9 Differences Between Dieting as a Natural and Dieting as a Steroid/Drug User

| by Truth Seeker |

1. Steroid users can consume more calories.

Roid bros don’t starve like naturals, for they have more muscle mass, and their caloric baseline is higher. A muscular, ready-to-break-the-servers-of-Instagram fitness model does not have to drop his calories as low as a natural power-fatso. Muscle mass, a thing of which steroid users have a lot, boosts your metabolic rate. Rumor has it that each pound of muscle burns at least 14 additional calories per day or about 30 calories per kilogram. Therefore, 40 extra pounds of muscle equal 560 extra calories that you can add to your diet. The number goes even higher with activity. And while 560 calories may not sound like a lot, this perception changes quickly. When you are dieting, a pack of peanuts could be the difference between sanity and insanity.

Another factor allowing a higher food consumption among steroid users are the drugs.

Technically, steroids are not body fat cutting agents, but they certainly help in the process of getting lean by preserving lean body mass and steering the partitioning of nutrients towards the construction of muscle mass and away from fat accumulation. Hardly a surprise since steroids alter the natural cellular processes and trigger more intense muscle protein synthesis.

Nonetheless, steroids are never the main cutting agent taken by the pros. There is a separate legion of drugs for that purpose – T3 [Triiodothyronine], clenbuterol, growth hormone, ephedrine, estrogen blockers and many others. Let’s analyze some of those drugs.

Triiodothyronine – T3

T3 is a thyroid hormone that affects almost every physiological process in the body, including growth and development, metabolism, body temperature, and heart rate. It is produced by the thyroid gland – one of the maestros of the hormonal system.

The professional constructors of muscle fibers rely on T3 to speed up their metabolic rate, which usually slows down during dieting. This allows the unnatural brahs to get shredded faster and eat more compared to a regular natty fighting fat cells without technology. The primary concern with taking T3 is that your personal production of T3 shuts down. Sometimes the damage is permanent.

Clenbuterol /clen/

Clenbuterol was originally developed as a remedy for breathing disorders such as asthma, but since it also has a dramatic thermogenic effect, especially when coupled with other compounds, bodybuilders and fitness models adopted it as a fat burning drug.

Growth hormone

Growth hormone [GH] is a peptide that stimulates growth, cell reproduction, and cell regeneration in humans and other animals. GH and insulin are the reason why modern bodybuilders are 50lbs heavier than the bros from the Golden Era of Bodybuilding. It’s also not a secret that growth hormone helps a lot with getting shredded. GH directly stimulates the liberation of fatty acids. According to some muscle scholars, you can eat almost anything and not get fat when high-quality growth hormone is present in your system.


Ephedrine is a medication meant to prevent low blood pressure during spinal anesthesia. It has also served as a treatment for asthma, narcolepsy, and obesity but is not the preferred method. The aesthetic warriors utilize ephedrine in the battle against body fat for two main reasons. First, ephedrine boosts your energy. Second, it raises the metabolic rate and stimulates the mobilization and oxidation of fat.

Estrogen blockers

Pinners take estrogen blockers to prevent the conversion of testosterone into estrogen. Extra estrogen is your enemy when you are trying to become the sultan of muscle fibers, for it promotes fat gains.

2. Drug users get faster results.

Lee Priest getting shredded

When a natural tries to get lean, he/she has one main helper – diet. That’s it. When a drug warrior decides to get lean, he has not only dieting on his side but also roids and body fat cutting drugs. Of course, the muscle scholars will tell you that ”you need a perfect diet even if you take drugs”, but this doesn’t change the fact that drugs are effective. If they weren’t, the top dogs wouldn’t be using them.

A natural who diets really hard would usually lose no more than 2lbs of actual fat every week. Meanwhile, the lords of the drugs can lose double. Drugs simply speed up the process tremendously. Naturally, the enhanced user pays a price for riding the express train – side effects.

Another factor responsible for the faster visible results of steroid users are their starting body fat levels. Most needle samurai are pretty lean to begin with – body fat levels above 12-13% are rarely seen among fitness models and bodybuilders.

