Dave Palumbo Diet – Bodybuilding Keto Diet

dave palumbo keto dietThe Dave Palumbo keto diet (keto being short for ketosis) is gaining popularity on forums and within bodybuilding communities recently and lots of gym goers seem to be giving it a go in aid of getting cut and losing body fat for the summer.

I’m writing this article on the Dave Palumbo keto diet to explain in more detail how the diet works as well as listing a variety of diet plans for different bodyweights designed by the man himself, Dave Palumbo.

Dave Palumbo has come up with his own version of the ketogenic diet tailored specifically for bodybuilders by designing a simple to follow keto diet that burns fat yet preserves muscle.  The diet is strict, but this actually makes it easier to stick to as there is no room to cheat.

The science behind the Dave Palumbo keto diet

The Dave Palumbo keto diet is based around a high protein, moderate fat and low carbohydrate system.

The idea behind the low carbohydrate side of the Dave Palumbo keto diet is to reduce body fat storage and help mobilise fat loss.  The one hormone in the body that assists in storing body fat is insulin.  When we consume carbohydrates, they are then broken down into the blood stream as glucose (blood sugar).  The consumption of carbohydrates prompts your body to release insulin from the pancreas which then feeds your body’s cells with the glucose from the blood stream.  When your cells are full of glucose, the excess glucose will be stored as body fat.  So ultimately by eliminating carbohydrates from your diet you will help prevent the release of insulin and help prevent the storage of body fat.

As I’m sure we all know, all bodybuilding diets require high levels of protein, a typical estimate in grams is about 1.5 times your body weight in lbs.  The protein content is also a vital part of the Dave Palumbo keto diet to help prevent muscle tissue from being broken down as fuel for your body.

Finally the fats you consume in the Dave Palumbo keto diet are also very important.  Our bodies require essential fatty acids (such as omega 3 and 6) to protect muscle cell membranes which is important in repairing and preserving muscle tissue.  This is extremely important on a cutting diet like the Dave Palumbo keto diet as we want to maintain as much muscle mass as possible whilst losing body fat.  We also require quantities of monounsaturated fats too which help to increase your metabolism and aid in burning body fat.  If you don’t consume enough of these healthy fats your body will simply store more fat as a reserve to make up for a lack of fats in your diet which is not what we are trying to achieve here.  By consuming these monounsaturated fats it will also help us speed up our metabolism to help burn fat as well as stimulating growth hormone.

Dave Palumbo: “We are priming the body hormonally to be in the ideal fat burning scenario, which is high growth hormone which we know mobilizes fat and low insulin which we know stores fat.”

Dave Palumbo diet videos

I strongly suggest you watch the following series of videos by the man himself, Dave Palumbo.  My post is just a general summary of the Dave Palumbo diet, you should watch the full videos to get a real understanding of what the diet involves.  The videos can be watched below.

Dave Palumbo keto diet video (part 1)

Dave Palumbo keto diet video (part 2)

Dave Palumbo keto diet video (part 3)


Dave Palumbo diet plans

200lb male
Meal #1: 5 whole eggs (Omega-3), 4 egg-whites (can be liquid egg-whites).
Meal #2: Shake: 50g Whey Protein with 1 ½ tablespoon of All Natural Peanut Butter (no sugar).
Meal #3: Lean protein meal: 8oz Chicken with ½ cup cashew nuts (or almonds, walnuts).
Meal #4: Shake: same as meal #2.
Meal #5: Fatty protein meal: 8oz Salmon, Swordfish, or Red Meat with a green salad (no tomatoes, carrots, or red peppers) with 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil or Macadamia Nut Oil and Vinegar.
Meal #6: Same as meal #2 and #4, or 4 whole (Omega-3) eggs and 4 extra egg-whites.

250lb+ male
Meal #1: 6 whole (Omega-3) eggs.
Meal #2: 8oz chicken with ½ cup raw almonds.
Meal #3: 50g whey protein with 2 tablespoons all natural peanut butter.
Meal #4: 8oz salmon with 1 cup asparagus with 1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil.
Meal #5: same as meal #3.
Meal #6: 6 whole (Omega-3) eggs.

The key points to remember when using the Dave Palumbo keto diet

Don’t change the structure of the diet! You are free to change like for like, for example chicken for turkey as a lean protein source.  Or asparagus for broccoli as a green vegetable source, but don’t start adding and removing key areas of the diet.

The Dave Palumbo keto diet includes all of your macronutrients for the day, you don’t need to add in additional pre, intra and post workout shakes.  If you want to time your day so a shake meal is 30 minutes after your workout then that is fine, but don’t add extra shakes into the diet plan otherwise the balance will be off.

Sticking with the topic of shakes, it is best to get yourself a whey protein isolate shake to use whilst on this diet over a whey protein concentrate or blend as the amount of carbohydrates and lactose is significantly less in whey protein isolate.

If you can’t get your hand on macadamia nut oil, extra virgin olive oil is fine as an alternative.

If you can’t find omega 3 eggs then simply supplement with 3x1000mg of omega 3 caps spread throughout the day.  You can also take 3x1000mg of evening primrose oil caps for additional EFA’s.

Diet drinks are OK on the Dave Palumbo diet but do limit your intake.  However some people are more sensitive to the artificial sweeteners used in them than other so it is recommended that you leave them out of the diet if possible.

It is OK to consume black coffee (obviously no milk or sugar) but once again try to limit your intake to 1 or 2 cups a day.  It is best to leave coffee out completely for the first couple of weeks whilst your body reaches a state of ketosis.

Don’t go mad with your re-feed meal, this can be one of the key areas with the Dave Palumbo diet where people slip up.  Consume a sensible amount of carbohydrates but don’t over do it!

10 Responses to “Dave Palumbo Diet – Bodybuilding Keto Diet”

  1. Do you know what could be substituted for the nuts in this diet if you were intolerant or allergic to nuts?

    Thank you.

  2. Hello, I am currently on week 9 of Dave Palumbo's ketogenic diet and I really like it. I have lost 7kg in 7 weeks.

  3. Hi iguanapunk, you could try substituting the nuts with another fat source with minimal carbohydrates. I would recommend more Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

  4. Is there also a version of the diet plan for ladies – figure girl to be precise ;-)

  5. Hi Katja,

    These are two well know Dave Palumbo diet plans for females:

    120lb female
    Meal #1: 2 whole (omega-3) eggs and 6 egg-whites.
    Meal #2: 4oz chicken with 1/4 cup raw almonds.
    Meal #3: 35g whey protein with 1 tablespoon all natural peanut butter.
    Meal #4: 4oz salmon with 1 cup asparagus with 1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil.
    Meal #5: same as meal #1 or meal #3.

    100lb (lean body mass) female figure competitor
    Meal #1: 2 whole omega-3 eggs and 4 egg whites.
    Meal #2: 30g whey protein and 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter.
    Meal #3: 6oz chicken and 1oz (1/8 cup) raw almonds.
    Meal #4: same as meal #2.
    Meal #5: 4oz salmon, 2 cups of spinach leaves, 1 teaspoon virgin olive oil and vinegar.

  6. Hi,

    I understand that when you have your cheat meal you need to replace meal 6 for the carb meal. With the carb meal do I keep fats low, moderate protein and I still have the other 5 meals as outlined for the day ?

    Thanks for you advice, much appreciated.

  7. I need one for a 200lb female please :)

  8. hi, is there a replacment for so many whole eggs a day and can there be a way of eating more fiber?

  9. Regarding the female plan…..are the weights for the chicken raw or cooked weight !

  10. Hi Denise,

    We would say the raw weight.

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