carbs at night!

  • Hey guys, this question has been playing on my mind ever since i started a couple of weeks ago- is it bad to have carbs late in the day?

    Okay first off i'll start by saying that i know it doesn't say do NOT do it in the book. Im just really torn!

    I've heard various different perspectives on the subject. The reason i ask is because i have less weight to lose than most people, therefore its harder for me to lose weight. Im only looking to lose max 10 kg's. because of this, i was told to avoid starchy carbs (rice, pasta bread) for the last 2 meals of the day and only have fibrous carbs (veggies and salad). so, ive been trying it and for the first week it was a peice of cake but now i'm really struggeling with it. ive been going to bed most nights hungry, frustrated and even struggeling to sleep. so i've decided to just eat normal carbs and not just salad. i just had a cottage cheese sandwhich for my 2nd last meal of the day, and i know i'll want another one for my last meal because i get so hungry! but i feel so bad about it mentally! especially because excess carbs are stored as fat and most likely, if your eating carbs after 6 pm (just an estimate), your not going to use them because you dont need them, and your going to lose much less weight over the 12 weeks?

    also, how much bread a day do you think is too much?

    i would be so greatful if you guys could help me out. :)

  • Depends on the bread. :-)  Make sure whatever you eat it is on the authorized food list either in the  book or on this website.

    Carbs aren't bad to have at night.  Some people can do it and some can't.  I personally through trial and error found that by not having a carb for my last meal worked.  It wasn't detrimental when I did have it but I did notice I wasn't making progress based on what some people were reporting.  So I say do the portion of protein and portion of carb and see if you make progress (assuming you are doing everything else by the book).  If you don't see progress then cut the carb for meal 6 and see what happens.  Just my 2 cents and please know I am no specially trained or certified expert. :-)

    Love you some you...PERSEVERE!

  • Hello Aussiebel,

    This is such a good question and one that is often controversal. As you know carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for workout's, and brain power. If you or anyone avoids carbs all-together it can hinder your ability to gain lean muscle, stifle muscle recovery and be detrimental to your health.

    With that said, their are processed carbs and unprocessed carbs. Unprocessed carbs are low glycemic and are generally found in nature. You should try to eat unprocessed carbs. For example, brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain breads, jams, beans, red potatoes, and barley (please see the Body-For-Life list of carbs for a complete list)

    Now to your question, should you eat carbs late in the day? This really depends on your goals, your metabolism and if you are eating enough calories and carbs throughout the day. Some people choose not to eat carbs. in the evening or low their carb ratio in the evening because eating carbohydrates at night can, under certain circumstances, can cause you to store the calories as fat.

    Research has said, avoiding or lower your carbohydrate intake late at night, when trying to get cut, is to harness the body's output of growth hormone (GH), which is released at night within the first 90 minutes of deep sleep. GH is beneficial if you wish to shed fat and hold muscle. This is not a one-size-fits all theory.

    I personally would see how you feel and look after a carb. reduction in the evening and without the reduction. I have found it beneficial to me to eat carbs. in the evening along with protein so that my body recovers from my intense workouts.

  • I know exactly what you are saying as when I had the last 10 pounds or so to lose it would not budge, it drove me crazy wondering what to do.

    The first thing I noticed in your post was the suggestion not to eat rice, spuds etc for the last 2 meals, that would include dinner which I think is wrong and it's not going to hurt you or make a difference, if fact you need a carb then, I'd be starving too not including them then.

    I went through the same things, going to bed hungry and not sleeping, it's awful isn't it! I think it is trial and error, definitely make sure you are eating enough all day, and add a carb for your last meal and see if it does make a difference, if it does cut it back and try to find something that's going to keep you from feeling starving.

    As for the bread, don't know if you've tried Ezekiel breads, they took some getting used to but now I love them but if the bread is whole wheat and healthy I know you can eat it. Me, I'm a bread lover so couldn't just eat rice, spuds etc without some bread, it'd be torture and I wouldn't keep to it.

    It is harder when you have less weight to lose, along with the eating carbs make sure you are changing up your exercises, if you've been doing squats do walking lunges, lift heavier weights etc, anything to shock your body, it does work.

    One thing is though you can't keep going to bed hungry and not sleeping beacuse of it so experiment, see how you feel, all the best:)

  • Let's clear this up real quick.

    1. Your body burns X amount of calories in a day, so regardless if you eat carbs at night or not, you are still going to burn X amount of calories.

    2. Your body does not have a Reset Button. Sure you may not be doing a workout right before bed, but that doesn't mean they get stored as fat immediately.

    3. How carbs work. They are broken down into glucose and stored in skeletal muscle and the liver so that when you do workout the next day, you can do so intensely and with great energy. So if you eat carbs at night, they are going to be stored not as fat, but as glycogen to be used for quick burst of energy later on.

    I have eaten meals as late as 1am and still lost 2-3 lbs a week.

    I think the best mindset shift I ever had was when instead of trying to eat less, I started 'Eating to support training.'

    People who are saying don't eat starch late on day are just handing down old myths. Is it bad that you don't eat carbs late in the day? No. But it surely will not hurt your progress to eat them either.

    Charlie Wigington

    2011 Body-for-LIFE Champion