Many people would argue till they’re blue in the face that this isn’t necessary to lose weight and they are right!
I completely agree that managing your body weight all stems from taking control of your energy input and output by how many calories you are taking in from the food you are eating and how many calories you are burning off from your activity levels each day.
However there are benefits to utilising the timing of eating carbohydrates.
Let me explain…
Eating carbohydrates can often leave you feeling sluggish due to the sudden spike in insulin released from the body (rise in blood sugar) and then sudden drop a.k.a ‘Crash’ in blood sugar levels which makes us feel so damn tired!
Especially if you are over-eating carbohydrates or eating carbs that are high on the glycemic index (Fast Absorbing Carbs i.e. Higher sugar levels) which all too many of us are guilty of doing.
Here’s a tip that I have found to help keep me leaner, reduce my carbohydrate intake to just what I need to optimise my energy levels and maximise my progress – Try to keep your carbs to fit in and around your pre-workout, post-workout and before bed time meals.
This will allow you to have greater amounts of carbohydrates in those meals due to the decrease in number of meals throughout the day that you are allowed carb’s.
It will also improve your performance in the gym from fueling yourself up in your pre-workout meal and increase recovery levels from your post workout meal by replacing your glycogen levels (Energy Stores) that you have used during your workout.
There has also been studies that show that eating carbohydrates before bed (Give 2 hours before bedtime to allow adequate time to digest) can help improve your sleep. This is due to the effect it has on elevating the levels of Serotonin – Otherwise known as the ‘Feel Good’ Neurotransmitter.
You see, Serotonin is linked to improving our mood, providing a more calm and relaxed feeling which is ideal for hitting bed time!
How does this happen?
Because Carbohydrates are necessary for the body to synthesize sufficient serotonin levels meaning if we have elevated levels of serotonin at night, it can improve our sleep and therefore recovery from workouts. 😴
So I bet I can guess where your head is at right now… “But Stuart, if I have carb’s around those times, what the hell do I have for my breaky?”
The social norms have us believing that a higher carb meal in the morning sets you up for the day such as your average bowl of corn flakes, couple slices of toast or so on…
However all this provides us with is a larger amount of carbohydrates first thing with next to no protein leaving you with less meals to hit higher protein targets to help you recover from your workouts and of course, less carbohydrates to have with our later meals when most of us have MUCH more time on our hands rather than in the morning when we are getting ready for work or setting off with the kids to go to school.
So here’s what I do: I get my protein and healthy fats into me first thing in the morning. Two reasons for this…
- Alot closer to hitting my protein targets as it is spread more evenly throughout the day rather than playing catch up!
- Eating a higher fat and protein breakfast leaves me feeling fuller for longer and eliminates that crash from eating a higher carb breakfast leaving me with the midday blues and reaching for that sugary snack!
While I appreciate this may seem a bit complicated, I promise you, it can help improve your day to day performance and help you get more from your fitness goals.
If you need any help with how to set up a healthy, nutritious and performance based diet plan tailored to your goals, why not drop us a message and a member of our Top Team will get back to you as soon as possible!
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