How Can I Avoid Eating Too Many Carbs at Night?

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question-icon-newI am just now learning that in order to lose weight I need to stay away from carbohydrates at night. But what I don’t know is what to do if there is absolutely no way to avoid a lot of carbs at dinner? Is there a way to neutralize it or what should I do?

answer-icon-newIn terms of eating carbs at night with dinner, there should be no reason why you can’t avoid them. Do you have a gun being held to your head with a loaf of cheese bread next to your mouth? Use some willpower and put the carbs down! If there are starches like bread, rice or pasta for dinner, just skip these and go for lean protein and veggies. Honestly, no one is forcing you to eat high carbs foods at dinner, so it’s really just a matter of discipline in order to avoid these foods so you can lose body fat and reach your weight loss goals.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy and are found in ample amounts in foods like wheat, rice, oats, potatoes and fruit. Junk food items like chips, pizza, cakes, muffins and sweets are very rich in both carbs and fat. Eating too many carbs at night leads to the accumulation of body fat due to excess calories and sugar which has a direct effect on how a hormone called insulin reacts in your body. There are many reasons why it’s recommended to avoid carbs at night if your goal is to lose fat and get as lean as possible.

Your metabolism is at its peak in the day and starts to decline later in the day. It’s directly proportional to the physical activity of your body. During the day, we are on the go and quite active so the metabolism increases to meet its energy needs. During the night, your body needs to rest and recover so the metabolism starts to decline. Most carbs consumed later at night are not burned as a fuel, but are actually stored as body fat.

Insulin is a hormone that converts glucose in the blood stream into glycogen which is stored in two locations, the liver and the muscles. Eating a carbohydrate rich diet at night results in the release of a large amount of insulin. When this happens, the sugars and glucose have a tendency to end up being converted into fat. This is one of the major reasons why eating too many carbs at night is catastrophic for people who are on a fat loss journey.

Replacing carbohydrates with a high protein and fiber rich diet is a great idea. A big salad with lean protein not only keeps you satiated but keeps your digestive system clean and healthy along with supplying your muscles with quality protein to help repair and rebuild. Lettuce, onions, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables are known to prevent constipation as well. Eating a lot of fibrous carbs (broccoli, mushrooms, zucchini) helps a lot of people control their overall portion sizes and prevents them from overeating. This works wonders for many people who tend to overeat, especially during dinner.

Stress levels are particularly high at night which can also lead to overeating on carbohydrate rich foods. In the morning, we feel fresh and ready to go but at night we tend to feel fatigued and tired from a long day at work. Many people resort to eating carbohydrate rich foods at night in order to free themselves from emotional issues and stress. This is because high carb foods release “feel good” hormones that have a mood-elevating effect in the brain. To prevent this from happening, try meditating or listening to some calm and relaxing music before dinner. This will also help prevent issues with binge eating at night.

Along with eating lean protein and fibrous carbs at night, you might also try replacing your carb rich and sugar laden foods with a broth based soup. In addition to being full of vitamins and minerals, soup seems to provide a feeling of fullness.

To recap, the biggest problem with eating lots of carbs at night is that it spikes your insulin and makes you hungry at night when you’re winding down from a long day. Once insulin is spiked, it so much easier to slack and sit on the couch snacking on more empty carbs and food. Think of it as a hormonal trap, since it truly is. Your body is craving these “feel good” carbs. Stay away from them and it will be so much easier to stay on track and succeed with your weight loss program!

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