People believe that steroids don’t work as efficiently as possible when injected into thick layers of Jell-O common for fatso warriors. When your body fat is high, the estrogen and adipose tissue are having a party inside of you.

Moreover, the aromatase enzyme, the one converting excess testosterone to estrogen, resides in fat tissues. If you add steroids to an overweight body pre-loaded with female hormones, there will be a higher estrogen conversion and the side effects from the drugs will be amplified significantly. Also, steroids are known to elevate your blood pressure, which is probably already high if you are fat. This is why steroid gurus recommend to first lean out before injecting.

3. Steroid Users Look Fuller on a Diet

When a natural begins dieting, he/she starts transforming into a smaller, depleted unit. Family and friends gather around, faces steeped in anxiety, and bluntly ask – ”What’s wrong with you? Are you sick?” Little do they know that their question feels like a bullet in the heart.

”I am doing my best to develop the body of my dreams, and yet those idiots who have never dieted try to bring me down and degrade me,” says the frustrated natty while barely holding the ocean of tears and anger trying to get out.

This experience is unknown to the needle samurai. Steroid users also deplete on a diet but rarely look like fragile sticks. They have plenty of muscle mass that begins to pop more and more as the layers of fat thin. Roid users lose size on a diet, but since they have so many quality fibers already, they look bigger than before thanks to the extra detail.

When a roid brah gets lean, he transforms into a symbol of sex appeal and begins getting a different kind of attention known as what-the-hell-man. People look at him with eyes saying: ”Man, I want to be like you. I admire you.”

4. Steroid users get striations all over their bodies, natties do not.

One of the greatest lies ever told is that a natural can have striations all over his body. Dream on, Adam. It’s not happening. Naturals can get some striations here and there, but they will never match the deep cuts found on users of anabolic steroids. The explanation is fairly simple. First, natties have tiny muscles. This equals small, harder to see striations. Locating striations on a 19-inch arm is easier than on a 13-inch arm. Second, roid users tend to have a thinner skin revealing more details. Yes, that’s true. Some drugs make your skin feel like silk. This effect increases the number of visible striations. Dieting can’t give you the same result. If you are a natty dreaming of ”shredded glutes”, you should choose another dream because that one ain’t happening.

5. Steroid users grow into a show. Natties disappear into a show.

Many roid users get bigger as they approach a show. They are essentially gaining muscle and getting shredded at the same time. The explanation is trivial – drugs. Close to a competition, the muscle architects often up the dose and take hardening anabolic steroids like Tren. The goal is to preserve muscle during the dieting phase while slowly acquiring the 3D look. The result is a transformation of the highest order. Meanwhile, Mr. Natty is becoming smaller by the day. It’s simply impossible to build muscle and lose fat at the same time when you are natural except for a few rare scenarios. Broccoli and chicken don’t have similar properties. And, no, Vince Gironda‘s desiccated liver tablets, fertilized eggs and Sissy squats can’t help either.

Ironically, this is also a sign if someone is natural or not. If you have a friend getting nastier closer to a show, he is more than likely importing roids in his body as we speak. Naturals are depleted, tired, small and fragile after a super shredding diet. End of story.

6. Naturals are advised to keep lifting heavy and reduce the volume. Roids users are advised to continue the circus.

A classic advice for naturals on a diet is to keep the intensity high while reducing the volume. According to this concept, the heavy weight will preserve your muscle mass and strength whereas the low volume will make the workout possible even on low calories.

For example, if your regular routine calls for 5 sets, you may have to reduce them to 1 while keeping the work weight unchanged. If your strength remains the same or increases, it is very unlikely that you are losing muscle mass on a cut. Meanwhile, the roid bros don’t bother with similar nonsense. There is no need to when testosterone and tren are swimming inside of you. Besides, roid masters quit lifting heavy weights close to a show to avoid injuries. There are some exceptions, but those guys do it for their ego – not because they have to.

7. Steroid users look more vascular than naturals.

Nasty drugs and high concentration of muscle mass render roidheads more vascular compared to their naturals brothers. Roid monkeys look like road maps with deep veins popping everywhere. Some people don’t like the road map look, but many do because it classifies you as a freak of nature and generates extra attention – something that all fitness models and bodybuilders adore. And while naturals can also acquire visible veins all over their bodies, the effect is never the same.

