Cookies, Booty Calls, Cinnabons, Muscles, Fats, & Understanding Insulin

 


Once a week, you can catch me nose deep in a pile of cookies, cinnabon, or a few slices of pizza.  “Most” times I have just finished my workout and it’s probably late evening.  This is my official Cheat Meal and it’s treated like a college booty-call; in &out with not feelings or attachments - just instant gratification (lol). And it’s extremely important for a number of reasons.

 

First let’s get the science out the way first and explain insulin.

 

Insulin is a hormone that enables your body to void glucose from your blood and store it as glycogen in your liver and muscles. The glycogen is used as an energy source for your body and keeps the body from using stored fat for energy.  If the glycogen is not used; it’s stored as fat.   This is why low-carb diets are encouraged.  When you dramatically reduce sugar/carbs – your body is forced to use stored fat for energy.  Also this is the core of why so many adults get diagnosed with diabetes – they eat so many carbs meal after meal, year after year - that their bodies get tired of producing insulin and eventfully stop. even if they have managed to stay slim).

 

Ok that was your human biology lesson for the day: back to the real world facets of all this.

 

 

My weekly nighttime cheat meal actually serves a more valuable purpose than just satisfying my cravings.  Because my weight loss strategy was/is based on reducing my sugar/carb intake – that means my insulin level stays low (super low) all week.   This is not bad but staying low to “too long” and you screw up your thyroid (and if your thyroid is slow/broke – it will be extremely hard for you to keep losing weight).     The 200 grams of carbs in my cheat meal refuels my glycogen stores/cells and gives my metabolism/thyroid a swift kick in the ass.  It’s almost like hitting the “reset” button on your body!

 

So why am I eating bad carbs instead of sweet potatoes, oatmeal and brown rice?  Because those foods give me a slow and steady insulin response as they are digested.  But after you weight train – you want don’t want “slow and steady;” you want “bang and pow!”   Like I implied earlier - sweet potatoes, oatmeal and brown rice are girlfriends/wives.  Sweets are booty-calls. lol

 

The other important thing is that my cheat meal supports muscle growth.  Why/how do you ask?  After you weight train your insulin levels are low, your body is exhausted and hungry.  When you eat a sugary carbs meal (and protein) – it gobbles it right up, sends all the food to the cells/muscles that you tore apart lifting weights and starts to repair/recover.  Which means most times – very little of your post work-out meal will be stored as fat.  In fact you will burn more fuel thought the day.  That’s why I love working out in the morning on an empty stomach;  it puts my body into a state where it wants to burn, burn, burn all the food it gets.

 

 

CARBS IN THE A.M.- THE GREAT DEBATE

 

If you’re like me and work-out in the morning almost ALL THE TIME – the bad part of having your cheat meal in the a.m. is that you will be hungrier than you usually are the rest of the day.  Insulin is powerful; once you hit it with some sugar – it will want more and more sugar.  That’s why some folks can eat a whole Hot’N’ Ready or a whole box of Dunkin Donuts!  When was the last time you saw someone eat 5 New York strip steaks?

 

This is also the reason you should let go of your everyday oatmeal and fruit breakfast.  Though oatmeal is a pretty good/safe carb source.  If you are trying to lose weight, you will still be hungry as hell by lunch time.  Just keep it simple and eat bacon and eggs.  You will feel fuller throughout the day.


CARBS IN THE P.M.- THE GREAT DEBATE

 

If I tell you to eat cookies once a week after your p.m. workout you might say; “Kahn, that’s counterproductive” or instantly get visions of sitting in front of Cosby Show reruns eating Oreos & ice-cream.  Get all that out of your mind.

 

One of the most efficient things you can do is hit the gym hard at night, go home, eat protein and cookies and go straight to sleep.   Just once a week (lol).  Because while you’re sleep, that insulin spike will die down and your body will go back into fat burning mode and that’s fine because you have already pumped food/glycogen into the cells and muscle.  The advantage of being sleep is that it’s your “prime” recovery period and you won’t get hungry again because you’re sleep from the heavy work-out.

 

 

Again: I am not a doctor, personal trainer, health guru, nutrientalist, dietician, or mastermind. In the grand scheme of things – I’m a nobody; a regular guy who figured out what works for me and maybe it will work for you. We are all made different with different metabolisms, genders, birth dates, different genetics/medical histories, and different body types. You have to make/learn what works for you.

 



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