This page is intended as a basic overview of the principles behind Metabolic Performance Nutrition and a guide for those wishing to implement this type of diet for themselves.
When I first came across the idea of a low carbohydrate diet, my viewpoint at the time was the conventional societal belief which still prevails today – you stay slim through doing enough exercise to burn off any excess calories from overeating. At the time, I was engaging in distance running and maintained a slim physique, so my belief made perfect sense to me.
In my blog post From FAT distance runner to LEAN minimalist exerciser, I give a thorough account of my personal journey in changing my perspective on this subject. In another blog post Fasting, Ketosis and Fat Loss, I describe how I was able to live entirely off my body fat stores, by not consuming any food for more than two weeks.
In simple terms, Metabolic Performance Nutrition Principles says: if you consume one type of food, it can influence your body to store a majority of what you eat as body fat, while another type of food will be used up as energy and never become body fat. Furthermore, if we have unwanted body fat and want to become leaner, diet can change our metabolism in such a way, that our body starts to convert our stored body fat into energy, which means we will lose (fat) weight.
Metabolism : the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life
The nutrition ideas I put forth on this page, are derived from observation of my own bodily changes over time as well as those of my clients and friends who follow a similar diet strategy.
What we don’t eat!
The one thing we all have in common is what we don’t eat at all, have in small amounts or only consume occasionally. Bread, potatoes, pasta, rice and breakfast cereal which often makes up the staple in our diet, are pretty much eliminated. The reason for removing these foods, is because of their higher carbohydrate content.
Carbohydrate : a large group of organic compounds occurring in foods, including sugars, starch, and cellulose.
Because the carbohydrate in any food eaten, becomes sugar in the body, it has a big effect on how our metabolism functions. Sugar stimulates the necessary release of certain hormones in order to be used as energy immediately, stored as Glycogen or converted and stored as body fat.
Glycogen : a substance deposited in bodily tissues as a store of carbohydrates
Should these same hormones remain high over a prolonged period of time, due to a lot of sugar entering the body, they can interfere with our ability to release body fat, which would otherwise be used as energy when Glycogen stores are running low.
Limiting the amount of sugar in our diet, helps to maintain a well functioning metabolism, which allows the release of stored body fat as needed for energy, so that it does not accumulate as unwanted weight gain.
What we do eat!
As a general rule, everything on the menu can be described as a single ingredient food, meaning it does not carry a label with a long list of ingredients or said in another way, real food. When restricting carbohydrates, we are also restricting a major energy source, that obviously needs to be replaced with another, which is fat.
When our diet is constructed from basic or real food, it’s very easy to choose items where fat is simply a natural part of that particular foods structure.
Some of the highest fat containing foods coming from plants are olives, avocados and macadamia nuts, as well as the oils derived from these sources.
In order to replace the carbohydrate energy from the bread you would normally eat with a green salad, adding some of the above mentioned items, would be a viable solution.
All animal based food, contain fat to a more or lesser degree. Salmon, beef rib eye or pork belly are at the higher end of the fat containing scale, whereas white fleshed fish, venison and chicken breast is at the lower end, eggs and dairy fall somewhere in the middle. Sources that are entirely fat, much like olive oil from the plant kingdom, are butter, meat drippings and pork crackling.
An issue within the context of Nutrition, which must be addressed, is it’s limitations. I have been able to show in my personal experiments, that I was able to gain 1.2 kilos of lean mass by consuming an average of 200 grams of protein per day for ten months. However, this does not mean, that 400 grams of protein a day, would have produced 2.4 kilos of lean mass.
My personal conclusion at this point in time, is that optimal nutrition can only ever assist in maximising our individual genetic potential, meaning that if you have a smaller bone structure and genetically slender body type like myself, neither of us will turn into the Hulk, no matter how much protein we consume.