I received an email this week from a loyal follower of Curvalicious. I thought I would share what my responses were to her wonderful questions as I think many of us have these same questions about fat loss and muscle-building.
7 Lessons In Fat Loss
1) Where’s your favorite organic meat source? Do you purchase local grain fed meats or join a meatshare program as well?
I use an Organic company called Bolten Farms, they work out of the Toronto Airport. Their meats are the same that Ruth Chris Steak House uses. They also get their fish wild from all over the world. It is important to research a company to see what is best for you and your location. Bolten Farms only delivers to the GTA. If you are unfamiliar with GTA that means you are not in their shipping area.
2) Is it critical to drink a during-workout drink? What do you usually drink?
Not critical but beneficial. You are depleting your body stores of electrolytes and glycogen when you workout. Consuming an electrolyte drink during this time will help restore your body. You can also add Glutamine and BCAAs to your during workout drink (or you can have this after the workout). Adding these two amino acids will be utilized by the muscle tissue to help restore the damage caused during the workout.
Let’s recall what it is that we are trying to achieve with post-workout nutrition:
1. Replenish glycogen
2. Stop protein breakdown
3. Promote protein synthesis
This tells us we need carbohydrates to replenish our energy levels, and protein to prevent further breakdown and promote rebuilding tissue.
3) Am I in serious trouble if I don’t get the carbs within the 1 hour time window after the training sessions? Does that impede either muscle growth, recovery or fat loss? I just want to understand why so many people stress this.
They will do both. Your insulin is high at the end of the workout. Insulin is a storage hormone and will shuttle the nutrients to the muscles or the places in the body that need them for growth and recovery. After your workout your tissues are broken down from the workout and need to be repaired. This is the very best time to repair the muscles!
4) Should I limit my HIIT to 3 times a week on non consecutive days or only to a certain length of time in a session? Do you have overuse injury concerns with HIIT and how do you address that?
Limit your HIIT to 20-30 minutes every other day or every 2 days. Do not do HIIT sessions on consecutive days to prevent injury. If you are suffering from over use, simply take a couple of days off of training all together and when you return start with just half the workout you would normally do. When you feel back to normal begin your regular training routine. It is important to maintain adequate nutrition following your workouts.
Symptoms of Over Training:
Fatigue – not being able to complete your workout
You stop losing fat or gaining muscle despite all your hard efforts
Feelings of restlessness, inability to sleep
You begin to have joint pain
Becoming ill – catching a cold
You are not recovering after a workout
5) Is it really possible that the hormones and chemicals in non-organic meat will impede our goals, or is that more for health reasons because muscle builders are just consuming more meats?
Yes for sure it will impede fat loss and muscle-building goal. For starters, the toxins contained in non-organic foods tax the liver. The liver is responsible for fat metabolism and if it is overworked trying to rid the body of toxins, it won’t be as efficient. Hormonal imbalances can cause fat storage, destroy healthy muscle and bone, slow down normal cell healing, weaken the immune system – to name a few.
Meats, eggs and dairy are the most important foods to buy organic. Fruits and vegetables that can be cleaned well with water and vinegar can be bought non-organic. The thin skin fruit such as berries will need to be bought organic. The thicker the skin, the less likely the chance for toxins to enter foods.
6) If I do lighter training or cardio (say 1 hour of swimming) is it still critical to get the post-workout carbs and protein after workout?
Post-cardio – you don’t need carbs here, only when you are doing resistance training. The key to replenishing your glycogen stores is to shuttle nutrients into the muscle tissue. Carbs will be utilized after cardio as well and if you are only doing cardio today, use the carbs following your cardio session. Otherwise, save the carbs to post-workout to repair the muscle tissue broken down with resistance training.
The other adequate time to use carbohydrates is 3-4 hours before you workout. This will provide you with energy during your workout. If you eat carbs too close to your workout you will likely experience a crash during your workout and will prevent you giving it your all during the workout.
7) What should I eat for breakfast? Why do you say to have protein and fats?
The protein and fat meals I like to call them control meals because they are used to control hormones. We want to eat these meals first thing in the morning and your last meal before bed to control hormone levels. We avoid this meal around the workout as it includes fat.
Towards the end of your workout you release insulin. Insulin is a “storage” hormone so any fats that are in your system during this time will be stored as fat in your body, not what we want. Do not have control meals two hours before your workout to two hours following your workout.
If you want more lessons see 10 Lessons In Fat Loss