Carbs- The Inside Story
Most of you know that I am a huge advocate of a low carbohydrate lifestyle. I don’t care what any of the afternoon talk shows, or the latest diet book say about carbs. You simply have to monitor the carbohydrate intake every day to make sure you get the best fat loss results.
The reason that I am such a fan of low carbohydrate lifestyles is that insulin is our biggest enemy. Insulin is the hormone that is released when we eat. If we have a high does of carbs in our meal they will get broke down into simple sugars that are moved into our blood stream. Once in the blood stream they are then either used or stored. A high release of insulin with lead to a higher storage of glucose into fat cells and often lead to sluggish feeling. Most of us have the abilities to regulate our insulin to manipulate this response and drastically reduce our fat stores.
There are many forms of carbs. We have fructose, sucrose, fiber, and many others. Fructose is one of the fastest sugars to be broken down and causes a rapid insulin response. This is the reason that fruit juices are not a great choice for beverages. You get all the sugars but none of the fiber or other good stuff in the fruit to slow the insulin response. Sucrose is a simple sugar that also gets broken down quickly and leads to a lot of fat storage. Fiber is our friend. Fiber is used to regulate blood sugar levels and doesn’t break down into simple sugars. This is why when you see low carb foods they often list net carbs, which is figured by subtracting the fiber from the carbohydrates.
You best forms of carbs are veggies. You really can’t go wrong with eating veggies. Eat as many of them as you would like at any time of day. The fiber in the veggies and nutrients that they provide help you regulate blood sugar, lose fat, keep you full, and keep you regular.
The best times to eat carbohydrates to get the most out of them are first thing in the morning and also pre/post workout. Timing your carbohydrates is a great way to get in some of your favorite carb laden foods and still get the results you are looking for or stay lean. The timing of the insulin response will aloow you to utilize the sugars in your blood stream instead of storing them as fat for future use.
First thing in the morning you are coming off a fast. You haven’t eaten since the night before and are in need of some quick fuel to ensure your body is ready to tackle the tasks of the upcoming day. Your blood sugar is low, your energy levels are low and you are primed to eat. At this point in the day you can ingest carbohydrates without having a detrimental effect on your waistline. Your body will utilize the sugars as fuel and get your metabolism started for the day.
We must still pay close attention to the types of carbohydrates that we are eating. Donuts, cereal, bagels, white bread, etc are not great choices. Sure they are carbohydrates but they don’t provide us with much nutritional value. We should look at oats, possible whole grains (personally I can’t even do this one) and whole fruits. We want a good protein source to accompany the carbohydrate source as well.
Your workout nutrition is something that many neglect but most should pay very close attention to each day. I am a bigger advocate of pre workout nutrition. If we pay attention to what we consume prior to our workout we will have those nutrients available for recovery and fuel. I would suggest ingesting a carb to protein ration of 2:1 prior to the workout (30-60 minutes). Try out a 20-30g of protein along with 40-60g of carbs during this time. (It is important to note that you should elimate as much fat as possible during this meal.)
Following this protocol will allow you to push harder in your workouts and recover faster. Higher intensity and faster recover means better results.
I could go on and on about carbohydrates but these few tips I gave you today will be a great start.