In his latest book, Skinny Meals, author and The Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper offers a collection of 100 recipes under 350 calories supposedly designed to jumpstart your weight loss. The trick: No carbs after lunch.
The idea of restricting carbohydrates after a certain time of day to slim down is not a new concept. And Harper doesn’t eliminate all carbs post-lunch—you can have vegetables anytime of day on his plan—but he believes that going to bed a little bit hungry aids in losing pounds and digestion because your activity slows down at night.
Some science supports the idea of eating earlier in the day or cutting carbs to drop a size (or a few). And considering the kind of carbs we tend to eat at night—let’s face it, most of us aren’t munching on broccoli florets in front of the TV—choosing to reduce or restrict carbs makes you more mindful of evening side dishes and desserts that could sabotage your weight-loss goals.
However, many experts say it’s not when you eat but how much you eat later in the day that matters. Totally contradicting Harper’s advice, a 2011 study found that men who ate most of their carbs at dinner lost more weight than those who didn’t.
What it all may come down to is the way you metabolize glucose says Mary Hartley, a registered dietician. “When people are insulin resistant (pre-diabetic), their blood sugar starts climbing in the morning when they first eat and stays high for the rest of the day. That can cause hunger and fat storage.”
Overall, how many carbs you eat and when isn’t as important as making sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need, she adds.
“I kept eating a ton of protein and fat to try to keep weight on … egg yolks, red meat, you name it. But the weight kept falling off and I had a gaunt and sinewy look.”
The “Only in My Dreams” singer explained that the people close to her began to get very concerned over her appearance.
“At times, my boyfriend would insist I eat some pasta and butter, even though I did not feel great doing it,” she says. “‘You need to gain weight,’ he would say. My spine was frail and unprotected.”
Gibson made the attempt to get Botox after she started losing the weight to smooth out her lines.
“Both the trauma of the needles and the toxin itself wreaked havoc on my physical and mental state. I will never put this or any other toxin into my body for vanity reasons again.”
“Five days after the treatment, I was texting my boyfriend and he noticed I was mixing up my words. I had trouble with directions and driving. I was terrified.”
Since then, Gibson has found a doctor who she says has helped her tremendously by putting her on medications and antibiotics.
“I actually feel like me again,” she said of her latest treatments.
“We all face challenges and I am learning much from the ones I am facing. No disease in the body can keep the spirit from soaring, the love from pouring, and nothing can stop the music.”