Myth busted – You Can’t Eat at Night
One of the most annoying industry myths that just won’t seem to die is the one that says you can’t eat at night. In fact, it’s still one of the most frequently asked questions I get from clients and at presentations. Seriously…stop it. For the past 18 years, I’ve never had any clients restrict food intake at night and I’ll continue to do so.
The theory is that your metabolism slows down in the evening and while you sleep overnight. This is actually not true. People who exercise regularly actually have higher sleeping metabolic rates then their resting metabolic rates during the day. So if you’re burning more calories while you sleep compared to when you sit at your desk during the day would it make any sense to restrict calories all day while you sit at your desk? Hell no!
On top of this, recent research is now showing that individuals who consume the majority of their calories at night actually lost more body fat and had less hunger during the day. This is taking it a bit far and I’m not recommending clients eat most of their calories in the evening, but you get the point. Clean calories in the evening aren’t necessarily going to be converted to fat if your macronutrient ratios are on point, you’ve been training and your body needs the calories to fuel recovery.
The only real factor to consider when it comes to night time eating is insulin sensitivity. If you’re eating regularly throughout the day, and you didn’t train in the evening that day, your insulin sensitivity may be slightly reduced so it’s not the optimal time to consume higher-glycemic carbs or large portions of carbs. In that case, keep your carb intake controlled, but continue to take in protein, greens and healthy fats to provide a steady supply of energy, amino acids and an optimal pH balance while you sleep.
Some examples of late night low-carb snacks include:
-natural nut butter with daily cleanse fiber supplement and agave
-eggs, fried in coconut oil
-sustained release protein shake w/ unsweetened almond milk
Always think critically and understand the rationale behind your decisions.