Do Carbohydrates Make Me Fat?
NO! An excess intake of any nutrient carbs, fats, and protein over your daily caloric needs will cause weight gain. Carbohydrates are a necessary nutrient that provide energy for the body, metabolism of fats, space muscle proteins, and provide essential fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Eating carbohydrates that are moderate- to low-glycemic index can help with satiety (the feeling of being full), regulating blood sugar, and balance energy levels. Eating an abundance of high-glycemic index foods (sugar, refined processed carbs) can lead to uncontrolled spikes in blood sugar, low energy, and increased appetite.
Does Eating at Night Make Me Fat?
Depends on how many calories you have left at the end of the day. Gaining weight is not about WHEN you eat, but about HOW MUCH you eat. If you do not go over your caloric needs for the day, you can eat as late as you want. If you would like to have your biggest meal as dinner, you certainly can if you stay within you appropriate caloric needs. Timing of meals is not something I will address here, but you can time your meals to optimize your performance, energy, and mood throughout the day.
Is a Low-Fat/High-Carb or High-Protein/Low-Carb Diet Better for Weight Loss?
Neither! Weight loss is achieved when you are consistently below your caloric needs for the day. These restrictive diets are cause for high dropout rates, find an eating style that you can stick with! Some studies show that you can lose weight faster on a low-carb diet in the first couple months, but after ~12 months the total weight loss is similar. Weight loss is not a sprint it’s a marathon. It is not a fad, it needs to be a lifestyle change. The primary goal of weight loss is to improve health by lowering body fat while maintaining your FFM (Fat Free Mass) and muscle tissue.
Can I Eat Whatever I Want as Long as I Exercise?
No! Your body needs to be supplied with the essential vitamins and minerals its needs to function. Also the majority of your burned calories throughout the day does not actually come from exercise. Average calories burned ranges from 200-500 during a typical exercise session. So doing a workout, and then “treating” yourself because you earned it with some junk food will most likely put you back over your caloric need for the day. Be mindful of your choices!
Is a High-Protein Diet Superior for Muscle Gain?
Depends what you consider high. The body does need the correct amount of protein to grow, maintain, and repair itself. Amino acids, which are what proteins are made up of, are the building materials for the body. An active individual does need more protein due to an increased need for body repair from exercise. Science bases protein intake at minimum of ~0.7 grams of protein per pound of body mass. I myself am currently consuming ~1.1 g/lb. Now this is specific to each individual, so this exact number may not match your needs. I would recommend working with a dietitian or nutritionist to determine your body’s protein needs.