Nutrient Partitioning is a concept John Parrillo first introduced to the bodybuilding world twenty five years ago to explain why certain foods are preferentially “partitioned” into making muscle while other foods are preferentially partitioned into creating body fat. If you understand which foods do what, you can custom construct your very own nutritional template incorporating the beneficial foods while avoiding progress-inhibiting foods. What specific foods are preferentially used to build muscle? What specific foods are preferentially used to increase body fat? These are critical questions and a successful bodybuilder must have a perfect understanding of nutrient partitioning. A successful bodybuilder is also aware of another cornerstone
Parrillo Principle: meal timing. Far better to eat 4,200 “clean” calories (calories derived from foods preferentially partitioned to build muscle) spread over six meals of 700 calories apiece than it is to consume 3,000 “dirty” calories (three 1,000 calorie meals), nutrients preferentially partitioned into body fat. Eat the right foods at the right times and advance your bodybuilding progress: eat the wrong foods at the wrong time and undo the mightiest of exercise efforts. While all this talk about partitioning and meal timing might be covering old ground for longtime Parrillo followers, every year thousands of new people are introduced to the Parrillo Principles for the very first time. It is important to periodically reexamine why we do what we do. The science behind the Parrillo nutritional philosophy is positively profound and needs periodic restatement. The concept of nutrient partitioning and the need for a multiple-meal eating template are fundamental Parrillo Principles. Understand and implement these titanic tactics and take a giant leap forward; timing and partitioning move you towards, instead of away from, your ideal physique.
Partitioning ABCs: The same set of hormones that controls the construction of new muscle tissue also controls the biologic process that calls up stored body fat and burns fat for energy. The Parrillo Nutritional system is based on manipulating these hormones. In a bit of oversimplification, the way in which we tweak our hormones is to continually consume beneficial foods preferentially partitioned to making muscle in multiple meals spaced equidistant throughout the day. Use this approach and you will be able to consume a massive amount of calories and not get fat. Add potent Parrillo supplements to the mix and rapid and radical results are further amplified. John Parrillo discovered how to beneficially manipulate hormones during his many years of preparing the world’s finest bodybuilders (male and female) for national and international competitions. After working with thousands of competitive athletes, certain predictable results occurred when John had his athletes consume certain foods at certain times. By avoiding certain foods, by eating often, by using target nutritional supplementation, by training innovatively and intensely in both weight training and aerobics, Parrillo created a new breed of monster bodybuilder: larger and leaner than anything anyone had seen up until that time. Over his many years of working with elite bodybuilders, a tactical template emerged, one that relied on specific foods eaten at specific times to “underpin” savage training. He began adapting advanced nutritional and training techniques for use by “normal” people and suddenly normal people began experiencing paranormal results. “Why,” Parrillo argued, “shouldn’t average individuals utilize the proven methods used by champions?”
Anabolism & Partitioning:
Anabolism is a prerequisite for muscle growth. Establishing anabolism is easy: eat everything in sight. Intake a massive amount of calories, any calories, and become anabolic. You can become anabolic by eating pizza, prime rib, pie, chips or ice cream. Massive heavyweight powerlifters have massive muscles underneath massive amounts of body fat. They establish anabolism by consuming whatever they like whenever they like. The competitive bodybuilder has a much harder task: they must establish anabolism in order to grow muscle – yet not eat indiscriminately or risk becoming fat as pigs. The key to adding size without getting fat is to recognize and obey the laws of nutrient partitioning. Only consume foods that are virtually impossible to end up partitioned as body fat. In the Parrillo Nutritional System anabolism is established by eating lots of calories, “clean” calories. A clean calorie is a calorie preferentially partitioned into muscle building. Body fat accumulation during the mass building process can be kept to a minimum by manipulating certain hormones at certain times and by depressing the secretion of certain hormones at certain times. Successful manipulation of key hormones in a maximally advantageous fashion not only establishes conditions conducive for muscle building it also makes body fat accumulation virtually impossible. The Parrillo-style bodybuilder is able to eat 5,000 to 10,000 calories per day and not add an ounce of body fat. How is this possible? The Parrillo athlete eats nothing but clean calories and consumes potent Parrillo supplements to “fill in the gaps.” The Parrillo trainee trains hard and trains often. They lift weights and perform aerobics. Food is used to produce an anabolic effect; weight training builds muscle and continual cardio ensures that weight gain is muscle gain and not marbled with body fat.
