How to Start on Nutrient Timing Diet vs Forbidden Foods, Portion Control & Counting Calories

nutrient timing sugar

Yesterday’s post explained science has proven a Behavioral Diet is your best chance for long-term weight loss success.  Now I want to show you an example of how a Behavioral Diet works, plus I’ve added a few bonus tips at the end of this post.


metabolic window

Source:  Nutrient Timing J Ivy 2004 p 9

After  a meaningful exercise session,  your body quickly reacts to the stress of breaking down muscle and depleting glycogen by going into “recovery mode” for approximately 2 hours.  This period is often called a “metabolic window”

Why is this important?  Well there’s this:

….high glycemic carbs (i.e. sugar) following exercise  can serve as nutrient activators….high glycemic carbohydrates stimulate insulin, one of the most important regulators of protein synthesis following exercise…a complex carbohydrate (i.e. quinoa) is less effective because it’s a weaker stimulator of insulin…  Nutrient Timing J Ivy PhD  2004 p 10-11

So according to the science of nutrient timing:

  • It’s not the sugar you’re eating that creates weight gain and poor health, it’s WHEN you eat it!
  • Just after exercise refined sugar is healthier for you than quinoa

Hard to believe with so many “experts” trying to convince you that sugar is  the cause of the obesity crisis , but it’s true. Bodybuilders and serious athletes have carefully “timed” their carbs for years to get maximum metabolic benefits.  That’s all interesting, but it just scratches the surface.  The real revelation is that:

Nutrient timing can be the cornerstone of a successful BEHAVIORAL DIET.  How?  Applying nutrient timing can:

1)  Encourage eating our favorite high glycemic carbs  (refined sugar) we love along with protein at the healthiest time –  following exercise

2)  Encourage us to exercise more consistently in order to create the metabolic window that makes refined sugar a healthy choice.

3)  Encourage us to WAIT for the next metabolic window to indulge in high glycemic carbs.




Nutrient Timing put me on a path to a successful Behavioral Diet by  CHANGING MY VIEWS ON FOOD WHICH MADE ME TRULY WANT TO CHANGE MY BEHAVIORS – not feel forced to change.  I could now eat amazing ice cream in truly satisfying portions (whatever felt satisfying with no guilt each day!) guilt-free after my exercise when it offered the most health benefits, and wait for the “treat shop” to open again passing on high glycemic foods at other times not as good for my metabolism.  This revelation and the changes it created in my behaviors has been key to 7 years of significant weight loss and improved health for me and provided the foundation for  The EET Fitness Plan.

BONUS!  Here’s are additional key points for those interested in learning more about Behavioral Diets:

1)  Exercise is NOT Required on a Behavioral Diet. Anyone reading this who believes you must exercise every day in order to allow yourself to eat high carb foods is bringing prior restrictive diets’ dogmatic rules to the world of behavioral dieting where strict rules cannot work — please reread yesterday’s post.

2)  Nutrient Timing is just the START of a Behavioral Diet.  Anyone reading this who now believes the science of Nutrient Timing is enough to succeed on a Behavioral Diet for years should remember – solutions are needed for EVERY situation, not just situations involving exercise.  Please reread yesterday’s post.

2)  Metabolic benefits are nothing compared to behavioral benefits.  I am well aware there are conflicting studies on just how effective a metabolic window is for your metabolism, however, there’s no debate that your metabolism is operating differently post exercise vs other times.  That said, anyone who thinks the metabolic benefits are the key to weight loss success using nutrient timing is not listening to what science is telling you:

20yo yo behavioral factors

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disclaimer oct 2012


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