This is probably the most popular question in my nutrition talks with clients here at HH as well as being a very well searched topic on the web.
Carbohydrates are a fuel source of energy for our day to day activity as well as exercise. The amount we need is dependent on our activity levels, gender, genetics and age. The idea floating around is that if we aren’t exercising in the evening when we go to bed, the carbs will be automatically stored as fat. Some trainers may have advised this to some clients that don’t track calories as a way of cutting down on their intake through the day.
But is it true? Do we automatically store fat if we consume Carbs in the evening? Although a lot of people may think that our bodies have an internal clock set to work at a specific rate within a time frame, that’s not so right. In terms of body weight it comes down predominantly to energy expenditure (calorie intake). If one is consuming over their required calorie intake at the end of the day regardless of the time he/she will gain weight, if the opposite occurs he/she will lose weight.
In fact cutting out carbohydrates on your last meal can affect your sleep. Do you feel tired after consuming a lot of carbs? If you don’t a few other people do and that is because carbohydrates help with the production of melatonin in your brain and for those of you who don’t know, it is a hormone responsible for controlling your sleep and wake cycles.
I’m not telling you to gorge yourself on carbohydrates before bed but to not be afraid to consume them.
There are other aspects including hormones, activity level, type of foods, the ratios between fats, carbs and proteins that will affect your body composition and these should be looked at with someone with knowledge in the field in order to maximize your efforts to achieve long term sustainable fat loss, maximum energy output and a healthy and well balanced lifestyle.
Look at the whole picture first, then the small details.
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