Newsflash: eating the right thing at the wrong time could be sabotaging your get-lean goals.
Swerve: Before the gym
One to avoid pre-sweat sesh. “Fat slows your digestion,” says nutritionist Sophie Tully. “And when you exercise, you divert blood away from the gut, which can lead to nausea and stomach trouble mid-workout.”
Serve: At breakfast
“It’s overflowing with calcium, vitamin D, zinc, protein, magnesium and vitamin B12,” says Tully. Best bit? Having high-fat dairy lowers your risk of obesity, according to a study in the European Journal of Nutrition. So milk it for all it’s worth.
Hitting the 4pm slump? Avoid cherries. “With 7.6g of sugar per serving (80g), they can raise blood glucose levels – crashing your energy levels and stimulating hunger,” says nutritionist Libby Limon.
Serve: After dinner
Cherries contain the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate your body clock. Case in point: a UK study found people who drank cherry juice had a higher level of melatonin and reported better quality sleep than those who skipped the stuff. Sleep easy.
Poached, scrambled, fried – however you have yours, dodge eggs before training. “Protein takes a long time to digest,” says Limon. So you could suffer gastrointestinal discomfort mid-burpee, making that rep target even tougher.
When your muscles need a little R&R, amino acids are just what you need, and eggs are full of ’em. Plus, two eggs for brekkie provide 12g of protein – about a quarter of your RDI. So, by all means, crack on.
Swerve: Lunching al desko
Chained to your desk for the duration? Avoid pasta like the plague. “It contains glucose and energy that you’re not going to need,” says nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert.
Serve: Lunching on the go
Fuelling up on pasta for a day on the move is well worth it. “Your body needs natural sugars to maintain stamina and keep your muscles topped up with enough glycogen,” says Lambert. Spag bol it is, then.
Swerve: Sporadic snacking
A harmless snack choice, right? Wrong. “Nut butter is dangerously moreish,” says Lambert. And research from the University of Texas found you’re more likely to overeat foods labelled healthy. So put a lid on it.
Serve: Scheduled snacking
This’ll help you feel in control and still reap the benefits of nut butter: all those nutrients and healthy fats. And its slow-release energy will keep you going till lunchtime.