Eating complex carbs after 3 p.m. is one way to encourage weight loss. However, not all complex carbohydrates are created equally. Refined carbs like white rice, pasta and bread quickly convert to sugar within the body, according to "The Fat Burning Bible" by Mackie Shilstone. Brown rice and whole-grain pasta and breads, on the contrary, contain natural fibers that slow down digestion and prevent body fat storage. Use a few simple dietary strategies to time the right complex carbs at the right time for faster weight loss.
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Eat a breakfast that includes some carbohydrates and protein to jump-start your metabolism for the day. At breakfast, you can eat carbohydrates a little bit more liberally because your body is in a fasted state and needs energy. Your morning carbohydrates are far more likely to be utilized for energy. However, choosing lower-glycemic carbs like oatmeal and fresh fruit, such as berries, gives you long-lasting energy to start your day, according to "The Abs Diet" by David Zinczenko.
Take in at least 20 to 30 g of protein with each meal throughout the day to naturally blunt the release of the fat storage hormone insulin. Besides preventing body fat storage, lean sources of protein also have a thermic effect, which means that they burn more calories digesting than carbohydrates and fats. Any meal containing protein creates a fat burning effect for your body, says "Combat the Fat" author Jeff Anderson.
Stagger your carbohydrates at every other meal so that your body must dip into its fatty acid stores for energy. Some individuals have a fast enough metabolism to eat carbs at every meal and still lose weight. If your metabolic rate is naturally slower, you may benefit from skipping carbs at every other meal. For example, have a delicious protein smoothie as a meal-replacement.
Taper off your carb intake at each meal throughout the day. At lunch, you may choose to eat a serving of carbohydrates about half the size of what you would normally take in. Experiment with different intakes to see what works best with your body.
Enjoy some lean protein, low-glycemic complex carbs, vegetables and healthy fats with dinner. Healthy fats include olive oil, omega-3 fish oil, avocados and nuts and seeds. These fats provide energy, stabilize your blood sugar and actually increase your fat burning, according to Shilstone. Fatty fish is a natural source of omega-3 and makes a great evening protein source.
Limit your carbohydrate intake before bed. Carbs act as the primary source of fuel for the body, but you do not need to fuel your body before going to sleep. Snack on lean protein, veggies and natural peanut butter. If you must take in carbs, have some fresh berries, which are low-glycemic and have a potent fat burning effect, according to Zinczenko.
- "The Fat Burning Bible"; Mackie Shilstone; 2005
- "The Abs Diet"; David Zinczenko; 2004
- "Combat the Fat"; Jeff Anderson; 2008
- "Xtreme Lean"; Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman; 2005
- Muscle & Fitness: The Ultimate Supplement Handbook; "The Usual Suspects"; Jordana Brown, January 2010