Should you avoid eating carbohydrates at night?
After being meditating and seeing the great confusion that exists on the subject of avoiding fruits to lose weight and carbohydrates in the evening, I decided to write this article as widely as possible to see if once and for all we can to make it clear If “dinner hydrates is the problem of losing weight”
- 1 What to do to lose weight?
- 2 Dinner Carbs Fattening?
- 3 Does eating fruit at night?
- 4 What are Circadian Rhythms?
- 5 Relationship between Circadian Rhythms and Nutrition
- 6 Dinner Carbs After Training
- 7 Circadian Rhythms regulate Insulin Sensitivity
- 8 How do they influence circadian rhythms in our metabolism?
- 9 If I have dinner carbohydrates accumulate in fat?
- 10 What if I put all carbs at dinner?
- 11 Why do I lose more fat by removing carbohydrates at dinner?
- 12 Conclusions
What to do to lose weight?
The first thing we must be clear is that in a ratio of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) reasonable, any caloric deficit will make us lose weight.
Depending on the ratio of macronutrients this weight loss can be:
- Perfect (losing only fat)
- Mediocre (lose fat and muscle)
- Arduous (only lose muscle)
This means that if we are able to know when to introduce the macronutrients, our weight loss will be easier to store than perfect painful; although as I say, while a caloric deficit lose fat but perform only one meal a day.
Dinner Carbs Fattening?
The confusion that carbohydrates should be avoided at night, due to the belief that to not use the sleep will become fat.
To summarize, whenever a personal trainer or nutritionist defends this assertion emergency enter a physiologist.
Our body does not say “… it is 6 o`clock, I`ve worked hard, accumulate these carbohydrates as fat …”, what it does it is increase the metabolism of them by increasing insulin levels, reducing lipolysis (fat utilization), thyroid hormones increase increasing gluconeogenesis and so on.
In addition the belief that we will not use them to sleep is false, since it has been seen that in REM sleep stages carbohydrate intake is increased by the brain.
Does eating fruit at night?
The case of fruit, is particular, since usually consists of a portion of glucose and fructose elsewhere. Fructose does not raise insulin, but goes directly to the liver and there accumulates as glycogen or is used for synthesis of triglycerides (fats).
In general, a diet with a regular intake of carbohydrates, our glycogen stores are almost never crowded, so if throughout the day have consumed fewer carbohydrates, although we eat 2 fruits at dinner will not be accumulated as fat. Even eating fruit is beneficial because it has been shown to reduce sweating and hot flashes in midlife women when they sleep.
It can be beneficial eating carbs at dinner? To answer this we must resort to circadian rhythms.
What are Circadian Rhythms?
Today, it is rare to see a medium not talk of circadian rhythms or “our biological clock” as it is popularly known. For those who do not know what are the circadian rhythms would become:
the hormonal and metabolic oscillations that occur during the day and which are controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus.
This system is governed by peripheral sensors that send messages to this area of the brain. These “beats” can influence processes such as:
- Energy expenditure,
- Insulin sensitivity, or even,
- the Rest.
A clear example would be the last point where it was observed that the use of electronic devices before going to sleep reduces sleep quality by altering the release of melatonin
How Circadian rhythms are controlled?
At the molecular level and entering a little more detail, it has been observed that two circuits of great interest, mediated by CLOCK and BMAL1 proteins, which stimulate the transcription of 3 genes (Per and Cry) that alter intracellular metabolic pathways. We could say that about 50% of the nuclear receptor “metabolically active” tissues is marked by these proteins.
However, various factors such as physical exercise, can alter this percentage reducing its importance.
Relationship between Circadian Rhythms and Nutrition
Circadian rhythms can be summarized as our biological clock in 24 hours or standard of living, ie our body is prepared to seek more energy in the morning and tend to have more sleep at night. This is reflected first thing in the morning where we have higher testosterone and cortisol, or at night, where this higher melatonin (sleep – related hormone).
As there would be otherwise, nutrition also plays its role in this cycle.
When food is consumed at optimal times of the day, peripheral body clocks, which are found in all cells outside the brain, are synchronized with the central body clock, located in the brain. Unlike what many believe, by eating carbohydrates at night increased oxidation of fat reserves during the day occurs, increases the feeling of satiety, insulin sensitivity is improved and reduce ghrelin levels.
Dinner Carbs After Training
In the case of athletes this is of great importance, since not eat carbs during the day, the muscles are more sensitive to insulin, so that at the end of training our muscles absorb most ingested glucose by increasing levels of muscle glycogen.
