It’s been a busy week for me and I know for you too. I’ve received a few questions about how to get and stay lean with a packed schedule. It’s perfect timing because I’ve been in close contact with a few of my fitness pro friends this week and it so happens that they have some answers for you…
Question: When is the best time to eat carbs? I’ve heard that I shouldn’t eat carbs before a workout because I’ll get an insulin spike…can you clarify?
Answer: You can refer to this post for more details, but in a nutshell, here you go:
It’s totally fine to eat starches and fruits a few hours before high intensity resistance training (bodyweight circuits, metabolic resistance training, etc.) or a heavier weight training session. As long as you eat a bit of protein and fat along with your carbohydrates, you won’t get an insulin spike.
In fact, eating carbs before your workout will ensure that these carbs are used as energy during and after the workout to avoid fat storage – as well, you’ll have sustained energy throughout the workout. The more energy available, the better your workout performance which equals more fat and calories burned during and after the workout.
Additionally, the extra insulin release at this particular time will help prevent muscle loss and increase gains in lean muscle tissue. Therefore, eating carbs before your workout is fine as long as you don’t feel sick.
The best time to eat your carbs from starches and fruits is after your workout. This is a 1 to 3 hour anabolic window of opportunity after high intensity training.
When you work out with enough intensity, you’ll set off several powerful metabolic triggers:
- Increased metabolic rate and increased nutrient absorption
- Accelerated depletion of muscle glycogen
- Release of catecholamines (fat burning hormones)
The end result ends up being increased fat loss and something called “super-compensation” through stimulation of Glut 4 (a glucose transporter).
What this means is that your muscles and liver will store MORE glycogen after an intense workout.
Other benefits include increased insulin sensitivity, glucose uptake, and glycogen synthesis. Again, under these conditions your body will store carbs (and other macro-nutrients) at a much faster and higher rate than normal.
This is why it’s so important to eat the majority of your impact carbs in your post workout meals.
Regardless of what your goals are, carb ‘timing’ is super important.
Over time, you’ll improve your insulin sensitivity dramatically, which will improve your body’s ability to burn ugly fat as fuel on a daily ongoing basis.
If you learn to ‘carb cycle’ you’ll maximize fat-loss while you take control of your metabolism. And that’s exactly what my buddy Shaun Hadsall shows you how to do in his brand new 4 Cycle Fat-Loss Carb Cycling System.
Question: You’ve been talking a lot about ‘workout finishers’ lately. How do I pick one and how do I incorporate it into my workout? Bill
Answer: In case you didn’t know, a ‘workout finisher’ is a set you perform at the end of your workout to increase your metabolism and up your fitness level. This is an awesome way to burn fat and reduces the need for interval training. I went right to big Mikey himself for this and here’s what he suggests:
If your goal is fat loss, than a finisher that hits most, if not all of the body are the best. Most of the finishes I write hit the total body. So if you want to lose belly fat, the choice is pretty easy – pick one and go with it 3-4 times a week after your main workout. (Yes, you can pick a new one at each workout if you choose to as well.)
If trying to gain muscle fast, but without the belly fat, try using finishers just twice a week, then take measurements after 2 weeks. Adjust from there.
If you do a ‘split’ program (upper body/lower body), try using opposing muscle groups when choosing a finisher if you’re trying to lose fat. So if you perform a lower body workout, choose an upper body finisher and vice versa.Or if you’re on a split program trying to gain muscle, than use a finisher hitting the same muscles you worked in your main workout.
If you’re struggling through your workouts, then reduce the intensity of the finisher.
By the way, Mike suggests you perform finishers no more than 4 times a week, they’re THAT intense and effective for fat loss. A little too much of a good thing will cause over training, fatigue and possible injury.
Lucky for you, it was Mike’s birthday yesterday and he has a birthday sale on and you get big savings. I highly recommend his program. I use finishers instead of boring cardio. Super fun and effective and I don’t suffer from the ‘oh my gawd I’m so bored I want to poke my eye out syndrome’ on a stationary bike.
Hannah and I have spent way too many late nights catching up on news over the past six weeks while she was away in Uganda. I promised her I wouldn’t post this picture, so don’t tell. We’re pretty tired here after gabbing all night…I’m pretty happy she’s home safe and sound (can you tell?)