The New Nutritional Paradigm
Settled Science Unsettled
The infamous USDA Food Pyramid: dietary fat is demonized yet no problem with SIX servings of pasta per day!
The benefits of hard training, no matter how effective, can be undone with bad nutrition. If the diligent fitness trainee eats too much of the wrong foods on a consistent and ongoing basis, they eventually end up very strong, very fit yet very fat. A person can have enough cardio capacity to run the New York City marathon and still carry a 30% body fat percentile. A person can bench press 300-pounds, be able to run a sub-5 second 40-yard dash and be 50-pounds overweight. You can be fit, strong, and overweight all a result of too many of the wrong type of calories.
On the other hand, there are those that regularly exercise and regularly under-eat, consuming too few of the wrong kind of calories. Those that starve themselves on a consistent and ongoing basis, end up weak, run down, emaciated and unhealthy. When the body senses starvation, it will eat its own muscle tissue to spare body fat, this to fuel caloric shortfall. Overeating destroys results by creating body fat and undereating destroys results by stunting the metabolism.
Countless examples exist of folks who carry fitness too far; they starve themselves, engage in continual cardio, and end up skinny-fat and weak. Those that live on 800-calories a day (the wrong kind of calories, insulin-spiking calories) and pedal their stationary bikes for hours on end, running the body down, starving it, depriving the body of the quality nutrients needed to heal, repair and recover. By overtraining and undereating, catabolism occurs, muscle is melted faster than fat.
Nutritional success starts with nutrient potency. Artificial foods, industrial foods, fast foods, all need to be eliminated. Quality food fuel is the foundational principle: clean up the content. People that profess to diet and seek leanness cannot realistically expect that to happen eating pizza, ice cream and drinking beer. Once the bad foods (we all know what they are) are ejected from the diet, turn your attention towards foods that spike insulin.
The control of insulin is the central theme of the new nutritional paradigm. First and foremost, stress food quality. Avoid manufactured “foods,” refined carbohydrates, pasta, grains, frozen “fit” foods loaded with trans-fats. Optimally, the fitness adherent obtains and skillfully prepares seasonally appropriate, locally sourced, proteins and produce. Fresh food is maximally potent, and potency is what the fitness adherent seeks from their proteins, dietary fat, fibrous and starch carbohydrate. Over time and with adherence, a metabolism trained to run on sugar can be converted into a fat-burning metabolism.
The personal trainer considers, mulls over, ponders and then manipulates the student-client’s food selection. Next, they examine food volume and meal timing. Is there a nutritional supplementation component? All these factors need to be taken into account and considered when working with the student-client on the design of their diet plan. Does the client need a period of detoxification to commence the process?
Insulin receptor sites clear and cleanse themselves when allowed long periods where they (the sites) are not overwhelmed with a continual influx of sugar-producing food and drink. Once receptor sites are cleansed and functioning normally, nominal amounts of insulin can be delt with as intended. Once insulin stability is attained and maintained, body fat can be used as fuel. As long as the bloodstream is flooded with insulin, no fat burning is possible. This approach, control of insulin, is proven-effective and provides a way out of the dead-end conventional approach, i.e., overwork, underfeed with too few of the wrong calories, calories derived from insulin-spiking foods.
Dietary fat, protein, and fibrous carbohydrate do not spike insulin or do so to a negligible degree. Starch carbs spike insulin to varying degrees as enunciated by the glycemic index. The insulin spike associated with eating starch carbs is dampened when eaten with protein, fiber and fat. Eat natural starch carbs with food meals to reduce the insulin secretion.
Obviously, foods that come in packages and cans, sweets, candy, pizza, artificial foods, baked goods and industrial fast foods are t/o be avoided. Eating natural foods, simply prepared and in ample amounts, is one of the prerequisites to reestablishing insulin normality. Once insulin is under control, body fat can be methodically and systematically burned. Intense exercise “jacks up” the metabolism and an elevated metabolism stays that way for hours after the training session. The combination of insulin-control and intense exercise – both cardio and resistance training – is the eternal solution for burning off body fat.
