No carbs after dark. Fact or fiction? Our columnist Clean Eating Alice reveals all...

Fitspo and Personal Trainer, Alice Liveing AKA Clean Eating Alice definitely DOES eat carbs after 6pm. Here, she shares her opinion on the ‘carbs after dark’ confusion…

We’ve all been there- when someone kindly informs us that eating carbohydrates after six o’clock will apparently cause weight gain, or that eating late at night is a cardinal sin. My favourite response is to kindly ask them back, ‘what would happen if I ate THEM at 5.55pm?’

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Anyway, the point is, in my opinion it’s a common myth that causes people to restrict carbohydrates from their evening meal in the hope that it will lead to fat loss, but is there any evidence to suggest this is the case?

In general, reducing carbohydrates from your diet isn’t, in my opinion, a sustainable way of attempting to achieve fat loss. A diet lacking in carbs can cause  an increase in fatigue, a reduction in cognitive function, irritability, and decreased quality of sleep; none of which signal the sign of a healthy individual.

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Whilst I’m not giving the green light for you to consume doughnuts and chocolate after the ‘golden hour’, calories and carbohydrates should be viewed in a 24-hour window.

This means that if you consume your evening meal (rich in protein, fats and carbohydrates) after 6pm, as long as they fall into your portioned caloric amount for that given day, it won’t have any effect on body composition.

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Carbs in the evening are even more necessary if you train later on in the day to ensure effective recovery, and can also help you get a sound sleep as they help to induce the sleep hormone serotonin.

So the moral of the story is, any overconsumption of calories, no matter what the time of day can cause weight gain. Carbohydrates after dark, if eaten within a balanced healthy day-to-day diet, shouldn’t be feared, and can actually be more beneficial to your overall health than you thought.