Many runners wonder if they should eat carbs after a run at night. On one hand, carbs help your muscles recover so you can consistently hit your workout goals. On the other hand, eating after a run at night could disrupt your sleep, which compromises recovery. On top of this, sugar is carbohydrate, which can keep you from feeling sleepy despite having just gone for a run at night. To answer the question of what to eat after a run at night, keep reading to understand how your body processes the macronutrients (macros for short) of carbohydrates, fat, and proteins is necessary.Your body requires carbs to provide it with energy and it is good at using them efficiently. Fat, on the other hand, always requires plenty of oxygen. Plus, it takes twice as long for fat to provide the same amount of energy as carbohydrates. That is why we have to reduce our pace to burn fat while running, so that our body can keep up with the oxidation process and doesn’t get exhausted. You’ll notice that you’re in the fat-burning zone when your breathing slows down. If your breathing is fast and shallow, you’re body is not burning the fat it could. This is also when it starts to hurt. You might catch yourself thinking that the couch looks awful comfy right now. Or the question “What the hell am I doing?” keeps popping into your head. But once you have conquered these mental hurdles, things will start to get easier.Your body stores carbs in the form of glycogen in your liver and muscles. They are important energy reserves — especially for ambitious runners. The more glycogen you have stored in your muscles, the better and longer they can perform.In general, the following nutrient ratio is recommended for endurance athletes:Carbohydrates: 55-65%Protein: 10-15%Fat: 25-30% The Role of Carbs After A RunCarbs are your muscles’ fuel. The macronutrient is very important for runners looking to enhance their performance (for instance, for a marathon) – not only before workouts, but also after you finish running. If you refill your glycogen stores right after a run, your body will recover faster. This helps your body adapt better to a new or harder workout and builds up your immune system faster again after your training. The more often or intensely you train, the more important a diet rich in carbohydrates is for your recovery.ActivityCarb intakeLight< 1 hour/day3-5 g kg/dayModerate > 1 hour/day5-7 g kg/dayHigh1-3 hour/day7-10 g kg/dayVery high > 4-5 hour/day10-12 g kg/dayWhen and How Many Carbs to Eat After a RunThe best time for your body to replenish its glycogen stores is within the first 30 minutes after your workout. Consume about 0.5 g of carbohydrates per kg of bodyweight. For a 65 kg woman this should be about 30 g of carbohydrates.30 g of carbohydrates can be in the form of: one medium banana5 dates1 slice of bread with jam40 g of granola with 200 ml of cow’s milkThese carbohydrates (simple carbs) are easy to digest, and the body absorbs them quickly. After 30 minutes, the window starts to gradually close, and your body is no longer able to absorb carbs as efficiently and quickly.Keep in mind:You don’t need to eat carbohydrates after a short run (5 to 10 km), because the glycogen stores have not been depleted.What to Eat After a Run at NightAn hour after your run, you should eat a full meal with carbs, protein and fat. To be more exact, your meal should contain a 3:1 carbs to protein ratio. Carbs are still important at this point, but your body also needs protein to build muscles. Too much of this macronutrient, however, can interfere with efficient absorption of carbohydrates and disturb your body’s fluid balance.A good post-run meal is loaded sweet potato skins.What to Eat After a Run at Night if You Want to Lose WeightRunners whose top priority is to lose weight should try to avoid eating too many carbs. This applies particularly to simple carbohydrates. Complex carbs are necessary as part of a balanced diet, as we shall see below. Short endurance runs (like 5K runs) do not deplete our glycogen stores – so you don’t need to replenish them during your run (for example, with isotonic sports drinks) or right after the run. The best thing to drink after short runs is water. Eat a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein, as described above one to two hours after your run. But at the end of the day, if you are looking to lose weight, what matters is a negative energy balance (approx. 