If fat loss is your goal, then I recommend lowering your carb intake as much as possible.
The reason for this is that carbs displace fat oxidation.
In other words, whenever you eat carbs, your body will use them for energy (rather than burning fat, which is what we want).
However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to lose fat when eating carbs.
By eating carbs at the right time of day, your body will utilize them better, making fat loss easier.
Be warned though…
Eating them at the wrong time will de-rail your fat loss goals.
So, when should you eat your carbs?
Well, many Celebrity gurus will preach that you should have No carbs after 6pm, but I’m here to tell you that they’re dead wrong.
Recent research has shown that eating carbs at night is best for fat loss, and in this article, I’m going to tell you why.
Let’s dive in.
4 Reasons Why You Should Eat Carbs At Night for Fat Loss
1. Increased Fat Oxidation
Saving your carbs for the evening helps increase fat oxidation during the day (Source).
In other words, in the absence of carbs during the day, your body is more likely to use fat stores for energy which will encourage fat loss.
Also, by saving your carbs for after your workout, you’re more likely to burn fat for energy when training.
This has been shown in a study where obese boys were given either a carb-filled drink or a placebo drink.
The results showed that fat oxidation was more than DOUBLE in the group who took the placebo drink!
(Related reading: Best Time To Drink Black Coffee For Fat Loss)
2. Less Hunger during the day
If you have a breakfast high in carbs, like toast, cereal, or bagels with orange juice, it can lead to spikes in blood sugar.
Since high blood sugar levels are toxic, insulin is released which in turn lowers them.
So, by mid-morning, your blood sugar has crashed again, which results in more cravings for carbs to elevate your blood sugar levels.
This mid-morning hunger is usually accompanied by an energy crash, which makes you much more likely to give in to your cravings.
The outcome of this is a yo-yo cycle of eating carbs every 2 hours to satisfy the drop in blood sugar after each meal/snack.
This will lower fat oxidation as well as increase your daily calorie intake, which will make fat loss much, much harder.
Whereas if you have a high-protein breakfast, your blood sugar levels will be much more stable, meaning you’ll be less hungry during the day and have more energy.
Don’t just take my word for it though…
A study on 20 overweight girls looked at how different breakfast options affected satiety.
The results showed that those who had a high-protein breakfast had increased fullness and they were less likely to snack.
3. Glycogen replenishment
For this reason, I’m assuming that you train in the evening.
(If you don’t, then you definitely should be.)
After training, muscle protein breakdown is at its peak.
Providing the body with carbs at this stage will help replenish glycogen when you’re most sensitive, which will also spike your insulin to help build muscle.
In other words, the carbs will be used to fill your muscles, rather than fill your fat cells.
As a bonus, the extra muscle gained will help you burn fat too, since muscle is metabolically “expensive”.
(I.e. if you have bigger muscles, you’ll burn more calories on average than others.)
4. Improved sleep
Carbs make tryptophan more available in the brain (Source).
Tryptophan is the precursor of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which is converted into melatonin.
Melatonin is the hormone that prepares the body for sleep.
(We’ve evolved to have high Cortisol levels in the morning, which makes us feel awake, and high Melatonin levels in the evening, which makes us feel sleepy.)
So, if you have a big bowl of pasta for lunch, it won’t be long before you need that midday nap, making you less productive.
But by having your carbs in the evening, you support Melatonin production when your body expects it, making you tired when you should be!
In fact, this has been proven in a study which showed that those who consumed high GI carbs before bed fell asleep much faster than those who didn’t.
So, what does this have to do with fat loss? I hear you ask.
Well, studies have shown that high-quality sleep helps with weight loss. (Source)
(Related reading: Do Cold Showers Help You Sleep?)
Carbs are a hot topic right now, but there’s a lot of confusion surrounding if and when you should eat them.
Just to re-iterate what I said earlier…
I’m a big believer that eating minimal carbs is best for fat loss.
(Speaking from my own experience.)
But, if you do need your carbs, you now know exactly when to eat them for maximum fat loss.
P.S. If you think one of your friends/family would benefit from reading this article, then please do me a favour and share this on your Social Media accounts? It would be greatly appreciated 🙂