Not eating carbs at night, going low-carb all the time, having earlier dinners and keeping these very long gaps in between your dinner and your bedtime and we still struggle to lose weight. In fact people who go on low-carb diets or avoid carbohydrates at dinnertime, you may find that they lose about 2 to 3 kilos initially and then they start to put on body fat especially in their abdominal area. We’re going to understand exactly why this happens and why you should start eating carbs at night. Why your dinner should contain carbohydrates.
There’s a science behind it and when you understand I’m hoping and encouraging each and every one of you who are struggling to lose weight or build great immunity and have better energy levels to do this.
Even though times have changed and we have technology and everything’s changed, when you go back to evolution people hunted during the day. These were the hunters and gatherers for food and they usually had their feast or their main meal at night and that worked for them. Although today we’ve changed that. We all still believe in breakfast being the heaviest meal, lunch being the heaviest meal, and dinner being the lightest meal. That continues to be the same because we don’t work as much as people did in the olden days. We have cars, drivers, and servants and hence our physical expenditure of energy is far lesser. So dinner should continue to be the lightest meal of today. But when I say lightest we don’t make it light by removing carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are still required for weight loss, energy, moods, immunity and let me explain how that works.
Carbohydrates provide the working energy to all your muscles. Your muscles or your muscle tone requires energy because your muscle is required for you to burn fat. Fat loss is not about calorie restriction alone or just good sleep or high protein or exercise. Everyone’s been doing that for years and years and still struggling to lose weight. It is about the production of HGH, which is your human growth hormone produced by the pituitary gland and this HGH is what helps you build muscle which in turn helps you cut fat and burn fat and increase your metabolic rate so that your body is continuously burning fat throughout the day.
Your muscles get this energy from carbohydrates. Most people today prefer to have earlier dinners which is a good habit as long as you have carbohydrates in that dinner and when people go out for late-night functions and parties they either don’t eat at all thinking that they shouldn’t be eating at night. But if you don’t eat at night and you’re awake your body still requires energy because you’re awake at that point and if it doesn’t get the energy it requires it goes into famine mode and your cortisol goes up and the fat storage switch goes on.
You need carbohydrates before you sleep. Most people think that while you sleep your body doesn’t require much energy, but your body requires a lot of energy while you sleep to perform detoxification to revitalize your organs, regeneration, growth, cell repair. Your body get this energy from while you’re sleeping. It gets it from the carbohydrates that you ate at dinner time and if it does not get this kind of energy detoxification doesn’t happen the right way which means you’re left with more toxins and your body automatically holds on to fat or produces more fat to protect the insides the nucleus of your cells. Every cell has to be protected by a thin layer of fat which gets thicker and thicker you have more and more toxins in your body. Repair and growth will not happen without the right amount of energy which means your chances of having inflammation in your body is higher and when you have inflammation you have more acid which makes it a constant struggle to lose weight.
Metabolism happens to burn fat and that happens while you sleep. All your fat burns while you sleep never while you exercise. The process happens while you exercise but the actual fat burn happens while you sleep which requires energy for fat to burn. Energy comes from carbohydrates. If your body does not get energy from carbohydrates it starts breaking down your muscles. It starts breaking down your muscles first for energy and then fat. If you have less muscle you have more body fat if you have more muscle you have a chance of slashing down and burning fat more effectively.
When it comes to hormonal balance I always say weight loss and fat burn is all about communication between your cells and your hormones and hormone balance. You can have the best exercise program, the best nutrition program, the best sleep. But if you have a hormonal imbalance or incorrect communication between your cells you cannot lose weight in fact you will put on weight. So I’m talking about leptin which is your satiety hormone and ghrelin which is your hunger hormone. When you have carbohydrates at night your leptin is regulated which means your ghrelin which is your hunger hormones are on the lower side and most people tend to get cravings for food and snacks and sugary items at night and it’ll be these people who have cut down on their carbohydrates in the evening or through the day. So leptin is decreased and ghrelin which is the hunger hormone increases and then you can’t use willpower all the time. Willpower has a shelf life. It cannot win the battle against your biology, physiology and chemistry of your cells and your body. Which means these cravings will depress you or overpower you and then you end up binging. So it is so important for you to have carbohydrates at every meal breakfast lunch and dinner and if dinner is going to be the lightest meal of your day which it should it should still contain carbohydrates.
