Chrononutrition: Eat For the Body You Want

Updated: Jan 12


Chrononutrition: How to Eat For the Body You Want

Eat for the body you want, not for the body you have.

Chrononutrition

There are four pillars of weight-loss and healthy eating - what you eat (quality), how much you eat (quantity), when you eat (timing) and where you eat (location). While the first two have always received a lot of attention, we often drop the ball on the third and fourth.


What we eat plays a significant role in our health, but when we eat is even more important. Even if two people eat the same foods and number of calories, an individual who eats most of his calories later in the day is more prone to weight gain than someone who eats bigger meals earlier in the day. In this article, we are going to focus on what you eat and when.


I have integrated "Chrononutrition" into my lifestyle. "Chrononutrition" was created by the French Doctor Alain Delabos, who studied "Chronobiology" and the effects of nutrition on our biological processes. Chronobiology studies variations of the timing and duration of biological activity in living organisms.


Our bodies function in a cycle – known as the circadian rhythm – it helps oversee the regulatory processes each day. These patterns help the body run efficiently, but erratic eating habits, especially late-night eating, and altered sleep schedules can throw them out of whack.


Alain studied Chronobiology and concluded that it does not matter the number of calories you eat, but rather when you eat them. Our bodies function in a rhythmic cycle, which helps the body run efficiently. Certain foods should be eaten at certain times of the day so the body can function correctly, use only what it needs, and digest it.


The relationship between dietary intake and the circadian clock is called chrono-nutrition, which indicates the impact of timing of eating on health. Chrono-nutrition includes three components of time: (1) regularity, (2) frequency, and (3) clock time. Chrono‐nutrition influences energy expenditure and body weight. It claims that eating the right food at the right time ensures you get the maximum nutrition out of it.


Chrono-nutrition involves synchronizing your eating patterns with your biological clock. It has its roots in Ayurveda and ancient Chinese medicine.


Ayurveda considers meal timings to be an essential aspect of health. The idea is that our body functions in sync with rhythmic cycles throughout the day - this is the reason why our body prompts us to eat, sleep, and be active at roughly the same time every day.


Chinese medicine says that every organ in our body has its own rhythm.


Both healing systems say the same thing: if we follow our body's rhythm and eat accordingly, our health will improve.


The Benefits of Chrono Nutrition

Following the Chrono Diet religiously for a substantial period can have several positive effects on the body, such as:

· Better digestion and absorption of nutrients

· Maximum benefits from the nutrients absorbed

· Weight management

· Fat loss

· Regulated cholesterol

· Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases

· Reduced risk of diabetes

· Strengthened immune system

· Balanced hormones


Chrono nutrition is not based on what you eat, as this is not the most important, but it is important when you eat and how you combine your food. These are the three main principles of the Chrono diet:

· beware of what you eat

· beware at what time you eat

· be careful how you combine foods


Eating at the Right Time

The Chrono diet is not actually a diet, so it is not included in the list of diets. This diet is designed to change your attitude towards food and effectively help reduce excess weight.


The key is to eat regular meals at the time when your body is at the height of its ability to process it. It's a simple schedule that targets your body's cortisol production, insulin, and digestion enzymes.

The basic principle of the Chrono Diet is based on the breaks between meals.


According to Dr. Delabos, there are certain times of day when our body naturally secrets hormones and enzymes that burn the nutrients in various food groups for energy instead of storing them as fat.


Timing is what the Chrono Diet is all about and adjusting your meals in tune with your body. The timeline of when you should eat is breakfast, then fast for 5 hours; lunch, then fast for 5 hours; then finally, dinner following a 12 hour fast. The hours between 12 pm and 2 pm are the most lenient time to enjoy various foods. It is a lot to take in, with a lot of rules, so here are some examples of menu suggestions based on the Chrono Diet:


Breakfast

Your breakfast should consist of one or two slices of mixed grain bread with butter and protein.

You could also eat your breakfast carbohydrates in the form of a hot cereal.

Staple breakfast foods like fried eggs, sausage or bacon are good choices for a morning protein because of their higher fat content.


Lunch

Combine protein with vegetables and fats.

You might have a mixed green salad with tomatoes and oil dressing, and/or steamed, grilled or sautéed vegetables.

For protein, eat chicken, fish, cheese, a pork chop, roast beef or lamb.


Dinner

This meal should be primarily protein, such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy products and eggs, with small amounts of vegetables.

You should not eat anything after dinner, especially carbohydrates.


If you decide to follow the chrono-diet, the golden rule is to ensure only three meals a day - breakfast, lunch, and dinner (optional). No snacks are allowed. If you crave sweets, incorporate them into your lunch only.


The gap between breakfast-lunch and lunch-dinner should be 4 to 5 hours. But between dinner and the next day's breakfast, the gap should be of at least 12 hours (16 hours is best) to break down the stored fats.


Biology makes a difference in weight loss. By changing your eating habits and eating the right foods at the right time, you can help your body to be much more efficient. Understanding the principles of chronobiology and following the Chronodiet can help you lose weight and become healthier.


Conclusion

The Chrono Diet helps you get the figure you want while improving your health without having to give up your favorite foods.


Another benefit of the Chrono Diet is how easily you can incorporate it into your everyday life. All you have to do is get the timing right and structure your meals properly.


Remember that the Chrono Diet is not a quick fix. It is a lifestyle and a diet that you commit to for life. It might be hard at the beginning, but once you get used to it, you will notice that this is the natural rhythm that your body has, and you will feel full of energy and not hungry at all.

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