3 REASONS TO EAT YOUR CARBS AT NIGHT

At the gym the other day, I heard a trainer telling his client not to eat carbs after 2pm.  It took every single inch of my being not to scream, run over to her, tell her the truth, and save her from the impending misery!  Don’t worry, I restrained myself.  But I figured I should at least save you!  This is one of the biggest nutrition myths still swirling around gyms and dated magazine articles, and I’m ready for it to die!

I have been urging my clients to eat their “carb-heavy” meal for dinner for years now, and with great success.  As you’ll see below, eating carbs at night will not make you fat.  In fact, it will help you lose fat,  keep you energized, and have better sleep!

BETTER SLEEP

When we eat carbs, our body produces more of the “feel good” neurotransmitter, serotonin, which promotes better sleep.  In addition to that, carbs also help lower the stress hormone, cortisol.  Cortisol is what keeps us up at night, still thinking about what Sally said to us at the meeting or how our kid almost took a tumble down the stairs.  Lowering cortisol can help us relax and unwind and prepare our bodies for restful sleep.

MORE ENERGY & PRODUCTIVITY

So here we are, eating oatmeal for breakfast or brown rice for lunch wondering why we’re so sleepy at 3pm.  Eating carbs early in the day can cause blood sugar spikes and consequently crashes, which can result in brain fog, low energy, and less cognitive performance.  Try swapping out your carb-heavy breakfast with a green smoothie, chia seed pudding, or even a couple of soft-boiled eggs.  For lunch, try some avocado or animal protein with your greens instead of brown rice.

WEIGHT LOSS

Many people opt for the low-carb approach when “dieting,” but we need carbohydrates to function, especially if we’re also working out.  Eating carbs in the evening will keep you feeling satiated, leaving you less hungry the next day, which leads to less caloric intake overall, which can help with weight loss.   One study showed that participants on a calorie-restricted diet lost more fat and lost less muscle mass when eating the majority of their carbohydrates at night.

SO, WHAT’S THE TAKEAWAY?

This is not an invitation to eat all the bread and pasta that ever existed in the world!  We still want to choose high-quality, unprocessed carbohydrates, such as starchy vegetables, sweet potatoes or white rice.  Focus on proteins and fats in the the earlier part of the day and allow yourself some healthy carbohydrates for dinner, paired with a pile of vegetables, of course!

 

Are you a victim of this myth?  Do you think about carb-timing at all?  Let me know your thoughts below!

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