Certain foods are extremely difficult for the human body to convert into body fat, not impossible, but close to impossible. By consuming calories derived from these foods, the anabolic margin of error is dramatically widened, meaning it will be easier to lose fat and gain muscle, if desired.
Lean protein, protein devoid of saturated fat, has been the staple, foundational nutrient of elite athletes for 50 years. Why? You can eat a mountain of lean protein and not get fat, assuming you train hard enough to trigger muscle growth. Lean protein is difficult for the body to break down and digest. As a direct result of this digestive difficulty, the body revs up the metabolic thermostat to break down protein into amino acid subcomponents.
The human body wants to preserve stored body fat as a last line of defense against starvation. If you are overworked and malnourished, the body will prefer to eat muscle tissue to save precious body fat.
Obese people who follow strict diets, cutting calories precipitously, can lose 100 pounds of body weight and still appear fat. Despite losing, say, 350 pounds to 250 pounds, they still look fat because they’re still fat. The body has cannibalized muscle tissue and stored fat. Although they may weigh 100 pounds less, they still have a body fat percentile of 25-40%.
Lean protein is the essential nutrient in the physical renewal process because it provides muscle tissue damaged by high-intensity weight training with the necessary amino acids to heal, recover and build new muscle tissue. Lean protein is a basic nutrient in the physical renewal process because it causes the basal metabolic rate (BMR) to rise; the metabolic thermostat, the rate at which our body consumes calories, increases when digesting protein. Lean protein is a basic nutrient in the physical renewal process because it is almost impossible for the body to convert it into body fat.
The other critical nutrient in the physical transformation process is fibrous carbohydrates: carrots, broccoli, green beans, bell peppers, spinach, cauliflower, onions, asparagus, cabbage, salad greens, Brussels sprouts, and the like. Fibrous carbohydrates, like lean protein, are almost impossible for the body to convert into body fat. Fibrous carbohydrates require almost as many calories to digest as they contain. A green bean or carrot may contain 10 calories, but they are so dense and difficult to break down that the body has to expend almost as many calories to break down that bean or carrot as the vegetable contains.
Fibrous carbohydrates have a wonderful “Roto-Rooter” effect on your internal plumbing: as they work their way through your digestive tracts, they scrape mucus and grime from your intestinal walls and help keep sludge buildup to a minimum . For this reason, fibrous carbohydrates are the perfect addition to a lean protein diet. Too much protein can cause bile buildup – fiber is the Yin to the Yang of protein. The two nutrients must be eaten together.
Both protein and fiber have a beneficial buffering effect on insulin secretions. It is no accident that professional bodybuilders, the best dieters in the world, able to drop body fat percentiles to 5% while maintaining incredible muscle mass, build their diets around protein and fiber.
The best way to eat is to eat often. If you eat 3,000 calories a day, the best way is five 600-calorie meals or six 500-calorie meals instead of a 400-calorie breakfast, a 1,000-calorie lunch, and a 1,600-calorie late dinner. Avoid calories that are easily converted to body fat.
Eat several small meals in the 400-600 calorie range made up exclusively of foods almost impossible for the body to convert into body fat. In addition, these foods cause the metabolism, the BMR, the body’s thermostat to rise in order to digest them. Optimally, you should eat every three hours: around the time the nutrients from the previous meal have dwindled, been used up, and depleted, around the time the elevated metabolism is ‘getting back on track’, eat another small protein/fiber meal. This restores anabolism, speeds up metabolism once again, and gives the body more practice in assimilating and distributing quality nutrients.
They say practice makes perfect and by eating small, energy-packed, hard-to-digest meals every three hours, the metabolism stays elevated, anabolism is established and maintained, and the individual never feels hungry. A person who is not hungry is much less inclined to binge on sweets and treats, junk and junk than strict dieters/calorie cutters who always feel hungry, deprived, listless and without energy.
The small meal/protein/fiber approach has been used successfully by elite athletes for decades and is not some unproven dietary abstraction, rather it is the proven method of choice, one that has stood the test of time, one that is has used for decades. And it has proven itself time and time again.
If a person is able to establish a multiple meal schedule consisting primarily of lean protein and fiber consumed every three hours, and then adds serious weight training and a cardiovascular regimen to this eating schedule, physical transformation is a biological certainty.