Before we even delve into the topic at hand, it is important first to understand how exactly fat loss/gain takes place. If you are consuming more calories than you are expending daily, you will GAIN weight. This is called eating in a caloric surplus. On the other hand, if you are consuming LESS calories than you are expending daily, you will LOSE weight. This is called eating in a caloric deficit.
Therefore, regardless of the time that you choose to indulge in your carbohydrates, as long as you are eating within the confines of your caloric deficit, you will lose fat! What matters most when it comes to fat loss is eating in a sustained calorie deficit over time. In addition to that, consume enough protein and resistance train at least 3 times per week, and you are guaranteed amazing results!
Lastly, it is imperative to keep your carbohydrate intake as high as possible, especially when in a fat loss phase, because of 2 main reasons:
1. Carbs are protein sparing. This means that if the body is undersupplied with its preferred energy source i.e. carbs, then it will look to the amino acids (proteins) that muscle mass is comprised of as an alternative fuel source. This is detrimental as it can potentially lead to the loss of your hard earned muscle over time.
2. Carbs fuel gym performance. If your performance in the gym stays high then you will build muscle mass. However, should you lack the necessary energy, again, by under eating carbs then your performance in the gym will suffer, gradual strength loss will occur and you will lose muscle mass. Remember, muscle mass is costly for the body to keep around. You MUST give it a good reason to do so. Progressive Resistance Training is that reason. But you will only continue to make progress if you have the energy to do so.
So there you have it. Eat your carbs whenever it is that you like, and eat as many as your calorie budget for the day allows. Stick to your deficit and you can rest easy knowing that results thereafter?