Dieting is a source of immense frustration for most of us; not only are there innumerable diets and opinions on what works best, but most diets are difficult to follow. Cutting out certain foods is often expensive, annoying on a daily basis, and makes eating out impossible. Worse, it rarely works as advertised!
One of the most common dieting tips is cutting out carbs. Of course, when most dieticians talk about carbs they are referring to “empty” carbs—bread, baked goods, and starches like rice and potatoes. There’s nothing wrong with cutting back on grains and filling up on protein, fruits, and vegetables. But you really don’t need to eliminate a whole food group to eat healthy. Instead, follow this simple trick: eating more carbs during the morning and middle of the day and reducing or eliminating carbohydrate consumption in the afternoon and evening.
Here’s why. Eating carbs in the morning helps your body store energy. When you stop eating carbs in the afternoon you let your body burn off energy and absorb excess water. For most people, this means you eat your biggest meals of the day at breakfast and lunch and follow up with a light dinner. Eating a heavy meal right before bed can cause bloating and, as you body needs less energy during the night than during the day, weight gain.
That said, don’t starve yourself after lunch! Keep in mind that carbs cause your blood sugar to spike. You don’t want to crash and feel groggy and tired all afternoon or evening if you’ve got a big day ahead of you. Just focus on providing your body with power for the day and don’t shovel down a big bowl of pasta in the evening when you’re not doing anything! Bring some healthy snacks to work instead!
It’s important to keep in mind that health science isn’t particularly rigorous or exact. Carbohydrates aren’t “good” or “bad.” The key to a healthy diet is portion control and listening to your body’s specific needs. But this trick can help you avoid eating more than you need and provide your body with all the energy you need!