Carb Timing for a Leaner Body! Part 2

First off, I want to thank everyone who read Part 1, it got a huge number of readers over the first 3 days. As I mentioned, I think it’s a post that is applicable to pretty much everyone so I suggest you give it a go if you haven’t already. This second part should clear up some questions for some of you since everyone will have different goals in mind.

If you didn’t get the purpose of the article, the main goal is to reduce or limit body fat. The “Dymamic Diet” – I hope it hasn’t been trademarked – is meant primarily to either fight obesity, help against high blood sugar levels, and maximize workout recovery. To put it simply, you’re focusing your (non-vegetable) carbohydrate intake during your post workout period. This time period forces all glucose to be pushed into the muscle (instead of fat stores) to help recover muscle glycogen; resulting in faster muscle recovery and decreased fat storage. Since nearly everyone would benefit from less body fat, I figure this is something pretty much everyone wants to follow. If you’re the exception, meaning you enjoy gaining body fat, I suppose that’s your prerogative. Here’s where we take two different approaches; the builder and the burner.

THE BUILDER

If you’re trying to get bigger by gaining muscle mass, then you’re a builder. Remember, we’re trying to gain muscle mass not fat mass. Fat mass won’t make you stronger, faster or healthier; it pretty much just sucks. Now, since we’re building and growing, we can afford a few more carbs than the burners. The main difference comes in the immediate post workout period. According to the text book, “Nutrient Timing“, the ideal post workout recovery shake consists of 60g of simple carbs and 15g of fast digesting protein. The best thing would be amino acids (EAA or BCAA) but whey or whey isolate would also be a good idea. Since everyone is different in size, the most important part is the 4:1 ratio. If you feel like you want to go up to 80g or even 100g of carbs and you’re not putting on unwanted body fat then go for it, just keep the protein in proportion. Getting a 4:1 ratio will maximize glycogen storage and will be protein sparing so it can contribute to muscle growth. After your post workout shake (or immediate meal for some), the builders will still have a moderate amount of carbs in their next meal. I would suggest a 2:1:1 ratio (carbs:protein:fat). After that, unless it’s bed time, you’ll revert back to pre training meals of mainly protein and fats with vegetables.

THE BURNER

This group is for anyone who is only interested in losing fat and does not care about putting on more lean mass. So we basically want to keep all the muscle you already have and strip away body fat. Where a builder can err on the side of high carbs, the burner cannot. The burner only wants to take in as many carbs as is absolutely necessary for glycogen restoration. For this purpose, their post workout shake will be altered to have a 2:1 ratio of simple carbs to protein.  The next meal after this will also be different from the builders. This time it will be 2:1:1 with protein being the large portion instead of carbs (protein:carbs:fats). All other meals following this would revert to pre-training meals of protein, fats and vegetables.

WHAT TO CONSUME

Now that you know how much you’re consuming, the trick is to make sure that you’re getting the right things.  For pre-training meals, it will be important to find vegetables you like and find many options for protein and fat sources. Since protein and fats are your main macronutrients, have a wide variety of fats. Saturated fats in moderation are important for fat soluble vitamins, and polyunsaturated fats have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve brain function. Increasing intake of seeds, nuts, oils, eggs, fish,  and red meat will have many health benefits on top of contributing to a reduction in body fat. Since protein was already discussed HERE, you should already have a good idea of protein sources. For these meals, it is important to consume vegetables along with your protein and fats for the added fibre and phytonutrients. For the sake of burners, I would move certain starches considered vegetables to post training only, i.e. potatoes, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, rice, etc.

pre-training food choices

An important note I want to make is about sugar. You’ve probably heard just about everyone say how bad sugar is and how much Canadians have been consuming. However, it’s not black and white; sugar isn’t always bad. Pre-training sugar is a no-no,  avoid sweets, fruit juices, candy, etc. If you remember the science from Part 1, the sugar you consume pre-training will be shuttled directly to muscle AND fat, and if you’re muscles are already full of glycogen that will be mostly fat stores. However, DIRECTLY after training sugar consumption is extremely effective. Sugar, or simple carbs, will quickly spike insulin and therefore get shuttled into the muscle to restore glycogen sooner rather than later.So sugar is NOT the devil, sugar at the wrong time is the devil. If at the end of the day you don’t think it’s a good idea, you can avoid sugar at all costs, but that’s a conservative approach and it’s completely up to you.

I hope this second part will help to figure out how much and what to eat depending on your goals. If you’re having trouble gauging how much carbs, protein or fat you’re currently consuming then check out Fitday a free online diet and exercise tool used to track your foods. It’ll be hard to make adjustments to your diet if you don’t know how much you’re currently consuming. Trust me, most people really don’t know what they consume on a day-to-day, week-to-week basis.  Now everyone should have the tools they need to take on a Dynamic Diet and start building a leaner body!

It’s About Getting Better!

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