500 calories/day). This means you should burn more calories than you consume.Eat Complex Carbs After a Run at NightRunners looking to lose weight need to pay attention to what they eat, as well as their training. The best thing for you to eat is complex carbohydrates (along with high quality protein and healthy fats). These not only keep you feeling full longer, but they provide you with plenty of additional important minerals and vitamins for your metabolism and immune system. Complex carbohydrates are found, for instance, in whole-grain products (like pasta and bread) and brown rice. Whole-grain foods include all the original parts (bran, germ, and endosperm) as well as all their nutrients. Simple carbohydrates are obtained by removing the outside and only keeping the endosperm. Other foods containing complex carbohydrates are potatoes with the skin on them, legumes, and vegetables.Where are different types of carbohydrates found?Complex Carbs to Refuel After a Run at NightComplex Carbs take longer to digest and provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and fiber that boost your metabolism and strengthen your immune system:Whole grains and products incl. pasta, bread, and rollsPotatoes with the skin on themBrown riceBeans, lentils and peasVegetables, 100% vegetable juiceFruitAvoid Simple Carbs After a Run at Nightare a quick source of energy because they are digested rapidly. They cause your blood sugar and your insulin levels to rise:pastry flour and products, cakes, cookies, bread, and rollswhite pastasoft drinkssugar and sweetsalcoholDo You Need Carbs After a Run at Night?Yes and no. A high-carb snack will refill empty glycogen stores within the first 30 minutes after a long run (over 10 km). The ideal ratio of carbs to protein in a post-run meal is 3:1 for optimal recovery.The bottom line: eat carbs after night runs to prioritize recovery. Minimize eating carbs after runs at night if that is part of your weight loss strategy.*** More
You don’t need any equipment or expensive gym membership to get the body you’ve always wanted. Your own body weight is all it takes to whip your body into shape. Would you like to tone your legs and strengthen your muscles? Then give these six effective bodyweight exercises a try. They are guaranteed to make you sweat.Leg exercises are important for building total body strength. The exercises below don’t just work your legs, they also work your glutes (butt muscles), strengthen your core, and promote a healthy back. Plus, these exercises are also great for runners!Curtsy Lunges[embedded content]Kneel & StandSide Lunges[embedded content]Single Leg Deadlift[embedded content]Jump Lunges[embedded content]Wall SitYou can also find all these and many more exercises in the adidas Training app.*** More
Training plans help athletes set goals and achieve them. Creating training plans from scratch can be difficult and potentially dangerous if you don’t have the proper background or athletic knowledge. Our fitness experts put together their top training plan tips so you can decide what training plan is best for you.What is a training plan?A training plan is a useful companion and guide on your journey to get fitness results. Are you looking for exercises to build a bigger butt or shape your abs? Whatever your goal is, your training plan should always be tailored to you and your expectations. When setting a goal, make sure that it is challenging, but still realistic. A goal you think you can achieve helps to keep you motivated.Do you already have a fitness goal in mind? A workout routine is nothing more than a means to an end. It is geared towards your goal and is based on your current (physical) condition. Your 12-week training plan already has a clear picture of where you are going. It keeps presenting you with new challenges. But a good plan not only consists of a mix of exercises: It also includes useful tips on rest periods and intensity.Practical Training Plan tipsThere are a number of training principles that can help you reach your goals. Increase the effectiveness of your training with the following tips:The workout should push you – but not over the edgeEvery training session should push you to your limits, but without overdoing it. If the intensity of your exercises is too low, you won’t see any results. But if the training stimulus is too high, it can even be harmful for your body. If you want to improve your performance, the training stimulus must be adjusted to your (current) physical condition.Think long-termProgress doesn’t come overnight. Your muscles are not the only body parts that have to get used to regular training. Other body systems have to adjust to the increased activity, which takes time. In short, change doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient!Push yourselfTo be successful in your training, you have to keep challenging your body. This doesn’t always mean doing more reps. You can add more weight, do an extra set or just simply be more focused and aware during your workout. The mind-muscle connection in itself can make a big difference.Listen to your bodyThe more personalized the plan, the better. Don’t keep overdoing it, and remember that nobody knows you better than yourself. Does your resting heart rate increase significantly after you get