T Nation

Supplements to help the switch from P+C to P+F meals?

Since a P+C meal will shut down lypolysis for a while, can anyone recommend supplements that will help get you back into fat-burning territory before you start your P+F meals? Or any other recommendations toward the same goal (like separating P+C and P+F with an all-protein meal, which some people are trying)?

Hey, Brian. How about separating P/F and P/C meals by fasting? That’s right, now let me illustrate.

Start your day with P/F meals and continue eating them up until training. Train in the evening. Consume P/C meals beginning during or after training and until bedtime. Begin with P/F meals starting the next morning until the next training session.

Obviously this may be a bit of a dilemma, and it surely goes against the rule of [quote]Carbohydrates early in the day, tapered into Fat meals later in the day.[/quote] I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Training throws a huge monkey wrench into that whole statement. Obviously, your greatest time of glucose uptake and insulin sensitivity begins during your workout (i.e. muscle contractions) and continues into the time period following your training bout.

In this particular instance, you separate P/F and P/C meals by fasting:

  1. an overnight fast, and
  2. exercise, an accelerated fast.

Brian, while I realize that I didn’t answer your question the way you would have liked it to have been addressed, my goal was, once again, to stimulate thinking and discussion.

Perhaps we can talk about some other means to make the transition during the day.

Timbo, I understand your reasoning behind p-f meals prior to training. Now forgive me for my lack of good terminology, but when you wake up in the morning after an all night fast, dont your insulin levels shoot up upon your first meal? Clear it up for me bro.

I’ve considered that approach Timbo, a la the Warrior Diet, but I don’t know how much the 4 hours after training mediates the evening reduction in insulin sensitivity. Plus, one advantage of having P+F meals in the evening is you can reduce protein intake slightly for these meals to moderate insulin. You’re body turns more amino acids into glucose at this time anyway.

WHats up dude. I agree with you for the most part. However, what happens if someone doesnt train till early or late afternoon?? Do you suggest still eating P+F meals till training occurs?? My only concern would be glycogen stores after an all night fast!!!..slim to none! I do realize that the catabolic affects of training are more detrimental than an overnight fast and I am a HUGE proponent of P+F leading up to training. Needless to say, wouldnt a P+C meal in the morning such as eggs, oatmeal, and fruit be wise and then just eat P+F leading up to training??? I agree with you that training throws a “huge monkey wrench” in this whole meal timing process. And after reading LL’s Temporal Nutrition articles, it makes it even more confusing cause he suggests things opposite of JB. In any case, just thought I would add my two cents. Talk to ya later

Tony, I don’t think carbs in the morning would work because you’d burn it off by workout time, and also it defeats Timbo’s whole goal to maximize duration of lipolysis. I think the best band-aid for evening training is to eat an all-protein meal (so the fatty acids in the blood start to be used for energy), then a small P+C meal about 2 hours later. Then, your workout 2 hours later. Or MCT oil might be a good fuel source depending on what you’re doing. But the thread is going in a different direction than I expected…

Smitty, I apologize for sending this thread off on a tangent. However, I’ve done exactly what I always set out to do: Stimulate the gray matter.

J-Bird, I think you might have some confusion. While insulin sensitivity may be high following an overnight fast, this does not imply that insulin will sky-rocket in response to a meal of protein and fat. While we do know that protein (i.e. amino acids) can stimulate insulin secretion, I would argue that in the absence of carbs and whey protein, the resulting insulin response would be offset by glucagon and catecholamines. So, no, I don’t feel that a protein and fat meal at this time would result in an insulin response.

Smitty, I’m not proposing the Warrior Diet whatsoever. I have issues with that:-) I’m talking about getting adequate energy and eating every couple hours via meals of protein and fat, all the way up to training. Perhaps you didn’t catch me the first time, Bri: Training throws a huge monkey wrench, sledge hammer, whatever, into the evening reduction of insulin sensitivity. Your insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake will be augmented greatly; I suggest that it’s more so than when you arise in the morning! Why? Because exercise acts as an accelerated fast. This depends somewhat on your training, but holds particularly true if you’re getting some moderate-intensity cardio in after lifting as I recommend.

Tony El Tigre, what up, dogg! The same principles hold true if you train late/early afternoon or evening (as I first suggested). So, yes, P/F up to training. [quote]My only concern would be glycogen stores after an all night fast!![/quote] El Tigre, what’s that BS! Depleted glycogen stores after an all-night fast? Are you doing pushups, squats and all kinds of crazy stuff during sleep? Well then, you’re not burning off muscle glycogen. Granted, liver glycogen will likely be depleted because it’s tapped to maintain blood glucose, but last I knew, you weren’t an endurance athlete that relies heavily on blood glucose;-)

Now, El Tigre, I do think that the morning P/C breakfast is solid for most individuals, but the original purpose of this thread was how to maximize lipolysis and to avoid the crossover effect.

Smitty, now what’s this crap about a P/C meal 2 hours before training? You’ll completely blunt lipolysis during exercise if you do that and will nullify what you set out to do from the start!

Timbo, when do you suggest having a pre workout shake. ANd when you say carb meals do you mean starched or all forms of carbs including veggies.

I usually eat only veggies+protein+fat, is that okay early in the day.

