For years, probably You have heard that you should eat larger meals early in the day. The reasoning behind this seems quite intuitive, by consuming most of your calories in the morning or early in the afternoon, you will have more hours to burn them. This is the reason why so many popular nutrition programs promote eating early and limiting calorie intake, especially carbohydrates, at night.
So for those who have followed this approach for years, here is a sample of reality that might surprise you: it may make more sense to consume most of your daily calories, including carbohydrates, between dinner and a late snack at night. Here are four reasons why this is so.
REASON # 1 - NATURAL INSTINCT
The men of antiquity spent their days tracking, hunting and gathering food, and their afternoons were spent relaxing and eating whatever they had caught. Instead of going against evolution, why not spend your days "hunting" in the form of work and training, and eat most of your calories at night to have energy and recover for the battles of the next day?
But will not they make you fat all these nightly carbs? The answer is no, according to a 2011 study by the Obesity (Silver Spring) Journal, which compared the feast-style dinner pattern with a more traditional dietary approach. The study found that the experimental group, which ate most of its carbohydrates during dinner, experienced greater weight loss, reductions in abdominal circumference measurements and more body fat than the more conventional control group.
How can it be? Let's look at the mathematics behind this.
REASON # 2 - NUMBERS
Eating most of your calories, including carbohydrates, seems to be contrary to most nutrition programs. But it is?
Even if we consume between five and six small meals and snacks per day, instead of eating three meals, most of the time our dinner ends up being bigger than breakfast or lunch. If we add a nightly snack to the equation, which most of us should do to avoid a fast that wastes muscle for 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, then it's easy to see how we could consume half of our calories after 6 p. m.
If you train after work, or even after dinner, the numbers change even more dramatically towards night. Your post-workout recovery meal, even if it's just a smoothie or smoothie, will tip your daily calorie total even further into the night.
When it comes to counting calories, eating late in the day may be the best idea.By saving your natural starch (such as yams, sweet potatoes and brown rice) for dinner and eating lighter fiber fruits and vegetables during the day, you maximize the hormones that burn calories while you are active during the day. This gives you a longer period of time when you are burning fat more efficiently.
Also, when stored glycogens are finished after training and (or at the end of a day with better carbohydrate intake) nightly carbohydrates restore your energy reserves first before they are stored as fat. Think about it: if you drive your car all day and the gas tank is empty, you need to fill it up for the next day. The only way you can have problems with this approach is if you really exaggerate, and those carbohydrates go beyond the tank.
So think about each 24-hour stretch as two different nutritional periods. Eat lighter during the day to stay in the state to burn fat and produce energy (hunting mode). During the night hours, provide your body with the raw ingredients you need to build and maintain muscle, store energy reserves, recover from the demands of the previous day and prepare for the next (feast mode).
REASON # 3 - PSYCHOLOGY
Another human instinct is to overeat to store energy for times of famine. This made sense in the times of cavemen, but not in the modern era where food is available at any time.
We need to structure our diets in a way that satisfies this natural need to feast without eating more chronically. The human brain works with a sacrifice / reward pattern. Most people can cut calories, eat light meals, and make better food choices during the day if they can reward themselves at night with a meal that satisfies them.
However, the reverse is not true. It is much harder to reward yourself with food all day and then try to sacrifice yourself by lowering at night. How many nights in a row can you "eat only salad" before Ben & Jerry start showing up in your dreams?
However, once you get used to it, it's easy to eat lightly during the day. Adrenaline is activated making you feel more alert and efficient to face the daily challenges. Food becomes a secondary thought while productivity improves.
Contrast that with a big lunch that leaves you tired, lethargic and with an inability to think or focus.
Save that meal full of carbohydrates for the night, when you naturally want to relax, eat big, and go to sleep a couple of hours later. Carbohydrates activate the release of serotonin, which makes us feel happy and induces sleep. Many athletes who train hard and try to lower carbohydrates at night complain of insomnia.Now you know why.
LESSON # 4 - FUNCTIONALITY
As long as you take into account total calories and meal choices, the frequency and distribution of foods are less relevant in terms of fat loss, although it makes sense to eat more at night. The key is to make the diet fit in your life, not the other way around, to have more chances of being successful.
Most of us are not full-time athletes. We are part-time athletes with full-time jobs. Optimizing patterns of food distribution is a key factor in establishing a nutrition program that is functional, a long-term lifestyle plan rather than an unsustainable diet as a quick fix.
Think in terms of being a caveman during the day. Emphasizes light meals and snacks based on lean proteins, vegetables, whole fruit and small portions of nuts. Save the starch for dinner.
Then, when night comes, he lives in the style of a Japanese village. Eat a large dinner and sate with lean proteins, vegetables and some foods with natural starch such as yams, potatoes (potatos) or rice with portions that are based on the size of your body and your level of activity.