Debunking the “Bulk then Starve” Pendulum: The Parrillo “partitioning postulation” was light-years ahead of its time when first introduced. The bodybuilding orthodoxy of the 1980s was Neanderthal-like: “Bulk up” in the off-season, eating everything in sight, then purposefully starve down in the lead-up to a physique competition. While John Parrillo was trying to introduce bodybuilders of that time to the subtleties of manipulating the insulin/glucagon axis, competitive bodybuilders of the day were having too much fun adding 50 pounds of fat in the off season, eating fried foods, pizza and pecan pie. After becoming bulbous, these porky bodybuilders would switch gears and exist on 800 calories a day, eating fish and drinking water, in the final weeks leading up to a physique contest. John felt this massive pendulum swing between gluttony and starvation bordered on insanity. Unhealthy and completely unnecessary, John laid out the idea that “Not all calories are created equal!” Back then it was assumed that there was no way to avoid adding body fat when seeking to add muscle mass. Parrillo disagreed. “Why do we have to add mounds of fat while in the process of building mass? If your metabolic rate is around 2,000 calories per day – and the 2,000 calories are derived from pizza and ice cream – you may rest assured you will add body fat. Conversely, if you eat 2,000 calories per day and these calories are derived from chicken breast,
broccoli and brown rice – you will not add an ounce of body fat. Even if you eat chicken, brown rice and broccoli in massive amounts, as long as you train intensely you will add muscle without adding fat.” John was one of the first experts to champion the multiple meal approach. “Massive caloric intake needs to be divided into multiple meals of roughly equal size, eaten throughout the day, ideally every 2-3 hours. Eat big – but eat clean!”
Science, Diet & Hormonal Manipulation: Parrillo pointed out to the bulk-then-starve crowd that “Different foods have different effects on your body’s hormones: these hormones control energy usage, muscle construction and fat storage.” Studies have shown that using calorie-slashing tactics to trigger weight loss shatters the metabolism. Parrillo posed this question, “How do we lose fat while sparing or even increasing muscle? We must understand the science that governs our hormones and use that knowledge to our advantage.” The hypothalamus gland feeds into the pituitary gland and together form the Master Endocrine Gland, the control point for all hormonal responses. The hypothalamus is the body’s weight regulating center. The main function of the hypothalamus gland is to maintain the body status quo: Homeostasis. The hypothalamus is similar to the temperature thermostat in your home. Set the thermostat to 90 degrees on a cold day and burn a lot of home heating oil. Set the thermostat to 40 degrees on a cold day and burn very little home heating oil. Decades ago Parrillo decreed that the hypothalamus set-point, the bodily thermostat, could be altered. Just as turning up your home thermostat to 90-degrees on a freezing winter day burns a massive amount of home heating oil, a reset set-point would burn off a massive amount of calories. As John wrote in 1992, “If you want to favorably alter body composition – if you want to burn off stored body fat and build new muscle – you have to change the hypothalamus set-point. To this end, the insulin-to-glucagon ratio is the most important determinant of the set-point.” Sedentary obese individuals have shattered their metabolisms; they have inadvertently lowered their hypothalamus set-point. Parrillo declared that through the expert use of food and exercise the set-point could be dramatically elevated: “We can ‘build the metabolism.’”
