Ever wonder why some trainers still tell their clients to eat six small meals a day, have a high-carb snack after working out (”to refuel the muscles”), and carb-load every time they go for a run? It’s because these trainers were steeped in the bodybuilding-gym culture of the ’60s, and learned from the training manuals of competitive athletes. But unless you’re training for a marathon or an Iron Man competition, that advice is 100 percent wrong – especially if you’re looking to lose weight.

In a recent study, volunteers were given a high-carb mini-meal immediately after exercising on a treadmill for an hour. The result: Insulin efficiency – the ability to clear sugar from the bloodstream – was completely wiped out.

A separate study tested high-carb mini-meals against low-carb mini-meals, and found that the low-carb meals did the least damage. “If people are going to exercise to benefit their health, they should not be eating back the calories immediately or within a couple of hours of finishing,” says Barry Braun, PhD, Director of the Energy Metabolism Lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Don’t gorge on carbs after you exercise. If you tend to get hungry after a workout, take this preventive measure: Eat a light snack containing proteins, carbs, and fat beforehand. It should hold you for a few hours.

[Ed. Note: Sugar and carbs can devastate your weight-loss plans. So following health expert Jonny Bowden’s suggestions to steer clear of these diet-defeaters could help you slim down. For more simple methods that can help you feel better and live longer, read all about our Healing Prescription service.]

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