The muscle diet, what it is and how it works

Who I am
Louise Hay

Author and references

The book just came out The muscle diet (Sperling & Kupfer, € 18). To sign it is Mark Lauren, former military instructor of the US Special Operational Forces, now moved to the role of personal trainer (as well as triathlete and Thai boxing champion).

Lauren's credit: having developed an ingenious food plan to define the muscles, dry any flaccidume and motivate the sedentary. “The attitude towards the food: you have to think of it as a fuel. What we eat serves to empower us, ”he writes.

A train led by many gurus 

On the other hand, after years of filiform physicists, carried in the palm of the hand as a reference for beauty, today is the time for solid bodies (for her too), defined by snappy muscles, perfect for obtaining excellent sports performance.

Lauren is not the only one who has dedicated a book (and a diet): suffice it to mention La Vigor diet by the doctor Fabrizio Duranti (Sperling & Kupfer, € 17), who transforms sugars into energy and not into fats. The program, aimed at rebalancing insulin, preserves muscle mass and additionally activates the metabolism.

And what about the English Joe Wicks, for everyone "The Body Coach"? This personal trainer with a disarming smile started by posting on social videos of allenamenti and 15-minute recipes, quickly reaching millions of followers.

Today his dishes "without sacrifices", collected in the book Fit in 15 minutes (Tea, € 18) are popular everywhere. It is striking to note how, in the case of Wicks and Mark Lauren, it is personal trainers and sportsmen who draw up a food handbook, professionals who in our country would not be authorized to prescribe diets.

The stars are an example 

The anxiety of being able to show off muscular and snappy bodies it appears soon, if we consider that according to a survey promoted by the Cosmetics Association of the country, there is precisely a lack of tone among the most common complexes of teenagers in the village. But just training doesn't lead to firm muscles: you need to be supported by one ad hoc diet.

The demonstration is offered by the many famous actors, men in the lead, who for script requirements have changed their physical appearance, swelling and sculpting themselves. A couple of years ago Jake Gyllenhaal a boxer body had to be reinvented for the Southpaw movie.

In addition to training hard for months, he has radically changed diet. "I had 6-7 meals a day," he said, "and I had to eat every three hours to have fuel ready for the various training sessions and maximum energy." Like him, his colleagues too Bradley Cooper, Adrien Brody, Chris Hemsworth, turned into mountains of muscle to please the directors.

Without reaching these extremes, even many celebrity donne they admit they like themselves muscled. Above all the model Kate Hudson, who favors the protein diet since she plays sports every day, but also singers like J-Lo and Beyoncè, big players of the stage supported by a flower of experts.

And what about Hilary Swank when he starred in Million Dollar Baby? For the film that earned her the Oscar, the actress ate 210 grams of protein a day (he has a terrible memory of it). What is certain is that to have top muscles you need a strategy.

In search of the ideal program

«To lower the percentage of subcutaneous fat you have to decrease calories (fats and carbohydrates), while maintaining a high daily amount of protein, essential for a
good muscle mass (if there are few, you risk the flaccid effect) », explains Massimo Spattini, doctor and specialist in sports medicine and nutrition science (as well as athlete).

«Between fats and carbohydrates, it is better to reduce the seconds more: fats are important precursors of sex hormones, which in turn are connected to muscles: just think of testosterone, which in men helps the development of lean mass », warns the expert. L

and women are bound to work harder to raise the tone? Elena Casiraghi, expert in sports nutrition at Equipe Enervit explains: «La hormone production it differentiates us, of course, but that does not mean that both sexes cannot achieve their own muscle target.

A valid advice for everyone? Within half an hour from the end of the training, it is advisable to consume a snack consisting of a source of carbohydrates to restore energy supplies and one of proteins to support tired muscles. Excellent a fruit with some grain or a low-fat white yogurt with muesli or a slice of bread with bresaola».

Stronger healthier

I muscles they should not be considered only an aesthetic achievement to be proudly displayed. As the doctor Luca Speciani, creator of the DietaGIFT: «Several studies reveal lower mortality rates in subjects with toned muscles.

The daily protein intake it should not be overlooked: according to the WHO, the minimum quantity for those who exercise is 1,2 grams per kilo of weight, which rises to 1 gram and a half for athletes. Of course, you need to vary: you must not only eat meat and eggs, but also consume dairy products, legumes, fish.

Also remember that proteins are also present in pasta and bread, as long as they are integral. Supplements front: they should be taken only in exceptional cases. For example if a person is vegan and needs amino acids or if a woman has heavy periods and needs to supplement in vitamin D and iron. For the rest, nutrition should provide everything that is needed: it is a question of balance ». 

The 5 pillars of Mark Lauren's regime

1. Yes to prehistoric foods The foods recommended in the program Mark Lauren they must be as much as possible close to those who ate our ancestors. These include meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, cereals, seeds and nuts: natural and very energetic foods.

2. Watch out for carbohydrates It is necessary distinguish between slow and fast carbohydrates, classified according to how they affect blood sugar (blood sugar) concentration, energy levels, and their ability to burn fat.

According to Lauren, knowing when to resort to slow or rapidly absorbed carbohydrates and how to balance them with protein or fat fuels is the secret to a snappy body.

3. Ok to periods of caloric reduction Lauren proposes calorie cycling, which consists of periodically lowering the calorie quota for one or two weeks reducing the intake of rapidly absorbed carbohydrates. A system that would make your metabolism work more actively, keeping you lean and strong.

4. It is forbidden to go hungry Lauren is keen to reiterate it: no total bans. “Most diets fail because they starve. Thanks to the variety and combination of foods in my program, however, it will be very unlikely that you will go hungry ».

5. Combine diet and training Not just for firmer muscles. "A consistent sports program changes eating habits for the better: keep moving regularly it keeps the desire for junk food in check.

This is because physical activity keeps blood sugar stable, avoiding mood swings or the uncontrolled craving for sugar, promoting the release of endorphins, which send messages of well-being to the brain, ”explains Lauren. 

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