I have a few things in the works for ya’ll, but let’s catch up on the recent holidays. According to Barney Stinson, Wednesday was “Desperation Day”:
Valentine’s day was yesterday, and I
stole found a cute “Happy Valentine’s Day” gif on The Berry. The moment has passed, but today we have this:
Finally, let’s move on to the best holiday of the week, the one that everybody can celebrate together, which is National Cheap Candy Day. There are several recognized ones that come up seasonally: November 1st features discount Halloween candy to fuel the beginning of N0-Shave November, and after Easter we eat enough candy to sleep for three days! Alas, today we’re celebrating the post-Valentine’s sugar rush with more sugar.
Is it realistic for me to say, “Don’t eat any candy!” or to say, “You should never eat those delectable chocolatey treats?” No. That’s impractical because most people enjoy the hell out of some chocolate. If you really never eat chocolate, then what is up with that?! I’m not promoting stuffing your face with the stuff all the time, but if you’re going to do it, here are some tips that may let the gluttony help you rather than hurt you.
Eat after you train. If your sweet tooth is bothering you, then wait until after you train to eat. In this case, training is more specific then moving, exercising, or breaking a sweat. Specifically, think about strength training and interval training. This is not a calories in versus calories out exchange, as much as it’s planning to create a favorable hormonal environment.
If calories in vs. calories out was a reliable way of managing weight, I’d be working as a bike messenger and consuming a gallon of ice cream each day. That would be a glorious life, but weight management and body composition is more complex than that. Strength training and interval training allows your body to better uptake sugar into muscle, meaning waiting to consume your candy until after you lift will contribute less to adiposity and more to hypertrophy. One of those is favorable, while the other is not.
Eat with protein. High sugar meals on their own are not the best idea, but when you consume them with protein they become magical. (Sort of.) We normally talk about protein from food sources such as eggs and steak, but I’m not sure how many people want to chase their chocolate covered figs with filet mignon. Instead, have a protein shake with a respectable amount of protein in it. You’ll have less to worry about later in the day.
Eat before bed. For years we’ve heard about ‘not eating before bed’, because what’s when we store fat. This advise isn’t coming from very muscular people, is it? Didn’t think so. Guys like Kiefer are popularizing the idea of limiting/timing carbs to post workout and evening meal windows with incredible results. This is great for folks that want to get really lean or be able to eat more liberally when they are eating. As one of the later, I appreciate eating a giant meal at the end of the day, rather than worrying about what I’m eating through the morning and afternoon. If you’re getting your glutton on, then do it before bed. There are a number of favorable hormonal changes we see, but in short, it’s awesomtastic.
Let’s be honest: If you have the option between eating loads of candy and not, abstaining is probably a better option. It’s just not practical all the time, and occasionally eating more than you should is probably going to be better in the long run. If and when you do it, try to do it after you lifting heavy weights, running sprints, and eating protein, and you’ll find that it’s less of a speed bump and more of a boost in your progress.
Enjoy your candy; I’m off to find me some ice cream.