Last month we talked about how CapTriis burned in the liver to produce energy,and how some of this energy is convertedinto ketone bodies which are used by yourmuscles. Now we’re going to take a lookat the bigger picture of energy produc-tion by the body. Granted, you’re prob-ably not a biochemist, and may not careabout what happens to every moleculeinside your body.
But the more you un-derstand about something, the better youcan control it.It’s no coincidence that the biggest, lean-est bodybuilders are also the ones whoconsume the most calories – as many as8,000 to 10,000 a day. On the other hand,how many fat people have you met whoare always on a diet – who skip meals andlive on 1,000 calories a day? Obviously,the bodybuilders know something the oth-ers don’t.
If 8,000 calories can make youlean and 1,000 calories can make you fat,then there must be something going onhere. When it comes to gaining or losingweight, everybody is obsessed with howmany calories they consume. And that’sgood – but it’s only half the story. Changesin body weight are not governed by en-ergy consumption, but by energy bal-. There are two sides to the balanceequation: energy consumption and energyexpenditure side of the equation, becausethey don’t understand it, but it’s just ascontrol over your body if you learn tocontrol both sides of the energy equation,show you how. Everyone knows that you expend en-even tells you how many calories you’reburning. You probably also know thateven when you’re just sitting around. Butwhat you may not realize is that your raterie burning – goes up every time you eat(1). And how much it goes up dependscontrol your rate of energy expendatureby careful selection of foods and supple-proper timing of meals.
To understandhow to do this, you have to know some Metabolism is a term which describesthe total chemical activity going on insideyour body (2). Metabolism has two sides:an energy-consuming component called“anabolism,” and an energy-producingcomponent called “catabolism.” You canthink of your metabolism as the flow ofenergy through your body. This energyis measured in calories. The “metabolic rate” is your body’s rateof energy expenditure, and is expressedin calories per hour. Nearly all of the en-ergy expended by the body is ultimatelyconverted to heat (2). (The only real ex-ception to this when work is performedoutside the body.) Therefore, the meta-bolic rate can be measured as the amountof heat given off by the body.
Sincegreater than 95% of the energy liberatedby the body is derived from the reactionof foods with oxygen, the metabolic rateis proportional to the rate of oxygen con-sumption (2). In practice, the metabolicrate is measured by the rate of oxygenconsumption, since this is much easierthan trying to measure how much heatthe body gives off. Anabolism means “building up,” anddescribes the process of building newbodily tissues. Anabolism is growth.Anabolic steroids are called anabolic be-cause they stimulate growth. Your bodyproduces its own anabolic steroids natu-rally, and our program is designed to helpyou take maximum advantage of whatyour body is capable of doing naturally.Foods provide the building blocks thatyour body is made out of as well as theenergy which fuels your activities. Theprocess of growth essentially amounts toyour body disassembling the molecules ofthe food you eat and restructuring theminto the molecular form of new human tis-sue. This transformation process requiresenergy, as well as the building blocks usedto make new human tissue.
Catabolism means “tearing down,” and is the process of degrading nutrients toprovide energy and building blocks. Thefoods you eat can experience three gen-eral metabolic fates: they can be burnedto release energy, they can be digested intosmall building blocks to be used forgrowth, or they can simply be excreted.Your body is pretty efficient at absorbingnutrients, and not too many are excretedwithout being used. If you consume nu-trients in excess over what is required tomaintain your current body weight andactivity level, the excess calories will gen-erally be converted into body weight – ei-ther muscle or fat. The Parrillo diet isspecifically designed to provide your bodywith the building blocks it needs to con-struct new muscular tissue, but not to giveit building blocks which are used to makefat tissue. Of course, excess calories fromany food can be converted to fat, but ifyou are careful and do everything just rightyou can direct most of those excess calo-ries to muscle. We’ll go more into this inthe coming months. After you eat a meal your body beginsto burn the food to release energy. Sincefood is burned by reaction with the oxy-gen that we breathe, the rate of oxygenconsumption increases after eating.
