At Parrillo Performance we use sci-ence and experience to our advantage. One particular area of scientific interest for all serious bodybuilders should be hormones and how to regulate them. Combine serious training with regulation and manipulation of hormones and take your bodybuilding up to the next level. Were you aware that hor-mones control the amount of body fat we carry? When calories are consumed three things can happen: the calories can be used immediately to power movement and run bodily functions, the calories can be placed in storage as glycogen for use in the near future or the newly-consumed calories can be stored as body fat. Hormones instruct the body how to compartmentalize calories and my nutritional approach teaches you how to manipulate hormones to do the right thing at the right time.
By combining preci-sion eating with intense physical exercise two key hormones, insulin and glucagon can be regulated to our benefit. Insulin can have a powerful anabolic effect, particular-ly if secreted right after a heavy workout. Precise use of insulin causes nutrients to be rushed to battered muscles at just the right time. Manipulation of glucagon causes the body to burn stored body fat. Glucagon is released into the system when blood sugar is low. Glucagon causes body fat to be summoned from fat storage sites. Insulin and glucagon are both produced by the pancreas but each has an exactly opposite effect.
By controlling blood-sugar levels you determine how the body uses incom-ing calories. I call this nutrient partitioning and the concept is easy to understand but requires precision eating to realize the im-mense benefits. Carbohydrates are converted to blood glucose after they are consumed. Nutrients are transported to the liver via the portal vein and digested and absorbed by the small intestine. Carbs are converted to glucose and released into the bloodstream and a rapid rise in blood sugar triggers the release of insulin in order to facilitate glucose diffusion and move glucose into the cells. With the help of insulin, glucose is transported to the individual cells and either burned for energy or stored as gly-cogen. If too many of the wrong kind of carbohydrates are consumed too quickly and released into the bloodstream too rap-idly, insulin spikes.
If too much insulin is dumped into the bloodstream too quickly (all a direct result of consuming too many of the wrong kind of carbs) carbohydrates are eventually converted into body fat. Op-timally we want to burn carbs for energy. As a next resort we want excess carbs to go into carb limbo and end up stored as glycogen for use in the near future. The very last thing we want is for excessive car-bohydrates to become converted into body fat. The classical Parrillo bodybuilding diet insists you stay away from certain foods, foods that inevitably end up compartmen-talized as body fat. Simple or refined sugars top the avoid list: sweets, dairy products containing lactose, refined carbs like pasta and bread are foods that need be avoided altogether. Calories derived from simple sugars are usually channeled directly to body fat storage compartments pointing out why food selection is critical. Are you aware that a gland, the hy-pothalamus, determines how much body fat a person should carry? It is possible to reset the hypothalamus ‘set point’ by mak-ing intelligent food choices. Resetting the set-point is accomplished by combining intense exercise with specific foods taken at specific times in specific amounts. I have arrived at a very effective method for struc-turing meals that combines certain foods in order to make optimal use of insulin and glucagon. If done correctly we can actually reset the hypothalamus in the process .
Op-timally a bodybuilder eats multiple meals spaced at equidistant intervals throughout the day. Elite bodybuilders using a Parrillo nutrition plan will eat 5 to 8 meals per day and each meal will contain a portion of three key food groups: Protein is critical for anyone who trains intensely. Protein is composed of amino acids essential for rebuilding and regener-ating muscle tissue torn down by intense progressive resistance training. Every time you consume a meal, be sure to include a protein portion. Protein keeps muscle tissue supplied with building blocks needed to fuel growth.
Fibrous carbohydrates have a dampen-ing effect on insulin and therefore, along with protein, are considered the backbone of the Parrillo nutritional approach. Every time you consume a meal, include a fibrous carb to help dampen insulin spikes. Starchy carbohydrates are a mixed bag; I include them in my nutritional pro-gram but always combine their consump-tion with a fibrous carb and a protein por-tion. During mass building phases starchy carbs are eaten in ample amounts. During lean-out phases, starchy carbohydrate con-sumption is systematically reduced . Insulin and glucagon are two sides of the same coin and work together to keep blood sugar levels on an even keel. By avoiding certain foods and making sure to take other foods in combination with one another we favorably manipulate powerful hormones that aid in our quest to build ad-ditional muscle and strip off excess body fat. The optimal insulin-to-glucagon ratio is determined by the ratio of carbohydrates-to-proteins in your diet. In a nutshell, my recommendation to people interested in trying a Parrillo-style bodybuilding diet is to start by consuming 1 to 1.5 grams or more of protein per pound of body weight per day. A 200-pound man would consume 200-250 grams of protein per day. That sounds like a lot of protein but if you are hitting the weights and the cardio as hard and often and as intensely as you’re sup-posed to, you will need this much protein to heal and repair muscle tissue and still have enough amino acids left to fuel new growth.
