Secret #1: There actually is one perfect supplement.Beware of the latest nutrition fad hyping a “miracle” supplement — any product promising to magically transform your body so that it’s leaner and more muscu-lar . There’s no such thing . But there is a substance you need for growth and repair — food. To get the results you want from nutrition, food will always work the most effectively, much better than “miracle” supplements or meal replacement diets. I call food the “perfect supplement.”
Food provides something that supple-ments or meal replacement diets do not: the raw materials your body needs for growth and for the stimulation of chemical processes involved in the breakdown, ab-sorption, and assimilation of nutrients. The digestive process, for example, requires “real” food — complete with its balance of nutrients and fiber — to do the job for which it was designed. The presence of food, acids, and digestive enzymes in the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine) and the jejunum (the second section of the small intestine) stimulates the production of hormones required for the absorption of nutrients. Without food, these processes are interrupted, and the proper assimilation of nutrients is impaired.
Your body’s cells don’t get everything they need . In my work with the best bodybuilders and athletes in the world, I’ve identified which foods yield the best results in terms of physique and performance. Lean pro-tein, for example, supplies nutrients called amino acids which are required for every metabolic process. Athletes have higher requirements for protein than the average person . Without enough protein, you can-not build muscle, repair its breakdown after training, or drive your metabolism. Starchy and fibrous carbohydrates supply energy and are stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver. You need certain fats called Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), which must be sup-plied by the diet. EFAs regulate many biological functions, including the manu-facture of connective tissue, cellular walls, and hormones. You can get EFAs from safflower oil, flaxseed oil, linseed oil, sun-flower seed oil and Parrillo Evening Prim-rose Oil 1000™, among others. All the foods I recommend have a “high-nutrient density.”
This describes the ratio of nutrients in a food to the energy it supplies. Natural starchy foods like pota-toes, yams, brown rice, and whole grains are packed with carbohydrates, protein, vi-tamins, and minerals. Fibrous vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, water, fiber, and carbohydrate. And, lean proteins are high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. In short, high-density nutrient foods pack a lot of nutritional wallop, and that’s why you should eat them . Try to stay away from low-nutrient density foods. These are typically “junk foods” such as processed foods, sweets, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, and high fat foods. Low-nutrient density foods are easily converted to body fat or, as in the case of alcohol, can interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize fat. Foods containing simple sugars are excluded from my nutrition program be-cause they also convert easily to body fat. These foods include fruit and fruit juices, which contain the simple sugar fructose, and dairy products, which contain the simple sugar lactose . You can increase the nutrient density of your nutrition by adding in supplements — but only after you’re eating properly.
By taking supplements, you force your digestive system to process more nutrients. This allows the nutrient levels in your body to be increased at the cellular level — beyond what can be achieved by food alone. This, along with a gradual increase of calories, helps your body repair and grow. Supplements are quality nutrients that work in conjunction with food to help your body build its metabolism and recov-ery mechanisms . Food is the cornerstone of nutrition. If you don’t eat the proper foods — lean pro-teins, starchy carbohydrates, and fibrous carbohydrates — nothing else matters. No supplement can ever provide all the ben-efits that food supplies. We were built to process food — proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. If you want to make the best possible progress with your physique, I suggest that you start with the basics. And that means food.Secret #2: You can lose body fat by in-creasing your calories. On my nutrition program, women can eat between 2,000 and 6,000 calories a day; and men, between 4,000 and 10,000 calories a day or more – and still lose body fat!
To begin such a program, you need a caloric base from which you can build, adding more calories. This base varies from person to person and depends on how many calories you now average and somewhat on what you weigh. Some women, for example, may be eating only 1,500 or 1,800 calories a day, and so begin-ning the program at 3000 calories would be difficult. A starting point of 2000 calories would be more sensible. In other words, you should not jump in at the upper caloric levels because you could have a difficult time consuming such a large quantity of food. Here are step-by-step guidelines on how to plan your daily menus to allow for a caloric increase and a body fat decrease: 1. Decide on how many calories you require per meal. Select your caloric base, and divide that number by the number of daily meals you’ll eat, either five, six, or more. This gives you the approximate number of calories to eat at each meal. For example, if your caloric base is 4,000 calories and you plan to eat six meals a day, each meal should provide approxi-mately 667 calories . 2. Choose protein sources. Next, de-termine how much protein you need to meet your daily protein requirements.
