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Rotate Power Nutrition Strategies for Better Results

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More often than not, after I outline both the Parrillo nutritional approach and the Warrior Diet approach, my listener inevitably asks, "So which system is better? Which one trumps the other?" That is the wrong question. It is like asking does a shovel trump an axe? Does a screwdriver trump a hammer? Dietary strategies are nutritional tools, nothing more, nothing less. Each of the systems I recommend works spectacularly if implemented completely and comprehensively. The procedures are exacting and need to be executed with disciplined diligence. If you do as each dietary strategy dictates, the body will build new muscle and give up its stored body fat. Both methods have philosophic gravitas and time-tested pedigrees. Each has been delivering significant benefits to diligent adherents for decades. Easch system flat out works: the only wild card, the only variable is you.


There is an old dietary adage that goes, "All diets work!" Regardless the foods selected, if you burn off more calories that you eat, on a consistent daily basis, you will lose bodyweight. As Purposeful Primitives we are concerned about losing body fat. The Parrillo approach and The Warrior Diet represent tested strategies. Each system utilizes dietary procedures that allow the dieter to maintain muscle tissue despite purposefully plunging into Negative Energy Balance (NEB). Losing body fat requires we operate in NEB. How do we lose body fat without losing muscle? This is the eternal conflict, the Zen dietary Koan. Both systems offer up comprehensive methods designed to resolve this seemingly irresolvable physiological contradiction.


Both Parrillo and Warrior recognize and seek to create "windows of opportunity. Create the window (through the expert manipulation of exercise and timed nutrition) then take full advantage of the newly opened window. In order to force the body to give up body fat, the idea is to straddle the caloric cusp, the tipping point that separates anabolic from catabolic. After maneuvering to the cusp, use intense exercise to create a catabolic state. Body fat is preferentially burned to fuel the exercise. Fat calories are mobilized and oxidized at an accelerated rate if intense exercise is performed in a glycogen-free metabolic state. When the session is over, take in a specific amount of specific nutrients and purposefully morph from catabolic to anabolic. The Window is created catabolically and closed anabolically.

How can two such diametrically opposed nutritional strategies peacefully coexist in our Purposefully Primitive Universe?

The seasoned Purposeful Primitive is always on a search to find effective extremes. You would be hard-pressed to find more contrast: one system says "eat often" while the other system says "eat seldom." The Parrillo Nutritional System and The Warrior Diet peacefully coexist within the primordial world of the Purposeful Primitive because these two approaches are effective extremes, profoundly different, yin and yang, thesis and antitheses. The contrast between the two systems could not be greater and this creates the exciting possibility of cyclical rotation.

Pick the Right Tool for the Right Job

For a person intent on revamping their current ineffectual approach towards nutrition, there are three preliminary questions that need to be answered:

  1. 1
    What is the physical goal?
  2. 2
    Can you prepared your own meals?
  3. 3
    Are you situationally and psychologically able to commit to a 4 to 12 week process?

Where is your physical starting point? Are you clinically obese and desperate to lose weight? Are you an underweight athlete seeking to add muscle to improve sport's performance? Are you ready, willing and able to prepare your own meals? Do you work a lot of hours? Are you able to eat properly at appointed times? Success is dependent on having a life situation conducive to sustaining a prolonged and exacting regimen of diet and exercise.


The first step in designing a customized nutritional program is to establish realistic physical goals. Select a dietary plan. Select a resistance and cardio exercise program. Periodize the exercise and periodize the diet approach. Break the overall goals down into weekly mini-goals. Each successive week the trainee achieves that particular week's mini-goals. There are many weekly mini-goals. A comprehensive training and nutrition game plan will have predetermined weekly poundage and rep goals for each resistance exercise; cardio goals will revolve around frequency, duration, intensity and number of calories burned per session. Predetermined nutritional benchmarks could include weekly bodyweight goals, daily caloric or protein goals, increasing or decreasing carbohydrate intake. Over time the continual attainment of modest mini-goals results in the ultimate attainment of the final physical goal.

Which Way to Jump?

