These days a lot of people are very careful about what they eat. Eating different foods can have different effects on your health, so it’s important to know what you’re putting inside your body. But did you know that when you eat can also have an impact on your health? This is the focus of chrono-nutrition, which can potentially change the way people eat.
What is chrono-nutrition?
You might not notice it right away, but your body has its own natural rhythm, called the circadian rhythm. This rhythm dictates your different bodily processes, such as when you should sleep, when you should wake up, and so on.
Of course, your circadian rhythm can also change because of outside influences. Traveling to a different time zone can mess up your circadian rhythm, so does working the night shift, or when you eat your meals.
Since your circadian rhythm can have a big impact on your health, having a rhythm that’s not in sync can cause a lot of problems. And that’s exactly what chrono-nutrition seeks to address.
It’s essentially a way to “match” your body clock to when you eat your meals. Eating certain types of foods during specific times of the day can potentially give you more benefits compared to simply eating those foods at odd times of the day.
A diet based around this, called the chrono diet, was developed by French nutritionist Dr. Alain Delabos and it can help you lose weight and regulate your appetite simply by changing when you eat certain types of foods.
How do you get started with the chrono diet?
If you’re looking to improve the way you eat through chrono dieting, the main thing to remember is the old adage: “Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.
For your breakfast, you should be eating animal fats and whole-grain carbohydrates. So foods like wheat bread, bacon, sausages, ham, egg, and cheese would be ideal for your breakfast.
For lunch, you’ll need to eat protein-rich foods, as well as foods that are rich in starch. Try to avoid eating vegetables during this time since you’ll be eating most of your vegetables in the evening. According to Dr. Delabos, mineral salts in vegetables can cause weight gain if eaten during the day.
As a snack, have a bit of fruit, or a handful of nuts. Vegetable oils are ideal as a snack, but make sure not to eat too much. Just eat a little to help tide you over until dinner.
For dinner, you should be eating your lightest meal of the day. Ideally, your dinner has to be composed of mostly vegetables, with fish, shellfish, or lean meats. If you’re still full from your lunch, then you can choose to skip dinner entirely.
You can also drink at least two glasses of red wine or champagne if you want. Other drinks are too sugary, so it’s best to stick to water for the most part.
The main thing to remember about chrono dieting is that it’s not going to be an instant solution for weight loss. It’s going to take at least six to eight weeks of chrono dieting before your body starts to lose the fats and get used to your new diet.
It’s also a good idea to match it with daily exercise, since you’ll start to feel more energized and active throughout the day.