The Karma Sense Eating Plan, which you can buy here (I donate all profits to charities that fight poverty and hunger <which you can learn about here.>), includes brief case studies about real people who have put the Karma Sense Eating Plan to the test. In the book, I capture their stories in subsections called “Karma Sense in the Wild.” Now that the book is released, I’m starting to get questions from readers who are wondering about implementations for their specific situation. When those questions seem like they may apply to others, I’ll post them here. This is the first post in that series.
Dear Davey H
A reader of The Karma Sense Eating Plan, recently had some questions about how to best implement mantra #4, Eat Whole Food Carbohydrates After Vigorous Exercise. The reader’s goal centers around improved circulatory health given a family history of heart disease. Here is an anonymized version of the question received.
Dear Davey H,
I do my workout every morning after my children leave for school. Before the workout, I usually have a light breakfast of a bowl of mixed berries/plain yogurt/non-wheat granola. I am usually starving after the workout (at about 9am) and have a banana or granola bar as I can’t make it to lunch. Your plan suggests carbs at that time … any suggestions on what to eat then or should I have my carbs at lunch?
Hungry for Health
Here is my response:
There’s are several ways to look at this question.
First of all, one of the problems with carbs is the variability from person to person on how carbs affect metabolism. Most people metabolize protein and fats the same way. But when it comes to carbs, some people are more sensitive than others. That’s why the description of mantra #4, Eat Whole Food Carbohydrates After Vigorous Exercise, waffles when it tries to prescribe specific serving sizes. And of course those waffles are made from 100% whole grains. Carbs are something you have to do some trial and error with to find your, ahem, sweet spot.
If I look at your pre-workout meal of berries/yogurt/granola and your post-workout snack of banana or granola bar, it would seem on the surface that you’re not getting enough protein. Often hunger pangs come sooner when you’re not eating enough protein or fiber.
My first suggestion would be to continue having your post workout snack, but make sure you have more protein. I’m happy to offer suggestions on higher protein snacks if you’re interested. Feel free to have carbs at lunch too. If you find this is having an undesirable effect, you can first try to make sure lunch carbs are from high fiber beans or vegetables (e.g. white potatoes are very satiating – that glycemic index stuff is bullcrap).
My second suggestion is more radical. Are you hungry when you wake up and have your pre-workout meal? If not, try a fasted workout. Eat a meal after that workout. Research on the benefits of fasted workout is uncovering all sorts of health benefits. I’ve worked out that way for the past 6 months. I haven’t done any tests to see how it’s affecting my innards but I’ve dropped a few holiday pounds of fat (not muscle).
One last note, sometimes true hunger pangs can come for two other reasons. One is dehydration. People often confuse the body’s signals for thirst and hunger. It never hurts to have a glass of water before having a snack or meal. The other may be your body telling you that you’re deficient in some nutrient. The only way to know if you’re experiencing this last one is to analyze your whole diet. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it may seem. Let me know if I can help.
All the best,
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