  • Are you an athlete seeking to increase size and strength?
  • Are you a competitive bodybuilder in the off-season?
  • Are you a thin person seeking to become more muscular?
  • Are you looking to "muscle up" while staying lean in the process?

If the answer is YES, then it would be impossible to top the effectiveness of the Parrillo Nutritional System. Parrillo adherents eat lots of "clean" calories in an unending series of daily mini-meals. These small feedings "build the metabolism." Parrillo insists precision eating be combined with intense weight training and cardio. This approach requires time. Time to pre-prepare food,, time to stop to eat 5-7 times a day, 7 days a week. If you select the Parrillo approach, be aware that critical mass is achieved through strict adherence to a very exacting set of protocols and guidelines.

  • Are you significantly overweight or obese?
  • Are you an athlete that needs to stay light to compete in a weight class?
  • Are you afflicted with blood sugar disorders?
  • Are you an older trainee with limited time to train?

If the answer is YES, then it would be impossible to top the effectiveness of The Warrior Diet. In our manic, frantic, modern world, time seems to be our most precious commodity. The Warrior Diet is the ultimate in ease - no fuss, no muss - little if any eating during the day and then eat once at night, consuming hearty amounts of nutritious, natural foods. If you select the Warrior Diet approach, be aware that critical mass is achieved through strict adherence to a very exacting set of protocols and guidelines. The tenacious implementation of a full-on Warrior Diet for a protracted period results in dramatic physical improvement.

Both systems boldly proclaim that you must eat more (of the right stuff) in order to lose body fat. That is a profound and counterintuitive assertion: eat more to lose body fat! How is that possible? Hofmekler and Parrillo both concluded that intense exercise amplifies dietary results and conversely, timed and targeted nutrient intake actually amplifies workout results. In both the Parrillo and Warrior approach diet and exercise are inseparable.


The best approach is to make a two week commitment during which you follow every rule and guideline of the chosen system. Experience has shown that a 14 day trial period will bring to the forefront one of two possibilities: that the system can and will meld with the realities of your life or that there is no realistic way to implement the selected approach. A 14 day test period done with diligence, regardless the system selected, will yield tangible results. Seven days can produce such rapid and radical results that the trainee receives a psychological jolt, an infusion of exuberance that morphs into genuine procedural enthusiasm. Time and again I have seen quick results catapult a stagnant individual into a growth spurt that borders on miraculous.

Where and How to Start

Be Hot or Be Cold! Avoid Lukewarm!

Plan ahead. Regardless of which nutritional direction you decide to head in, make a real commitment. If you choose to head in the Parrillo multiple meal direction, you need to determine the acceptable foods that you like. Assemble the lean proteins, fibrous and starchy carbs that yo intend on using. Prepare food ahead of time, on the weekend. Consume the pre-made food during the week. Come to grips with food preparation. If you decide to embark on The Warrior Diet, brush up on the rules. You may eat during the day. Not a lot, some low glycemic fruits, raw vegetables, light proteins, salads are okay. Both systems insist you "smart bomb" after a training session: drink a potent protein/carb liquified drink immediately after every workout.


Both men correctly insist dietary results are amplified dramatically be combining right eating with intense exercise. Pick a plan and execute it with the requisite gusto. If you eat and train correctly, after seven days you will gain a toehold; two perfect weeks nets you a foothold; three weeks without a back slide and you establish full traction. Synergistic momentum kicks in within a month. When that occurs the process achieves critical mass. There is nothing like dramatic results to fire a trainee up and cause them to redouble their efforts.

The Psychology of Taste

Sensual gratification is a dynamic, often overpowering human urge. Many of us are slaves to gratifying one sense or another. The most overlooked aspect of disciplined eating (dieting) is the psychological aspect. Food consumption is based on personal habits, likes and dislikes. Modifying habits is self-administered behavioral modification. The mind needs to be reconfigured a bit if we are to successfully adopt a new relationship with food - assuming the relationship we currently have with food (and drink) isn't working. First we must recognize the Taste is King. Food and drink habits are directly related to sensual gratification. We all have highly individualistic taste likes and dislikes.


