No doubt you have probably heard a mix of everything regarding late night eating habits? Advice from one person says, “No carbs after 6pm!” and the next says, “Eat right before you go to bed to maximize gains!”
The truth is that there is no late night eating habit that can totally ruin your physique - It doesn’t matter! Eating carbs right before jumping into bed isn't a problem. However, you could also not eat carbs before hitting the sack and you would also be OK!
At this point you are probably wondering, “Alright, then what should I do?”
To begin with, nutritional timing is mostly irrelevant. Of course, pre/post workout meals are crucial because you want to fuel your body before training to boost your workout and you also want to fuel your body post workout to aid your recovery. However, these two situations aside, your nutritional timing isn’t all that important.
Of far more significance is your macronutrient breakdown and ensuring that you meet those daily requirements. What is a macronutrient? Macronutrients are the elements by which our calories are made up of. These are better known as Fats, Carbohydrates and Protein. These three macronutrients make up our total caloric consumption for the day and tracking your intake of these macronutrients is key to changing your physique.
My personal recommendation is to use My Fitness Pal to set your caloric and macronutrients targets for the day. Using this, you can use the app or website to put in your daily food consumption. The app keeps track of your macronutrients for you that way you always know both, how much you’ve consumed and how much you have left to consume.
In simple terms, burning more calories than you intake will cause you to lose weight and doing the opposite will make you gain weight. However, taking things one step further and not just tracking calories, but tracking macronutrient totals will provide you with better results overall.
Finally, the foods you eat is NOT as important as the macronutrients that make up these foods. To put it another way, fat is fat, protein is protein and a carb is a carb – inconsiderate of the source. The only incidence this would not apply would be if you have a predisposed health condition that is influenced by consuming certain foods. So with that being said, you can basically eat what you want, whenever you want, as long as you adhere to your personal macronutrient targets every day! This gives you a much more feasible diet because you can alter food choices and actually enjoy your diet.
Forget trying to conform to dieting illusions and start getting results while actually enjoying your diet!