8. Steroid importers are respected for their ”discipline” while naturals are ridiculed and slaughtered by hatred.

Since roid users have otherworldly bodies turning heads on the street, they get to fill the craniums of the naive and unaware with whatever they want. More often than not the choice is to spread the usual political correctness – ”I work very hard. That’s why I have deep 10 pack abs.”

Like poor people at a get-rich-quick seminar, humanoids want to believe that all it takes to build a super shredded 3D body is discipline and hard work. And while there’s always an element of discipline and work ethic involved, neither can take you to the highest level naturally.

Roid users receive respect for their efforts while naturals are often ridiculed no matter how disciplined they are. When you are natural, your family has a harder time understanding what you are doing because you don’t look so different from them. People shut up only when you make them shut up with results.

9. The testosterone levels of naturals drop on a diet

Diets often result in hormonal changes. One of them is suppressed testosterone. You can’t expect to limit yourself for a long time without consequences. Those hormonal shifts affect your mood tremendously. And while roid users also experience this effect, their testosterone levels do not drop thanks to the hormones injected on a daily basis.


2 Similarities Between Naturals and Roid Users Fighting Body Fat

1. Dieting helps both

Natty or not, big or small, dieting works and is the main road to leanness. Roid users have many advantages over naturals, but they still have to diet in order to enjoy optimal and faster results.

2. Dieting makes everyone insane

Natty or not, big or small, dieting could make anyone insane because you are limiting yourself. You are constantly telling to your body: ”Can’t have this!”. This makes the organism crave the forbidden fruit more. Even roid users cannot escape from this pain completely.

P.S. Potential: How Big Can You Get Naturally is out.

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  1. oz

    Is the whole concept of “dieting down” a myth as a natural? Theoretically, even if you were able to put on 20 lbs of muscle and 10-15 lbs of bodyfat, when you then try to “diet down” to lose that bodyfat, how much of that muscle will also be lost?

    1. Glove

      Exactly. I remember my one and only competition at the age 18. I “dieted” down about 15lbs. I cant remember in which period of time. Maybe 4 – 6 weeks. One member of my gym asked me: why are you doing that? You´ll loose all the muscle-mass you have now. (and we know that it´s not very much as a natty!) He was right.

      Later on I saw the results of many experiments like this. I know a natty who did it for about 9 month. He was incredible shredded. He came to a stage which I thought it´s impossible to reach for a natty. My impression was that he had less muscle mass as a beginner. No need to tell you that this has nothing to do with body-“building”. It´s a controlled body reduction. All these people started to consume calories like hell after taking pictures. Never again they said.
      A diet makes sense for heavily overweight lifters. For a normal natty it´s contraproductive.

    2. joe santus

      As the human body (naturally) loses bodyfat, it ALSO loses muscles mass, yep. The rule -of-thumb is ” 1lb of lean mass lost with every 3 lbs of bodyfat” (ever hear that TV commercial for a weight-loss aid which proclaims “…and 75% of the weight lost using our product is bodyfat!”? Now you know why they can truthfully make their misleading claim — because, although they’re wording in a way which they expect will make you assume this is special to their wares, it’s a fact that 75% of weight lost is bodyfat for ANY healthful dieting).

      Genetics, nutrient content, and training do affect that 3:1 ratio somewhat. Some have genetics for losing slightly more or slightly less than 1 lb of muscle with every 3 lbs of bodyfat. Eating adequate protein (an average of about 1 gram per pound of overall bodyweight per day is more than adequate) can ensure muscle mass loss during dieting doesn’t become worse than 1 lb for every 3 lbs (inadequate protein intake can cause even more muscle loss). Too much weekly training volume or too little training intensity can cause more than 1 lb to be lost for every 3 lbs of bodyfat.

      So, your hypothetical PED-free guy who diets after he gained 20 lbs of muscle and 15 pounds of fat, if born with a 3:1 ratio, eating adequate protein, and training optimally, will lose 5 lbs of muscle while losing 15 lbs of bodyfat.

