Does eating carbohydrates at dinner make you fat?
It's false! This is a mistaken belief: it does not matter at what time of day we eat carbohydrates, but rather how many are introduced daily and how many total calories our diet consists of.
Bread, pasta and rice are foods rich in carbohydrates: nutrients that our body uses preferentially to obtain energy.
For a balanced diet, it is certainly important not to eat more than you should and be careful to consume them in portions appropriate to your body, age and physical activity. It is also good to have some precautions, for example to avoid elaborate condiments for first courses, therefore richer in fat and difficult to digest. However, the belief that carbohydrates should be excluded from the diet, or that it is better to eat them during the day and not in the evening, is groundless (Video).
The chronodiet is at the center of various scientific researches, which aim to understand how the hormonal fluctuations that occur during the day can have a relationship with the use of the nutrients introduced with the diet and how this relationship can play an important role in the " weight gain and loss; speech that is much more general than focusing only on the consumption of carbohydrates during the evening meal. What is important is not to consume too abundant meals late in the evening, especially rich in fats since energy in excess gained before going to bed is less likely to be burned and is more likely to be accumulated in the form of body fat.
The common opinion, widespread especially among sportspeople, not to take carbohydrates at dinner, stems mainly from the "mistaken belief that if taken before going to sleep and in the absence of major physical activities, they increase the likelihood of being transformed into fat.
It should be noted that energy consumption during sleep is not that different from that of a sedentary morning activity, such as sitting at a desk in front of a computer.
Indeed, for those who have difficulty sleeping at night, a carbohydrate-based dinner seems to favor night rest, stimulating the production of serotonin (the molecule of well-being) useful for going to sleep more relaxed and full.
In reality, carbohydrates do not necessarily make you fat and this does not change according to the time they are consumed: you get fat mainly due to an excess of calories introduced and an incorrect distribution of nutrients with respect to the body's needs. If you eat more than necessary, the increase in body fat is independent of the composition of the diet: in fact, the total calories count.
Similarly, a correct amount of calories calculated on personal energy needs and distributed in the right percentages of nutrients, does not lead to weight gain, regardless of the time in which some foods are consumed compared to others. Clearly, the amount of carbohydrates to be consumed each day varies from person to person; generally, it should amount to about 45-60% of the daily calories consumed and it is certainly important not to exceed.
However, rather than paying attention to "when" we eat, it is important to think about "how" and "what" we eat, being careful to follow a correct and balanced diet.
Therefore, it is not advisable to take carbohydrates in the evening, nor do they represent any danger for our figure, if not in the presence of different medical prescriptions.
1. Umberto Veronesi Foundation. The chronodiet: not only what and how much you eat is important, but when
2. Katayose Y, Tasaki M, Ogata H, Nakata Y, Tokuyama K, Satoh M. Metabolic rate and fuel utilization during sleep assessed by whole-body indirect calorimetry [Summary]. Metabolism. 2009; 58: 920-6
3. Sofer S, Eliraz A, Kaplan S, Voet H, Fink G, Kima T, Madar Z. Greater weight loss and hormonal changes after 6 months diet with carbohydrates eaten mostly at dinner. Obesity. 2011; 19: 2006-14