In a previous section, it was illustrated how and why weight training is, long term, better than aerobic training in controlling body fat levels. Weight training is the exercise that adds muscle, boosting the metabolic rate allowing the body to burn more calories. Plus, weight training causes micro-tears in the muscles which require energy (ie. calories) for complete repair - keeping the metabolic rate elevated around the clock, 24 hours a day! The information below pertains to the individual who chooses weight training as his the primary mode of exercise.
If training with weights earlier in the day, your final meal, or even final two meals of the day, ought to be lower in carbohydrates. Lowering your carbohydrate intake before going to bed keeps levels of glucose in the blood lower and the total amount of glucose in the blood before going to bed effects the release of growth hormone (GH). Growth hormone is a fat liberating, muscle building hormone that is released within 30-90 minutes of sleep. In some, especially those who carry a high amount of body fat, GH levels don't
"pop" when glucose levels are elevated. Stated another way, high glucose levels blunt GH release. To take advantage of the GH surge that accompanies sleep, back off a high carb intake in your final 1 or 2 meals of the day. In contrast, a lean individual will experience the GH surge regardless of blood glucose levels.
If you train with weights after work at night, then you must not skimp on carbs after training. The body needs carbohydrates after weight training to set in motion a cascade of events that promote the re-building of muscle tissue. Furthermore, the carbs consumed after a hard weight training workout are quickly whisked out of the blood to make new muscle glycogen - which is depleted during training. Carbs consumed after training are removed from the blood and stored away as muscle glycogen. This, in turn, leaves the bloodstream with lower blood glucose levels which is an ideal environment for initiating sleep induced GH release.
As body fat levels begin to decline, the hormonal milieu changes. Insulin levels change. In response to eating carbohydrates, the lean body outputs less insulin while the heavy body outputs more insulin. More insulin is related to greater body fat. As a person leans down, he gains some momentum in that his hormonal response to eating carbs changes, facilitating fat loss. Likewise, as body fat levels drop, the individual will no longer have to curtail carbs before going to bed as lean folks do not experience a compromised GH output with sleep.
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