Each day, you should eat 1 .25 to 1 .5 grams or more of protein per pound of body weight. At least one gram of protein per pound of your body weight should come from com-plete protein sources such as lean white meat poultry, fish, egg whites, or protein powder. The remaining should come from starchy and fibrous carbohydrates, which also contain protein. To determine the ex-act amount of protein to consume, use the following equation: Your body weight X 1.5 (or 1.25) = Required grams of protein per day. (Some-one who weighs 175 pounds, for example, would need 262.5 grams of protein a day.) Divide your daily protein intake by the number of daily meals to calculate how many grams of protein you need at each of those meals . 3. Choose Carbohydrates. Decide which fibrous carbohydrates you’ll eat and how many grams of each. Figure in one or two per meal. At this point, sub-total your calories to see how much you have left to “spend” on starchy carbohydrates. Figure in one or two starchy carbohydrates a meal . 4. Add in calories from supplements. To increase your daily caloric intake, use supplements. The supplements I recom-mend are a carbohydrate supplement such as ProCarb™, a protein powder, such as Hi-Protein Formula ™, or a Parrillo Pro-tein Bar™, and CapTri®, also known as MCT oil . Secret #3. A lot of food supplements contain fat-forming fructose. Read the labels of nutrition beverages and bars you buy. You might be surprised to see fructose, or high fructose corn syrup, as one of the first few ingredients.
Fructose came into favor years ago because of its effect on blood sugar. Un-like other simple sugars, it triggers neither a surge of insulin nor a corresponding drop in blood sugar an hour or so after eating it. That’s the good news. But there’s more to the fructose story. After you work out, your body moves from an energy-using mode (catabolism) to an energy storage and rebuilding mode (anabolism). During the transition, dietary carbohydrate is broken down into glucose and fructose to be used for “glycogenesis,” the manufacture of glycogen to restock the muscles and liver. Fructose is used primarily to restore liver glycogen; it’s really not a good re-supplier of muscle glycogen. Glucose, on the other hand, bypasses the liver and is carried by the bloodstream straight to the muscles you just worked, where the glycogen-mak-ing process begins. Any muscle emptied of glycogen due to exercise is first on the list to get its quota of glucose. Clearly, one of the keys to effectively restoring glycogen is the type of carbo-hydrate you eat. Natural, starchy carbo-hydrates such as potatoes, yams, whole grains, corn, and legumes do a better job at this than simple sugars do. Research has shown that a diet high in starchy car-bohydrates can restock more glycogen in the muscles 48 hours after exercise than simple sugars can .
If you eat simple sugars like fructose, you’re not going to be able to store as much glycogen had you consumed natural, starchy carbohydrates. What implications does this have for you as an athlete or bodybuilder? First, you won’t be able to train as hard or as long during your next workout, because you haven’t stored as much gly-cogen. Nor will you be able to recover from your workouts as efficiently. Plus, the simple sugars are likely to spill over into fat stores, with just a fraction con-verted to glycogen. By contrast, eating ample amounts of starchy carbohydrates will extend your endurance and effectively re-supply your muscles with glycogen for better recovery. You’ll stay leaner too, since starchy carbs are fully utilized for energy production and glycogen synthesis . Second, you’ll notice less of a “pump” while working out, also due to low gly-cogen stores in the muscle. The “pump” describes an exercised muscle heavily en-gorged with blood. If you can’t get a good pump, it’s difficult to get the full benefits of “fascial stretching.”
This is my system of stretching between exercise sets. It stretches the fascia tissue surrounding the muscle so that it has more room to grow. The best time to stretch is when the muscle is fully pumped, because the pump helps stretch the fascia too. With low glycogen levels in the muscle, you can’t stretch to the maximum. This limits your growth potential. (For more information on fascial stretching, consult the Parrillo Training Manual.) Third – and this is the biggie – fructose is easily converted to body fat. Because of fructose’s molecular structure, the liver readily converts it into a long-chain triglyc-eride (a fat). Therefore, a majority of the fruit you eat can ultimately end up as body fat on your physique. You’ll notice an incredible difference when you eliminate fruits and juices from your diet. These three basic understandings are the cornerstone to successfully achieving you nutriotional goals. Even though they are the most important, they are often the least known among many in the fit-ness community. If you remember these three “secrets” they can seriosly help you achieve your goals.