How Sugar Before Exercising Kills Weight Loss Efforts
It’s often written that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise and I believe for most people that is absolutely true. Being a three time Ironman and having run over 25 marathons, one might think I put more emphasis on exercise. But that’s not true.
I have been running a marathon and passed many a person that was overweight. How can someone train so hard for a marathon, complete it but still be overweight? If exercise was the key than all the marathoners at the Disney Marathon would be lean and fit. And that’s just not true. So why is that?
The answer lies in the hormone insulin. This hormone, which conjures up thoughts of diabetes, is actually a hormone dedicated to making you gain fat and block any effort your body attempts to lose fat. This hormone rises in response to sugar levels which skyrocket after you eat carbohydrates.
Now let’s say you want to lose 20 pounds and you are increasing your exercise to achieve those goals. If you start exercising with something sweet like an energy drink or sugar bar, you will immediately block all your hard work.
That pre-workout snack will drive your sugar in your bloodstream to the ceiling and cause a massive spike in insulin levels. At about 10 minutes into your workout, your body has decided to block all attempts to release fat and only stores it. Here is how to use your exercise to achieve your fat losing goals.
Avoid eating anything sweet up to two hours before your exercise. You can eat some proteins if you want but just avoid the carbohydrates. Drink plenty of water and keep well hydrated. Some of the drinks like PowerAde Zero have no sugar but they have artificial sweeteners and have extra magnesium and electrolytes to help during exercise.
For the next two hours after your workout continue to drink water but still avoid any carbohydrates. Your muscles are still contracting and your body temperature is up so you can still lose weight even when you aren’t running.
If your plan is to lose weight, this will work great. If your plan is to ride 100 miles or run 12 miles , then you will need to add some carbohydrates and proteins during your exercise. If you are starting out in a walking routine then start adding a minute interval every five minutes of running or jogging.
As you work up to it, increase the length of time of the running, and shorten the duration of the walking/recovery time. I like incorporating intervals into exercise programs because they help with boredom people experience running long distance and they increase muscle confusion which speeds up muscle development and fat loss.
So have a great fat burning walk and leave the energy bar at home in the cabinet.