“Abs are made in the kitchen.” This is one of my favorite quotes, because it emphasizes how important proper nutrition and supplementation are to achieving that firm and toned body. But not only is it important to eat right but to eat at the right times. To simplify things, I’ve broken down the when and why of nutrition for optimum fat burning.
Every two to three hours nosh on something to keep your metabolism running – even if it’s just a piece of fruit or granola bar.
Before strength training have a bite to fuel your muscles for the load they’re about to bear. Pushing and pulling weight requires you to be fully stocked with glycogen (a muscle fuel source). But keep it simple with low-fat, low-fiber foods at least an hour before, so as not to upset your stomach.
After strength training, enjoy a hearty meal to aid in muscle recovery. A plate complete with protein, veggies and simple carbs (i.e. fruit or bread) will help replenish your body’s glycogen stores. The carbs will speed the transport of protein to your muscles, helping them to repair and grow.
When not to eat:
Before a morning cardio session is the one time to make it a point not to eat, because it’s the best time to target stored body fat. You will have used up your fuel reserves through the night, forcing your body to use fat as energy once you hit the treadmill.
Trainer tip: Though I don’t eat before my morning cardio, I do rely on certain supplements to further encourage fat metabolism. I take amino acids l-carnitine and l-glutamine, which impact energy and fat oxidation while supporting muscle health.
Get fitness and sports nutrition tips from personal trainer Deniz Duygulu, an International Federation of BodyBuilders Men’s Physique pro athlete. Like Deniz on Facebook to watch videos demonstrating correct form and for advice on fueling effectively.