A friend of mine spends hours in the gym each week, but hasn’t been able to get a single pound or inch to budge. Despite her clean diet (I’ve checked her cupboards) and doing the “right” kind of exercise, she can’t seem to reach her fitness goals.
Looking for clues, I asked her to tell me a little bit more about her diet. High in protein and fiber, low in carbs, a good balance of healthy fats. It sounded great. Until I heard this: “I even refuel after every workout, like my trainer told me to, with a banana chocolate smoothie.”
While many trainers encourage consuming a carb- and protein-rich meal or snack after a workout to promote muscle growth and speed recovery, recent research shows this can sabotage weight-loss efforts.
In fact, studies conducted at the University of Massachusetts found that walking on a treadmill for one hour per day improved blood sugar regulation by 40 percent. But that effect was completely wiped out when people noshed on carb-rich foods afterward.
Keeping your blood sugar stable flips your fat-storage hormone (insulin) off. So if you’re trying to drop a few pounds, skip the post-workout carbs. Opt, instead, for a balanced snack before your workout to make your time at the gym count.