By CEO Robert Forster, PTReal foods control your insulin, help you burn more fat as fuel, and help deliver optimal performance. Training is only half the battle when it comes to achieving the body you desire.. Food is the other. Just like with your training, a science-based approach to what you put in your body and when you do it has a great effect on your ability to achieve your athletic and health goals. My approach to health and fitness involves guided exercise and an easy-to-follow, “close-to-the- earth” diet. Both are designed for one singular goal: metabolic efficiency—to make you a better butter burner. We have discussed the importance of precision heart-rate training to develop your fat-burning metabolism in chapter 4; now it’s time to dial in your diet to further serve this goal. All of us, especially athletes, need to alter our relationship with food. We need to view daily nutrition as the source of our life energy and focus on foods that further health, not disease. In recent decades, we’ve been told more about what not to eat than what to eat to stay healthy. Slowly, our relationship with food is changing as our food supply is being exposed as corrupted and unnatural. We are realizing that we need natural foods to help keep us healthy and make us stronger, leaner, and more resistant to disease. Fact: Most foods in the grocery store have been processed to such a degree by the giant food corporations that they have little nutritional resemblance to their root food sources. Based on extensive and costly research from farming to processing to packaging, the food industries try to get us hooked with appearance and addictive combinations of salt, sugar, and fat. Natural nutritional integrity be damned! What’s worse is that medical and health experts have unintentionally played into the “laboratory-food- is-better-than-nature” syndrome by incorrectly tarring eggs, butter, and other healthy foods as health killers. The key concept you need to remember about healthy nutrition is that you should eat foods that are close to the ground—meaning unadulterated and unprocessed. It’s rare to find a food that comes out of the ground with unhealthy proportions of sugar, salt, and fat and that is damaging to our bodies. I feel the best diet plan is simple, science based, easy to achieve, and can be boiled down to one sentence: Control insulin levels throughout the day and train your metabolism to be efficient at burning fat, not storing it. The problem is that we are constantly fighting the evolutionary forces that have programmed our bodies over millions of years to make and store fat to survive times when food scarcity was a constant threat. We have played right into our antiquated genetic predisposition by feeding ourselves an unnatural diet that encourages rampant production of insulin from the pancreas. Insulin is released into your bloodstream to transport digested food into your muscle cells for energy production; the excess is stored as body fat. If you are not active and your muscles are not called upon to do any work, then all of the excess calories, whether in the form of protein, carbs, or fat, are transported to the liver and turned into fat. There are only two ways to fight our body’s built-in evolutionary tendencies: exercise and diet. You have read in chapter 4 that the first order of business for your workouts is to use low-intensity exercise, which reprograms your muscles to favor fats for energy production. Now it’s time to focus on the importance of dietary manipulation during each of the Periodization phases to help achieve the athletic goals of each stage of your training.
Stay Fit and Stop Storing FatPerformance nutrition starts with sound daily nutrition. The value of good daily nutrition is analogous to good sleep habits; if you regularly get adequate sleep at night, but you miss some time in the sack because of a late night, you’re still okay the next day. But do this too often and you will become chronically fatigued and run-down. Likewise, when you eat right every day and then miss a meal or snack here and there, your energy levels and your workouts won’t suffer. To keep energy levels stable and ready, eat often. You must train every cell in your body to expect, receive, and use nutrients frequently (six times a day) throughout the day. This cellular expectation is created when insulin levels drop a few hours after your last meal, at which time you need to feed your cells again with a snack. Your goal throughout the day is to keep nutrients coming at regular intervals so your metabolism keeps revving all day, burning more calories, and helping maintain a healthy body weight. At the same time, frequent meals keep energy levels constant to facilitate great workouts every time. But when you don’t eat every 2 hours, your insulin levels wane and your metabolic motor goes into an idle. The result is poor energy levels, reduced calorie burn for the day, lackluster workouts, and potential weight gain.
Training is only half the battle when it comes to achieving the performance and body you desire. Food is the other. Just like with your training, a science-based approach to what you put in your body and when you do it has a great effect on your ability to achieve your athletic and health goals. The PHASE IV approach to health and fitness involves guided exercise and an easy-to-follow, “close-to-the- earth” diet. Both are designed for one singular goal: metabolic efficiency—to make you a better butter burner. But where do you start? How DO YOU construct a dietary program that addresses your unique personal physiology, genetics, lifestyle, and metabolism? Our thorough understanding of the intricate synergistic relationship between nourishment, lifestyle, exercise and enhanced metabolic function, will result in a science based program that defines exactly how to fuel your body, and the exact calories you need to fuel your workouts and lifestyle while managing your weight goals. With PHASE IV individualized programs and support, you will achieve your goals and create the body you’ve always wanted!