No carbs after 6pm – that’s all well and good if you train in the day!
If you believe the media, carbs are the root of all evil. Every celebrity out there is on a low carb diet and they certainly don’t eat them after 6pm.
Are carbs that bad? Call them what you will, complex, simple carbs, they all do one thing and that is provide the body with energy.
So how are low carb diets supposed to work? Well by depleting your glucose stores your body will also shed a lot of water, so the result is a rapid weight loss in a short time. But as soon as you eat carbs again they are stored with water as glucose and the weight goes straight back on.
Keep your carb levels low for a long period of time and your body will go into ketosis (the way your body produces energy from fat/ protein without carbs) and this can leave you with bad breath and nausea – although over a long period of time this can affect blood ph levels leading to long term health problems.
So what’s the answer, we need carbs but how can we eat efficiently. By choosing low GI carbs you can keep insulin levels low and level throughout the day. By eating high GI foods you will increase insulin that can increase storage of food as fat.
Try to have a breakfast that is high in complex carbs, oats are perfect, but not everyone likes them so brown toast would be better than white. This will fill you up and give you sustained energy release throughout the morning.
A small mid-morning snack again containing complex carbs but also some protein (chicken/ tuna sandwich on wholemeal bread)
Lunch should consist primarily consist of salad or vegetables with a protein source.
1-2 hours pre-workout eat a small meal again consisting of complex carbs and protein (it is easier to have a protein shake and a piece of fruit such as an apple or banana)
Immediately post-workout, have a fast-acting carb drink to replenish your carb stores, this will decrease recovery time.
Finally, your evening meal should consist of a complex carb, veggies such as broccoli are great with lean meat.
That’s 6 meals in one day, small portions designed to keep you feeling full, keep your insulin levels low (except for post work out) and help you keep your body fat levels at the optimum level.
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