Taste gratification is a major driving force in all of our lives.


Most diets attempt to suppress or ignore the power of taste. Suppression is another form of willpower and all acts of will are finite. Rather than attempting to suppress taste we need to recognize and come to grips with taste. Do not pretend it doesn't exist, do not deny its impact, or, worse yet, satiate it in a way that undermines the "cleanliness" of the Parrillo approach or the "detoxifying/all natural" tenants of the Warrior Diet.

Can we successfully satiate powerful, primordial taste cravings and still stay true to the clean food precepts of the Parrillo and Warrior nutritional approaches?

We all have certain foods that we like to eat and that also happen to be good for us: acceptable foods under either the Parrillo or the Warrior approach. We need to identify those acceptable foods and construct our dietary approach, be it Parrillo or Warrior, around the consumption of these acceptable foods. Make tasty, acceptable foods the backbone of your nutritional effort. 


Addiction to sweets and sugar is another major dietary stumbling block. Rather than attempting to suppress a sweet tooth, let us find potent nutritional supplements that satiate and satisfy sugar cravings. Both Parrillo Performance Products and Defense Nutrition make excellent nutritional supplements designed to nourish and enhance our dietary efforts. A person with a sweet tooth can overcome detrimental sugar binges via the purposefully primitive "substitution principle." When a sugar craving hits and a binge is about to happen, instead of eating candy, pie or ice cream, substitute an "engineered food," a food that tastes sweet but is in actuality a beneficial nutritional supplement that contains no sugar. We trick the taste buds. Don't try to suppress a sweet tooth - satiate it!


Creeping Incrementalism is another helpful psychological tactic - be aware that as the dieter delves deeper into the process they gradually, naturally, incrementally tighten up the food selections and amounts in direct proportion to their degree of success. The deeper into the process they are drawn, the more results they see and the more they commit. Initially the mildest of dietary changes reaps tremendous results and this ignites enthusiasm, a self-sustaining mental propellant. Over time tangible physical results spur the dieter to become far more discerning, selective and disciplined. Creeping incrementalism enables the trainee to induce further progress by gradually tightening down protocols and procedures on an ongoing, across the board basis.

A profound psychological metamorphosis occurs when "dieting" is no longer viewed as dieting.

As long as we view dieting as an odious task of self-denial, a repugnant and extended exercise in stressful willpower, we will never turn the corner. Tangible results generate genuine enthusiasm for the process. When exercise becomes enjoyable and dieting becomes effortless, enthusiasm has supplanted willpower. Enthusiasm is an infinite mental propellant and can propel the process indefinitely.

Thermodynamic Reality Check

Pick a Direction and Commit

The prime directive of any intelligent nutritional game plan is to stimulate the oxidation of body fat and/or accelerate the acquisition of new muscle mass. Saying "I want to add muscle and lose body fat simultaneously (do both at the same time) betrays rookie ignorance. Elite athletes go in one direction or another. The athletic elite alternate directions, they swing pendulum-like between the two extremes: they pick one direction, add muscle or lose body fat, and then focus 100% of their efforts towards the attainment of that goal. Goals are always set into timeframes.

Goal: Add Muscle

Consume more calories than you oxidize on a consistent daily basis. Adding muscle mass requires you to stay in a calorie-surplus state. The Energy Balance Equation (EBE) must be tipped to the plus side. No new muscle can be built if you are not in a caloric-surplus status. More calories need to be ingested than oxidized in order to supply enough excess food/fuel to support the construction of additional muscle tissue.

Goal: Reduce Body Fat

Burn more calories than you consume on a consistent daily basis. The Energy Balance Equation (EBE) must be tipped into the negative. Stored body fat cannot and will not be mobilized and drawn down until activity exceeds the available energy pool of calories.

To attempt to melt off fat while simultaneously building muscle creates a thermodynamically irresolvable dilemma. The Energy Balance Equation cannot be tipped both directions at once. Pick one of two directions: add muscle or burn off body fat. Head in the selected direction, commit to the process fully and completely for 30 to 90 days.


