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Bulletin #53 – The Parrillo Performance Programs

I think the basic strength of theParrillo program, and why it has proven sosuccessful with competitive bodybuildersover the years, is that it is based on solidfundamental principles. The core of the pro-gram is our approach to nutrition and train-ing. Think about it. Nutrition and training isreally what bodybuilding is all about. TheParrillo nutrition program works so well be-cause it’s based on solid nutrition fromhealthy bodybuilding foods, not the latestsupplement fad. Not only is a proper dietand intense training the best way to attainbodybuilding success, it’s the only way. Itjust doesn’t matter how many high-techsupplements you take, if you’re not eatingright you won’t get very good results.Getting your diet in order in the firstitem of business.

Parrillo Performance

This is the foundation onwhich everything else is based. I’ve seenmany bodybuilders attain excellent size andconditioning using only a minimal supple-ment program, but they were eating a lot ofmuscle building foods. Every week I get callsfrom young bodybuilders disappointed be-cause the latest miracle supplement theytried just didn’t seem to live up to their hopes.Usually it turns out they weren’t eating abodybuilding diet. They wonder why add-ing some supplement to the typical Ameri-can diet didn’t turn them into competitors.If you learn one thing from me, rememberthat food is the foundation of nutri-tion. Over the last few years a num-ber of very expensive supplementshave entered the market and some-times people get discouraged be-cause they can’t afford to use them.Don’t worry about this. You canachieve great results with just a strictdiet and hard training.

Many of thetop bodybuilders use only a fewsupplements. Generally, if you spendmore effort at eating right and tryingto perfect your diet instead of worry-ing about supplements you’ll be bet-ter off. Many supplement programsthese days cost $200-$300 per monthto follow. A one-time investment in aParrillo Nutrition Manual will do more for youthan a year’s worth of supplements and costspractically nothing in comparison. In termsof results per dollar, the Parrillo NutritionManual is the most powerful bodybuildingtool on the planet.I’ve talked with countless people,in the hundreds if not the thousands, whohave jumped around from supplement tosupplement trying to find the magic formulathat would work for them. Many of thesebodybuilders have struggled in the gym foryears with only minimal results. When oneof these guys calls for advice, and it hap-pens every day, I suggest the following ex-periment. For one month don’t buy anysupplements. Take the money you wouldnormally spend on supplements and buy aParrillo Nutrition Manual instead. Read it.Follow it without exception, every meal, ev-ery day, for a month. See what happens.What have you lost? Nothing really, sincethe supplements weren’t producing goodresults anyway.

Plus, at the end of the monthyou still have the Nutrition Manual. Manyof these people are absolutely amazed at whatthey can accomplish in one month. Mostpeople drop a couple of pounds of fat andgain a couple pounds of muscle just byswitching onto the diet – and that’s withoutsupplements! Many people see moreprogress in this one month than they havein the last year. And the key is, you can keepdoing it month after month. If you buy $100worth of supplements and take them, thenthat’s all you get. After you get on the rightdiet, you will find that you need fewer supple-ments and that you get much more benefitfrom the supplements you do use.Be sure, when you go on the Parrillodiet you will be making some changes. It’s amajor lifestyle modification for most people.It’s a strict program. It’s definitely not foreverybody. It’s for people who are willing towork, to make sacrifices, and to do what ittakes to look like a bodybuilder. It’s tough,but it works.Here’s what you do. Start by con-suming one gram of complete protein perpound of body weight each day. Next, limitfat to 5-10% of calories consumed. Finally,the remainder of your calories are derivedfrom complex carbohydrates. How manycalories should you eat? Start recording yourdaily weight and write down everything youeat in a nutrition journal. Measure your foodportions so you can calculate how manycalories you eat in a day. Initially don’t makeany special effort to gain or lose weight, justconcentrate on following the diet strictly.After a week or two of keeping records you’llsee how many calories you eat each day onaverage.

