These principles prolonged the careers of the best fighters of the planet and helped them to win. Reconsider the priorities in nutrition, and you will simultaneously improve both health and sports results!
Author: Mike Dolce
Not so long ago I was a powerlifter with a weight of 127 kg and one single goal: to become bigger or die for the sake of a dream. I admit, I even wore such a T-shirt. As time showed, the path I chose led to both goals simultaneously.
One fine day (I was already far past twenty), I went into the doctor's office and found out that my cholesterol, blood pressure and other risk factors for dangerous chronic diseases jumped up at the same speed as the results in squats, bench press and stanovaya . My brain exploded. How could this happen at all? I practiced in good faith and since 13 years I have not missed a single workout. I took all the sports supplements known to people and ate like a horse – not that very right, but definitely better than most of my friends.
And suddenly it turns out that my body is cracking at all seams. Do not rush to throw stones into the garden of well-fed powerlifters. Let's face it, the world is full of bodybuilders, crossfat fans and other steep athletes who swim in the same boat and in the same direction.
I had to admit that my "truth" was sewn with white thread. I fully trusted the arrow of the scales and the number of pancakes on the bar, and they all the while were driving me by the nose and supporting me in the delusion that everything is under control and I'm going to my goals. In reality, there was no question of any control. I was very risky in health only to amuse my self-esteem.
Recognizing your mistakes is not very pleasant, but truth always has a bitter taste. I realized that there must be a different way! And he really was, but for this it was necessary to hammer a nail into the dear heart of the "truth" about proper nutrition first. That's how it was.
After about half a dozen diagnostic tests (ECG, MRI, Holter monitoring and much more), the doctor's conclusion did not change. I put the years of my life on the sacrificial altar only in order to achieve the maximum in the sporting career. I have no doubt that many of you act in the same way, whether you realize this or not.
But I learned the truth and decided that it was time to finish with this. I did not think to give up training – in any case – and was not going to give up the food that helped me to achieve results. But I also wanted to feel full of energy and live a long, productive life.
It was then that I began to combine my experience in sports science with what I knew not so much – the science of longevity. I studied dietetics in college and, to pay for training, worked as general manager in one of the most popular companies producing food additives. It seemed to me that in matters of diet I am a real expert. In addition, I had a thriving business, and I trained professional athletes who won titles in many different sports.
And again my pride led me astray. I had a lot to learn. But months and years after the shocking awakening in the doctor's office, I realized that nutrition and lifestyle are the key to my salvation. I eagerly absorbed any information on how our body functions from the point of view of a living organism, studied world cultures, analyzed the experience of over-hardy athletes and, most difficult, rethought the last ten years or so of its own evolution.
I started to experiment on myself, and when I found something effective, I shared this with my clients. The risk was considerable, but the results were stunning! We have not only become more bold and stronger, our thinking has become more clear. Skin and hair looked younger and healthier. Even the nails were cut much more often. It was like living in a sci-fi movie.
What was the difference? In a word, in microelements.
Brothers and sisters in iron, we all know perfectly well how important a complete profile of macronutrients is for stimulating muscle growth, increasing efficiency and burning fat. For those of you who do not know, three key nutrients are protein, fats and carbohydrates. The main nutrients determine the energy value of the diet: protein and carbohydrates give 4 calories per gram, and a gram of fat is equivalent to 9 calories.
Since the moment when, as a child, I first opened the magazine FLEX, I was obsessed with macronutrients. I climbed out of the skin to be guaranteed to get 3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight and twice the carbohydrates, and the remaining calories caught up with fats. I never attached special importance to the quality of food and thought only of macronutrients. If I reached the goal, and the number of calories more or less fitted into the equation, which I then considered correct, the rest did not matter.
All this became my religion. Did I manage to progress in the gym? Definitely. But, to be honest, in "real life" I never felt as good as I would like.
For six months of introspection and research, I realized that the human body is not just macronutrients. There is another dimension, much more important than the plane of carbohydrates and proteins, and it is immediately below the surface. It is in this inner empire that processes take place that allow us to grow.
It's about micronutrients. These irreplaceable components help all systems of our body work at full capacity. It depends on them whether the brain, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, central nervous system, bones, joints and ligaments will get – practically all organs – the vital resources needed to work at full speed. Their role increases many times, when in training you squeeze the last juices from the body.
I think you also knew without me that in theory, trace elements are important. But that's what you might not know: without fully covering the requirements for microelements, your precious proteins will not be absorbed efficiently. In the end, you will spend a lot of time and effort in training, but do not get any progress, or health promotion.
So how do you get them? It will be necessary to change priorities when planning a diet.
Reconsider the attitude to microelements
Today I am training UFC professionals, including Vitor Belfort, Ronda Rosie and Thiago Alves. For each of them, the transition to a lifestyle based on whole foods was a turning point in the career. Now they primarily focus on adequate replenishment of the need for trace elements.
Imagine that micronutrients are bees that make honey from raw materials in the form of carbohydrates, protein and fats. They make them useful. And, fortunately for you, they are very easy to find in any supermarket.