      If 5 lbs seems less muscle loss than expected, realize that your hypothetical doesn’t consider his ending bodyfat percentage; because, if he’s still at, say, 180 lbs @ 20% bodyfat even after losing 15 lbs of bodyfat, then by the time he diets to 12% bodyfat, he’ll have lost possibly another 5 lbs of muscle.

  2. Az

    Hi TruthSeeker, how is Jimmy the Tren brah doin? Still suffering ill side effects? You need to bring him back in your next articles 🙂

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      You are right. He has to come back. But right now I am focusing on Harry.

  3. Michael

    Truth Seeker, what are you thoughts on Tavi Castro? He never claimed natty openly but you can see him commenting on his IG about 10 years of lifting experience, allegedly drug-free. Also he has his own cool story like “I was super poor; I’ve been eating 2 cans of tuna a day, that’s it; I never gave up”.

  4. oz

    The idea that you can “bulk up” to build muscle along with fat, and then “diet down” to lose the bodyfat while holding onto the lean mass gained, is a myth as a natural.

    1. Steve Crook

      Mentally bloody difficult too, if you’re going to repeat that cycle two or three times a year…

      I keep at around 10% BF, visible abs but nowhere near ‘show’ condition. It takes practice and a degree of self control, but I think it’s overall easier and less stressful for my body.

      It’s taken about three years but, eventually, my lipostat has accepted my current fat levels as the new normal. Don’t ever see that’s going to happen with the crash dieters. They’ll never lose the cravings.

      1. Jon Davies

        Haha. I found this article really humourous (“the drug warrior, etc……” haha) but I found it really interesting also. Makes a lot of sense! 🤔

    2. Isal Artha

      Damn, totally agree with you! Once you become lean, never think to collect lard anymore

  5. ILoveTRT

    TruthSeeker, your knowledge of endocrine system and strength training amazes me. Are there any resources about these subjects that you would recommend me? Thank you.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thank you. If you are asking about a book, just find one you like and take it from there.

    2. Justadennis

      Keith Frayn. Metabolic Regulation, Human Perspective.
      Or: Medbio.info

    3. Steve Crook

      The Hungry Brain – Stephan Guyenet.

      Explains why you feel hungry, from brain function to hormone systems. It’s a fascinatingly complex subject. The books based on current scientific knowledge and written by a guy who’s a researcher in the neurobiology of obesity.

      I thought it was really useful and provided explanations for some of the things I’d experienced while dropping 20Kg and getting fit.

  6. Donne the Conquerer

    Since 99.99% of natties who train for the look will never compete (because they have zero interest to do so), the whole striated glutes and pulsating “road map” vein thing always seemed like overkill to me.

    It’s hard to attain, even harder to maintain for any length of time, and most people consider the look nasty anyway.

    I admit that I tried to get as close to that look as possible naturally twice (just to see how far I can push the envelope and see what it looks like on me), but I achieved a level of leaness at about 7-8% bodyfat each time that I felt was sufficient, and decided to head back toward sanity. It’s a good experiment to see what you’ll look like and what you’re capable of, so doing it once or twice isn’t a bad idea; it will give you perspective going forward.

    A body 8-12% for most people is attainable and comfortable to stay at, so this is something I would recommend to strive for. Most folks will find this level of leaness satisfactory and will love the way they look – and as bonus they will be healthy and happy with no loss in strength or performance.

    1. Grey Mysterio

      I doubt you were ever 15% bf, let alone 8 mate. No one on the intraweb cares for your attempt to make yourself seem relevant. So good day.

    2. joe santus

      Agreed, regarding targeting 10-12% bodyfat as the most-of-the-year normal for average-gened, PED-free, non-competitive guys, after they’ve been bodybuilding consistently and properly for at least twelve months. Beginners usually do better gaining muscle during that first twelve months holding a 13-15% bodyfat, since the moderate caloric surfeit is more productive for anabolism.

