Exercise, cutting calories, and losing fat is difficult, so you want the most from your weight control program. A study from the University of Munich in Germany showed that meal timing, dietary composition, and exercise influenced post-exercise fat metabolism.
George Brooks from the University of California in Berkeley showed that the body uses mainly fat as fuel at exercise intensities below 65 percent of maximum effort. Also, carbohydrate-rich meals slow fat release from fat cells and decrease subsequent fat burning.
Obese people exercised for 30 minutes at a moderate intensity and then consumed a meal rich in either proteins or carbohydrates. The high-carb meal suppressed fat release and use after exercise, while the high-protein meal increased fat burning. Consuming a carbohydrate-rich meal two hours before exercise promoted fat burning just like the post-exercise high-protein meal.
Maximize fat burning by consuming a high-protein, low-carbohydrate meal after exercise or a high-carbohydrate meal two hours before exercise. If you are not concerned about weight loss, consume high-carbohydrate meals after endurance exercise to restore muscle and liver glycogen and promote tissue repair. (Hormone and Metabolic Research, in press; published online January 21, 2010)