Insulin control: How do you seize control of your hormones and manipulate them to your physical advantage? At Parrillo Performance the “hormonal control protocol” has been used and refined over a twenty year period. “If you want to grow muscle, the most important hormones are the panacrine hormones: Growth Hormone (GH,) Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF1,) testosterone and insulin. If the goal is fat loss, the most important hormones are epinephrine, GH, glucagon, thyroid hormone, cortisol and a lack of insulin. Insulin and glucagon are the most potent determiners of fat storage or fat loss. Insulin and glucagon are both produced in the pancreas: hormonally they create opposite effects. Their chief function is regulation of blood sugar (glucose) levels. When you eat carbohydrates they are absorbed by the small intestine and transported directly to the liver via the portal vein. Carbohydrates are converted into glucose in the liver then released into the bloodstream. After a meal, blood glucose rises as carbs are released into the bloodstream. The rise in blood sugar triggers a concurrent release of insulin from the pancreas. Insulin moves glucose into the cells through a process known as “facilitate diffusion.” Once inside the individual cell, glucose is burnt for energy or stored as glycogen. Problems arise when carbohydrates are released into the bloodstream too fast. A little bit of insulin can be a good thing. Insulin is an anabolic hormone and if released in the proper amount at the proper time, insulin creates an anabolic environment conducive to muscle growth. Unfortunately insulin is, more often than not, released too fast into the bloodstream. This is highly problematic: too much too fast and carbohydrates are converted into body fat instead of being stored as glycogen. Too much insulin released too fast causes sugar to be “moved” into cells resulting in hypoglycemia, low blood sugar. Low blood sugar causes energy to fade fast. Insulin control is
Resetting the set-point
by manipulating the
“Glucagon has the opposite effect of insulin: glucagon breaks down glycogen and signals the body to break down stored body fat and use the fat for energy. Glucagon signals the body to start breaking down stored body fat to use as energy because it is running out of carb fuel. Glucagon stimulates glycogen breakdown by triggering a process called gluconeogenesis, i.e., shifting of the metabolism from carb burning to fat burning. Insulin is an anabolic hormone and when released stimulates muscle growth: glucagon is a catabolic hormone and when released stimulates fat burning. The ratio of insulin to glucagon is determined by the ingested ratio of carbohydrate to protein. The insulin/glucagon ratio is the most important factor in determining the hypothalamus set-point.” Parrillo has discovered in working with elite bodybuilders that the ideal insulin/glucagon ratio can be achieved by manipulating foods and supplements. As a rule of thumb or as a starting point for fat loss, the carb-to-protein ratio should be as follows: for every gram of carbohydrate, consume 1.5 grams of lean protein. For muscle mass building, shift the insulin/glucagon ratio: for every gram of protein consume 1.5 grams of carbohydrate. “Obviously you need to eat more calories during a mass-building phase than during a lean-out phase. Regardless the phase you are in, consume at least 1 to 2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Keep saturated fat intake to no more than 5% of total calories consumed. The classical “Parrillo meal” consists of a portion of lean protein, a portion of fibrous carbohydrate and a portion of starch carbs. Fiber has a marvelous cleansing effect on internal organs. Eating lean protein and fibrous carbs with starch dampens the insulin release that occurs when starch carbs are eaten alone.”
The final piece to the
puzzle: supplementation! The first step in establishing a Parrillo-style nutritional game plan is to establish a multiple-meal eating template. The second step is to understand nutrient partitioning and hormonal control when making food choices. The final step is to use potent Parrillo supplements to amplify progress. Parrillo supplements are specifically designed to be used in conjunction with the Parrillo Nutritional Program. Optimized Whey™, All-Protein™ and Hi-Protein™ are used to help the Parrillo adherent hit daily protein goals without having to cook and eat every bite. CapTri® allows the individual to create the high calorie environment so conducive to establishing anabolism without resorting to calories preferentially partitioned into fat storage. CapTri® has the caloric density of fat (8.3 calories per gram) yet because of its unique molecular structure, is impossible to end up as body fat. The various Parrillo Bar formulations, Energy Bar™, Sports Nutrition Bar™, Protein Bar™, Chew Bar™ and Hi-Protein Bar™, provide “meal-in-a-wrapper” nutrients that can be kept anywhere and used anytime. 50/50 Plus™ is the finest post-workout Smart Bomb formulation on the market and amplifies training results. “Parrillo Pills” fill in the nutritional gaps and provide critical trace nutrients and minerals. The Parrillo “Engineered Foods,” cakes, cupcakes, pancakes, muffins and puddings allow strict dieters to enjoy completely acceptable sweet treats. Do you want to completely renovate your body in a matter of months? Get on a Parrillo multiple-meal eating plan and train like a mad man. Amplify results using potent Parrillo supplements. Utilize the Parrillo Principle of nutrient partitioning to favorably manipulate hormones. Put it all together and construct a reengineered body. The physique you dream about can become a stone cold reality in ninety days. Remember: not all calories are created equal!