At Parrillo, long chain saturated fat is allotted no more than 5% of daily calo-ries . A man eating 3000 calories per day would be allowed to consume only 150-calories worth of saturated fat per day; a mere 17-grams of long chain saturated fat. Starchy carbohydrates are the wild card in the Parrillo nutritional philosophy. As I mentioned earlier, during a concen-trated muscle-mass building phase, starchy consumption is purposefully increased. During a mass-building phase I recom-mend adding 1-pound of body weight per 100-pounds of bodyweight per week. Our hypothetical 200-pound athlete would seek to add 2-pounds of bodyweight per week for the length of the mass-building phase. Since protein and fibrous carb consumption is kept high regardless if the bodybuilder is seeking to build size or get ripped, and since long chain saturated fat is always held to 5% or less, adding starchy carbs during a mass building phase is the ideal way to obtain additional calories needed to push the body weight ever upward.
On the other hand, if the athlete has sufficient muscle mass and seeks to strip off body fat, I recommend reducing body weight by – you guessed it – 1-pound per 100-pounds of body weight. By being methodical and precise during the weight loss phase and by not dropping body weight too quickly, the bodybuilder retains hard-earned muscle mass while systematically stripping away body fat. The idea is to tip the insulin/glu-cagon ratio one way or the other, depending on the goal. Insulin and glucagon activate or inhibit regulatory enzymes. The intro-duction of insulin into the system increases the number of enzymes involved in the conversion of glucose into energy. Simul-taneously these enzymes inhibit glycogen synthesis and breakdown, and decrease gluconeogenesis, the synthesis of glucose from amino acids. Glucagon inhibits two key enzymes that promote fat storage. Glu-cagon mobilizes fatty acids from fat stores and transports them to muscle mitochon-dria. Want to build muscle mass? Precision use of insulin is the ticket – want to get shredded and ripped? Avoid insulin spikes and through strict eating stimulate the re-lease of body fat-mobilizing glucagon.
To be successful at building an out-standing body you have to combine com-monsense with science and factor in ex-perience. At Parrillo Performance we have taken bodybuilding nutrition to a whole new level. While our head may be in the clouds searching out new and better modes and methods our feet are planted on the firm ground of real World experience. We know what works and what doesn’t. Ex-perience gained over the past 30-years in preparing National and International level bodybuilders for competition has proven what works and what doesn’t. The good news is we can control hormones by regu-lating what we eat, when we eat and how much we eat. The human body can only build muscle mass so fast but it has a virtu-ally unlimited ability and capacity to store body fat. The Parrillo method has four components: weight training, cardio train-ing, food and nutritional supplementation. Through the controlled use of Parrillo-style eating, training and supplementation we have developed a method to manage the insulin/glucagon ratio. Clean up your diet, eat only recommended foods and avoid other foods altogether, engage in hard and heavy weight training and practice intense cardio on a regular basis. Finally, use nutri-tional supplementation to fill in any gaps.
Seeking to add some serious muscle mass? Tip the insulin/glucagon ratio in favor of insulin by adding more calories derived from starch. Make sure you have plenty of Parrillo Pro Carb™, Hi-Protein powder™, creatine monohydrate and boxes of Parrillo Energy Bars™ on hand. Look-ing to get shredded for summer or compete in an upcoming bodybuilding competi-tion? Start now! Tip the I/G ratio in favor of glucagon; hit early morning cardio, cut down on starchy carbs while maintaining a good intake of insulin-dampening protein and fibrous carbs. Add back lost calories by using CapTri®, the world famous Par-rillo product used by legions of competi-tive bodybuilders. CapTri® is a calorically dense lipid that is used as a cooking agent or a food accent and adds back calories critical for maintaining muscle mass with-out spiking insulin. Strip off body fat by us-ing Optimized Whey protein™, Advanced Lipotropic Formula™ and 50-50 Plus™ powder for post-workout regeneration. Whichever way you decide to jump you need an eating plan that tips the insulin/glu-cagon ratio purposefully one direction or the other . Call us today at 1-800-344-3404 and ask to speak to one of our nutritional experts about what specific supplements you’ll need to aid you in your quest to be the best.