This phenomenon is known as overcompensation, and occurs in the post-workout, regardless of whether it is night or morning.
If you want to deepen, click Carbohydrates Post-Workout, Everything You Need to Know
As we can see in the picture, the right group, who ate the most carbohydrates at dinner, had better insulin sensitivity. This effect is questionable because it can also be due to perform a single intake throughout the day.
However, in the picture above it is seen that when the end of the experiment, people who had ingested carbohydrates at dinner, decreased leptin levels, because obese people have higher levels but due to the resistance to it, ie have high levels but your brain is not aware that they are filled.
Circadian Rhythms regulate Insulin Sensitivity
To give you an idea where the shots go and as a practical example, our circadian rhythm makes us more sensitive to glucose in the morning and worse feeling for the evening (there goes the myth avoid carbohydrates at night…).
However, if I intense at 18:00 pm, I will have greater sensitivity to glucose in the evening than in the morning.
How do they influence circadian rhythms in our metabolism?
At this point, many / as you might be wondering what effects occur at the metabolic level by these circadian rhythms and if they influence the calories we spend and especially in the substrate (fat or carbohydrate) used as an energy source.
Study Van Moorse
To do this we will see the studio of Van Moorse and peers, where the metabolic changes observed in 20 lean men, not smoking and not to consume any drug. Participants should have a lifestyle standardized the week before the study, which included:
- Sleeping from 23:00 to 07: 00h
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner at 09:00, 14:00 and 19: 00h, respectively
- Do not take any snack or drink water that was not
- Do not consume alcohol or caffeine
- No physical exercise 3 days before the study
- Two days before the study would be given standardized meals for calories and macronutrients
During the first day of study, standardized meals were provided, were controlled physical activity and sleep time. To prevent sedentary behavior, they were forced to walk 15 minutes at low intensity after each meal.
On the second day, they were awakened at 6:44 a.m. for participants ingested telemetric pill that would measure body temperature. Then, by an intravenous cannula it is would take blood samples throughout the day to measure the different parameters. Besides this, they were take biopsies of the muscle tissue located in the vastus lateralis.
As expected, different expression of the aforementioned proteins was observed, being higher in the evening. However, the most striking fact is the time when more calories burned during the day at 23: 00h, being the lowest point at 04:00 AM, as seen in the chart below.
Regarding the substrate used, we note that the peak of carbohydrates as an energy source was at 23: 00h and the minimum at 0400, coinciding with the previous data of caloric expenditure. As fatty acids, the peak was at 08:00 and a minor peak at 04:00 AM.
If I have dinner carbohydrates accumulate in fat?
Another point of interest would be to see what happens when we are sleeping. According to the current bro-science, if we ate carbohydrates, our glucose and insulin levels are high, which it will hinder that burn fat. On the other hand, as we are sleeping and our spending will be low, carbohydrates are stored as fat. Is this true? We`ll see:
Who would have thought that insulin would not be partying all night? The reality is that while you dine carbohydrates, your body use fat as an energy source while you sleep.
What if I put all carbs at dinner?
Because you spend all night using glucose as an energy source, however, your body will use fat during the day.
Why do I lose more fat by removing carbohydrates at dinner?
Because you`re reducing your caloric intake. It does not take Sherlock to realize that if you were getting into before carbs at night and not now, your intake is reduced between 300-600Kcal. Many / as tell me they do not really take off, but you substitute for protein, vegetables and fat.
A meal with carbohydrates or fruit is not only not harmful when it comes to losing fat, but it can even be an effective tool for people who train at night.
Unlike what we have always heard of “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”, the truth is completely different.
We must adapt our diet to our lifestyle, so if we find it more comfortable to put the carbs at night to recovery, we should not be afraid to do so because it is much more important to the total amount of carbohydrates that time eating.
As we said in the beginning of the article, this is one of the many ways there is to lose fat, remember that the important thing here is that there is a caloric deficit.
In short, the theory that can not burn fat at night when introducing carbs at dinner is wrong. Our body uses both glucose and fatty acids during sleep, preventing storing these in the form of body fat (especially if we train in the late evening).
However, doing a low carb diet, whether interchangeable get in the morning or afternoon, usually give better results by reducing caloric intake. And along with this, as we know from various scientific publications, macronutrients play an important role in body composition, but the food choices which will allow achieving greater or lesser result by adhesion.