Scientists have been conducting research now for a while and what they are finding is that when you eat your food is just as important as what and how much you eat. Different foods can influence certain hormones that are a part of muscle growth, fat burning, and recovery. All things you are working towards to achieve that ideal slim body.
Your body works best to metabolize and use carbohydrates in the morning after you wake up and after your workouts. These are the ideal times to consume fast digesting carbohydrates rather then the normal whole grain, vegetable, fruit type of carbohydrates. The reason is because in the morning after fasting all night and after workouts a hormone called cortisol is elevated. This promotes the storage of calories as fat and is harmful for muscle growth. Cortisol helps facilitate the breakdown of amino acids and sugar from tissues in your body. Generally these nutrients come from your muscle. Cortisol does have an important role, but you dont want the levels to get too high.
To control these levels your goal is to elevate your insulin level, which suppresses cortisol levels. After workouts you are also more sensitive to insulin which allows your body to use these fast digesting carbohydrates as energy rather than storing it as fat. Insulin levels help with the storage form of glucose and in protein building.
All these mechanisms and reactions help with proper recovery so that you can give it your all during each and every workout and maximize the success as a result of your hard work in the gym.
How does nutrient timing facilitate fat loss?
Well, if you have read any magazines or listened to the latest fad then you think that any sugar is bad sugar and you need to avoid it at all costs. Well, that means you dont eat fruits or vegetables. These same people are the ones saying you should be eating fruits and vegetables every day so this is contradicting.
So what is there to do? Where do you turn to from here?
The fear is that sugars increase insulin levels which promotes fat storage and decreases fat loss. This is true to an extent. What most people forget is that there are many other nutrients that we eat and mechanisms that help control that insulin level. One of those nutrients is fiber and another is protein. When you consume foods that are a good source of fiber or protein source it slows down your digestion process, which then slows down the release of insulin. Essentially you do not have the insulin spikes like you would if you ate a doughnut. Insulin spikes lead to weight gain.
By timing what you eat and when allows you to control your insulin levels which facilitates fat loss by allowing your body to burn fat as energy rather than trying to store ingested calories as fat.
Research has shown that timing your after workout food intake with quick digesting carbohydrates along with protein is not only beneficial to recovery, but may also increase fat oxidation which is your body burning fat for energy.
The facts are that you should ingest higher glycemic or quick digesting carbohydrates at breakfast or after your workout because you will actually be benefiting from this nutrient and promoting growth and progress rather than destruction. At your other feeding opportunities I suggest you stick to whole-grain fibrous starch choices such as whole-grain pasta, fruit, vegetables and other starches that contain 2 grams of fiber or more per serving along with a lean protein source.