Late night carbs..yes or no?
MYTH MONDAY #9
Don't eat carbs after 6pm, or you'll get fat
No particular macronutrient will make you fat, regardless of when you eat it so long as you don't overeat in general
What will make you fat is eating too much, period
When you look at a population of people, those who eat a lot of food - especially carbohydrates - late at night tend to be more overweight than those who stop eating at 6.
Because those who stop eating at 6 are restricting their 'food window' and therefore will have a good chance of reducing total calorie intake altogether
But also late night carbohydrates on a population basis are often crisps, chocolate, desserts and pizza - when you control these things for general good dietary habits and calorie mindfulness the differences between late night eaters and early day eaters disappear.
Then we need to think about those who DO eat a bunch of carbs late at night and wake up feeling bloated
They don't usually eat late, but then they go out for an Italian and go 'all out'
This then means they wake up the next day a bit bloated and retaining 3-4lbs of water
It wasn't that the carbs made you fat (of course the extra calories will matter, but 3-4lbs in a meal is all but impossible), it was that the increased calorie load, along with the carbohydrates, and often an increased salt intake, pulled a lot more water into your body and you get the feeling that you have put on weight
I did this last night, where I had a BIG roast dinner, lots of salt, and alcohol, and ALL the carbs
Today I feel like I've put on 3-4 lbs and feel quite watery and a little bloated
BUT, I'll go to the gym later today, move around, burn a few carbo's, eat well, eat slightly less today and all will be good tomorrow
If you control your calorie intake, you shouldn't put on weight regardless of when you eat carbohydrates
And while it's not 100% crucial for everyone, tracking your daily calorie intake is a sure fire way to more closely manage body composition
If you don't, and you have a bit of a carb binge, it might not cause you to gain weight long term, but you might feel like you have short term due to the added water you will store from the carb binge you had