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Can You Eat Carbs After 6pm If You Want To Lose Weight?

Have you heard you can’t have carbs after 6 pm if you want to lose weight? 


I’m a weight loss nutritionist and I’m going to break this common weight loss myth down for you…




The idea of having no carbs after 6 pm is rooted in two main ‘arguments’ …


Number 1… Burning energy 


Since you will be going to sleep soon, your metabolism will slow down and carbs will have a greater chance of being stored as fat compared to if they were consumed earlier in the day where they would have a greater probability of being burned.


.. While it seems logical, this is not the way it works! This concept overlooks the fundamental principle of energy balance, which is that consuming fewer calories than you burn is crucial for weight loss. What matters for weight loss is your total energy intake, regardless of what time of the day your calories are being consumed.


Number 2... Circadian biology


This suggests that carbohydrate tolerance and insulin sensitivity are highest in the morning, gradually declining throughout the day.


…  Now this is partly true, we do know that our insulin response is impacted by our circadian rhythm

HOWEVER! What we also know is that there is a vast amount of solid, recent research challenging the carbohydrate-insulin theory of obesity, emphasizing that various diet compositions can be effective and low carb is not necessarily essential for fat loss. 


Low carb and high fat or high carb and low fat… both yield the same response in terms of weight loss when calories are matched and a deficit is adhered to. It’s the total energy consumed that matters.


Beyond these arguments, for the majority of people struggling with their weight, we see a common theme which is generally that the majority of their food/energy intake is consumed later on in the day. Thus, being mindful of what we consume in this eating window is helpful.


Additionally, when it comes to carbohydrates we do have to consider that as a general rule, many carbohydrate-based foods are very easy to over consume. Especially highly processed and 

energy-dense-carbohydrates.


Therefore, if you are trying to lose weight, or just make healthier choices, considering your carbohydrate intake generally will be beneficial! 


However, this doesn’t have to be the complete eradication of carbohydrates or chucking your rice in the bin should the clock strike 7.03 pm.


Many people find that including healthy, high-fiber, unprocessed and whole grain sources of carbohydrates in sensible serving sizes can help them stick with their diet plan, reduce cravings, increase feelings of satisfaction, improve quality of sleep, and even promote healthy cortisol rhythms.


So focus on the QUALITY and QUANTITY of carbohydrates you are eating and how they fit as part of your overall dietary pattern. 


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