The “no carbs at night” dogma is one I always have trouble explaining to clients, this has been embedded so deep into people that no carbs at night and also eating any form of carbs before bed will hinder fat loss and cause fat gain .
This is not the case and overall calorie intake has to be taken into consideration first .
Here’s a basic breakdown of carbs.
Carbs are the preferred source of energy for the body, it’s thought that too many carbs can be stored as fat if they are not used, but guess what! So can protein and fats, thermodynamics come into play first .
Carbs at night make you fat! Well I’ve read tonnes of research that shows the exact opposite, keeping carbs low through the day and placing them in the last meal of the day post training, not only helps some to sleep better, but has also been shown to burn more body fat and increase muscle tissue than eating carbs for breakfast.
Cutting carbs out altogether burns more body fat?. While cutting carbs out can initially cause weight loss, it is generally water and stored glycogen (stored carbohydrates), cutting carbs totally doesn’t necessary mean you will burn body fat and you can still store body fat through over eating protein and fats. Cutting carbs long term can actually affect thyroid out put, possibly by slowing the thyroid function which plays a big role in the metabolism. This is when a strategic carb refeed comes into play having positive effects on thyroid and other important hormones.
Cutting carbs out short term can have many benefits in people who have been, and still are very sedentary or have type 2 diabetes/metabolic diseases. Big improvements have been seen in these areas, but remember here the reason is weight loss that increases insulin sensitivity not necessarily a reduction in carbohydrates.
So carbs can be a great tool for fat loss, but on the flip slide they can still hold back your fat loss goals by over consumption, like any macronutrients can !!.