Meal timing: three square meals, intermittent fasting, or multiple meals?One exciting area of fitness progress has been the emergence of meal timing as an important aspect of body composition management. In the past no one gave too much thought to meal frequency. Meal content and food volume always dominated the dietary conversation. There are three generalized meal patterns…
- Three square meals: the classic breakfast, lunch and dinner meal spacing is the default nutritional frequency. In most instances, the caloric allotment is (generally) 20% consumed at breakfast, 30% consumed at lunch and 50% of the day’s calories eaten at night. If the trainee consumes 2,500 calories per day, the breakout would be 500-caories eaten at breakfast: 800 calories at lunch and 1200 calories at dinner.
- Multiple mini-meals: for decades elite bodybuilders have broken the day’s calories into smaller amounts, their logic irrefutable and proven effective: if you are consuming 2,500 calories in a day, better to ingest the days allotment in five 500-calorie meals or six 400-calorie meal. Even without changing the content this one frequency adjustment lessens digestive burden, improves assimilation, and refuels the body on a frequent basis.
- Intermittent fasting: advocates maintain that the way to regain insulin sensitivity is have long periods where no food is consumed. This fasting period allows the body to cleanse and clear insulin, assuming some effort is made to clean up the content. When a person goes for 18 or 20 hours without food, the body can work its cleansing magic. Clean up the food-fuel consumed, exercise hard, use intermittent fasting to optimize fat burning.
The personal trainer shows the student-client how to periodically change meal frequency to overcome inertia and stagnation. Do not ignore the progress-goosing possibilities associated with meal frequency changes. If you have been using a multi-meal eating schedule in conjunction with a mass-building regimen, pounding heavy poundage, eating clean calories often, seeking to peak power and strength – why not shift to the intermittent fasting regimen when it is time to trim up and lean out: up the cardio, shift from a power training approach to a higher volume/reduced poundage approach; eat super clean within a tight, four-hour food window. Those that adhere with tenacity can expect to whittle down body fat with great rapidity.
Use the three-square meal frequency pattern when you are in a holding pattern, neither consciously seeking to get ripped nor consciously engaged in a muscle-up regimen. Save the multiple-meal and intermittent fasting for when it is time to get serious, time to pick a direction and match up the meal frequency with the goal. Sync up these specialized meal frequency strategies with the overarching goal.
Don’t fear the Fat – unnatural carbohydrates are the real enemy
Dietary fat has been vilified for decades. Dietary fat was blamed for clogged arteries, heat disease, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes. As it turns out, dietary fat was a wronged nutrient, the real culprit is not fat consumption it is refined carbohydrate Sugar wreaks havoc on insulin maintenance. As do the chemicals used to construct these products and give these products a long shelf life. Fake foods are drenched in chemical preservatives that pollute the body. By switching to natural food, a chemical detoxification process begins that results in the student-client feeling better and more energized with each passing week. The longer the detoxification process lasts, the greater the across-the-board health benefits.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) have burst onto the health and fitness scene over the past five years and have gotten deservedly good press. The benefits associated with MCT consumption are many and the drawbacks few if any. Coconut oil, the source of MCTs, makes for a terrific cooking lipid. Use MCT coconut oil as you would olive oil to sauté proteins and produce. MCTs, because of their unique molecular structure are virtually impossible to end up stored as body fat. MCT calories, like alcohol calories, go to the head of the oxidation line and are preferentially burned before whatever else is in the body. MCTs show great promise to aiding with cognitive issues related to memory loss. MCTs are a fat and possess the caloric density of fat, 9-calories per gram. MCT supplementation is highly recommended and MCT coconut oil is available at every major grocery store.
About The Author:
Marty Gallagher is a national and world champion in Olympic lifting and powerlifting. He's also coached some of the strongest men on the planet including Kirk Karwoski when he completed his world record 1,003 lb. squat. Today he teaches the US Secret Service and Tier 1 Spec Ops on how to maximize their strength in minimal time. As a writer since 1978 he’s written for Powerlifting USA, Milo, Flex Magazine, Muscle & Fitness, Prime Fitness, Washington Post, Dragon Door, IRON COMPANY and now KB Fitness. He’s also the author of multiple books including Purposeful Primitive, Strong Medicine, Ed Coan’s book “Coan, The Man, the Myth, the Method" and numerous others.