Are we striving for a balance of macronutrients? By itself! But our priorities are arranged in the following order:
The results speak for themselves. The body of any of these athletes is good enough to enter the professional bodybuilding scene. And they have enough energy resources to fight at the limit of opportunities for 25 minutes – although Rhonda usually has enough of the allotted time. All because our dogma is the health of the human body.
- Need for a normal metabolism of all macronutrients
When with the balance of microelements complete order, finding the most efficient proportion of macronutrients is easy. But if you only think about protein, the risk of lack of trace elements is great, and this slows down progress, shortens career and even shortens life.
Why do micronutrients get too little attention? It's simple: no one knows exactly what they are doing, and how they do it. And it may very well be that we will never know. But, in truth, this is not a problem. Put them in the first place, and you will get what you need.
If you follow the proven principles of the Dolce diet, you will find yourself on the path that leads to health promotion, fitness goals and sports performance. Perhaps you will be shocked at how easy it can be.
1. Eat foods that grow on the ground
All right, eat real food. If you eat real food and choose foods that grow in your area, you get food with the maximum specific weight of nutrients. Food value of products is a key moment.
A few simple rules will help you to raise the nutritional value of the diet. Fresh is always better. Raw – almost always better. Pesticides, chemicals, preservatives and growth factors all reduce the total nutrient content of the product.
As much as possible, choose the meat of animals that have eaten what they ate over the centuries – or even better, the meat of wild animals. Eat potatoes that are grown on your land, and apples that are harvested from a tree growing nearby.
What do they offer us in return? Well, everyone knows this. Apples are picked up a couple of weeks before ripening, they are transported thousands of kilometers to the supermarket, and then sprinkled with wax to give them a charming fake shine. From the point of view of taste and nutrients, it is an empty product. As for me, the apple should be on the table a day or two after it was torn off. Only in this situation is this food, and not its crude imitation.
2. Eat every 2-4 hours, taking into account what you did or what you are going to do
This concept is familiar to everyone who has dedicated at least a few years to power training. Exact recommendations are always individual. The soldier needs speed-strength indicators, and therefore he eats in other quantities and at another time than, say, a bodybuilder who increases meat. Another type of training, other goals, other food, other quantities.
But the main rule remains unchanged. My wards always think about how to prepare the body for the upcoming work, or how to help it recover after heavy loads. And you should think in the same vein.
3. Eat to saturation, not overflow
This rule will not be easy for many to swallow, simply because excessive consumption has become normal. But one of the advantages of foods with high nutritional value is that you do not need to stuff in yourself huge portions of poor quality food to get the minimum you need. Eating better, and you will use more and lose less.
On the other hand, when we eat too much, our digestive system has to pay for it – I think you understand what is at stake. In the end, we lose a significant amount of useful substances, although we think that they are coming to starved muscles. Do not let gluttony stand in the way of your progress! Learn to listen to the body, and it will let you know when it's time to stop.
More than 70% of our body consists of water – not from soda. Water is involved in every cellular reaction, including muscle contraction. Even a small dehydration affects the strength and physical performance, although you can not even guess about it.
My rule: except for the first morning dose of urine, all the others should be transparent. This is the only reliable way to measure the level of hydration without costly analyzes. At a weight of 100 kg, I drink 7,5 liters of clean water every day. My wife weighs 57 kg and drinks 3,7 liters of water a day. This is in addition (instead of instead) to coffee, tea, freshly squeezed juices and smoothies that we drink.
As for other drinks, we do not drink them. What for? If the goal is to make progress, everything should remain simple, natural and pure.
I can not tell you how many times I heard the phrase "Coach, I can not gain / lose weight, although every day I eat perfectly!"
My answer always reads: "What did you eat this morning?"
"Well, today everything went wrong. The child fell ill, I could not cook an ordinary breakfast, and blah blah blah . "
As they say, a fresh legend . When I say "be responsible," I mean every meal, every day, every week, every month and every year. There is no room for indulgence in my system. Or go to the goal, or not.
Do not tear your shirt on and tell me that the unloading days have not been canceled. Of course, we have unloading days – they need soldiers, especially after weighing – but they also consist of products with high nutritional value.
Here are a few excellent options for unloading days:
- "Bogatyrskaya paste" from first-class meat, fresh vegetables and a garnish of brown rice or kinoa
Essence: you do not need to poison the body to arrange a fasting day or to have dinner in the company of friends. My life is by no means limited! Moreover, it beats the key. Fans of ice cream and cake can mock me, as much as I like, but why pour food, when you can enjoy nutritious food and get the maximum amount of trace elements? If you just throw food debris into the body, when there are so many great options around, you waste food.
Give the body what it really needs
Do not let obesity statistics fool you. The popularity of proper nutrition is growing rapidly! We, as a population, have become more literate consumers. Today more than ever, many people understand that the choice of products has a tremendous impact on health in the short and long term.
Large and small food companies see this trend and respond to it by increasing supplies of organic, fresh products. The food additives industry is also trying to keep up. Today there are more than ever preparations that contain natural ingredients of high quality, without artificial sweeteners, preservatives and coloring agents.
Do not just survive – strengthen your health! You can look cool on the competitive stage or in front of a mirror, and at the same time, live a long and fulfilling life. Eat better and you will get better.
Strongly written. The one who is looking for himself now will understand. Good luck.