Would You Like Some Cheese

with that Wine? 

By Douglas Pieterse, Co-Founder & Head Personal Trainer
"It may be simple but not always easy"

Do food combinations matter?

I know how it goes. You’re on a sundrenched terrace in Italy, enjoying a romantic dinner and watching your lover take a sultry sip of their (very) expensive red wine. They wink at you, reach over to cut off a piece of cheese - and you’re suddenly left thinking “Is it a good idea to mix carbs and fats?”

 

Okay, so the sundrenched terrace is more often than not a gritty corner of LKF, and it’s not so much wine and cheese as it is a kebab and a Carlsberg, but at least you can rest assured that Carlsberg is probably the best beer in the world. 

 

This rabbit hole of whether food combinations matter could bother you throughout the evening, but my advice would be to focus on your date (or whichever mate is ordering the next round of pints!), have another drink and read this blog tomorrow. 

Let's put the Science into English

Your body does have a fuel source preference and funnily enough, it is both carb and fat (not jet fuel or diesel). Having said that, it is easier for carbohydrates than fat to be broken down into glucose and used to fuel the body. This tends to blunt the body’s decision to break down fat stores to use as fuel. The ability for the body to take in a lot more fat than what you may need on a night out means you end up in a calorie surplus and you don't pull on the jiggly fat stores you may have been chaperoning around all night. So while you are busy stuffing yourself with the best kebab in town, your body is happy keeping its fat stores at bay and looking to use what it has at hand to keep you moving on the dance floor - and potentially any floor - as the night progresses. 

Cutting the fat

When it comes to fat loss, there is only a small advantage to omitting carbohydrates through the day as opposed to carb bunching at the end of the day. This is totally a personal preference and definitely won’t be the limiting factor when it comes to fat loss. Realistically speaking, as long as you are in a calorie deficit you will lose weight - although don’t completely rule out the very small advantage that omitting carbohydrates may give you.

Performance

If performance is your goal, then you most likely want to give your body some fast metabolizing energy from carbs before training. There is also a benefit to feeding your body some post workout carbs after a long, grueling workout. Just to be clear, there is a good chance you didn’t deplete your body's glycolytic stores on your gentle stroll to the cake shop! Higher intensity and duration training is needed to get you closer to glycolytic depletion. Come see me if you would like to experience some glycolytic depletion training. 

Conclusion

It is important to realize that a calorie deficit is the driving principle for effective fat loss and how you go about doing it is the method, so don’t get too caught up in the method but make sure you have the basic mechanism that will ensure you are hitting your goals. Small shortcuts will help a little but if you are not able to realistically transpose them into your lifestyle then you will lack a crucial ingredient: adherence.