If in your list of objectives for the new year that begins include leaving the sedentary life and practicing physical exercise on a regular basis to burn calories, it is important to clear all the doubts that can sabotage your efforts to get in good shape, especially those related to food.
So that the good intentions of exercising healthy in 2019 are not displaced by work and family obligations, it is essential that physical activity, schedules and daily meals walk hand in hand and with good coordination.
To begin with, it must be said that there are different opinions on the best time to train, whether in the morning or in the afternoon. “The right time to train depends on our pace of life,” explains Jorge Martín Brañas, physical trainer and personal trainer of the European Medical Institute of Obesity, Imeo, in Spain.
“When we train in the morning, we have to keep in mind that our performance in training will always be much higher when they spend at least two hours after breakfast, “says Brañas, also he discourages training in fasting because it’s no use to burn calories while fasting.
“If we train in the afternoon, we will have the energy given to us by the two or three meals that we have previously done, but it also plays against the physical wear and tear that we made throughout the day, ” he adds.
On the other hand, he assures that delaying our training to the last hours of the day “is going to harm us in our rest when activating our metabolism and, in addition, we will arrive with the battery very low, that is to say with little energy to be able to make a good session of activity”.
“At the theoretical level and if we could choose the time of day that we will devote to exercise, the best time to train is two or three hours after having a good breakfast, since at that time we have assimilated the night rest, the first food and, in addition, we will not have made a great waste of our energies, “he says.
The nutritionist Estefanía Ramo, also from Imeo, argues that food is key before any physical activity or practice of a sport “take a very light breakfast, wait half an hour and then leave, for example, to run. Once the sport session is over, it should be complemented with a second breakfast that will help us recover, consisting of cereals, fruit, milk and healthy fats (nuts, olive oil), “he says.
According to Brañas, after a light breakfast, the training has to be of medium-low intensity, such as an aerobic exercise session of 25 to 30 minutes.
“In case of a more complete breakfast, loaded with carbohydrates, some protein and some piece of fruit, our activity can be much more intense, such as a longer session of ‘cardio’ (cardiovascular activity) or strength training will help you to burn calories, always leaving a period of a couple of hours after eating to assimilate the ingested, “he adds.
As an orientation, Brañas indicates that, after having a strong breakfast, you can tackle “high-intensity exercise sessions, which include disciplines such as hypertrophy training, crossfit, indoor cycle and bodypump”.
“If our training schedule is at night, it would be better to do it before dinner and, if you cannot, after eating something light,” he explains.
In any of the cases the training can be of the ‘cardio’ or ‘strength’ type (with weights or with one’s own body weight), “always bearing in mind that we will have to do it at least two and a half or three hours before go to bed, because it can alter our rest to activate the metabolism, “says Brañas.
The specialist points out that the ideal is to get three training sessions a week, at least to see results.
He also emphasizes that “the ideal thing for our training to be more effective would be to get used to doing the activity at a certain time, morning or afternoon, so the body and mind will have a routine and it will be easier for them to work”.
Burn fat and gain muscle
“When it comes to prioritizing one type of food or another, it is important to ask ourselves what objective we want to achieve,” says Andrea Marqués, Imeo nutritionist.
“If we want to lose weight you have to burn calories to optimize loss of fat and avoiding losing muscle mass, we must take care of the consumption of carbohydrates, some foods that while we consume them, the body uses them as an energy source, which makes it difficult to consume our body fat “He says.
However, not all carbohydrates are the same, says Marqués, who makes the following recommendation: “We must avoid, above all, the refined ones (pastry, cookies, white bread) and consume those with lower glycemic index (wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta, vegetables, fruits), preferably in the first half of the day.”
“To increase muscle mass, it is important to meet the daily protein needs that allow the formation of muscle fibers,” according to Marqués.
This specialist points out that the egg is a good option, since its protein is of fast digestion, but it contains lower protein levels than other animal sources, so we can take a single yolk and two egg whites. “Other options would be lean beef, chicken and fish such as tuna,” he says.
Marqués recommends not forgetting legumes and nuts, “since they are sources of vegetable protein that complement animal sources very well. It is also advisable to eat carbohydrates, as our body will need them to have energy during training, “says the expert.
Keep in mind
– The best time to burn calories is two or three hours after getting up and after having a good breakfast.
– If you run a race very early you can have a very light breakfast half an hour before leaving, and another with cereals, fruit, milk and healthy fats after running.
– To lose weight and lose fat we must avoid refined carbohydrates (pastry, cookies, white bread).
– To increase muscle mass we must eat protein.