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The Lean It UP Clean Eating Manifesto — 17 Nutrition Tactics To Eat Cleaner, Live Leaner, And Build The Ultimate Body

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Sugar is the nutritional devil.

It has absolutely no nutritional value, stimulates appetite, produces inflammation, and directly stimulates fat storage. That goes for refined carbs, too. Guzzle a bottle of Coke, a pack of Sour Patch Kids, or a few pieces of Wonder Bread and your blood sugar will immediately skyrocket, which triggers an insulin release.

Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas that helps keep blood sugar levels under control. When the body is overflowing with too much glucose it enters storage mode, and insulin helps stuff it all away into fat cells. AKA you get fatter.

Sugar consumption ? blood sugar spike ? insulin release ? fat storage.

If you do that often enough your body becomes insulin resistant, which eventually leads to type 2 diabetes.

What’s worse, the more sugar you eat, the more your body craves it, which creates a vicious cycle of fatness and gross overindulgence. CUT IT OUT.

**One caveat. If you’re highly active and working out like a beast, spiking insulin can help shuttle nutrients to depleted muscle cells (known as glycogen). Post-workout, eating quick-digesting carbs can actually be an effective way to replenish hungry muscles and stimulate recovery. And quench your insatiable sweet tooth in a productive way.

8. Protein Power.

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I don’t care if you’re trying to build muscle, melt body fat, or maintain your weight. PROTEIN has to be the centerpiece of EVERY meal. Drill that into your cranium. Protein. Must. Be. Included. In. Every. Meal.

Protein is the Lebron James of the nutrition world. It has the miraculous power to simultaneously stimulate muscle growth and accelerate fat loss the dual threat of any lean diet.

It helps destroy hunger and control appetite; actively keeps blood sugar/insulin on lockdown, which reduces the impact of carbs on fat storage (it lowers the collective glycemic load); AND it burns major calories—no effort required—thermogenically during digestion.

In terms of net calories, protein churns through roughly 30% of its own calories during digestion. Basically, a 100 calorie meal from protein would burn ~30 calories; whereas that same meal from carbs or fat would only burn 5-15. FOR SCIENCE.123456

Mentally, plan whatever you’re eating around an HQ protein source and then accessorize it with fats, carbs, fruit, and veggies. And if you’re eating out, pick anything that has protein as a core component.

Maybe that’s salmon on a bed of linguini, a nicoise salad, an ahi tuna roll, or an omelette with a bowl of oatmeal. Between chicken, eggs, fish, Greek yogurt, dairy, protein powder, nuts, beans, and green leafy veggies, you’ve got an arsenal of options to choose from.

All in all, shoot for roughly .75-1g of protein/LB of bodyweight/day (165 pound person = 120-165g/day). And if you want, eat more than that. Research suggests that protein hyper-consumption (2g/LB) has no impact on weight gain even if your calories are elevated. LOOPHOLES.

9. Overdose on Veggies.

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There’s a reason why your mom force-fed you broccoli when you were a kid. Overdose without hesitation on green, leafy, colorful veggies. You physically can’t eat too many — go bananas early and often.

Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, squash, sweet potatoes, asparagus, beets, peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, carrots, etc. are all uber-nutritious, and easy to prepare. You’ve got variety on your side — experiment with different types and preparations until you get addicted to something.

And if you’re really anti-veg and want an easy way to cheat, stuff a handful of spinach into a protein smoothie or omelette (vitamin K, y’all).

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Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Instagram (@BRYDISANTO) & Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto
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  2. Skov AR, Toubro S, Rønn B, Holm L, Astrup A. Randomized trial on protein vs carbohydrate in ad libitum fat reduced diet for the treatment of obesity. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders : Journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity [1999, 23(5):528-536. []
  3. Layman D, Boileau R. A Reduced Ratio of Dietary Carbohydrate to Protein Improves Body Composition and Blood Lipid Profiles during Weight Loss in Adult Women. J. Nutr. February 1, 2003vol. 133 no. 2 411-417 []
  4. Belko A, Barbieri T. Effect of energy and protein intake and exercise intensity on the thermic effect of food. Am J Clin Nutr June 1986vol. 43 no. 6 863-869 []
  5. Martens E, Lemmens S. Protein leverage affects energy intake of high-protein diets in humans. Am J Clin Nutr January 2013 vol. 97 no. 1 86-93 []
  6. Welle S, Lilavivit U. Thermic effect of feeding in man: Increased plasma norepinephrine levels following glucose but not protein or fat consumption. Metabolism. 1981 Oct;30(10):953-8. []
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