The Parrillo Nutritional System and The Warrior Diet are each effective dietary systems, despite being light years apart philosophically. Each system is effective and each can stand alone. You may at some point choose to toy with the Purposefully Primitive rotational synthesis of these two dissimilar approaches.

Parrillo Nutritional System Synopsis

The Parrillo Nutritional system has general guidelines that stay constant regardless if the goal selected is to add muscle mass or become as lean as possible. Protein intake is kept high year round, regardless the direction selected. Parrillo is a great believer in consuming lots of lean protein as protein "spares" muscle tissue during the fat burning process. Fiber carb consumption is also kept high, regardless the phase or direction. Starchy carb intake is manipulated depending on the goal - less for fat loss, more starch during mass building phases. Supplements are used to augment the Parrillo nutritional approach. Supplements make hitting daily protein and carb goals much easier: you don't have to cook and eat every bite! His engineered foods can be used by those wanting to wean themselves off sweets. His line of sport nutrition bars provide sweet treats devoid of sugar. These are powerful nutritional tools for us in the battle against sugar addiction.

  1. 1
    Pick a goal: either add muscle mass or reduce body fat.
  2. 2
    Establish a multiple-meal eating schedule with feedings 2-3 hours apart.
  3. 3
    Meals should be relatively equal in the caloric sense.
  4. 4
    Three to four meals (or more) should be regular food meals.
  5. 5
    A food meal consists of a portion of lean protein, a portion of fiber and starch.
  6. 6
    One to three meals may be "supplement-only" meals.
  7. 7
    Daily protein intake should be at least one gram per pound of bodyweight.
  8. 8
    Fibrous carbs are eaten with every food meal to dampen insulin.
  9. 9
    Starch carb intake is dependent on the goal: less to lean out, more for mass.
  10. 10
    Goals are set into a 4-6-8-10-12 or 16 week timeframe.
  11. 11
    Weekly target goals are established and achieved in systematic fashion.
  12. 12
    The scale, skin-fold calipers and a tape measure are used to access progress.
  13. 13
    Saturated fat is limited to 5% of caloric intake; sugar and alcohol deleted.
  14. 14
    Parrillo sport bars, cakes, muffins, etc, are used to satiate a sweet tooth.

Warrior Diet System Synopsis

The Warrior Diet adherent eats little or no food during the day. The exception to this rule is the Warrior dieter who will eat or supplement immediately after an intense training session, regardless the time of day. At night, the Warrior dieter engages in "feasting," a 1 to 4 hour period of nutritional super compensation. Night feasting creates a miniaturized anabolic burst. Daytime fasting allows the detoxification and fat-burning process (begun during the sleep cycle) to continue. The day fast creates a window of opportunity and eating ample amounts of approved food at night kicks the metabolism into overdrive. After an intense exercise session Warrior supplements are consumed to take advantage of the post-workout window of opportunity. Healing, regenerating nutrients are absorbed and distributed far faster and far more efficiently when the post-workout window is open. Warrior supplements are used to overcome sweet cravings.

  1. 1
    Only all natural, low glycemic, organic food is consumed.
  2. 2
    Eliminate man-made foods and foods and beverages loaded with chemicals.
  3. 3
    The principle of intermittent fasting is used.
  4. 4
    Daily windows of opportunity are created: after intense exercise; after fasting.
  5. 5
    During the fast, detoxification and fat burning occur.
  6. 6
    During the fast, the body's enzyme pool is reloaded.
  7. 7
    During the fast, insulin drops and the fat burning hormone glucagon increases.
  8. 8
    If you must eat during the day, eat a bit of raw food, i.e. fruits and vegetables.
  9. 9
    The daily "overeating" phase occurs late in the afternoon or at night.
  10. 10
    Start the overeating phase with subtle-tasting raw foods.
  11. 11
    Move to cooked foods; include many textures, tastes, colors and aromas.
  12. 12
    Fasting followed by overeating accelerates the metabolism.
  13. 13
    Fasting followed by overeating replenishes glycogen.
  14. 14
    The Warrior Diet uses foods and supplements to satiate sweet tooth.

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