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The Truth About Late-Night Carb Eating

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The Truth About Late-Night Carb Eating

Post  Admin on Tue 23 Aug 2011 - 10:06

If you’re looking to maintain a lean physique, whether you’re currently on a fat loss diet plan and trying to lose excess fat or on a lean mass gaining phase and want to prevent fat gain, one thing that’s likely going through your mind is the ‘carbs at night’ issue.

Is eating carbohydrates at night acceptable? Or should you forgo them at all costs? And, what if you happen to be doing a workout late at night?

Are they then allowed or should you still avoid them to prevent fat gain?

Let’s look at the important facts that you need to know regarding carbohydrates late at night.

The Workout Timing Factor

The very first thing that you should always keep in mind regarding your carbohydrate intake is that for best results, you always want to try and place them right around the workout as much as possible.

This is when the muscles are most likely to store them in the cells as muscle glycogen and when they’re least likely to end up on your body as excess body fat.

Now, for those who are working out late at night, this poses a special scenario. Since you want to maximize your carbohydrate intake, this would mean taking in a huge dose of carbs before bed.

Will this create a problem?

The answer is only if your total daily carb intake exceeds what it is supposed to be. Meaning, put those carbs right after the workout as you normally would despite the fact that it is late at night, but also be sure to cut back on the carbs you consume during the day because of it.

If you do this, then you will prevent fat gain and still maximize the benefits that carbs have to offer at that time period.

If you workout earlier on in the day, then place the carbs earlier around that workout and shift your focus later on to proteins, healthy fats, and vegetables.

Off Day Carb Intakes In The Evening

Moving along, off days also need to be taken into account. Since you will have a lower overall carbohydrate need on the days you aren’t working out, your intake should be reduced.

On off days, you should try and keep your carbohydrate intake more limited in the late night hours to prevent not only fat gain but hunger as well. For many people carbs evoke hunger, so when trying to keep your calorie intake lower since you aren’t working out, this could pose a bit of a problem.

After about 7 pm, start cutting off your carbs and allow only vegetables or possibly a few berries if you’re craving something sweet. This will keep your intake right around where it should be so you don’t run into issues with fat gain.

Smarter Solutions

In order to make cutting off carbs at night easier, it’s a wise idea to come up with some smarter solutions for what to snack on.

Raw veggies in a flavorful dip are always a great idea if you’re craving something crunchy, or if it’s a sweet taste that you’re after, consider some sugar-free Jell-O. This really saves the day for many dieters, so make sure you don’t overlook it.

Smarter pre-bed snack choices will be proteins mixed with healthy fats as well, so don’t discount snack options that satisfy this requirement such as cottage cheese with some peanut butter or Greek yogurt with flaxseeds.

So there you have the important points to remember about carbohydrates at night. While the common sense approach to start restricting them usually holds true, in some cases where you’re doing intense late night workouts, you need to make an acceptation and structure your days slightly differently to accommodate.
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