Is eating carbs late at night bad for fat loss?

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight by making changes to your diet or by following a fad diet, the chances are you’ve heard that you should avoid eating carbs after 6pm as they will be stored as body fat. Whilst this has been a widely debunked topic and there is little to no evidence to support the claim, it is one of those nutrition myths that continues to rear its ugly head.

In reality, if you’re looking to lose weight then carbs can be you friend as long as you are, on the whole, eating good sources of complex carbs and the amount you’re eating doesn’t put you in a calorie surplus, where you are eating more calories than you are using.

The timing of when you eat carbs is not something you should get too caught up in but, in general, having them split over the course of the day will help your body break to digest and break them down to use. Further than this, consuming carbs along with protein after a workout helps to replenish glycogen stores, which are depleted during training, and aids muscle recovery and growth. And consuming carbs prior to sleep can be beneficial too: they can contribute to the reduction of cortisol (the stress hormone) promoting a better, more restful night’s sleep and therefore a greater state for the body to recover and rebuild.

There really is no bad time to enjoy carbs, just try to eat them in moderation as part of a healthy and balanced diet; and if you’re eating them late at night, just make sure that it doesn’t push you into a calorie surplus, as that is when it really will hamper your results.