#32: Tune Up Your Gut, Burn More Fat During Exercise with Megan Forbes, RD

by Mike Mutzel



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About Megan Forbes, RD

Learn tips to tune up your gut and digestion so you can burn more fat while you exercise with Megan Forbes, RD.
Megan is a Registered Dietitian who received her degree from Colorado State University in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. Her post grad work was done in Boulder, Colorado through the University of Delaware. She has had a private practice for 9 years displaying a vast diversity of clientele seeking her expertise. She continues her education at various conferences and seminars throughout the country mainly through The Institute of Functional Medicine. She focuses on wellness, gastrointestinal distress, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, athletes, and food allergies.

Resources discussed in this show

The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes

Show Notes

03:24 Megan’s Health Journey: In childhood, Megan contracted Crohn’s disease. She was told that diet had nothing to do with it. She turned to nutrition and exercise while in college.  Through this pursuit, she became a leader in nutrition and exercise. She consulted on the Feed Zone Cookbook for endurance athletes.

08:20 Athlete Food Choices: Many athletes believe that they work hard enough so they can eat whatever they want. They tend to eat a lot of carbohydrates and processed/packaged foods. We produce free radicals when we exercise, so a healthy diet packed with antioxidants is important for combating that and other stress.

09:41 Feed Zone Cookbook: Processed foods were not sitting well with athletes. The cookbook focuses on nutritious real foods that can be easily digested, addresses the need for increased carbohydrates, glycogen, sodium, and potassium, as well as timing and recovery.

13:48 Glycogen for the Weekend Warrior: You can do a fuel test to determine how much caloric burn is from fat vs carbohydrate. Perhaps the night before a race or long ride, you add sweet potatoes, roasted root vegetables or quinoa. A little carbohydrate in the morning is okay, but Megan always recommends protein in the morning. It helps with energy and mental acuity, as well as helping carry carbohydrates longer throughout the workout. Timing is even more important for weekend warriors.

15:31 Stress is Stress: Whether it be from intense workout or from everyday life, stress contributes to poor gut ecology and adrenal issues.

17:15 Athlete’s Gut Health: Keeping hydrated with the proper electrolytes and keeping carbohydrates to specific nutrient timing is important for gut health and body ecology. Increased glycogen intake from eating a banana, for example, is appropriate within 30 minutes of intense exercise. Which carbohydrate, the timing, how much and the type all matter. It can also impact mental acuity, skin conditions, mood, sleep, and neurotransmitter functions.

20:38 Adrenal Fatigue: When someone is experiencing adrenal fatigue or low cortisol in the morning, Megan looks at the gut first.

21:09 Megan’s Recommended Diet: Megan’s clients are recommended to be on a higher protein diet, cutting back on carbohydrates, keeping a high vegetable intake, and consuming healthy fats. Some people are willing and able to cut allergens out of their diets and others need evidence. She recommends that her clients remove gluten and dairy from their diets. Sugar does not serve anyone. Alcohol feeds the yeast and pathogenic bacteria in the gut. A small amount of alcohol may be okay for someone who is healthy, but overall, Megan recommends that her clients avoid alcohol when trying to heal.

24:26 Fat Burning: For someone who tests as a high sugar burner on the Fuel Test, it is important to turn their diet around and increase protein, vegetables and healthy fats, keeping carbohydrates down. It forces the body to burn fat for fuel and become more efficient. Insulin resistance and inflammation can impair fat burning.

27:48 Weight Lifting:  Weight training increases lean body mass. Therefore, you will burn more fat for fuel. If done correctly, it can increase growth hormone, optimizing the ability of the body to burn more fat for fuel. Heavier weights are less taxing on the adrenals over endurance oriented activities.

28:56 Supplementation for Fat Burning: Acetyl-L-carnitine is an amino acid that is used to help the body utilize fat for fuel. Conjugated linoleic acid has been shown to help people reduce overall body fat, even if they are not exercising. Alpha lipoic acid optimizes blood sugar. Anti-inflammatories like curcumin, turmeric, and green tea are helpful as well.

30:08 Megan’s Health Tip for Athletes and Weekend Warriors: Stay hydrated and consume protein at every meal.



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