We all love our bread and pasta but have been told to cut out carbohydrates to lose weight. However, eating the right carbs and going on a carb backloading diet can actually help our metabolism. So, when is the best time to eat carbs –– a bagel for breakfast or spaghetti at night?
What is carb backloading?
Carb backloading is the relationship between carbs and hormones like insulin and cortisol, which play a role in how likely you are to burn carbs or store them, according to the website Health. Carb backloading dieters believe that shifting the majority of your carb intake, as well as your workout, to the evening enhances the works of hormones, and prevents carbs from being forced into fat cells.
According to Heath, during the day you’re limiting your carb intake. The strategy is said to help reduce fat and build muscle while you enjoy your favorite carbs such as pasta, bread, and sweets at night, after you’ve finished your workout.
How does it work?
According to Dr. Anthony Gustin, DC, MS in an article for the website Perfect Keto, this diet focuses heavily on hormonal function timing. When you’re sleeping, your body burns fat, releasing a growth hormone. Upon waking, the goal of carb backloading is to stay in this fat-burning state. This can be achieved by consuming only fats and proteins throughout the day. Being in this fat-burning mode, also called “ketosis,” is one of the pillars to the carb backloading protocol.
Lengths of ketosis have shown to control hunger and improve metabolism. For breakfast, stick to a low carb, high fat meal such as a chicken, egg and cheese breakfast casserole. For lunch, continue to consume meals consisting of mostly fats and protein, with a large portion of your calories coming from healthy fats. Remember to keep carbohydrates low by eating a low carbohydrate meal. Most of your calories from carbohydrates will come after your workout. The “post-workout” principle is important because this is when your body is most likely to store glycogen into the muscles and not into your fat cells.
Benefits of carb backloading
According to the health website Healthline, there are many benefits to carb backloading:
- Reduces cravings: The diet helps allow you to be less restrictive during the night, so it’s okay to have junk food once in awhile, as long as you have stayed low carb for most of the day. Recent studies show that giving into your cravings can help you achieve your weight loss goals faster.
- Less stored fat: The main strategy to this diet is to utilize hormonal function. By staying in nutritional ketosis throughout the day, your body burns off excess fat.
- Better sleep: Carb consumption at night time helps produce more tryptophan. Insulin allows tryptophan into the brain and that tryptophan allows the process of converting serotonin into melatonin which allows you to sleep.