I’ve been reading a lot on your site and I’ve been doing the BodyRock workouts along with the recent diet challenges and eating clean. I’ve seen major improvement from a few months ago and I love it! However, my question isn’t workout related: Although I work out consistently and eat clean, one of the recent diet challenges was to only eat starchy carbs (such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc.) right after your workout, and at no other time during the day.
Originally this was a 5 Week Diet Challenge, but now it’s been extended. I’ve been following the diet for a while and it really does seem to work. However, I read in one of your posts that it’s not good to eat yogurt and fruit for breakfast and that’s basically all I’ve been eating for my breakfasts; maybe switched up with an omelet on some days.
I need your opinion! What do you think of the diet challenge, and what is the best way to maximize fat loss (I’m really trying to see my abs)?
Am I doing the right thing?
Thank you so much for this site!
The BodyRock challenge is fairly straight forward and has some science behind it – after an intense workout, especially of the circuit / full body variety, your body can take in and make better use of sugary, easily digested carbohydrates. During a workout, you deplete the muscle glycogen (fuel) and your body is ready to begin the refueling process. Generally, you have about 30 – 45 minutes post workout to take advantage of what’s called heightened insulin sensitivity. This is when insulin (the transport for sugar) is on stand by and can super saturate your muscles with sugar. I actually used to eat cookies, or even put a scoop of ice cream in my protein shakes. This is the one time when it’s ok to take in simple sugar, and more than normal quantities without fearing that you don’t actually need it.
As for that being the only time to eat simple sugars and staying on this diet long-term, in my experience after 2 weeks or so you’ll start feeling a bit weak. This is because using post workout sugars as your only source of “filling the tank” simply won’t be enough to keep your muscles full after weeks of intense exercise. You’ll gradually bring the levels down to a point where you’ll be getting weaker and have less muscular energy.
As for yogurt and fruit, my recommendation to limit those types of food in a fat loss phase is due to the fact that they’re great sources of energy. If you supply great and easily digested sources of fuel, it makes it less likely that you’ll burn body fat. The idea is to provide your body with inefficient fuel sources that are hard to breakdown / release energy slowly. This is the widely accepted way, when combined with a slight calorie restriction, to get into a fat burning metabolic phase.
The key to fat loss is 1) eat less than you burn, and 2) keep your sugars low except for post workout when they can be used for recovery.
My advice would be to stick with mostly complex carbohydrates like brown rice, yams, oatmeal, and grains along with lean proteins and healthy fats. I’d avoid smoothies, yogurt, juices and other simple sugars until you reach your fat loss goals. Once you’re happy with your results, then normal eating can resume and truthfully you can’t get fat unless you overeat consistently.
You could try cycling 2 weeks of lower, less sugary carbs, with 2 weeks of a bit more sugar. The low phase would promote fat burning a bit more, while the second part would fill and ‘top off’ the tank in preparation for the next low phase. Just be sure to always watch the amount of total calories and you’ll be fine.
I hope that helps. Good luck!
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