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Post-workout fats in a low carb/paleo environment?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 02, 2012 at 6:45 AM

I am not sure if this has been addressed directly, but if going low carb throughout the day (say 75g or less) and I exercise between 30-45 minutes, primarily for fat loss, with resistance 2-3 days, and general cardio or HIIT on 2-3 other days, is it okay to ingest a meal post-workout that is composed of low carb veggies, meat, and fats? I looked at this Paleo Hacks link on post workout nutrition and the relavent links referenced to Mark Sisson and Robb Wolf but only got the idea that high protein/low carb if my sessions aren't long is perfectly fine post-workout.

My concern is, if I decide to have some sort of salad post workout with some lean chicken, can I drizzle some form of vinaigrette dressing, or can I have some oily fish, such as salmon with steamed veggies? My understanding is, in a post-workout environment, IF there is little to no carbs ingested, insulin remains low, so your body looks to fat stores for energy. As I'm focusing on fat loss and muscle preservation, but not bulking up, I'm okay with the insulin not being there to shuttle carbs into the muscle.

So ultimately, what happens to the fats I ingest post-workout if there are little to no carbs taken in, just protein?

Thanks.

6b8d12fc3e43179f9ae1765a4d1a9dc2

(5914)

on January 03, 2012
at 01:37 AM

I agree with Andy. Eat more bacon.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on January 02, 2012
at 05:37 PM

Agree that post-workout meal planning is for those with specific training goals who are looking to repair muscle for the next workout. Eat what you want to after working out if your goal is simply fat loss (i.e. lower carb with some fat instead). Lower carb will make it hard to workout intensely 6 days a week. I think a person can train 5 days a week, but probably shouldn't if general "fat loss" is the main goal (IMO).

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on January 02, 2012
at 11:14 AM

Whether or not insulin matters, protein can raise insulin.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:57 AM

Calories don't matter, only bacon matters.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:56 AM

I think some people fail to make the distinction between themselves and professional athletes. Or else are still sold on some level to pounding away half-heartedly every day rather than doing something sensible and enjoyable.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:50 AM

And you are training too hard in my opinion. 2-3 days per week of deliberate exercise is plenty for beginner fat loss/general health purposes. Go on walks/hikes or something.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:45 AM

Very nice response.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:44 AM

Body will not turn fats into glycogen at any appreciable level...

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:42 AM

Insulin does not matter, only calories matter.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:24 AM

It depends on what you're eating the rest of the time. I doubt most people actually fully deplete their glycogen in a typical session, and there's no rush to replenish it unless you're going out sprinting again that afternoon (or partway through a marathon). If you're exercising so much that you're having to eat specifically to fuel it, then it seems to miss the point of exercising for fat loss if you ask me.

980acf31034fb9511e4a6027211866ee

(416)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:15 AM

Great info here. Thanks for posting. I'll be looking into adding some starches on my sprint days from now on.

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4 Answers

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3
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:21 AM

Ultimately this comes down to what you're able to sustain Gaby. There's no right or wrong answers. Personally I'd say that working out intensely 4-6 days of the week is asking for burnout, and really hard to maintain while simultaneously trying to cut back on food. The Paleo approach would be to look at the weight loss over the longer term, have one or two really good sessions a week (ie. one resistance and one HIIT) while staying active but comfortable the rest of the week. That level of activity is a lot easier to keep up without eating more, and it's that balance you're really trying to achieve.

The significance of eating post-workout these days relates mainly to recovery so you can train again - but that's a performance target. If you take your time your body will recover over the days after your workout, burning extra fat along the way, and be fit and ready to go again the following week without you doing anything overly scientific. Obviously the historic blueprint is to feast on all that flesh after the hunt, and not eat so much the rest of the time. That may well be the way that leads to greatest net calorie deficit overall for you. Whenever you eat fat it's going to get stored, for your body to draw on whenever you're not eating. Post workout is a good time to eat. Keep your body happy and it won't need to eat as much the rest of the time.

072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on January 02, 2012
at 05:37 PM

Agree that post-workout meal planning is for those with specific training goals who are looking to repair muscle for the next workout. Eat what you want to after working out if your goal is simply fat loss (i.e. lower carb with some fat instead). Lower carb will make it hard to workout intensely 6 days a week. I think a person can train 5 days a week, but probably shouldn't if general "fat loss" is the main goal (IMO).

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:45 AM

Very nice response.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on January 02, 2012
at 11:04 AM

Forget "Post workout" and all that other technical talk. Simply eat when hungry.
Workouts are merely substitutes for the physical ativity that people used to do before life got easy. The body does not require a special meal afterwards or within an alloted time. Your body tells you when it's hungry so just eat a normal meal when it asks for it.

0
60af23519906aa54b742ffc17477c3d3

(1186)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:52 AM

I always thought it was really odd that even in the paleo=sphere, low carbers said to have fruit or a starch pwo. If your body is used to running on fat for fuel, it should be capable of creating all the energy it needs after a workout using fats and proteins.

Giving a keto-adapted body a starch pwo is like putting regular gasoline in a diesel engine.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:56 AM

I think some people fail to make the distinction between themselves and professional athletes. Or else are still sold on some level to pounding away half-heartedly every day rather than doing something sensible and enjoyable.

-1
D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:11 AM

By my understanding, particularly with HIIT, you will need to replenish your glycogen stores between sessions. Now, this is possible with glycogenesis, so under duress your body will take those post-workout fats and turn them into the glycogen it craves, but it's a multi-step process that takes time, energy, and having all the component vitamins in abundance. Consider a lean protein + starch meal PWO instead of protein + fat on those days- I find it less taxing on my system.

Regular ol non-crazy gym days, go on and stay with the protein + fats + veggies and let your system make only the glycogen it needs.

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:44 AM

Body will not turn fats into glycogen at any appreciable level...

980acf31034fb9511e4a6027211866ee

(416)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:15 AM

Great info here. Thanks for posting. I'll be looking into adding some starches on my sprint days from now on.

Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:24 AM

It depends on what you're eating the rest of the time. I doubt most people actually fully deplete their glycogen in a typical session, and there's no rush to replenish it unless you're going out sprinting again that afternoon (or partway through a marathon). If you're exercising so much that you're having to eat specifically to fuel it, then it seems to miss the point of exercising for fat loss if you ask me.

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