Conor McGregor's dietitian says the secret to optimum fat burning lies in eating this pre-workout
If you want to burn fat, you work out, right?
Hitting some ridiculously high intensity cardio will surely help shift that stubborn belly fat.
But there's a trick Conor McGregor's nutritionist Georges Lockhart uses with his UFC fighters to help them burn even more fat.
It starts before they've even got to the gym.
While most people think eating a load of carbohydrates like potatoes, rice or oats is best to give them energy before they work out, Lockhart uses a different approach to fuelling his athletes to help them burn more fat.
It all comes down to the way your pre-workout meal or supplement triggers hormones in the body.
Eating carbohydrates triggers an insulin response in your body. Insulin is a storage hormone and that's why getting your carbs in AFTER a work out is essential to help replenish your body, as we explain here.
But it's a different story BEFORE you work out, according to Lockhart. He explains that you want to trigger the hormone glucagon before you hit the gym, which works the opposite way to insulin and gets your body burning stored fat and carbs.
That comes from eating protein before you work out.
"Timing is extremely important," he told Tristar Gym's Firas Zahabi in his latest video blog. "If I'm getting ready to work out, I've got to look at the hormones of the body.
"When I eat protein it releases a hormone called glucagon that tells my body to use free fatty acids and stored glycogen.
"That's stored energy. I want my body to do that so I want the release of that hormone."
So the bottom line is that eating protein rather than carbs before a workout will send hormonal signals to your body to unlock your fat stores to burn as energy. He goes into more detail about it here.
Lockhart did explain that he will give his elite UFC fighters like McGregor some carbs before a workout.
But they won't be fast-acting, sugary carbs that send the body's insulin levels soaring. They will be from fruit.
"I want some carbohydrates before I work out," he says. "But when I do that I usually give fighters fruits.
"Not fast acting, super simple carbohydrates. I will give them blackberries, blueberries and then I also give them the kefir (fermented milk probiotic)."
He added: "Also I don't want a low bloody sugar if I'm about to work out, like an explosive workout or sparring or heavy weight lifting."