[ Q ] Will eating carbohydrates after my workout stop fat burning?
Essentially, it works like this: the body is in a storage mode post-workout and will store virtually all (within reason) of the carbs consumed during the postworkout period and will continue to burn fat.
For the record, the period where the body is in this hyper-storage mode seems to be up to six hours. Likewise, it is primarily the nutrients consumed during this 'window of opportunity' that dictate if, and to what extent, recuperation occurs from ones' workout. So, in my opinion (which is supported by research), one should eat carbs postworkout, even if fat loss is the goal.
I would consume a glucose type drink immediately post-workout followed one hour later by a carb with a high glycemic and insulin index like white potatoes or rice. Then two or three hours after that I'd opt for a low glycemic and insulin index food like oatmeal or sweet potatoes.
[ Q ] For losing fat, which is better, a low-fat diet or a low-carb diet?
Why not opt for a healthy, long-term solution to fat loss? Remember, as the saying goes, "everything in moderation." It's also worth mentioning that the types of fats and carbs consumed are just as important as how much of each is consumed. Try to focus on fats that come from fish, flax, olives, and nuts along with carbs that come from sweet potatoes, oats, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
So, my brief synopsis for long-term weight loss would be: eat moderate amounts and balanced portions of healthy foods-and (as if I had to tell you) don't eat that processed junk food.
[ Q ] I'm a competitive bodybuilder getting ready for my next show. Some people say that I should have no sodium the few days before my show while other people say that doing that will flatten me out and that my sodium should stay about the same. What is your opinion?
water and electrolytes before a show is, in my opinion, the hardest thing to do properly in terms of peaking for a show. Quite often a competitor is left looking worse on stage than they were the week prior to the show. This is common even in the pro ranks. First, let's look at a few facts. Sodium is needed to absorb carbohydrates across the intestinal wall as well as to get nutrients into the muscle.
So, sodium is both great and evil at the same time. And unfortunately, people respond very differently to varying levels of sodium intake. There's also the issue of water. Water, like sodium, is a double-edged sword. Too much and you're watery while too little can leave you flat and stringy. After peaking myself and slews of other competitors for numerous shows, I have developed a rule-of-thumb.
Don't drastically lower water and sodium when using diuretics prior to competition-that includes both prescription and over-the-counter diuretics. Because diuretics function is to eliminate both sodium and water from the body, simultaneously lowering these nutrients is not only dangerous, but tends to most always leave an athlete flat, cramping, and with no vascularity.
I prefer to use a moderate prescription diuretic like dyazide (with a prescription and under a doctor's supervision, of course) and let it do most of the work for drying out. I would not lower sodium to less than 1,500 mg per day or water less than 1.5 liters per day-and those amounts are only for the last day or two. Prior to that, both water and sodium intake should be rather high.
On the other hand, if one prefers to not use diuretics, then it may be necessary to lower sodium and water a bit lower than the above amounts and for a full two days in order to give ample time to naturally drop excess water from under the skin.
The precise amount is, unfortunately, trial and error; but I would always err on the side of more water and salt as opposed to less. This way you can avoid looking flat, which ironically makes you look smoother, too. I hope these guidelines help you.