What’s the Best Time of Day to Eat Carbs?

Is it better to consume your carbs early in the day or in the evening? Does time of day affect your weight, or weight loss? Nutrition Diva explains.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read

What’s the Best Time of Day to Eat Carbs?


Q. A few diet plans suggest that the timing of when certain foods are eaten throughout the day is the key for weight loss. For example, consuming carbs early in the day and no starches in the evening is supposed to control your hormones and insulin. Is there any truth to this? Is it better to eat certain foods at certain times of the day?

A. Actually, I know of at least one study that found precisely the opposite. In this study, several dozen police officers were put on a low-calorie diet to lose weight. Some of them distributed their carbs evenly throughout the day and the others ate most of their carbs at dinner. After 6 month, the guys who ate their carbs at night lost more weight, reported less hunger, and had improved hormone profiles—both in terms of insulin and also hormones that appear to control appetite and weight gain.

If eating most of your carbs in the evening works out well for your lifestyle, you might want to experiment to see how it affects your hunger levels or results. It might help a little or it might not make a noticeable difference. Either way, however, the most effective diet is the one that you can stick to. 

Related Content:
What’s the Best Diet for You?
How to Lose Weight Without Dieting

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About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.