What is an optimal P+F meal to take prior you preworkout shake, and how long do you usually wait to have your preworkout shake and train.

Sorry for all the questions but there are a abundance of articles all state different points and really just confuse me.

AJ…Of course carbs from veggies, nuts and beans are not only allowed during protein and fat meals, but highly encouraged! Nothing beats an old cottage cheese container filled with animal flesh, broccoli, and some good fats!

I do realize that I’ve once again gone against-the-grain. I don’t mean to cause confusion, and I’d surely like to clarify myself if I have made your head spin. I’m in a rather generous mood as I just finished watching The Matrix.

Anyway, AJ, I usually eat my pre-training protein and fat meal about 90 minutes before game time. I don’t implement a pre- or during workout liquid meal–nor a post-workout one for that matter.

In your case, I would suggest maybe 90-120 minutes before training having a protein and fat meal; however, I don’t think the fat or caloric content should be very hefty if you’re going to be having a during workout liquid meal. In other words, this pre-meal should be rationed such that it gets you through to your next. I would suggest you begin sipping on your during workout shake after you begin exercise.

I need to make one final clarification before I sign off on this thread for now. It was brought to my attention that I seem to be turning very much anti-carb. This couldn’t be further from the truth. However, when you really understand the physiology of the body, you will gain a greater understanding of the principles that I’m advocating.

For example, I’m trying to preach to you to maximize your metabolism and hormonal milieu to use certain fuels (i.e. fats) at certain times (i.e. at low levels of oxygen consumption); likewise, I’m encouraging you to consume other fuels (i.e. carbs) at other times (i.e. during and post-training and perhaps upon arising) to maximize storage of these in the muscle while still minimizing the detrimental effects (i.e. lipogenic and anti-lipolytic).

Peace. T-Rock

Thanks for the reply, another question though. What is your take on HIIT cardio or a boxing session.


AJ…HIIT is a given and a constant in any one of my training schemes for any goal.

That said, I don’t advocate HIIT being done after a weight training session. I normally suggest that they be done on days off from lifting or separated from the resistance training component.

Timbo, the point of the P+C meal before training is to replenish LIVER glycogen, which is reduced by sleep. This usually makes for a better workout, as the carbs are broken down to enter the bloodstream for energy and keep mental clarity sharp. Berardi feels this way and this is why he recommends a P+C meal after an overnight fast. For some reason, even though some of the protein in P+F meals will help fill liver glycogen, it doesn’t make for as good a workout for a lot of people. Some would say pH levels, but I’m not sure.

Even if you eat a P+C before training, 30 minutes of exercise will cut the insulin levels down, and fat can still be burned as studies show. You will burn less fat in the short-term, however, you’ll probably burn more calories in the workout. The idea of a protein-only meal is that the body will burn more fatty acids in the bloodstream from the meals before and give you better insulin sensitivity for your P+C meal (the pre-workout one).

I agree, what I meant was nutrional timing and types of meals around training.

Thanks and sorry for the confusion.

AJ, I would implement the same nutritional strategies around an HIIT bout. You might consider having a scoop of LC Grow! about 30-45 minutes prior rather than a full meal. My bad on the misunderstanding:-)

Smitty…I see your point with the refilling of liver glycogen. Yes, blood glucose is derived from liver glycogen. However, how reliant on blood glucose do you think you are during a bout of resistance training? Anyway, a drop in blood glucose can be circumvented by having a liquid meal during training.

A pre-exercise meal of carbohydrate will completely blunt lipolysis. While plasma insulin levels may return to baseling, I would argue that 30 minutes of weight training will not be adequate to reduce the effects of insulin on the muscle. HIIT on the other hand, may very well reverse the effects of insulin on the muscle in a shorter time span.

Smitty, your thoughts on the protein-only meal (I would add fibrous veggies) sounds reasonable. Since I don’t advocate the pre-exercise meal of carbohydrate, I would say that this route (i.e. the protein-only meal) might be a reasonable one to take if you train in the afternoon and you want to switch over to protein and fat meals in the evening. For example, a protein and carb meal after training would be followed by the protein-only meal (plus fibrous veggies), which in turn would be followed by a protein and fat meal.


I’ve been using a product from cytosport called MUSCLE-MILK around 3-2 hours before training! The product is made up of:

42g whey blend
14g CHO(2g fiber)
19g EFA’s

What do you think of this particular product as the pre-workout concoction? My goals are to simply maintain what I have, but always looking to burn a little flab!

Da Boxer

Da Boxer…I just took a peep at your pre-workout concoction. I was a little concerned with the carbohydrate ingredients. The actual number of active carbs (i.e. 10g) looks good–as this is about what I’d recommend for a protein and fat meal.

However, the carbs come from maltodextrin and fructose. While the latter really won’t do much for glycemic and insulinemic responses, the former can crank them up, as we know.

It only takes a small rise in insuln (i.e. 10 micro units/ml) to put the smack down on lipolysis.

Now, with all that garbage out of the way, Al, how do you feel and how do you perform when you take this before a workout? If the answer is: good-to-go, then I would suggest just sticking with it. (By the way, I’m assuming that you’re not mixing this with milk) Otherwise, you might consider making some adjustments.