If your body weight doesn’tchange during this period this is your “main-tenance energy requirement,” the number ofcalories required to maintain your presentbody weight. To gain weight, add 300-500calories a day. To lose weight, eat 300-500calories a day less or do an extra 30 minutesof cardiovascular exercise.  You’ll notice that most of the ad-justment in diet composition has to do withcarbohydrate intake. Your protein require-ment is determined primarily by your bodyweight. If you add extra calories to gainweight, these are supplied by more complexcarbs. Extra carbs seem to work best for gain-ing lean mass. If you reduce calories to losefat, you’re still consuming the same amountof protein. The calories are reduced by re-ducing carbs. The way the diet is structuredautomatically changes the ratio of protein tocarbohydrate in the diet. This has beenshown to change the ratio of insulin to glu-cagon in the blood (1) which in turn has animpact on nutrient partitioning and bodyweight set point (2). The Parrillo diet wasdesigned with a lot of thought as to usingfood to manipulate hormones in the bodyto channel nutrients into certain metabolicpathways.

The diet is engineered to chan-nel nutrients toward the lean body com-partment while partitioning energy awayfrom fat stores. You don’t have to be a bio-chemist to get the results, you just havethe follow the diet strictly. To the letter.Let’s talk about a few specifics.What is a “complete” protein? This is aprotein source which supplies all of theamino acids, including the ones which can-not be manufactured by the body. Theseare the so-called “essential” amino acids.Complete proteins supply all of the aminoacids you need to build new muscle tis-sue, making them the best protein choicesfor bodybuilders. Examples of good low-fat protein sources are egg whites, chickenand turkey breast, and many fishes. Theseshould form the basis of your proteinchoices.Complex carbohydrates fall intotwo general categories: starchy and fi-brous. Starchy carbs are things like pota-toes, sweet potatoes, rice, beans, oatmeal,corn, and peas. Vibrous vegetables are saladgreens, broccoli, green beans, carrots, andso on. You should include both starchy andfibrous carbs at each meal.Each meal should be constructedaccording to the formula described above.Don’t eat just protein at one meal and justcarbs at another.

Combining protein andcarbs and fiber together in the same mealslows the release of glucose into the blood-stream, helping keep insulin levels from get-ting too high. This helps channel nutrientsto muscle instead of fat. When insulin levelsare too high, this stimulates fat storage. Besure to divide your daily allotment of calo-ries roughly evenly into six small meals. Thisalso provides for better insulin control andalso continually bathes the muscle in a nu-trient rich environment so growth can pro-ceed continuously.Again, concentrate your effort onfollowing the diet. Spend as much time think-ing about groceries as you used to spendtrying to decide which supplements to try.Remember, groceries work better thansupplements. Your body was made to eatfood. That’s what it needs and that’s whatworks best.You will find the Parrillo NutritionProgram shifts your metabolism into fat burn-ing mode. Your body uses a certain amountof fat as fuel every day. Fat is used as a primefuel source while at rest and is also usedduring cardiovascular exercise. If you con-sume less fat in your diet than you burn ev-ery day, that extra fat must be obtained frombody fat stores. This simple sounding con-cept has caused quite a stir in the metabo-lism literature recently. Over the last few yearsit has become clear that what we really careabout is not energy balance (calories in ver-sus calories out) but rather fat balance (3,4,5).We want to burn more fat than we eat everyday to achieve loss of body fat. Energy bal-ance is not as important as fat balance. Lastmonth I explained the concept of respiratoryquotient (RQ).

This is a way to determine tocomposition of the fuel mix the body is burn-ing at a given time. Generally speaking, thebody’s energy needs are met by oxidizing amixture of fat and carbohydrate. In the sameway we can define the fuel quotient (FQ). Ithas been determined that in order for loss ofbody fat to occur the RQ must be less thanFQ. What does this mean? Simply that if youeat less fat than you burn then you’ll losebody fat (3,4,5). It’s that simple. This worksbecause it turns out that under normal con-ditions your body converts very little (infact, practically none) protein or carbohy-drate into body fat (6). That’s right – almostall body fat is derived directly from dietaryfat. Excess dietary carbohydrate has verylittle tendency to be converted into fat andstored as body fat (6). Over-feeding asmuch as 500 grams of carbohydrate resultsin only a couple of grams of fat storage (6).On the other hand, if excess calories in thediet are supplied as fat, they have a verystrong tendency to be stored as body fat.In summary, quite a bit of recent research inmetabolism has indicated that the fat con-tent of the diet is at least as important, if notmore important, than how many calories youeat.

