You may have heard that if you're trying to lose weight, you shouldn't eat carbs late at night, because it'll make you gain weight. Leanne Ward, a sports dietitian known as the_fitness_dietitian on Instagram, posted this to settle things once and for all.
Leanne says, "They won't... as long as the carbs/meals you consume are within your energy budget. Ie... any macronutrients (carbs, fat & protein) will make you gain weight if you're eating in surplus (too much food for your body's needs)." She goes on, "As long as the calories you're consuming at night are within your body's required amounts, you will not gain weight."
So, basically, as long as you eat the right number of calories per day, including the appropriate amount of carbs, fats, and protein for your goals, it doesn't matter what time you eat them. Amazing to hear this from a dietitian, right?!
Leanne does have some advice about when it's best to load up on carbs. She says, "My top tip is to space your carbohydrate intake around your training, your body responds best & uptakes carbs easiest straight after an exercise session. I eat 150g of rice at dinner most nights after my workout... I also have carbs the morning after training & just before my training sessions 🙊🍌 I haven't gained any weight as my body needs these carbs to recover & fuel my body."
So go ahead and eat that pasta for dinner, or that brown rice or sweet potato with your salmon. The only carbs you might want to avoid late at night are the simple carbs and the sugary ones like cake, crackers, or ice cream (sorry). Eating those will spike your blood-sugar levels, and when your energy levels spike and plummet, it could disrupt your sleep.
If you need help figuring out how to calculate your macros, try these formulas.