How many people do you know are really really ripped? I mean, extremely athletically cut with abbs bursting out.
If you do then you know one lucky person. These type of people are so lucky because nearly all the calories they eat goes straight to muscle.
If, for some reason, they feel the need to diet, every calorie burned comes from fat and not muscle. No matter how they train or eat, they get better and better with rounded muscle bellies and low body fat levels.
These people are metabolically flexible so when they go hungry their body dips into their fat storage to keep them alive.
One of the oldest myths in the fitness industry is if you want to bulk up you needed to eat like a horse all day long, no matter what the food. Burgers, pizza, chips, 3 steaks a day, 10 eggs, it didn’t matter. Consumption was the name of the game.
Throw in some high protein shake called maximus gainer 2015 and you are away.
Most normal people when they are eating for mass, gain 2 to 3 pounds of fat for every pound of muscle. And when you cut calories, you lose a pound of muscle for every 2 to 3 pounds of fat you drop.
The difference between you and the lucky shredded guy is largely genetic. Testosterone levels and sensitivity play a role, as do cortisol levels. The gifted folks also have thyroids and nervous systems that operate with the efficiency of a German car.
But the main difference between you and them is that they Partition Nutrition.
Nutrient partitioning is the process by which the body decides what to do with the energy you get from your diet.
When you eat something, the nutrients are either burned or they’re stored for future use. Ideally, you’d like all those storage nutrients to be partitioned to muscle as opposed to body fat.
That’s why the old statement that “a calorie is a calorie” isn’t really true, at least in the way that calorie is treated by the body.
If nutrients are partitioned to muscle, you can potentially fuel new muscle growth and build up muscle glycogen stores so that even more growth, along with increased work capacity and increased recovery rates, is possible.
Efficient nutrient partitioning has lots of fathers, among them an unexplained coordination between the gut, liver, brain, central nervous system, and muscles, most likely coordinated by hormones and certain secondary chemical messengers.
The main determinant of nutrient partitioning is insulin.
Now if you’re diabetic or obese, your ability to partition nutrients is likely dysfunctional. And if you’re just a bit insulin resistant, your nutrient partitioning is sluggish and inefficient.
Insulin will still try to get into the muscle cells of insulin resistant people by making contact with a receptor on the cell, but its intents are ignored.
Be ready here for the science bit..brace yourself
Normally, insulin would activate this particular protein called GLUT4, which allows glucose to enter the cell. But in insulin resistant people, GLUT4 doesn’t take the call, so glucose (along with any branched-chain amino acids insulin might be carrying) doesn’t get into the cell.
Insulin then has the unwanted glucose converted into fatty acids which are trundled off to fat storage centres like your belly or love handles where they’re stacked on the existing pile of fat.
But if you’re insulin sensitive, carbs and branched chain amino acids are delivered post office style to the muscle cell, where a beautiful GLUT4 lady of the house signs for them and ushers them inside where they’re greedily taken up by the machinery of the cell and forged into brand-spanking new muscle – provided you actually work out correctly.
Phew, hope you got through that!!
You get the picture of the haves and have nots. On one hand we have genetically perfect guys with idealized nutrient partitioning abilities and on the other, skinny-fat guys who war against the genetically perfect guys.
The truth is, everybody’s nutrient partitioning abilities lie somewhere along a huge spectrum. Even the hypothetically perfect nutrient-partitioning people can suffer a setback if they eat too many carbs.
If that happens, they’ll experience some of what insulin resistant folks experience every day in that all the extra glucose will be converted to fatty acids and stored as triglycerides in fatty tissue.
Regardless of which part of the spectrum you’re on, you can do things to improve your nutrient partitioning capabilities.
Become a Gifted Nutrient Partitioner
The traditional remedy to poor nutrient partitioning abilities is to pay attention to the type of carbohydrate you’re ingesting and when you’re ingesting it.
You’ve heard it many times: eat fast-absorbing carbs during the peri-workout phase. Eat small amounts of complex carbs the rest of the time.
Likewise, you’ve always been told to limit your overall carb intake, because even in gifted people with exquisite insulin sensitivity, excess carb intake can decrease insulin sensitivity and make their body behave, metabolically, more like a fat person’s.
Another way to improve how you partition nutrients is to mind your fatty acid ratios. As you’ve probably read, the typical Western diet is heavy on omega-6 fatty acids and light on omega-3 fatty acids.
You’ve got two choices if you want to improve the way you partition nutrients:
You can be careful about carb intake, restricting the bulk of it to around the workout period (eating roughly 70% of your carbs before, during, and immediately after your workout) and eating most of the rest of your carbs in a post-workout meal.
That will help take advantage of whatever nutrient partitioning powers you might have, however small.
You can also limit your total carb intake, but this is largely a two-steps forward, one-step back approach. You eat fewer carbs to sensitize your nutrient partitioning system, but provide fewer carbs to the muscle cells. So there’s nothing for that enhanced nutrient partitioning ability to take advantage of!
You can also supplement your intake of omega-3 fatty acids to stomp chronic fat cell inflammation, which will also improve insulin sensitivity.
Either way, if you wish to gain muscle like the lucky ones you must choose one.
PS- Grab your free personal trainer private consultation today so you can find out what options you if you decided to change your body shape.