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.

Why not?

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.

Uh oh.

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.

Kelley Herring

Kelley Herring is the Founder & CEO of Healing Gourmet – a multimedia company that educates on how foods promote health and protect against disease. As a young adult, Kelley battled a debilitating health condition that went misdiagnosed by multiple doctors for more than a year. Finding no help from “modern medicine”, she turned to her own knowledge of biochemistry and her passion for health research. She soon learned that her symptoms were related to nutrition and within weeks, she charted a course back to health with nothing more than simple lifestyle changes and the power of the plate. The lessons she learned spawned the creation of Healing Gourmet. Kelley is a firm believer in vigorous exercise, moderate sun exposure and delicious, healthy, home-cooked meals. She is also the creator of Healing Gourmet’s Personalized Nutrition Software and Editor-in-Chief of the Healing Gourmet book series published by McGraw-Hill including Eat to Fight Cancer, Eat to Beat Diabetes, Eat to Lower Cholesterol and Eat to Boost Fertility.