not your average Joe.

Notice that even if it seems that you are eating a lot; the focus of this diet is primarily on the micronutrients.

The greater your physical demands are the more vertical (higher calorie) you go.

According to Efferding, carbohydrate is what really fuels you to greater heights in muscle and performance, so get ready to pile up your carbs consumption.

• To start with, now you know the importance of nutrient-dense foods and prioritizing protein for lean bulking, contrary to mass bulking which is mostly emphasized towards size.
• In case you’re currently suffering from digestive issues you may know which foods to avoid.
• If you are into a variety of foods this diet isn’t your best choice.
• Not for newbies or people that need to lose weight.
• If you’re broke, this is a miss.
• This diet is for competitive training, there are better choices to improve your performance as an average person.


If you are an ambitious professional or entrepreneur looking to get in shape check my website or shoot me an e-mail.

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Have an epic one!

Edward Casanova, fitness coach at ZenFit

  1. https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/what-every-lifter-needs-to-know-about-the-vertical-diet.html
  2. https://www.purewow.com/wellness/vertical-diet
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vertical-diet-review
  4. https://www.tigerfitness.com/blogs/diet-weight-loss/vertical-diet-stan-efferding
  5. https://www.bodybuilding.com/images/2019/april/vertical-diet-stan-efferding-1-700xh.jpg
  6. https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=images&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjuwqnxko3lAhURrVkKHeK6DIAQjRx6BAgBEAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.t-nation.com%2Fdiet-fat-loss%2Fthe-30-day-bro-diet&psig=AOvVaw1FpCCyNO4I3mWbI8RhsADF&ust=1570640716836268
  7. https://i0.wp.com/lifterperspective.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/top.jpg.7b482ee302b08e4eca5d40d8173b1f0a-e1524978809109.jpg?fit=350%2C349
This article doesn’t represent medical advice; always consult with your personal trainer, nutritionist, physician or any other related health professionals.

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Edward Casanova
Edward Casanova

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