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Myth 6 Carbs at night will make you fat

This sounds reasonable at first glance. Most of us are less active in the later hours of the day, and unless you’re an avid sleepwalker, you’re probably not getting much physical activity while you sleep. Therefore, any carbs you chow down on past 6 p.m. are likely to be stored as fat, because your metabolism slows down and insulin sensitivity is reduced.

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But the reality is that your resting metabolic rate isn’t much different when you sleep than it is during the day.8,9 Exercising during the day can increase your sleeping metabolic rate significantly, however, leading to greater fat oxidation while you dream about 22-inch biceps.

There’s actually a case to be made that the opposite of this myth is true. A 2011 study examining the effects of carb timing found that participants who ate 80 percent of their total carbohydrate intake at night lost significantly more weight and body fat than the group who ate their carbs throughout the day.11 Additionally, the group that feasted on carbs at night reported feeling less hunger.

I’m not suggesting you save all your carbs for the evening, but if you’re hungry and have a few more calories to go before finishing off your macros, don’t fear the carb. Coupled with a little protein, you’ll not only go to bed with a happier stomach, but you’ll help your muscles grow and recover faster.

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