If you take in rich carbohydrates before working out – like muesli, skimmed milk and yogurt – your blood sugar levels are less likely to spike. You will then be in a position to burn 50% more fat during that post-meal workout, in comparison to eating foods such as corn flakes or white bread, which cause a spike in blood sugar. Remember that carbohydrates will cause your blood sugar levels to rise, so curb those high-glycaemic index carbs and go for the low-glycaemic ones.
It’s not so easy to categorise the so-called `fat burning’ foods. Dr Roussell states, “Most foods do not proactively elicit an increase in calorie burning but, instead, create a physiological environment in which fat burning is more easily accomplished. For example, broccoli does not boost your metabolic rate, but it can be categorised as a low-calorie food that consists of carbohydrates which are slow to digest; it also contains fibre and phytochemicals that clear off estrogen.”
Bahar Takhtehchian, co-editor of Shape magazine, also endorses the view that low-glycaemic index carbohydrates will help burn nearly 50% more fat than high-glycaemic ones.
"You have to remember that carbohydrates will cause your blood sugar levels to rise. So, curb those high-glycaemic index carbs and go for the low-glycaemic ones."
Her favourite recipe for breakfast is cherry-almond-yogurt parfait. Other popular fat-melting foods she recommends include hot peppers and green tea.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has published a new study which finds the monounsaturated fats present in olive oil or avocados are ideal additions to a long list of foods that
help burn calories and fat faster. Hazelnuts, peanuts, and macadamia nuts also feature among the top fat burners. In addition to skimmed milk, muesli and yogurt, other types of low-glycaemic index carbs include whole grains and whole grain cereals, soy, oats and linseed bread.
Barry Braun, director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts, has done research on eating before exercising. He suggests that “eating large amounts of high-glycaemic index carbs right before a workout is detrimental for both obese and normal-weight people. High-glycaemic index carbs will come in handy only for people running in a marathon, as they need high energy immediately before they participate in that run.”
Dr Roussell is also convinced that when you increase the soy protein in your diet, it will help tone your muscles, which in turn will lead to burning your body fat more quickly and giving your body a more contoured physique. If you are seriously interested in burning that excess body fat and losing weight rapidly, consider going through `Six Pillars of Nutrition’ by doctor Dr Roussell.
The key to getting a knockout body and maintaining it is to build up discipline, and combine regular exercise with eating the right foods at the right time. Feeding the body before and after a workout is necessary for burning the most calories, staying completely energised, building lean muscle and losing weight at a decent pace.
Finally, the best pre-workout foods for you should include some kind of complex low-glycaemic index carbs and proteins. Here are some foods and snacks that will keep you energised during your workout, without weighing you down:
• Brown rice (half cup) and black beans (half cup)
• Sweet potato with steamed broccoli in olive oil (one cup)
• Bananas with almond butter (two tbsp)
• Multi-grain crackers (about 10) with hummus (three tbsp)
• Oatmeal (half cup) served with a cup of apricots, cranberries, honey and walnuts. --- Tahseen