EMILY, 30, from Wigan, asks: I’ve heard so many people say in the gym, and read in magazines, that you shouldn’t eat carbs after 8pm if you’re trying to lose weight. I don’t get home from work until 7pm sometimes, so usually have my evening meal at around this time. Is there any truth that doing this will make you put on weight, or is it a myth?.
The Colonel from Xercise4Less cuts to the chase: Emily, you’ll be glad to hear, this is a myth. If you’re trying to lose weight, your main focus shouldn’t be on how many carbs you’re eating, but instead your calorie intake.
Firstly, to lose weight, you should be taking regular exercise, and after exercise, you need to eat complex carbs straight after your work out.
This gives your body chance to store them as energy, ready for your next work out. In this case, you will have already eaten carbs during the day.
It is a good idea to monitor the amount of carbs you eat if you’re trying to lose weight, as generally these are the most calorific food type – but you simply cannot cut them out.
As for eating them after 8pm, there is no evidence to show that your body stores them in any different way than it would if you were to eat them during the day. It is, however, a good idea to try and make your regular exercise part of your morning routine, so the carbs you ate during your evening meal are stored as energy, and burned off the next day.
In a nutshell, just because you’re trying to lose weight does not mean you have to starve yourself! People lead busy lives, so you have to make weight-loss part of your lifestyle.
Regular exercise and a healthy diet of complex carbs low in fat, and plenty of fruit and veg is what you need to focus on!