up in the morning? Do you lack appetite and feel completely exhausted and unmotivated? Or does your heart rate barely decrease during the breaks between exercises? All of these can be signs that you are overtraining and that it is time for a rest day. So pay attention and don’t ignore the signs your body is giving you. A training plan is not set in stone. It can be modified and adjusted to fit your condition. Don’t get frustrated if once in a while you have to take it a little slower. The next time you’ll be able to achieve even more.Set realistic goalsNo goals, no success: Clear goals help you keep up your motivation and enable you to monitor your progress.Mix it upSooner or later, doing the same thing over and over again will lead your performance to level off and you will cease to improve. You can break up this monotony by constantly mixing up your workouts. This doesn’t just mean including different exercises, but varying the intensity and rest periods between sets.Stick with itOnce doesn’t count: One training session is not going to produce any noticeable improvements. If you want to get the most out of your training, you need to keep repeating the exercises. Your body won’t start to adapt until you push it to and beyond its limits. This overload causes your body to adapt and helps you to reach the next level.Get the most out of each exerciseThere’s a big difference between giving 50% or 100%. The more you throw yourself into your workout, the more you will get out of it.Give your body time to recoverScheduling recovery time into your training program ensures a perfect balance of effort and recovery. Try to spread your training sessions throughout the week and plan your off days in advance. If the last training session was very intense and tiring, the next one should be more moderate, or you might even want to consider taking the day off.Training is just one piece of the puzzleTraining isn’t the only thing you need to reach your fitness goals. You also need a proper diet, as well as a mix of cool-down exercises, baths, massages, a good water and electrolyte balance, stretching and relaxation exercises and recovery periods. Until you put all the pieces together, you will never really see any major results.How to plan a sessionEvery training plan consists of a number of elements put into a systematic order. Imagine that each training session is a piece of a puzzle: Like a jigsaw puzzle, all of the elements have to fit together, so in the end you can celebrate your success. There are times when it is tougher, and sometimes you have to try something new. But when everything is said and done, you’ll have reached your goal. Each training session should include the following three parts:Warm-up: Warming up helps you prepare mentally and physically for the workout. Plus, it reduces the risk of injury. Use simple exercises that you have done before and know well.Main activity: The main activity is the actual workout part of your training session. The goal is to increase or maintain your physical performance.Cool-down: The cool-down initiates and speeds up the recovery process.If that all sounds too complicated, try one of the training plans in adidas Running or Training. They will help you set realistic goals and guide your training, tailored to your schedule, from start to finish.*** More
Walking for weight loss is one of the best ways to start losing weight. Walking isn’t just good for weight loss; it has incredible mental health benefits as well.If you haven’t tried walking for weight loss before, give it a try this year and realize all the fantastic benefits walking for weight loss has to offer!Benefits of Walking for Weight LossEveryone can walk for weight loss! It’s a great way to lose weight and keep it off because it’s not a fad diet or an unsustainable exercise plan. In terms of equipment, you only need a comfortable pair of running or walking shoes and clothes.Physical benefitsWalking is a low-impact activity. That makes it a safe activity for people that struggle to run, get injured easily, or are overweight. Walking mostly burns fat when performed for durations longer than 30-minutes. Walking for weight loss can even improve your cholesterol levels!Check out this calorie burn calculator to see how many calories you burn in an activity.Mental health benefitsWalking for weight loss has proven mental health benefits. Had a stressful day at work? Go for a 30-minute walk and feel the stress melt away. Kids and partner on your nerves? Go for a walk and reset your mind while taking care of your body. Put on a podcast, listen to music, listen to an audiobook and take the mental health benefits even further!How to Walk for Weight LossWalking for weight loss is easier than you think. You could start by estimating how much you currently walk or do other physical activities and then aim to add a half-hour