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Bodybuilding Nutrition

Diet Facts, Fallacies and Strategies for
Building Muscle and Burning Fat
by Jeffery Stout, Ph.D.
efficient processes, adaptation would proba-
bly rank number one. Evolution over mil-
lions of years has turned the species into a
form that’s geared not for the production of a
slim waist or muscular arms, but for survival. In
ages past, periods of famine were common. Yet the
human race prevailed. The catch, unfortunately, is
that those who have a considerable propensity to
store fat survived. Thus, the 20th-century human is
someone who has adapted to years of food short-
ages through a nauseating ability to maintain a
pear-shaped torso. So much for survival of the
fittest.
Consequently, when the innocent dieter initiates
a restrictive diet, the body’s response is to kick into
survival mode. That, in essence, is a signal to store
fat to offset an anticipated period of insufficient
calorie intake. Compounding matters is a gradual
decline of the body’s metabolism, rendering the
task of fat loss even more difficult.
The process is no different from any other the
body performs when encountering change—it
adapts. Instead of perceiving food as the culprit,
you should view it as fuel. Food is fuel for an in-
creasing metabolism, fuel for the release of fat-
burning and muscle-building hormones and,
finally, fuel for a healthy diet and a normal
lifestyle. When you eat food in precise amounts,
your body must adapt; however, it adapts to the no-
tion that it will get the energy it needs. When it
does, your body will respond with its own good-
will gesture, a liberation of its suddenly unneces-
sary fat stores.
You achieve such changes through hormonal re-
lease, an increase in metabolism and the preserva-
tion and enhancement of muscle tissue.
Proteins are considered the body’s building
blocks for muscular repair, maintenance and
growth. Adequate protein intake ensures the
preservation of muscle tissue and enhances recov-
ery from both strenuous workouts and daily activi-
ties. Since exercise causes significant damage to
muscular tissue and subsequent growth requires
adequate recovery, protein is often the missing fac-
tor. If you don’t take in enough protein, your mus-
cle may not be spared and you’ll experience
appreciable decreases in metabolism.
Fallacy 1:
The RDA for Protein Is Sufficient
The recommended dietary allowance, or RDA,
for protein is approximately .36 grams per pound
of bodyweight. Based on that, a 200-pound man
would require a mere 72 grams of protein daily.
That may be sufficient for a sedentary individual,
but when you factor in strenuous activity such as
endurance or weight training, the RDA is grossly
inadequate. In fact, research studies have suggest-
ed that consuming the RDA for protein during pe-
riods of intense training may lead to loss of
muscular tissue.1,2 It’s apparent that protein re-
quirements depend on an individual’s activity
level, to the extent that a range between .64 and .91
grams of protein per pound of bodyweight is ap-
propriate.1.,2
The body’s primary fuel for energy is derived
from carbohydrates. They’re especially important
for aerobic activities and high-volume weight
training and are also used during periods of recov-
ery. As with protein, inadequate intake of carbohy-
drates can compromise exercise performance and
duration; however, based on the recommendations
of most dietitians, you might mistakenly believe
Facts and Fallacies of Food
All food can be separated into three basic types:
proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Together they
form the basis of all diets and, along with exercise,
ultimately determine changes in body composition.
16 Bodybuilding Supplement Guide
Bodybuilding Supplement Guide 17
If the human body could list its top-10 most
16 Bodybuilding Supplement Guide
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