Day 6: 12 days of Christmas dieting
We are now half way through this series of 12 days of Christmas dieting. The way I see it there is a lot of spurious information out there that is usually confusing, contradictory or just plain wrong. I've been educating clients for years on how to eat and train properly. Here is another dose of reliable information on how to avoid getting fat at Christmas time.
Day 6 timing your meals and training.
I love the rocket science behind training and nutrition. I read everything as I know that in my industry there is far more anecdotal evidence than actual scientific evidence. Sports scientists are working very hard to catch up with current trends and thoughts that circulate the populations. The problem is that it is very hard to empirically test most of the theories or approaches as they take time and need loads of subjects and lab standard adherence, which, let's face it, most people in the real world cannot do.
There are data out there that is massively important and has been proven, so, lets focus on what we can say is true without doubt or the input of 'bro-science' that is; meal timing and what the meal consists of.
I have discussed previously that the food we eat is made up of the three major macronutrients protein, carbohydrate and fat. Each of these macronutrients has a different roll within our diet. I simply cannot go into detail in this article about exactly what they do as professors have written vast text books on just that. However, I'll try to sum it up in the way I understand. With regards meal make up I'd recommend that you consume some protein (meat & fish etc.) in each meal. Assuming that this stays constant, we'll just focus on varying carbohydrates and fats.
The first top tip with regards basic timing of training and food is this. Remember how I mentioned that fat storage is usually equated with ingesting more than you need at that time. It takes time for your body to digest the food and get it circulating around your system. So, if you ate a big meal, more than you'd usually have eaten in one sitting, then why no go and train shortly afterwards? This way you'll have a 'need' for those extra calories. It's a simple answer to preventing the surplus calories going to places you don't want them to. Instead, you get a well fuelled workout, you may even get some personal bests!
The next stage is to understand that there is a difference in the type of fuel your body will use for which type of movement you're doing. If you're going for slow-medium steady state fat loss workout then you're better at consuming fats before your workout, or even train in a fasted state. This will promote a fat burning environment. If you're training high intensity or weight training I'd recommend eating carbs first as your body will primarily be running on sugars. This will give you a great workout and boost your metabolism for post workout fat loss.
If you intend to do a workout purely for fat burning avoid eating a high carbohydrate meal beforehand. Carbohydrates cause a rise in blood sugar. High blood sugar causes spikes in insulin. Insulin blocks fat burning for energy.
To sum up. Try to consume protein in every meal. Eat carbs before tough workouts and eat fats before easier workouts. If you're going to have an out of character big meal i.e. Christmas dinner, get out and have a massive workout afterwards to avoid the extra calories turning to fat, or at least go and walk it off. Good luck going to the gym Christmas day, FYI my gym will be open!
Coming soon day 7 on the 12 days of Christmas dieting
Keep on liftn' Ali 'Fat Al' Stewart
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