more per day most days of the week. Here are some considerations if you’re considering running if you’re overweight.Where to Walk for Weight LossWalking in parks and other green spaces has tremendous mental health benefits. People who walk in green spaces report having more self-esteem and better overall mood. People also report “feelings of anger, depression, tension and confusion all significantly reduced and vigor increased.” Try to walk in green spaces like parks, hiking trails, mountains and beaches for an extra mental health boost.Even walking in a shopping center has proven to have benefits for older people!Still have questions about walking for weight loss? Check the frequently asked questions below:Walking for Weight Loss: FAQ1. Can You Lose Weight by Walking for Weight Loss?Yes, walking for weight loss works! Walking for extended periods at a conversational pace will mostly burn fat. The key to walking for weight loss is to increase how many calories you burn and how many calories you consume per day. For example, you could maintain your current diet and simply add 30 minutes more walking per day than you are currently doing. You would eventually lose weight this way. However, if you are trying to lose weight, you probably also need to look at your current diet. Chances are you are consuming too many calories, which has led to the need to lose weight. The good news is that by trimming some calories and walking for weight loss, you will increase the rate at which you lose weight! You burn more calories from walking, and you consume fewer calories overall. Get the facts on healthy weight loss.It’s hard, and it might be uncomfortable for a little while, but stick with it and believe that you will do it!Check out our best diet and weight loss tips!2. How Many Steps a Day to Lose Weight Walking for Weight Loss?The short answer is more than you are currently doing. 10,000 steps are roughly equal to 2,000 – 3,500 calories (about a quarter kilogram to half a kilogram of body weight). If you add an extra 10,000 steps per day (about a half-hour of walking), then you will likely lose about a quarter kilogram of body weight per week just by walking a little bit more each day.If you’re new to fitness, 10,000 steps (half-hour) may seem like too much. That’s okay. Start with just 1,000 steps more each day. Add more steps each day as you get fitter and your body can handle it. Go slow and be patient: being overweight doesn’t happen in a day, and it won’t be fixed in a day. 3. How Much Walking for Weight Loss?The short answer is more walking than you are currently doing. Try for at least 30-minutes of walking for weight loss per day. If you can’t start there, start with just 10 minutes and work your way up. There is no upper limit other than what your schedule allows and what your body can safely handle. If your schedule gets in the way of walking for weight loss, break up your walks. Instead of going for an hour-long walk, try 2 30-minute walks. Sneak in walks by parking further away, walking to places you might otherwise drive, or walking with friends, family or pets.Don’t sweat the details—just start walking!4. Does Walking for Weight Loss Burn Fat?Yes, walking for weight loss burns fat. It also burns the other two macronutrients, carbohydrates and protein. The first few minutes of walking will burn primarily carbohydrates. However, your body will prioritize burning fat after around 30 minutes. 5. Running Vs. Walking: What Burns More Calories?It’s a little complicated, but running burns more calories than walking. However, you can walk longer than you can run, leading to more total calories burned. If running hurts your joints, try walking for weight loss. Walking for weight loss is also a great way to build up your body to try eventually running.6. Is Walking for Weight Loss the Quickest Way to Lose Weight?No. But it is one of the more sustainable and achievable ways to lose weight. If you’re serious about losing weight and being healthy it’s going to take time and commitment. Shortcut the shortcuts and commit to getting healthy this year by walking for weight loss.*** More
These wheelchair exercises and full workout will help you begin your fitness journey or continue on it if you’re an athlete with an impairment that requires you to use a wheelchair. Maybe you are even thinking of trying a wheelchair racing event or other wheelchair sports. Whatever your goals, this wheelchair exercise workout will get your going and challenge you! First, learn why wheelchair exercise is like any other exercise program.Wheelchair Exercise Isn’t Fundamentally DifferentThe basics of fitness do not change just because an athlete happens to use a wheelchair. All athletes need to build a solid aerobic engine. All athletes need to develop functional strength. We are all athletes, and we build fitness in unique ways—wheelchairs don’t change this.Our bodies do not care if you use a wheelchair, a prosthesis, have a visual impairment, etc. As far as fitness is concerned: energy goes in, and energy comes out. All athletes must constantly monitor their body to see how it is reacting to workouts. Athletes need to ensure they don’t overwork muscles or overtrain. Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.With that in mind, try this wheelchair exercise workout!Wheelchair Exercise WorkoutWarm-up Start every workout by warming up soft tissue and mobilizing the joints and muscles to be worked. The goal of the warmup is to raise your body’s temperature so ork up a light sweat. Get in the right mental space by doing mental exercises (disregard the title of the linked blog post—these exercises are for all athletes).Warm-up Wheelchair ExercisesTriceps stretch (stretches your triceps, upper back and shoulders): Keep back straight and your arms at your sides.Lift one arm up overhead, and then bend your elbow and reach your hand down your back as far as you can. Use your opposite hand to give gentle assistance until you feel a stretch. Exhale and hold for 2-seconds.Relax and return to the starting position.Complete the set on one side before repeating with the opposite arm.Trunk Rotation (stretches your trunk and hips):Sit on the ground with legs straight.Cross right leg over left, bending the knee and placing the right foot on the ground to the outside of the right knee.Twist trunk to right placing the left elbow on the outside of the left knee.Exhale and hold for 2-seconds, relax and repeat six times.Trigger Point – Chest (releases tension in your chest):Press a trigger ball (tennis ball, for example) against your pec just above your armpit with your opposite hand.Adjust your position until you find a sore point.Holding pressure on this spot, slide your free hand overhead and back down.Re-adjust your position and repeat the movement on any other sore spots you find.Complete the set on one side before repeating on the other side.Ys – (works your shoulders and upper back):Raise your arms overhead to form a Y. Keep your torso tight and thumbs back.Glide your shoulder blades towards your spine and pull arms slightly back.Return to the starting position.Repeat six times.Ts – (stretches your chest):Raise your arms overhead to form a T. Keep your torso tight and thumbs back.Glide your shoulder blades towards your spine and pull your arms slightly back.Return to the starting position.Repeat six times.Ws – (works your shoulders and upper back):Raise your arms overhead to form a W. Keep your torso tight and thumbs back.Glide your shoulder blades towards your spine and pull arms slightly back.Return to the starting position.Repeat six times.This comprehensive warm-up will help prevent muscle spasms and cramps.Compound Movements Wheelchair ExercisesBalance the workload across the body by breaking the workout into the two primary muscle groups to be worked: core and upper body. To further spread the load across each muscle group, focus on the arms’ arms’ direction during the exercise.Compound Movement ExercisesOverhead Press – Dumbbell (Works your shoulders):Back straight, chest up, holding a pair of dumbbells at your shoulders with your palms facing forward.Press the weights overhead while keeping still.Lower the weights to your shoulders.Do two sets of eight reps (2×8).Row – Cable (Works your upper back, shoulders and torso):Attach two handles to the cables. Sit facing the machine, just farther than arm’s length away.Keeping your torso stable, pull the handles to your body by driving your elbow back and close to your torso.Return to the starting position.Continue for the full set.Complete two sets of eigh reps (2×8).Core Movements Having a strong core makes everything in life more manageable. For athletes that use wheelchairs, a strong core means more rotational stability and a strong base for propulsion.Focus on rotational, diagonal pattern movements. Do moves that go from high to low. Then do moves that start low and go high. Core Movement Wheelchair ExerciseRotational Lift – Low to High (works your shoulders, triceps and torso):Attach a rope handle to a low cable pulley. Holding the rope with both hands, sit with your side to the cable machine.Rotate your shoulders and arms toward the machine.In one continuous motion, pull the handles toward your chest, rotate your shoulders away from the machine and push the rope up and away.Reverse the movement back to the starting position.Complete the set on one side before repeating on the other side.Complete two sets of eight reps (2×8).Isolated Movements Wheelchair ExercisesIsolated movements build strong and defined muscles. Due to the focus on one muscle, few reps and sets can be completed before the muscle tires. To work specific muscles, begin with bicep curls, lateral raises and