Article by Cody Cross
How to Lose Fat by Eating Wisely Before and After Exercise – Health – Weight Loss
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Exercise of the right type is known to reduce fat. In this article we will look at how to eat to give you the most fat loss both before and after exercise. Usually exercise is broken down into cardiovascular training–such as jogging, swimming and bicycling– and resistance training, such as weight lifting. Both of these have specific pre- and post-training recommendations for what to eat to maximize the training effect. In this case, the main training result we are looking for is how to lose fat, with muscle gain being a secondary target. So, breaking out these two different exercise types, here is what we find.
In cardiovascular training, the recommendations for type and amount of food eaten before and after exercise varies with the amount of cardio workout you do. For lighter amounts of exercise, from taking a 10 minute walk to a 45 minute run, the main suggestions of most trainers is make sure you are hydrated and have sufficient electrolytes, before, during and after exercise. Good low carb sports drinks will take care of this, as will plenty of clean water and perhaps a banana. For the best fat loss, don’t add in any food at all pre-exercise. Post-exercise use the same advice. This will start training your body to better take your energy needs out of your stored body fat.
Heavier amounts of cardio exercise lasting over an hour and a half has a different requirement. Hydration and electrolyte requirements remain very important. Authorities often suggest ‘carbohydrate loading,’ such as eating pasta, in the hours or days before such a heavy workout. The Mayo Clinic, for example, says this type of carb-loading is only necessary for training that will last more than 90 minutes, such as running a marathon. In addition, they recommend ingesting carbs during long endurance events and more after, to replenish depleted glycogen stores in the muscles. However, they warn that this type of carbohydrate loading may cause weight gain, increase even though it is mostly water weight gain. The purpose of this kind of carbohydrate intake is simply to prevent a lowering of energy levels during heavy, 90 minute plus, exercise.
Fat loss experts mostly teach skipping the carbs before and after heavy exercise, requiring the body to take needed glycogen from bodily fat stores instead. In addition, for marathon level training the recommendation is to be eating a balanced diet with sufficient protein daily, as detailed below. You can also take in a good, easily digested protein within the refueling window time limit of 15 to 30 minutes post-exercise, as discussed below, to speed and smooth the healing from muscle tissue breakdown.
Ultimately you want to achieve a balance: You don’t want your energy level to fall so low that you have to stop or pass out during a race. On the other hand, you are less likely to do this if you have trained without adding carbohydrates, so your body has become very efficient at converting fat stores. Consider doing your training without extra carbs, but for actual races supplement with carbs moderately before, during and after the race.
In resistance training, protein is key. Almost every trainer says you must get between .7 and 1.3 grams of dietary protein per pound of your ideal body weight every day. If you are getting plenty of protein daily, there is no need to try to load up on it pre-exercise. If you aren’t getting enough protein daily, and you want to do resistance training of any type, start getting it now. Post-exercise protein recommendations have a high consensus that it is helpful, but not mandatory, to consume quality easily digestible protein, such as egg or whey protein, within the first fifteen to thirty minutes after exercise.
Carbohydrates in resistance training are a subject of much more controversy. Some experts recommend carbs both pre- and post-training. Others with a more strict focus on fat loss say don’t eat carbs pre-training, and if you take in carbs post-training, do so in the fifteen minutes or so immediately after training when the carbs are thought to go ‘straight to the muscle’ and not be stored as fat.
We want to know how to lose fat most effectively using all this pre- and post-exercise nutrition wisdom. So here are our results:
-Lots of quality protein is really important, but a good daily diet should take care of it
– Don’t add extra carbohydrates pre- and post-training. They reduce the amount of stored fat you use and don’t train the body to better use fat stores.
– Use carbohydrates before, after and during exercise only for actual races of over an hour and a half duration
– Many people do experience smoother and faster muscular recovery by taking in rapidly digestible protein, such as whey or egg, in the 15 to 30 minutes post-exercise
The final conclusions: eat a good regular diet high in protein. There is little need to supplement this with pre- and post-workout fuel, except in special cases such as actual marathon races as noted above. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and enjoy your accelerated fat loss.
About the Author
Cody Cross is a passionate researcher of fat and weight loss techniques including the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet. He runs successful websites dedicated to exposing the strengths and weaknesses of various weight and fat loss programs. To get great free tips and many more details on this program, go to Cody’s site here: How to Lose Fat Fast
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