I've heard that you shouldn't eat carbs after 4:00 p.m. if you want to lose weight. Is this true?
First of all, carbohydrates do not make you fat; excess calories make you fat.Carbohydrates are often associated with weight gain since a lot of them are processed. Unlike unprocessed carbs, the processed kind don’t make you feel full, which consequently makes you more likely to overeat. For example, whole-grain bread and white bread have the same amount of calories, but whole-grain bread is more filling -- and it makes you feel satisfied longer. What you want to do is eat in moderation overall, regardless of what part of the day it is.
So, trendy low-carb diets aside, not eating carbs after 4:00 p.m. really isn’t effective weight loss advice. Weight loss and weight gain basically come down to calories in versus calories out; if you eat more calories than your body burns in a given day, you will gain weight -- and if your body burns more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. With this in mind, a well-balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruit, lean meats, whole grains and healthy fats can generally be eaten well past 4:00 p.m. without it sinking your weight loss goals. As long as you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re burning, you will still lose weight.
About the Expert
Dr. Beau Boshers is based out of PGA Medical Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He emphasizes preventative health care by offering medically supervised weight loss programs and nutrition and exercise counseling.