Sleep is so important for weight loss. If you’ve not had the right amount of carbohydrates in the night it can actually affect you sleep. An amino acid called tryptophan basically induces sleep but it needs to cross the blood-brain barrier and reach your brain for that it needs insulin. You get insulin when you eat carbohydrates. You eat carbohydrates and insulin gets triggered and this insulin breaks down tryptophan into serotonin. Serotonin helps you sleep and it actually helps your mood to be better. So your mood also gets impacted with carbohydrates. When you eat a high carb meal you feel sleepy because Tryptophan crosses the blood-brain barrier, gets converted into serotonin and makes you feel sleepy and sometimes it gives you that satisfied feeling, a good feeling. You feel good when you eat good food because serotonin makes you feel good. It’s a happy hormone. So you see you need carbohydrates even for your moods.
Carbohydrates provide energy to your brain. Your brain uses energy from the breakdown of carbohydrates which is why when people go on low-carb diets or no carb diets they’re irritable, frustrated, depressed and angry. Their moods completely change because their brains do not get the energy it requires from carbohydrates.
If you’re the kind of person who works out in the evening and you’re deciding to go low-carb post evening that’s the biggest mistake you make for your body for your muscles and for your fat loss and your energy level. After a good workout you need to replenish your glycogen and that comes from carbohydrates. If you do not have sufficient carbohydrates because you’ve decided to go low carb or skip on the carbs thinking that I’ve had a great workout it is actually going to backfire against you because now your body is going to start breaking down muscle and protein for energy and then fat and if your muscles do not have the right amount of protein they cannot grow and we all know the more muscle you have the less fat, the more fat you burn. So post workout you need to have the right amount of carbohydrates and what’s really important is the right quality of carbohydrates.
What kind of carbohydrates do you choose for dinner? There are good carbs and bad carbs. Your bad carbs are all of processed junk, white flour, white sugar. Your good carbs are your good grains like millets, brown rice or white rice or red rice. If you don’t have a problem with gluten, it could be a wheat rotis, buckwheat, millets. All of these are great complex carbs. Vegetables are good complex carbs as well your grains – good grains are good complex carbs as well all of this helps with weight loss.
The biggest issue we have right now is most people have a deficiency in B vitamins and what’s the importance of B vitamins. B vitamins help carbohydrates metabolize into energy. All of us eat carbohydrates but if we don’t have the right vitamins that can metabolize carbohydrates into energy then we have a problem and when you look people have deficiencies of folic acid today which is b9, you have a deficiency of b5, and you have a deficiency of b8, b3. We know that with the amount of hair fall problems that people have and of course b12 which has become a very common deficiency. So it shows that we are naturally low in B vitamins and so we cannot metabolize carbohydrates the right way. So we don’t blame carbohydrates as the bad macronutrient we don’t pull it away from our diet. We correct a vitamin deficiency. We have the right amount of B vitamins from foods or supplements if necessary and then we allow our body to break down carbohydrates into energy for our brains, for our muscles, for the repair, growth, immunity and for weight loss and metabolism. They make one drug for one ailment but one vitamin or one mineral can take care of over 50 to a hundred different problems. So we should always look for these deficiencies and try to correct them.
So please start eating carbohydrates at night and if you’re going to have late nights eat some food. Your body requires energy. Your mind thinks that you don’t require energy because if you eat it’s a myth that if you eat food at night your body will not digest it a right way and it’ll store as fat. That’s not true. It is true if you overeat. If you overeat anything the good and a bad you will have a problem with the storage of fat. Your body will store anything that it doesn’t need as fat. So eat a proper meal. Eat your carbohydrates, your protein and your fats equally at night. Your portion can be smaller but it has to be balanced and if it’s a late night you should eat but keeping that long gap.
Also if you eat too fast it creates more acid in your body that’s going be a problem too because in an acidic body it’s extremely difficult for you to lose weight or burn fat.
So change your mind set about carbohydrates. It’s the wrong quality of carbohydrates and the overeating of carbohydrates that creates most of the problems. Each and every one of you who are struggling to lose weight starts eating carbohydrates. Get off your low-carb diet and get on to a smart carb diet. That’s what’s going to work for your body, mind and immunity.