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Is It Really Necessary to Cut off Carbs at Night?

Sevin Rey - Madame Figaro

6-May-2022

Is It Really Necessary to Cut off Carbs at Night?

What we should ask ourselves is whether avoiding eating bread at dinner will really help us in losing weight. Find out the answers given by a professional nutritionist.

Nowadays, knowing that starchy foods provide energy, we think that they should be avoided at night not to gain weight. In fact, we always opt for pasta after a full day of work since it’s easy to prepare, or a salad with some bread to feel full. But is it a good idea to include carbs in our dinner if we’re seeking weight loss?

A key for satiety

Bread, cereals (rice, wheat, barley, oats, rye…), along with legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas, dried beans…) are part from the starch family. These foods provide complex sugars that are slowly assimilated by the body and give it the energy it needs. In the evening, this energy would be transformed into fat if it’s not completely used. Nutritionist Corinne Chicheportiche - Ayache confirms that our body stores carbs if we eat a lot of them; however, eliminating them completely from our meal is not an option. According to her, the effect of satiety brought by starchy foods is to be taken into account, even if the aim is to lose weight. The professional added that it is necessary to have carbs at every meal, even at dinner, mentioning that it’s better to be careful with rice and pasta dishes since the quantity is difficult to control.

Carbs and physical activity

According the nutritionist, it is preferable, in absence of physical activity, to have a good intake of starchy foods at lunch to diminish hunger in the evening. “If you are satisfied with a salad of raw vegetables at lunchtime, you will inevitably want to eat some bread or a risotto in the evening rather than broccoli,” she warned.

For those who work out after coming from work, starchy foods are essential because they will provide the energy needed by the body to replenish its reserves. The nutritionist advised that they can eat four to five tablespoons of pasta or brown rice for dinner.

Opt for whole-grain starchy foods

Whether you’re working out or not, it is necessary to eat starchy foods at every meal because of their low glycemic index. In fact, the lower the glycemic index is, the longer it takes for the body to digest it and the slower the blood sugar level rises. You feel fuller for longer, so snacking won’t be an option. Corinne Chicheportiche – Ayache indicated that potatoes and white rice are to be avoided in the evening. It is therefore preferred to consume dried vegetables such as beans or lentils with vegetables so that they’re not consumed in large quantities.