Habit #4: eat “smart” carbs and save the majority of them for AFTER exercise.  

If you want to eat bread, pasta, rice, or sugary foods then you have to do two things:

1. focus more on unprocessed varieties

Keep in mind that all food choices lie on a spectrum. On one end we have processed sugar, for example a Twinkie,  and on the other end we have squash and yams. If someone consumes high amounts of processed sugars each day and then switches to the squash, or even oatmeal this is a positive step on the spectrum.

2. save most of them until after exercise  

This is not a low-carbohydrate diet, rather it’s a controlled-carbohydrate diet.  You should be getting most of your carbohydrates from vegetables and fruits with only a small amount of additional carbohydrates post exercise. Obviously for most Americans, this is low carb however most Americans simply eat too many carbs in general.

This carbohydrate-timing strategy works very well in those with stubborn and hard-to-remove body fat stores; and for minimizing fat gain in those interested in gaining muscle.  If your goal is to lose weight and fat, you are allowed carbohydrates only when you earn them. No exercise, no processed carbohydrates (other than fruits and veggies, of course). Rather than order the starchy side, opt for double veggies instead. However if you worked out within the last 2 hours, a mix of carb sources is fine.  Use this to your benefit. If you know you’re going out for pizza on Friday night, then you best make room for 30 minutes of moderate-high intensity exercise just prior to. (The exclusion to this rule, would be to those select few that are trying to gain weight, this person can add carbohydrates throughout the rest of the day as well.)

Carbohydrate Intake for Fat Loss or Maintenance

Carbohydrate Type: Fiber Rich


  • vegetables

  • most fruits

  • beans,

  • legumes

When to Eat:

  • Eat often, any time of day

Carbohydrate Type: Whole food Starchy


  • whole grain or sprouted breads

  • pastas

  • corn

  • yams, sweet potatoes, pumpkin

  • quinoa

  • oats

  • long grain rice

When to eat:

  • During the three hours following exercise

Carbohydrate type: Refined Sugary


  • desserts

  • fruit juice

  • soda

  • *Most commercial nutrition bars

When to eat

  • Eat only occasionally or rarely, AND only during the 2 hours following exercise