We’re BACK with another episode of The Friday Fix! Take 60 seconds out of your day to learn a new tip you can use to improve your fitness results and get the most out of your training! Check back every week for the newest episode. Get the archives here.

The Problem?

Actually, there is no problem. This is not a form correction or a huge pressing issue. This is simply a tip to help you dig a little bit deeper into your bag of tricks to get the results you desire.

We’re talking about food prep. Specifically, the order in which you eat your food and how you can prep to optimize food sequencing.

For someone who has their nutrition dialed in and still can’t get those last few pounds of fat to go away, this could be the secret key. For others who may just be starting their fitness journey, this could be a habit you create early so you can the best possible results throughout your training.

Keep reading to learn why you should prep your meals as seen in the video above – with carbs on the bottom, protein (and fat) in the middle and veggies on top.

What’s the Big Deal?

Meal timing, as you know, is massively important. That is a topic for another day, though. Today we’re talking about what I call food sequencing in your meals. This is just a fancy way (that is supposed to make me sound smart, but probably doesn’t) of saying –the order you eat your food in within a meal.

If you’re living that gym life, you probably eat out of tupperware a few times a day. Or at least eat home cooked food often. You already have full control of what you consume, which is step one, but now let’s take it a bit further.

Most people get full on what they enjoy the most (carbs) before they get a chance to eat what they enjoy the least (veggies). Let’s say you have chicken, sweet potato and broccoli on your plate. You knock out the protein and the sweet potato first and get so full, you give up on the broccoli. Sure, protein and carbs are great for your gains but veggies are great for your health.

Health ALWAYS trumps performance, in my opinion. Vegetables are always going to be the most nutrient dense foods on your plate, and to waste them is leaving your overall health and wellness to risk. Sounds dramatic, yes, but I’m trying to drive a point home!

When you prep your meals in this order from top to bottom…

  • Veggies
  • Protein and/or Fat
  • Carbs

…you’re setting yourself up for success to eat those foods in that order. In a tupperware dish, whatever is on top gets eaten first to reveal what is below it. If you’re eating from a plate, you just have to eat in the same order but it takes a bit more accountability since the food isn’t stacked on top of each other. Learn below how that actually does make a difference over time.

The Solution?

This is a concept that I’ve been using for a while and have really improved my overall health with it. I’ve also shared this with clients who see the results. I wrote about my 4 go-to nutritional tips a bit ago and this is kind of an extension of that. Give that a read when you get a chance.

Until today, food sequencing was just a model that I thought made sense and one of those things that was just 100% personal preference based on habits I observe with my own and other people’s dietary habits.

Well, I started snooping around the internet and actually found some data that backs up this meal prep trick. Check out this except from a TC Luoma article published on T-Nation back in September 2015.

Whenever you sit down to eat a meal, make sure you eat some protein, vegetables, and fat before you so much as take the first nibble of your ciabatta bread, pasta, or rice. Eating non-carb foods first leads to lower post-meal glucose and insulin levels. So rather than fearing carbs, take away some of their belly-fat potential by putting them at the end of the line.

Studies have shown that eating protein, vegetables and fat leads to significantly lower blood sugar levels – 29 percent, 37 percent, and 17 percent at 30, 60, and 120-minute post-meal blood samples.

As an added bonus, eating your foods in the order prescribed will also make you a lot less sleepy after your midday lunch, as eating some protein first will interfere with the production of the sleepy-time neurotransmitter serotonin.

Wow! So here I am, just trying to get people to eat their veggies and stumble upon research-backed article supporting the little hunch I had. Pretty awesome. By the way, I want to make it clear that I’m not trying to or claiming to reinvent the nutrition wheel here. This is just another way you can get the absolute MOST out of your training and nutrition

So there you have it. Always eat your vegetables first, because A) It’s good for your LIFE and B) It’s good for your GAINZ. Next time you prep your meals, take this into consideration so that you can get even more out of your nutritional habits and continue to improve your lifestyle and training!


Study Referenced: Alpana, P., et al, Food Order Has a Significant Impact on Postprandial Glucose and Insulin Levels, Diabetes Care July 2015 vol. 38 no.7 e98-e99.