Being your health coach, we are always up to new experiments to discover the best possible yet the healthiest way to reduce weight.
Recently we heard a great deal about ‘no carbs after dark’ diet. To know if ‘no carb after dark’ was just a fallacy or a fat killer, Fitso expert Dr. Ritu Kumari decided to conduct an experiment. But before telling you about our experimentation and its result, we would wish to partake in a few facts about carbohydrates with all our readers.
Why you should never cut down carbs altogether?
There are three primary reasons why we never ask our clients to reduce carbs completely from their everyday diet.
- Carbohydrates are a vital source of energy and are needed primarily to carry our various body functions. Our body can even derive energy from protein, but our brain can obtain power only through carbohydrates. If you cut carbs from your daily diet, you will start experiencing dizziness, mental confusion and lack of concentration along with generalized fatigue.
- Protein is needed by the body to repair cells and make new ones. If we cut carbohydrates, then the body will utilize protein to gain energy, and less protein will be available to carry out the wear and tear process.
- Carbohydrates promote the recovery from anaerobic and strenuous activity. During the periods of no activity, the extra carbs get stored so that they can be broken down to derive energy whenever required.
Carbs have earned a terrible reputation. They have been demonized as instigators of weight increase. Simply, you necessitate realizing the fact that crabs not only mean pasta or sugar. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds all are sources of carbohydrates. You need to acknowledge the sources of good carbs to be included in your diet and the sources of bad carbs you are required to exclude.
What are good carbohydrates and their sources
Refined carbohydrates such as white pasta and white bread are digested quickly and spike the blood glucose level. This in turn spikes hunger and you crave more sugar or carbs. The extra sugar is stored in muscles, and during the period of inactivity, they are converted into fat.
Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are seen as good carbs. Their sources include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Being rich in fiber this food takes time to digest, renders the feeling of fullness for a long time, promotes controlled eating and thus promotes weight loss.
How many calories you need to trim down when you are on a weight loss regimen?
On an average, a woman needs approximately 2000 calories per day, and men need 2500 calories per day. But if they are trying to lose weight they need to cut down the calorie intake. Traditionally if a woman wants to lose a pound in a week, she needs to reduce calorie intake to 1500. Similarly male needs to cut down the calorie intake to 2000 to lose a pound in a week. Cutting down more calories than recommended is unhealthy and leaves you mentally and physically exhausted. However, some other factors also play a significant role in counting calorie intake such as age, height, metabolic health, and activity level thus it is always better to consult your dietician once. Now according to ‘The Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ 45 to 65 percent of total calories should come from carbs. So, if you are on a weight loss program, I recommend moderate intake of carbs that means consuming 100 to 150 Grams of carbohydrates per day.
Where did this ‘no carbs after dark’ diet come from?
The hypothesis that holds that eating carb during night time or close to the bed time is the bad idea is that while sleeping the body metabolic rate slows, we burn less calorie, and so the extra calorie converts into fats. But, a few studies also show that during the latter half of the sleep the energy expenditure associated with REM sleep increases.
To find out if ‘no carb after dark’ is a fat killer or a fallacy let’s head towards the trial on ‘no carbs after dark’ experiment.
The experiment on ‘no carbs after dark.’
With the consent of our two clients, we began the study. Abide with the privacy terms we are introducing them as ‘Client A’ and ‘Client B.’
‘Client A’ and ‘Client B’ both are 29 years old females of almost same stature and built. They both weighed about 75 Kgs and were desperate to lose weight. They both are working women and had sedentary life style.
Both ‘Clients An’ and ‘Client B’ to follow 1500 calorie diet strictly for two weeks along with 45 minutes of exercise 5 times in a week. They were needed to consume only 150 Grams of healthy carbohydrate every day. Aside from this, they had to maintain a food journal and note down everything they eat along with the eating time. Likewise, they were stated to note down any health issues and mood swings they experience. The only difference that was made in their diet schedule was that ‘Client A,’ was restricted from eating carbs after dark. She was suggested to consume the total amount of recommended carbs dividing it into 5 small meals before dark. During evening time she was advised to have vegies, chicken, seafood, lean meat, fish or egg.
The result of the experiment
After two weeks both the clients of were called. The Fitso team was glad to see that they both have reduced weight.
‘Client A’ lost almost 1.3 Kgs, and ‘Client B’ lost 1 kg. Going through their food diaries, our team found that both have strictly followed the given instructions.
‘Client A’ initially found it hard to curb her cravings for carbs after dark and face mood swings, but before long she started enjoying her new diet routine.
As ‘Client A’ lost more weight than client B so to some extent, our experiment favored the ‘no carb diet after dark.’
But, as “Client B also reduced weight and there was not much divergence. Hence our experiment concludes following points:
- Carbohydrates are not your enemy during the night. You can have them unless they are adding extra calories to your daily recommended diet.
- More than the time of eating, it is what to eat and how much to eat that play an essential role in achieving an ideal body weight.
- If you want to lose weight, you need to trim down the excess calories. Meet your dietician to get your calorie need calculated.
- Key to ideal weight is to include healthy carbs to your food list.
- Likewise, you need to give a break to your sedentary life style and travel along a strict exercise routine. Dedicate at least 45 minutes/5 days in a week to exercise.