  7. Jozzu

    Hola Truth seeker ,
    Me gustan mucho tus post,me gustaría que hicieras post sobre temas más generales y no solo sobre el fitness ya que tienes una filosofía de la vida muy bueno.me gustaría saber de parte tuya si entrenar con rutinas fullbody con un ejercicio por músculo con una frecuencia de dos veces por semana por músculo daría buen resultado?

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      I don’t speak this language.

      1. Steve Crook

        He likes your philosophy and is asking (I think) what you’d recommend for someone who only gets to train a couple of times a week and would like to do whole body sessions.

        Though how he knows what your philosophy is or expects to understand a reply if he can’t speak English…

        Perhaps it’s a black op by the CIA…

  8. Dan

    It’s almost impossible to lose muscle mass while dieting. If you are above 10% body fat you cant lose muscle unless you did something crazy like eat 0 grams of protein a day. And keep in mind that 10% body fat is incredibly lean.

  9. swabbie

    When I drop to 78kg which was my personal record (184cm height) people around me were telling me that I look like a skeleton hahah, and all that with abs very far from visible
    Again, my belly start to pop up as soon as I hit 83-4kg or more, sadly
    So much for adventure

    1. Grey Mysterio

      Your diet must be wack.

      I spotted some abs at around 95 kgs. Now down to 84 they pop-out. Even when blotted or after a heavy meal, you can see the turtle like shells over it.

  10. McF7y

    Reading this makes me want to hit the gym!

  11. Sanjay

    At least one study ???

    You make thousands of claims in each post without ever citing a single Goddamn study!!!

    Only Hateful Rant without any reference will make thing hard to believe these days even if it true.

  12. alphonse

    there aint nothing truer than number 8. People are so naive than if you dont look like jeff seid they will believe you are a lazy tard, even if you are capable of doing one arm pull ups and human flags, I know it cause i have lived it 🙁

  13. Riki Pianola

    Hey buddy, what do you think of International Olympic committee’s decision to ban Russia from winter Olympics. There are allegations of systematic state sponsored doping instances occurring in Russia. Do you think it is fair? Are athletes from western countries really innocent?

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      It’s politics. Obviously, all pro athletes are juicers.

      1. Dan

        You are right, Truth Seeker. The sanctions for Russia are a joke. Every Olympic athlete is on drugs. To think otherwise is an insult.

        1. Michael

          Those sanctions aren’t about juicers and sports but rather russia’s offensive behaviour throughout last 3-4 years.

    2. alphonse

      yeah, reminds me the baseball steroid scandal, suddenly lots of guys who made lots of homeruns got “caught” after that other guys kept breaking records of known steroid-users, how is that possible? genetics, talent and harworkd? yeah sure. also truth seeker, i believe the baseball steroid scandal shows that you dont need to be a 200 lbs monster to be consider a juicer.

  14. Amanjit Gill

    NEEDLE SAMURAI !! Hahaha.. Awesome. You made my day 🙂

  15. Angel

    Great article!
    I would like to ask you for your opinion.
    What do you think would be the best strategy for skinny fat guys?

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      I have prepared an article on skinny-fatness. However, in short – if you are more fat than skinny, it makes more sense to eat at a small deficit. If you are more skinny than fat, eating at a slight caloric surplus while training could help.

  16. Matt

    Do you know what sort of doses bodybuilders and other athletes trying to make weight use for T3? I have hypothyroidism and legitimately need T3 & T4 just to get to normal levels. Typically you have to play around with the dosing a lot to get it dialed in and it’s really interesting to see the effects it has on you.

    With no medications, I had very little muscle mass and was still about 10-15 lbs heavier than I’d consider normal for me being sedentary. Even starving myself with <<<1500 calories a day I couldn't drop my bodyfat below a certain point. T4 makes me a little leaner, but also increased muscle, probably indirectly boosting testosterone, which was also super low from hypothyroidism. With 5 micrograms of T3, and 37.5 T4, I could eat as much food as humanly possible and still be insanely lean for a normal person and have infinite energy, but also had really bad hyperthyroid symptoms and was not able to build any muscle. Dropping down to 2.5 T3 would put me at a hair leaner than I was before the hypothyroid started getting really bad and in the sweet spot athletically but still had some hyperthyroid symptoms. 50 T4 and 0 T3 keeps the hyperthyroidism at bay and makes me about where I was in the very early stages of hypothyroidism before it was a big deal. I can only imagine what a bodybuilder or an MMA fighter uses to get to 5% bodyfat and what sort of toll that takes on their body.

