Carbohydrates at night do not make you fat, and science supports it
When we talk about eating carbohydrates at night, the first thing that comes to mind is that we are going to get fat. Most people think that because at night we do not exercise and, normally, after dinner we go to bed, all the carbohydrates that we eat at night will be stored as fat.
Therefore first of all we must analyze if it is true that during the night we do not burn calories and then we will really see what the studies say about carbohydrates at night. We go point by point.
Do you burn calories while you sleep?
We can calculate this very easily using the basal metabolic formula . This formula will basically give us the number of total calories that we burn to stay alive, that is, if we were lying all day in bed, what would be the minimum amount of calories we would spend? or if we were sleeping all day, how many calories would we burn?
We are going to do this calculation with my measurements as a reference and for that we are going to use any calculator that we find online. I am 27 years old right now, I am 1.83 cm and I weigh about 82 kilos, therefore my basal metabolism is 1945 kcal daily. That’s the amount of energy I need to stay alive one day, 24 hours. Now the division is simple since our basal metabolism practically does not varybetween when we are awake or sleeping. Assuming that he sleeps eight hours a day, he would burn 648 kcal during the night, which is not a small thing, and therefore, the myth that after dinner we do not burn anything is denied.
And what do the studies say?
As studies we have this April 2011 that I think is essential to disprove this myth once and for all. The study is very simple and at the same time very enlightening.
Basically, a group of healthy men and women between 22 and 55 years old was divided into two groups. One of them would consume all the carbohydrates during the day and the other at dinner time, but both would consume the same calories and macronutrients. Both were between 1,300 and 1,500 kcal with a share of 20% protein, 30-35% fat and the rest carbohydrates.
After six months on the same diet the group that consumed the carbohydrates at night lost 2% more weight and fat than the group that consumed them for the day. As a conclusion I would say that, I am not sure that eating carbohydrates at night is better, but I am sure it is not worse. In the end, once again, it seems that the important thing is the calories and macronutrients and not the time at which you eat them.
So, do carbohydrates turn into fat?
Yes and no. Carbohydrates like any other macronutrient (even protein) can turn into fat , but it’s not a matter of what time you eat them, it’s a matter of how much and how much your glycogen levels are.
To give you an idea, very briefly, your body has two ways of storing energy: glycogen and fat. The glycogen can be stored in a limited way and once these tanks are full your body will store the remaining energy as fat . The same goes for other macronutrients. So, stop summarizing, as long as you eat the same calories at the end of the day you do not have to worry about whether the carbohydrates you eat at night or not .