1. Avoid fat and sugar together. This combination is far worse than sugar or fat alone. Without going into voluminous detail, the problem is insulin. Sugar activates insulin and this triggers storage and building processes. The sugar is stored as glycogen (not necessarily bad) but the fat is then also stored – as fat. Fat and more complex carbohydrate together is less bad, because the size of the insulin response is smaller.
2. Eat lean protein and complex carbohydrate together. In this case, insulin is your friend. The carbohydrate activates insulin which activates the storage and building processes. Under these conditions, protein is utilised to build muscle and repair cells. Complex carbs elicit a slower, longer release of insulin (as opposed to the quick spike you get from sugar) which means the (re)building processes go on for longer. Combining these 2 macronutrients regularly ensures we recover better at a physiological level, and maintains muscle mass – the tissue which contributes more than anything else to calorie burn and functionality.