As promised in my last post, I wanted to take the time to update you about my current nutrition. For the past four weeks or so, I have been eating carbs at night – shock, horror! A couple of months ago, I was planning on starting carb backloading. But something happened health-wise (more on that in a few weeks!) which meant fasting was no longer an option.
I have always enjoyed eating carbohydrates at night, but something has held me back. It’s been a long time since I believed the myth of not eating after 7pm, and I never had a problem with eating carbs at night per se – but only if I worked out in the late afternoon/evening.
I have always preferred to train in the morning. I typically eat carbs pre- and post-workout, and then with one or two meals following that. From everything I had read, it seemed wrong to have carbs at night if I was exercising in the mornings. I’ve never really been fussed whether I eat carbs during the day, but I always crave them in the evening. Lately my cravings have amplified, maybe because of my new powerlifting style of training or perhaps because of my 10 miles of biking per day.
I function better on a higher carbohydrate diet, as do most people. It’s incredible how so many of my clients come to me with diets of only 10-20 per cent carbohydrates. They are amazed when the single act of me increasing their carbohydrates gives them more energy, gets rid of their cravings AND results in fat loss. Most people – women especially – are terrified of eating carbohydrates because we are taught that they cause fat gain, and are only needed around exercise.
I think carbohydrates are an extremely important part of your diet for all times of day, not just post-workout. This is the reason I never promote low-carb or ketosis diets for more than a month at a time, if at all. I think there are smarter, more sensible ways to lose fat. Yes, it takes a bit of experimentation to understand your carbohydrate tolerance (most people severely underestimate it!), but your patience in doing so will pay off in the long run as you get to eat more food and be permanently leaner – unlike the temporary effects of most low-carb diets.
I eat a lot of food. I’m not a blogger who claims to do so, and then picks at salad and protein frosting all day long. I honestly DO eat a lot of food. I try not to talk about exactly what I eat too often, because I don’t want to negatively influence any of my readers but I have done one post detailing my whole day’s eats before. I’m currently eating similar to that, only now I’m having an additional (large) serve of carbohydrates in the evening. (I can do another post like this if you’re interested?)
You would think that working in a gym would have put a stop to coworkers commenting on what I eat, but no. The guys I work with can’t believe how much food I eat, and how often. One of them asked me for advice, after he said he was eating a lot but not gaining any weight (he only weighs 3 kilograms more than me!). When I told him he wasn’t eating enough, he laughed in my face and said he eats so much. I challenged him to list everything he eats, and we quickly realised I eat a lot more than him – which isn’t hard considering he has ZERO carbs!
I never count my calories unless I’m actively trying to lean out (which I’m not) but since I know someone will ask, I estimate I’m taking in around 2500 calories per day. My macro split is about 40 per cent carbohydrates (around 250g), 30 per cent protein and 30 per cent fat.
When I decided to eat carbs at night, I didn’t make any other changes to my diet. And yet I haven’t seen a single negative effect. I haven’t gained fat, become bloated or spontaneously combusted. Most mornings I wake up starving and I have more energy for my workouts.
This photo was taken after eating a big meal of carbs. No, I’m not shredded but I’m enjoying my life and I’m at a healthy weight for my body. (Side note: I went to Lululemon last weekend and snagged the Bordeaux studio pants (LOVE!) and the Breath of Fire bra. This is probably the best sports bra I’ve ever owned because it gets rid of the dreaded uniboob!)
Please don’t be afraid of listening to your body and fuelling yourself with carbohydrates. At the very least, try increasing your carbohydrate intake for one month and see how your body responds – you might be surprised!
Do you eat carbs at night? Have you ever held back from eating carbs at night? Would you like to see another post of my daily meals?