Question: A trainer at my gym told me the way to lose weight was to load carbs at night instead of restricting them. I have read that restricting carbs at night is better. What do you think?
Answer: Strength athletes use post-training carbohydrate loading to fill glycogen storage. They also load carbs in the evening and even load protein late night prior to sleeping. Jay Cutler, 4-time Mr. Olympia, went so far during his career to set his alarm at a pre-determined time, quickly drink a protein shake and go back to sleep.
To use carbohydrate loading in the evening without high intensity training earlier in the day, for most people, especially women, would be a mistake. The website which posted a detailed article about loading carbs at night maintained that carb-deprivation causes changes in insulin, creates a rebound effect when carbs are introduced for breakfast and generally raises cortisol levels. Carb deprivation is not the answer either. Making sensible carbohydrate choices throughout the day and including the evening meal is the best plan. Eliminate highly processed foods replacing them with healthy choices, not the frozen dinners. Steam broccoli and other raw vegetables eating large amounts of those for your evening meal. Partner the veggies with 4 to 6 ounces of chicken or fish. Enjoy beef, lean beef one or two nights a week. Eat the starchier glucose based carbs early in the day and be sure to pair those with a protein to prevent a blood sugar spike and corresponding rise in insulin levels. Carbs at night are not counter productive to a weight loss program. You can eat large quantities of them if they are primarily fiber based, vegetables, instead of glucose based,potatoes and bread. This is the best way to be healthy and lose weight at the same time.
God bless and keep training,