Happy Friday, friends! Before I get into the juicy details of why eating frozen yogurt post-workout is a perfectly acceptable thing, I have some exciting things to share!

One, which I had been expecting, was the launch of a podcast I had been interviewed on! Jaime over at Fit With Flair, who designed this lovely site by the way 😉 , interviewed me about why I decided to go with WordPress when it was time to re-do my site. If you’re a blogger thinking about getting your website re-done or are a fitness professional looking to get a website I would highly recommend checking out this episode, along with all of the other great episodes on Jaime’s show! She shares so much valuable knowledge and makes us trainers look like we know our techy stuff 😉 You can check out my episode here.

One which I was not expecting, was to learn that I was selected as one of the finalists to speak during the Lighting Round at this year’s BlogFest convention in Los Angeles! I am beyond thrilled that I’m able to attend this event, let alone possibly have the opportunity to speak at it!! Voting is open to select the 10 individuals who will have the opportunity to speak.

I would LOVE to have your support in my quest for spreading my message by receiving a vote from you! If you would like to take a quick moment to cast your vote, you can do so here – I’m #15. And the great thing is that you can vote each day! So if there are other bloggers you would like to support, feel free to throw them a vote on the following days! Or you can just vote for me everyday…whichever you prefer 😉

In coaching news, I’ve got some ladies on board with the 21 Day Feel Good Diet, which means they (and myself) are working to improve their relationships with food, look good, and feel even better – just in time for summer!

And in local news, I’ve got another Fit Chick Frolic coming up this weekend. If you’re in the Vancouver area, come hang out with us on Sunday morning at 10am! Check out the Meetup group to learn more. This group is still in its very early stages, so please feel free to join (it doesn’t cost anything!) to stay in the loop for all upcoming Fit Chick Frolics.

OKAY. Onto the good stuff – why you should eat froyo after a workout 😉

controlling insulin

There IS froyo somewhere under there..

Today is the final installment of my four part series on hormones. If you missed parts 1, 2, and 3, you can check them here, here, and here.

Insulin is the final hormone we’ll be discussing, and for some individuals, it’s the one that causes the most grief.

Like all of our other hormones, insulin starts out with pretty good intentions. If it wasn’t for insulin, our muscles wouldn’t have the energy they need to help us run, lift weights, or play with our dogs. And our brains wouldn’t have the energy they need to think properly.

Essentially, insulin is responsible for allowing our cells to pull glucose (ie. sugar) from the bloodstream, and the rate at which it does this varies. When our bodies respond to insulin as they should, upon eating a meal that’s higher in carbohydrates our friendly little insulin hormones come out and pull the sugars from the bloodsteam and deliver them to our cells.

Meals that are high in simple carbohydrates, such as white bread, bananas, and froyo, produce a more dramatic insulin response. As these sugars quickly enter our bloodstreams, insulin works to pull them out and deliver them to our cells just as quick, which causes a big dip in our blood sugar levels. When our blood sugar drops too low we can feel tired and lethargic – which is why you feel just as crappy after grabbing that mid-day muffin as you did before 😉

On the other hand, meals that are high in complex carbohydrates, such as oats or sweet potatoes, produce a slower and more sustained stream of sugar into the blood, so insulin doesn’t have to go all gung-ho and work to remove all the sugars as fast as possible. Which is why it’s often recommended that we reduce our intake of simple carbohydrates and trade them for complex carbs!

controlling insulinSource

The exception to this, however, is during the post-workout period. Right after a workout our bodies are very responsive to insulin and those muscles need that energy! So having a fast-digesting meal containing some simple sugars right after a workout will have less of a negative effect on our weight loss efforts and energy levels than it would if we have it while we’re sitting at our desks in the afternoon.

For the average healthy individual, the problem with insulin arises when we have too much of it circulating in the bloodstream. When insulin is floating around and doing its thing, our bodies aren’t in fat-burning mode. They have a nice steady stream of energy coming from sugar, so why would they need to burn our body fat?

And when you look at the standard diet, which between toast at breakfast, prepared salad dressings at lunch, snacks consisting of muffins and low-fat yogurt, and nightly glasses of wine….there’s a lot of sugar.

So what can we do to keep our insulin levels in check?

  • Keep our added sugar intake at a low level! It’s recommended that on average we keep our intake of added sugars to under 30 grams. This is the sugar that you put in coffee or find in things like flavoured yogurts and pastries.
  • Be mindful of your simple carbohydrate intake. Foods that contain natural sugars such as bananas, white potatoes, and white rice all have their place in a balanced diet. But at the end of the day they still contain sugar, and if you’re trying to shed some pounds or boost your energy levels throughout the day, you want to limit (but not necessarily eliminate!) your simple carbs.
  • Fill up on complex carbohydrates, early in the day. As I mentioned above, complex carbohydrates produce a slow and sustained stream of sugar into the bloodstream which will prevent that epic rise and crash and blood sugar levels. In addition, evidence suggests our bodies are more responsive to insulin in the earlier hours of the day than the later hours.
  • Practice food combining. If you want to have a mid-day banana, pair it with some protein like a hard-boiled egg or a healthy fat like some peanut butter (***best combo ever***). Pairing simple sugars with things that digest more slowly will produce a less dramatic insulin response.
  • If you really want that sugary treat….save it for post-workout 😉 I’m not saying you should “refuel” with froyo and cookies all the time. But if you went for a long run or had a rough hour with the weights, a little post-workout froyo here and there won’t hurt you!
controlling insulin

Not quite 😉

Source

So there you have it! A variety of tips and tricks to keep some of the most aggravating hormones at bay! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the series and whether or not you enjoyed it (if you didn’t, sorry for making you read all this 😉 ).

I’d also like to hear some tips you have for controlling your blood sugar levels! Share them in the comments below and open up the discussion 🙂 

Showing 6 comments
  • GiGi Eats
    Reply

    MAN DO I WISH I COULD EAT FRO YO!!!!!!!!! There are soooo many combos I want to try, it’s not even funny!

    • Ariana
      Reply

      Aww, that’s too bad!! 🙁 Is it because of a dairy intolerance??

      Coconut milk ice cream is still pretty darn delicious 😉

  • Angie
    Reply

    I hope you get to speak, I voted and will vote some more! Great post, very informative. I know I’ve done a bad job eating proper when by the evening I’m craving sugar like crazy. Because I’m so food motivated I do use my post run meals as my simple carb rewards (like french toast stuffed with cream cheese and strawberries).

    • Ariana
      Reply

      Thanks so much Angie! 🙂 That sounds like an AMAZING post-run meal!!

      I’m totally with you on the nighttime sugar cravings. I always know when I didn’t keep my nutrition on point during the day!

  • Farrah
    Reply

    I love the complex carbs cartoon, hahaha. Imgur is full of wonderful things!

    Also loved this post! <3 Super informative and really great tips! (Oh hell yes for froyo as a post-workout treat in moderation! ;P nomnomnom.)

    In other news, I really hope you get to speak! <3 I've been voting for you! Reallyyyyy wish I could actually go to the event (it's 20 minutes from home-home, but I will be holed up in West Virginia and studying for part 2 of my licensing boards; joy oh joy), but I will hopefully live vicariously through your post about it! ;]

    • Ariana
      Reply

      Hahah, it’s a good one, hey?? I’m glad you’re with me on the froyo 😉

      And thank you for your support! It means a lot to me. I wish you could come too – we’ll just have to find a way to meet another time! 🙂

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