triceps extensions.Isolated Movement Wheelchair ExercisesBicep Curls – Alternating Dumbbells (works your biceps):Sit holding dumbbells in each hand at your side.Keeping your elbows at your sides, curl one dumbbell up to your shoulder.Lower the weight back down to the starting position. Repeat with the other arm.Continue alternating for the full set.Complete two sets of eight reps (2×8).Tricep extension – Dumbbell (works your shoulders):Hold the dumbbell slighly behind your head with your elbows bent.Extend both elbows to push the dumbbell overhead.Bend your elbows to return to the starting position.Continue for the remainder of the set.Complete two sets of eight reps (2×8).CardioThe goal of cardio work is to elevate your heart rate for an extended period of time.You could do this by doing a resistance movement at a low resistance for several minutes. One amazing cardio exercise for athletes that use wheelchairs is to head out for an extended time on your wheelchair. The movement is inherently aerobic! You could also try using a hand ergometer or swimming.If using a resistance machine for cardio, set it to low resistance. Perform the movement for 10 minutes to start and work your way up to 20 minutes.Cool-DownA massage is great for cool-down. Focus on areas that feel like you really worked them. A massage tool is sufficient but a professional massage can do wonders for your recovery.Perform the same exercises as in your warm-up to stretch out worked muscles and get your body’s recovery process kickstarted.Include these muscle-boosting foods in your post-workout meals to recover quicker and build muscle.Help us produce better content for you. What fitness and health topics specific for athletes with impairments would you like to learn? Leave a comment:*** More
- in Food
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Who doesn’t love a good protein bar? Whether you need a quick pick-me-up or just something to tide you over until mealtime, protein bars are a fantastic option that provide nutrients and energy with great taste—and usually very little (or even zero) sugar. But with so many on the market, it’s hard to know which one to pick. So we’ve rounded up some of the best and most popular protein bars for you.
Our Top 3 Picks
No matter if you’re on a low-carb, high protein diet or just trying to lose weight, a protein bar is a great choice. They help keep you full between meals, and have vastly more nutritional value than a candy bar. They’re better for breakfast than cereal and pastries. They work awesome as a between-meal snack. And a lot of people substitute them for meals when altogether.
They’re also great for athletic recovery. After a hard session in the weight room or CrossFit arena, a protein bar can give your muscles and tissues a kickstart to recovery with a jolt of amino acids, to get you back in the game faster while keeping vital nutrients flowing.
Protein bars come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and flavors. The most popular—LUNA bars, PureProtein, and ONE come to mind—have been around for years. But the new breed of protein bars like GoMacro, PowerCrunch, and thinkThin are taking the protein bar into previously uncharted territories, providing vegan, gluten-free, and kosher options. Even stalwart brands like Gatorade and SlimFast have gotten in on the protein bar action.
So quit snacking between meals, kickstart your recovery, and start enjoying healthy snacks today. There’s a flavor to suit every taste. And most come in a variety of flavors and package sizes, so experimenting until you find the one that’s right for you is a breeze. So try some of these bestselling protein bars, and take our health and fitness into your own hands. More
Tighten up your triceps! Getting rid of the so-called “bat wings” and achieving toned upper arms isn’t actually as difficult as you might think if you’re doing the right arm workouts. Your own body weight is more than sufficient to tighten up your triceps and biceps. You don’t need much space or even much time to do these 7 effective bodyweight training exercises at home or wherever you wish!
The plank is an isometric exercise. This is a particular type of strength training in which the muscles are tensed, but their length does not change. Although all you have to do is maintain the position, the exercise is quite challenging. The more you tighten your entire body, the longer you will be able to stay in the plank position. So, how many minutes can you hold the plank for?
This exercise not only works out your arms, but your entire body. It is particularly good for the muscles of your core. Start in plank position and raise yourself up by placing first one hand on the floor, followed by the other. Then return to the starting position. Besides your arms, this engages your abs, glutes and legs, which is what makes it so strenuous.
