The Metabolic Window – Turn your body into a fat burning machine with Metabolic Precision
By Dylan Willis In last weeks article ‘muscle matters’ I briefly introduced you to the concept of the metabolic window. Learning how to maximise your metabolic window to accelerate results is arguably the single most important tool that Fitline health coaches have taken away from the revolutionary nutritional program we will be bringing to Fitline: Metabolic Precision. Without doubt the single biggest mistake people make when trying to create a change in their body composition is not matching their nutrition to their exercise. This mistake can ultimately end in frustration, lack of motivation and in many cases landing you back at square one, wondering when you will start this vicious cycle again. Take this as a prime example. When most people make the decision to lose weight and or change their body shape, they usually do 2 things: 1) Start an exercise program and 2) cut out all the ‘bad foods’ from their diet. This seems like the logical solution right? Now this is usually fine initially and will result in a bit of the excess body fat being removed by the sheer brute force of ‘pounding the pavement’ and restricting food intake. The problem arises after the honeymoon period of a fitness regime. That period of time that maybe at one time or another you have been through perhaps? This is the period of time when things start to get too hard. You start to get cravings you have never had before. You start to feel tired and overtrained. You feel constantly sore as if your recovery has been neglected. Motivation begins to wain. More importantly this is the time when old habits start to rear their ugly heads and self sabotage is only a small step away. You are in dangerous territory. So what is the first step in ensuring this doesn’t happen? Let me now introduce you to your saviour: Maximising the metabolic window. After an intense workout, research has shown that you create a ‘window of opportunity’ in which to maximise your nutrition for optimal results. This ‘window’ appears to last for approximately 3 hours from the beginning of your workout meaning that if you fuel yourself with the right nutrients at the right time you can accelerate recovery and amplify results. For example if you choose to prioritise exercise and train at 6am, your window is open until 9am. If you decide to duck out of the office for a sneaky 12pm workout, your window is open until 3pm. And if you so choose to cap your day with an evening workout at 6.30pm, your window is open to 9.30pm. Miss this window of opportunity, or take in poor nutrition and your results will be greatly compromised. What if you haven’t exercised on a given day? Well then there is no window and you must eat accordingly. More on that later. So what are the best options to take in during the window? Before we move on to that, the way we look at a workout needs to change. As mentioned in last weeks article ‘muscle matters’ you cannot out exercise a bad diet. Exercise is simply a tool for success. A tool that if paired with the right nutrition will give you ‘bang for buck’ returns with minimal time invested. Here is an example.Immediately following a workout (ideally whilst you still have sweat on your forehead) a liquid protein meal such as whey protein is the first port of call. Whey protein is very quickly absorbed into the bloodstream making it an ideal and practical choice. It is essential that you flood the blood with protein and amino acids as quickly as possible to stimulate a process known as muscle protein synthesis (MPS). This process starts the repair and growth process immediately and speeds up the metabolic response. For best results it is wise to turn this liquid protein shake into what we call a metabolically precise meal that also includes the right type of carbohydrate and some omega 3 fatty acids. As part of the Metabolic Precision program, we will teach you how to create tasty liquid meals (MP-LM’s) to create the greatest ‘bang for buck’ post workout response to ensure you maximise the effect of your workout. With such names as ‘Vanilla Creme Nut Crunch’ and ‘MP Iced Mocha’ you can see that these are no ordinarily bland protein shakes! Now poor old carbohydrates have been victimised to death over the last few years and we have been guilty as charged in that regard also (at times with good reason). The sheer fact is that eliminating entire macronutrients for any period of time does not promote something that you can do in the long run and inevitably results in a rebound effect. We now realise that you need to choose the right type of carbohydrate based on whether you are inside or outside your metabolic window. Inside the window, due to the nature of the workout you have completed your body has become more insulin sensitive and ‘carb tolerant’. By choosing ‘high energy’ carbohydrates we now know the body will transport those nutrients exactly where they need to go: in this instance straight to those muscles worked to aid in replenishing muscle glycogen thus speeding up the recovery process. Outside the window however or on non workout days this does not apply and ‘low energy’ carbohydrates must be consumed. About an hour post workout, your body is now ready to metabolise something a bit more substantial: real food. The strategic intake of the right nutrients at the right time can dramatically speed up the results from your training. This concept is referred to as metabolic timing. As part of the Metabolic Precision program we help you precisely time you meals according to their absorption rate to help maximise fat burning/muscle building potential throughout the day. At this point a first class protein food source must now be included. For example a metabolically precise meal pairing the right type of animal protein, high energy carbohydrate and omega 3 fatty acids will go a long way to ensuring you have adequately maximised your nutrition to accelerate results for the rest of the day. Vegetarian or vegan? No problem, we have options for you too. As stated earlier, if there is no workout then no window is created. Our goal now is still to provide you with metabolically precise meals including a first class protein choice, omega 3 fatty acids and a ‘low energy’ carbohydrate source. Its food for thought isn’t it? Have you been wasting your true potential by not maximising your metabolic window? Are you skipping meals or sabotaging results with poor post workout nutrition? With our busy lifestyle’s it is easy to overlook. Maximising your metabolic window, is by far the most ‘bang for buck’ change with the most minimal disruption to your lifestyle. With a little preparation and turning some long held intentions into habits you can dramatically speed up your results in the gym. Next week we will put it all together and touch on what is required to achieve a long lasting body transformation. This is without doubt the core component of the Metabolic Precision program: The ‘Golden Triangle’. If your nutritional program can consistently meet the 3 points of the Golden Triangle, not only will you stay on track for success but maintain your results in the long run. Life is a marathon, not a sprint after all.