The Final Word On Eating Carbs at Night

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Nutrition

carbs at nightWhen someone suggests eating a carb-rich meal before bed, do you shudder at the thought of the fat it will slap on your gut? Do you cringe thinking about all of that starch finding its way to your love handles?

I hope not. Most members of the Renegade nation know the nonsense behind this myth. But, many of you still don’t trust the fact that a big, carb dense dinner will keep you lean and make your more jacked.

It’s time to put the nail in the coffin. Let’s look at the facts behind why you should start filling your plates with rice and potatoes every night.

Metabolic Myths

For years, a metabolic fallacy has permeated the fitness industry. The one saying your metabolism slows down while you sleep.

In theory, it makes sense. You’re moving less, lying down, and resting. Of course you would burn fewer calories.

But if you hit a hard workout at any point during the day, the game changes. One study published in the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology noted that when subjects performed a moderate intensity exercise program, their resting heart rate and resting metabolic rate both increased during the night, while they slept.

Researchers stated this may be, in part, due to the increase stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. 

Now, your sympathetic nervous system helps you burn fat. So, this lends well to a higher rate of fat oxidation during the night, proving that your metabolism may not be that sluggish while you’re catching some Z’s.

A Case Of Hormonal Shifting

Now that a slow metabolism no longer stands between you and a gigantic bowl of jasmine rice, what do your hormones say?

According to a study published in the Obesity journal, they want the carbs.  When researchers had a test group place most of their carbohydrates at dinner, as opposed to all throughout the day like the control group, they found that the nighttime carb eaters showed greater losses in:

  • Total body weight
  • Body fat
  • Waist circumference.

In addition, they also had higher leptin levels, which is a sign of a faster metabolism and better fat burning.

Remember that when you diet, leptin levels will fall. What you can see in this study, however, is that shifting your carbohydrate consumption to the evening may help offset some of this decline.

That means eating carbs at night will make you less likely to see stalled fat loss when you’re trying to get lean.

And that’s not all. The night time carb eaters also showed better, more stable insulin levels. Not only is insulin management is a very key element of fat burning, it’s also an important marker for long term health.

Adherence To Your Program

Let’s not forget the need to stick to your plan. You can have the best diet set-up in the world but if you don’t follow it, you won’t see results.

Again, the research seems to prove that nighttime carb eating takes yet another win.  In a study published in the Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases journal, researchers assessed how macronutrient distribution throughout the day would impact the secretion of hunger-controlling hormones like ghrelin, leptin, and adiponectin.

Ghrelin is responsible for driving the hunger response while adiponectin is going to influence glucose levels and fat burning. After comparing these hormones between eating carbohydrates at night and during the day, the researchers concluded that eating carbs at night “may prevent mid-day hunger, better support weight loss, and improve metabolic outcomes over conventional weight loss diets.”

Subjects who place more carbohydrates at night will tend to report less hunger and greater satiety on their calorie restricted diet plan.

The research here is very clear, there’s no need to fear eating your carbs at night.

Final Points To Keep In Mind

Now, before you rush out for a box of jelly beans to eat in bed, there are a couple caveats you must know about.

1. You must balance your total calorie intake.

Simply replacing the carbs you eat now with dietary fat during the day and then adding a bunch more carbs at night will lead to weight gain. 

Remember that at the end of the day, it won’t matter when you eat your carbohydrates if you are over consuming calories.

2. Keep in mind that carbohydrate quality matters.

Your insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control will be much healthier if you eat Renegade Diet Approved carbs instead of candy. Stick to sweet potatoes, white potatoes, jasmine rice, quinoa and oatmeal.

After all, the basic rules of proper nutrition still apply. All you’re doing is adjusting when you eat your carbohydrates.

Summing it Up

Eat protein-focused meals with healthy fats, fiber-rich vegetables, and fruit during the day. Then, make your evening meals consist of lean protein and starchy carbs.

Simple, convenient and highly effective.

P.S. The Renegade Diet uses all of these principles and shows you exactly how to set up your nutrition for maximum results. Defy all the nutrition myths and watch yourself lose fat and build muscle at the same time.

Click here to pick up your copy right now.

References:

Mischler, Isabelle, et al. “Prolonged daytime exercise repeated over 4 days increases sleeping heart rate and metabolic rate.” Canadian journal of applied physiology 28.4 (2003): 616-629.

Sofer, Sigal, et al. “Greater weight loss and hormonal changes after 6 months diet with carbohydrates eaten mostly at dinner.” Obesity 19.10 (2011): 2006-2014.

Sofer, S., et al. “Changes in daily leptin, ghrelin and adiponectin profiles following a diet with carbohydrates eaten at dinner in obese subjects.” Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases 23.8 (2013): 744-750.