3. Triceps dips
You might think that you need a couch, chair or park bench to perform this exercise. However, you can really blast those upper arms by performing triceps dips on the ground as well. Make sure that your fingertips are pointing towards your feet and your shoulders are down and away from your ears. It’s important that you keep your butt high so that you increase your range of motion and can really activate your triceps.
Push-ups are one the best exercises with your own body weight and are the perfect arm workout. You can choose between countless varieties and thus adjust the level of difficulty. For beginners, it is best to start on your knees. Placing your hands close together works on your arms, whereas moving your hands farther apart targets your chest muscles. Tighten your core to strengthen your ab muscles.
5. Wall Push Offs
This move is a bit of a twist on a regular push-up. It’s more of a modified version, because the upper body is higher than the lower body, but it definitely packs a real burn! It’s important that you stay on the balls of your feet and keep your core engaged. You shouldn’t completely push yourself away from the wall – just a little bit. You’ll feel the rhythm!
6. Crab Bridge
You start this move exactly like a triceps dip and you even get a little bit extra glute workout in here as well. The movement is in the hips, but you’re definitely working those arms when you keep them nice and tight and strong, shoulders down and away from the ears.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Make sure to keep your core tight. Box against an imaginary punching bag until you can’t throw another punch. The main thing is to focus on flexing your upper arm muscles. This not only works out your triceps and biceps, but it also increases your heart rate, helping you burn plenty of calories.
Feeling super motivated now? Then get the adidas Training app and get fit without equipment!
- in Wellness
It can be supremely frustrating trying to figure out what type of meal plan works best for you. There are so many fads and trends, all battling against solid advice and reputable research. Finding the right nutritional balance can be overwhelming—fast. It’s enough to make a guy give up and revert to continuously snacking on bags of baby carrots. But a recent study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has shed a little more light on this diet dilemma by pitting perennially dueling macros—carbs and fats—against each other. What’s better: keto or a low-fat, plant-based diet?
In the small but controlled four-week study, researchers analyzed 20 diabetes-free adults and found those who ate a low-fat, higher-carb plant-based diet consumed fewer daily calories—550 to 700 fewer—compared to subjects on a low-carb, higher-fat animal-based plan, or a ketogenic diet. And, even though the subjects on the low-fat, high-carb diet consumed less overall, they ended up with higher insulin and blood glucose levels. Possibly a result of three-quarters of their meals containing carbohydrates.
None of the subjects gained any weight even though all had access to three meals a day, plus snacks, and could eat as much as they wanted. There were also, between the two diets, no differences in hunger, enjoyment of meals, or satiety. And though both groups also lost weight, only the participants on the low-fat diet burned off a good amount of body fat (plus the high-fat subjects didn’t gain any fat).
The study macro breakdown for the plant-based, low-fat diet folks was 10 percent fat and 75 percent carbs, while the animal-based, low-carb people ate 10 percent carbs and 76 percent fat. Each meal included about 14 percent protein. All meals were minimally processed with about the same amounts of veggies.
Chelsea Kyle for Men’s Journal
“Interestingly, our findings suggest benefits to both diets, at least in the short-term. While the low-fat, plant-based diet helps curb appetite, the animal-based, low-carb diet resulted in lower and more steady insulin and glucose levels,” said study lead Kevin Hall, Ph.D., a senior investigator at the NIH.
“Despite eating food with an abundance of high-glycemic carbohydrates that resulted in pronounced swings in blood glucose and insulin, people eating the plant-based, low-fat diet showed a significant reduction in calorie intake and loss of body fat, which challenges the idea that high-carb diets per se lead people to overeat. On the other hand, the animal-based, low-carb diet did not result in weight gain despite being high in fat,” he said.
Though the study doesn’t provide a solid answer to whether or not you should eat carbs over fat or vice versa, it does help show that consuming too many carbs daily can mess with your insulin levels, which over the long term, could lead to pre-diabietes or worse. And that, as has been shown before, eating high levels of fat doesn’t neccssairly lead to weight can or increase in fat stores.
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