This is proportional to the increase in metabolicrate – the rate of energy expenditure. Soin other words, the metabolic rate in-creases after you eat (1). The same num-ber of calories (the same amount of en-ergy) from different types of foods canhave different effects on metabolic rate(3). Different foods increase the meta-bolic rate to different extents probably dueto both the inherent energy content andchemical composition of the food, as wellas its rate of digestion and absorption. So how do you use this information?There are several key ideas. One is thatyou should eat small, frequent meals.Since your metabolism speeds up aftereach meal, eating frequently keeps yourmetabolism elevated all day. If you eat3,000 calories per day, you will be leanerif you eat six 500 calorie meals instead ofone 3,000 calorie meal. If you provideyour body with too many calories at onetime, some of them will be converted tofat. Give your body a constant and steadysupply of energy – enough to fuel youractivities and make muscle, but not somuch that you’re putting on fat. Yourbody can only make muscle so fast, so wesuggest you gain no faster than 1-2 poundsper week. Another important point is to always eatbreakfast – this gets your metabolism go-ing first thing. This is why breakfast isprobably your most important meal. Youhave the whole day to burn off any excesscalories you consume at breakfast – anyexcess calories you consume right beforebed are likely to be stored as fat.
Another one of the keys is to combineyour foods properly, so as to slow the re-lease of glucose into the bloodstream.Carbohydrates are digested down into glu-cose, which is the form of sugar releasedinto the blood. If too many carbs are con-sumed, or if they are released into theblood too rapidly, the insulin responsecauses the excess to be taken up by fatcells and converted into fat in a processknown as lipogenesis. (We’ll get moreinto that in the coming months.) By eat-ing unrefined, complex carbohydrates -and not simple sugars – you slow the re-lease of glucose into the blood. This isalso the reason we have you combine fi-brous carbs and protein together with yourstarches at each meal – it slows the rate ofdigestion and release of glucose. And guess what else? CapTri dramati-cally increases the rate of oxygen con-sumption – and thus the metabolic rate -after a meal. It’s no accident that we’veincorporated CapTri at the core of oursupplement program.
The reason? As youknow, CapTri is a very concentratedsource of calories – calories that can beused for energy and to support weightgain. The increase in oxygen consump-tion that occurs after you eat CapTri meansthat it is being burned very fast (4, 5).Remember, foods are burned by reactingwith the oxygen we breathe, so the rea-son oxygen consumption increases afteryou eat is to supply enough oxygen toburn the food to produce energy. As weexplained last month, some of this energyis converted to ketone bodies and trans-ported to the muscles. But that’s not thewhole story. Some of the energy from CapTri is con-verted into body heat in a process knownas thermogenesis (4, 5). This is the singlemost important reason why excess calo-ries from CapTri have less of a tendencyto make you fat than excess calories fromother foods. CapTri is burned so fast thatexcess calories from it are turned into bodyheat instead of being converted into fat.This is why I’ve called CapTri the bestsupplement ever developed for bodybuild-ers – it’s an excellent way to supply extracalories but has very little tendency tomake you fat.Next month we’ll go into more detailabout the thermogenic effect, energy ex-penditure, and introduce you to the con-cept of food efficieny.
1. Van Zant, Influence of diet and exer-cise on energy expenditure – a review. Int.J. Sports Nutr. 2: 1-19, 1992.
2. Guyton, Textbook of Medical Physiol-ogy. Published by W.B. Saunders, chap-ter 71, 1976.
3. Baba, Bracco and Hashim, Enhancedthermogenesis and diminished depositionof fat in response to overfeeding with dietcontaining medium chain triglycerides.Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 35: 678-682, 1982.
4. Hill, Peters, Yang, Sharp, Kaler,Abumrad and Greene, Thermogenesis inhumans during overfeeding with mediumchain triglycerides. Metabolism 38: 641-648, 1989.
5. Seaton, Welle, Warenko and Campbell,Thermic effect of medium chain and longchain triglycerides in man. Am. J. Clin.Nutr. 44: 630-634, 1986.6. Bach and Babayan, Medium chain trig-lycerides: an update. Am. J. Clin. Nutr.36: 950-962, 1982.