  17. Jack

    I’m almost 60, and have been up and down the scale since I was a butterball preteen. I can cut like a 14yo anorexic chick. I still have ancient notes and logs about my workouts, diets and body condition. Bottom line is that after I was done growing (~18yo) my basic body conformation remained constant. Time and again I would cut following a bulk, and pass THE SAME EXACT MARKERS as I leaned out. In other words, after all that pumping iron and stuffing my face, my actual musculature never surpassed what I had when I reached adulthood. I was trapped in the system and choked down some serious quantities of protein powder and tuna over the decades because I believed Arnold and friends.

    I was blessed with decent genetics but wanted mythical muscles. Kept striving until I finally woke up and realized the the whole hypertrophy game was a mirage in the desert.

    I just regret that I should have been happy with a very good natty package instead of dreaming of a body from the cover of a mag.

    I respect the fact that you snapped out of the dreamland at a much younger age. Judging from the comments on your site, you have a number of older iron warriors who are fellow haters. Props brah

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thank you for the comment. Many natties find themselves in the same situation – they bulk and train and cut – but ultimately end up at the same place they were after the so-called newbie gains. However, they continue to think that a magic routine or a diet plan will somehow catapult them into mythical muscles like you said.

    2. Fatman

      Christian Thibaudeauwhatever had a good article about this on T-Nation. He has experimented with multiple training and diet methods over the years and found that his muscular weight never increased by more than 5-10 lbs., and usually settled around the same number. Pretty sure he wasn’t natty that whole time either, which really makes you think twice about this bulking/cutting stuff.

      My experiences have been similar over almost two decades of training.

      1. joe santus

        Yep, ditto for mine during my total of forty-five years of PED-free bodybuilding.

        Genetics set our max-mass-at-12%BF. Bulking/cutting MIGHT enable someone to get to his genetic limits for the first time (which typically require 4 to maybe 5 consecutive years of consistent progressive training and proper nutrition/recuperation to reach). However, once he hits his genetic ceilings, he could then add even a hundred pounds of bodyweight with a bulk, but when he cuts to 12%, his lean mass will be the same as before the bulk. Genetics can’t be overridden without drugs.

  18. MB

    Great article.
    Point 8 reminded me to a video I once saw on Youtube where a real natty – he looked fit, but definately not like the magazines – did some explanation about muscles / anatomy and mistakes people make in the gym.
    What he told made sense, but the only comment he got was that he first had to build muscle before he made this kind of video’s.
    But when Rich Piana would say the same thing, everybody would agree with it.

  19. Artifically Natural

    What would you say the FFMI of an ectomorph could be naturally at 10-12% bodyfat?

    While I’m pretty sure 24 or 25 is not in the cards, would you say a 21-22 FFMI is attainable? I would think that this would yield a pretty good physique for those who are starting at only 16 or 17 FFMI. If so, what kind of “bulk” should the person perform. We know 1lb/week is too much…maybe 1 pound a month?

  20. Boxcar

    #9 is key. There was a study showing that a 40% calorie deficit, combined with strength training, will lower young men’s average testosterone from the 500’s to the 100’s. A lot of physique guys end up in TRT because of this. This is a huge advantage, since they will have 5-10x the testosterone as an average guy while cutting. They are still technically in the normal range, but there is nothing normal about having high testosterone while on a cut. This helps them to hold on to their muscle and also make them look fuller while cutting. They will also have better mood, strength and sexual function.

    Going on TRT is totally legal, but it is obviously an unnatural advantage. Trying to be both big and cut without it will be extremely difficult for most men, and drive most of them into hypogonadism while cutting. There are probably a lot of guys on this site who fall into this TRT gray area — not technically on steroids, but not natural either.

    Some YouTube fitness guru’s are upfront about the issues associated with cutting. Alphadestiny even advocates just going for 15-20% body fat, to maximize natural size and strength.

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