If you follow the diet advice online and in magazines then you most likely try and avoid eating carbs. The idea of eating carbs at night sounds horrific to you. The idea that carbs shouldn’t be eaten at night is just one of many misguided myths of the internet.
Everyone needs to eat carbs. They are essential to our diets. We also understand the difference between different kinds of carbs. Even though we know all this a diet aimed at losing weight will either suggest going low carb or no carb under the misguided belief that carbs are just going to be converted into fat and stored.
A study published in 2011 would argue this isn’t the case.
The study took two groups of obese people and put them on different diets for a six month period. One group were given a standard diet for weight loss while the other group were given a diet where the majority of their carbs were eaten in the evening. Both diets had the same number of calories, carbs, fats, and proteins. When everything was said and done the dieters eating carbs at night lost more weight, shed more fat, and reported feeling less hungry during the day.
With that in mind here are five reasons to eat carbs at night.
You might know what serotonin is. You’ve at least heard of this brain chemical. It’s one of the chemicals that leaves you feeling good. Serotonin helps us to relax by calming down the nervous system. Carbs are used by the body to create serotonin through the release of insulin. If you eat most of your carbs at night you can enjoy the relaxing feeling of serotonin before it’s time to sleep.
With the serotonin flowing you’re left feeling pretty happy and fulfilled from the carbs. There are other advantages too. Carbs are also directly related to cortisol. Cortisol stops you from sleeping and carbs reduce cortisol levels. Have you ever questioned why being stressed makes you crave certain foods like chocolate? That’s because stress is caused by cortisol and carbs reduce cortisol levels and de-stress you.
Your body needs to be effective at switching between burning carbs and burning fat for energy. This is how you can not feel hungry even after eating for a few hours. It’s because your body has switched to using stored fat for fuel. When you eat your carbs through the day you’re telling your body it doesn’t need to switch because there’s carbs on tap all day. Eating carbs at night encourages your body to burn through fat for energy and spend the night restoring your glycogen stores.
Enhanced Energy Levels
Do you feel tired around mid-morning after eating some cereal? If so you likely grba a sugary snack or have biscuits with your coffee. This is because the carbs you eat from the cereal cause a spike in insulin even though you don’t have a lot of blood sugar at the minute. Eating carbs at night means that your body restocks glycogen which leaves you feeling energised in the morning.
It does take power to eat clean and this power slowly drains during the day. By eating high protein foods during the day you leave yourself feeling full and less tempted by all those sweet sugary snacks. By the time you get home you’ve lost all your willpower but you can freely eat carbs without feeling the need to snack on biscuits and other bad foods.