As an example, you could eat only amodest number of calories, but if those calo-ries are supplied in a form prone to be storedas fat, then you’ll get fat. Alternatively, ifyou eat foods which are very difficult forthe body to convert into fat, then you caneat a lot of calories without getting fat.Sounds like science fiction, but it’s not. I’vebeen saying this for years, and the sciencehas now finally been done to prove it.The Parrillo diet is specifically designed tochannel nutrients to muscle and to draw onstored body fat as a fuel source. Thisamounts to using nutrition to direct the flowof dietary energy along certain biochemicalpathways to achieve the effect of partition-ing dietary energy into the lean compartmentwhile simultaneously drawing on fat storesfor energy. I think you can see that settingup this sort of hormonal and metabolic envi-ronment in the body is inherently more pow-erful than supplements could be when thrown in on top of a regular diet. Mostpeople don’t know how to use supplementsand that’s why they don’t get good results.You have to have the diet in place to formthe foundation. This converts the metabo-lism into muscle-building, fat-burning mode.Changing the metabolism is the first, mostimportant, step. Then the supplements cando their job.A question I get constantly is whatare the most important supplements andwhich ones should I be using. Some peoplethink they need to use them all to get re-sults.

Not true. For building muscle and gain-ing strength, the most important ones areCreatine and Hi-Protein Powder. This is apowerful combination. Just these two prod-ucts alone can boost your growth into thestratosphere. Parrillo Hi-Protein Powder is aspecial formulation including a mixture ofcasein and whey protein with free form aminoacids added to adjust the final amino acidprofile to be optimal for muscular growth.If you’re an ectomorph (naturallyskinny person) and want to gain pounds ofbody weight, use the combination of Pro-Carb and Hi-Protein. These supplements canadd quality calories to your diet to help youpack on muscle. I’ve seen guys gain 20 to 30pounds in six months on this combination.It doesn’t take a complicated program to getresults. It takes the right diet and the rightsupplement. For gaining weight what youneed is calories. Keep the fat grams very lowto avoid gaining body fat.For fat loss the best product isCapTri. Be sure to watch your calories.CapTri is a very high calorie product, and ifyou just start pouring it on your regular foodit will not make you lose weight. What youhave to do is subtract a given number ofcalories of starchy carbs from your diet andreplace those calories with CapTri.

This low-ers the energetic efficiency of your fuel mix,meaning that more dietary energy is con-verted to body heat. This loss of dietaryenergy as body heat means that those calo-ries are not available to fuel activity, so yourbody is forced to draw more heavily on storedfat as a fuel source. This low-carb approachalso reduces insulin levels which further pro-motes fat loss.Endurance athletes should tryLiver-Amino and Hi-Protein Powder. Youmight have thought Pro-Carb would be aNo Limits: How To Break Through Plateaus, Part Ibetter choice, but endurance athletes usu-ally get plenty of carbs from their diet. Thesurprising truth is that many endurance ath-letes are protein deficient.These should give you some ideasto get you started. Whether you want to usesupplements or not, be sure to stick to thediet. Often times when one of my long-timeclients calls in with a problem, it turns outthey’ve strayed away from the diet or elseare having a hard time eating enough calo-ries to support further growth. This is a per-fect time to add in a supplement. We’re al-ways here to provide advise on your nutri-tion or supplementation program. Just giveus a call.


1. Westphal SA, Gannon MC, and NuttallFQ. Metabolic response to glucose ingestedwith various amounts of protein. Am. J. Clin.Nutr. 52: 267-272, 1990.

2. de Castro JM, Paullin SK, and DeLugasGM. Insulin and glucagon as determinantsof body weight set point and microregulationin rats. J. Comp. Physiol. Psychol. 92: 571-579, 1978.The Parrillo diet is de-signed to channel nutri-ents to muscle and todraw on stored body fatas a fuel source. Thisamounts to using nutri-tion to direct the flow ofdietary energy alongcertain biochemicalpathways to achievethe effect of partitioningdietary energy into thelean compartment whilesimultaneously drawingon fat stores for energy.

3. Flatt JP. Dietary fat, carbohydrate balance,and weight maintenance: effects of exercise.Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 45: 296-306, 1987.

4. Flatt JP. Use and storage of carbohydrateand fat. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 61: 952s-959s, 1995.

5. Swinburn B and Ravussin E. Energy bal-ance or fat balance? Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 57:766S-771S, 1993.

6. Acheson KJ, Flatt JP, and Jequier E. Gly-cogen synthesis versus lipogenesis after a500 gram carbohydrate meal in man. Me-tabolism 31: 1234-1240, 1982.

2018-03-13T11:10:36+00:00 June 2nd, 2009|Technical Supplement Bulletins|

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