If you ever read any of my articles on nutrition or follow me on my fan page at www.facebook.com/adamgethinfanpage you will know my views on carbohydrates. Should we eat them? Yes! Can we all eat them? Most, yes! Does it matter when we eat them? Absolutely! Over the years my view towards carbs has changed, I still appreciate their importance just as much but my application has completely changed. We are students of life and I feel as though my graduation has led me to learning a very good way of embracing the benefits of carbs whilst limiting their potentially negative effects!
Whether the goal is to gain muscle or burn body fat my principles remain similar, for most of the time. Remember it is impossible to write a ‘’one fits all’’ article on such a specific subject, yet I feel around 75% of us can apply these following principles.
Insulin management is the name of the game when it comes to fat loss, and muscle growth to a degree. More so than other foods carbohydrates cause a spike in insulin when we eat them which can potentially shut down our ability to burn body fat. Some are more susceptible to this than others however generally speaking insulin sensitivity (our ability to use the energy from carbs is heightened dramatically) is improved drastically POST-workout. Most people carb up before workouts for energy and cut carbs after their workouts because they think the body won’t use the energy.
I like to switch up on this and go the opposite way – use healthy fats and protein as your main meal sources before your workouts and then post-workout take in a fast digesting carb with your protein. From here I would recommend anywhere between 1-3 meals consisting of protein and complex carbohydrates with a low GI score. This depends on your goals and body fat, but I would generally always recommend at least ONE carb meal after your post-workout shake on training days.
There are days when I will force feed my clients carbohydrates for want of a better word where they will have anywhere between 1.5-4g of carbs per pound of body weight. This is not a regular occurrence until they reach at least 10% body fat though. The aim is to keep the thyroid and metabolism spinning and to raise your leptin levels which can only be stimulated positively by complex carbohydrates.
Why Not Before?
Hen optimal body composition changes are the main priority I keep carbs out of the diet before you lift weights. This is partly due to the fact that your insulin state isn’t so ready for carbohydrates; however there is also another reason. By keeping your muscle glycogen levels relatively low from carb sources and eating healthy fats instead your body is more prone to utilise body fat in the gym.
Are you one of the 75%? Well, as a VERY general rule of thumb have a look at your physique and see where you hold most of your fat. If it is on your lower back or upper back then the chances are you are very insulin resistant, so yes these rules apply!
Of course these are only guidelines however I do believe by implementing them, even loosely without a ‘’custom’’ plan you will see positive changes in the mirror!
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