Is eating carbs at night detrimental to your fat loss?
Most people who recommended limiting carbohydrates at night do so because they believe when you are going to sleep your metabolism will slow down and the carbohydrates have a greater chance at being stored as fat compared to if they were consumed earlier in the day. They also believe that insulin sensitivity is reduced at night shifting your carbohydrate stores into fat and away from muscle.
The logic behind the metabolism slowing down seems reasonable because you think when you sleep you are just lying there and not really moving but research has studied this logic and have found that during the first half of sleep about 35% of your energy expenditure decreases but during the latter half of sleep it significantly increases associated with REM sleep.
There are rises and falls in sleeping metabolic rate but the overall energy expenditure during sleep is not any different from resting metabolic rate during the day. Exercise increases sleeping metabolic rate leading to greater fat oxidation during sleep. So if you are exercising regularly not only does your metabolism not slow down at night it increases!
Insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance appear to be worse at night compared to a morning meal because the morning meal is after an overnight fast and the fast may improve insulin sensitivity. To compare a mid-day meal to a nighttime meal there appears to be no different in insulin sensitivity or glucose tolerance. This explains that insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance may not be impaired at night but are more enhanced by an overnight fast.
SO the answer to the question is no eating carbs at night will not lead to more fat gain or impair fat loss compared to consuming them at other times of the day. Just focus staying on track with your numbers and keep working hard with your workouts
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Written By: Rebecca Desousa BS Nutritional Sciences