This article reminds us of the elegant traditional practice of aligning our eating patterns with our natural physiological rhythms for a slim and healthy body.
It’s a familiar story with many: the diet saga. Whether skipping meals or eliminating carbohydrates, 100 percent raw or totally carnivorous — the options are endless in the promise of slimming down and winning the battle of the bulge for good. A little known, yet elegant strategy is beginning to emerge, however: bio-circadian nutrition. The idea is simple. Align yourself with natural physiological rhythms and say farewell to fad diets, strange weight loss regimes and popping endless pills.
Take a cue from traditional cultures
In our fast-paced, frantically productive lives, we are often blind to the subtle prompts of the body. We launch out of bed in the morning stressed, frazzled and overwhelmed, skipping breakfast and heading straight for Starbucks to gulp down our fix. Lunch tends to be light and rushed then we wonder why we need a serious hit of caffeine and sugar mid afternoon. A heavy evening meal follows and we collapse into bed on a full stomach. To make matters worse, we feel sluggish, foggy and fat.
Just for a moment, consider a different scenario. Imagine an adequate and balanced breakfast is consumed. Next, a substantial noontime meal. Afterwards, a quiet rest period is observed. We return to work refreshed, alert and productive. The evening meal is light. Sleep is rejuvenating, healing and thorough. When the following day arrives, we are refreshed, energetic and clear. And the body is slim and healthy.
Truth be told, many traditional cultures have practiced this way of being for centuries. What these societies recognized that we have forgotten is the importance of respecting natural cycles. According to Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, “…the body is designed to optimally digest and calorie burn when the sun is at its apex in the sky. This is a little known but fascinating scientific fact. By not putting fuel in the furnace at this time, or simply by not eating enough, you miss your peak metabolic window of opportunity, which is approximately 12:00 to 1:30 in the afternoon.” Our metabolism is also directly linked with body temperature — the hotter we run, the more calories we burn. So if we take advantage of our peak heat/metabolic times throughout the day, the body will burn calories efficiently and function more smoothly. We will also enjoy better health and clarity of mind. As our system begins to cool down toward the end of the day, it behooves us to respect this rhythm as well by keeping our evening meal small. Sound, refreshing sleep will be the reward along with a svelte figure.
To benefit from bio-circadian nutrition, keep in mind the following key cycles:
Metabolism and body temperature peak between 12:00-1:30 p.m. and slowly rise again between 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Decline occurs between 2:00-5:00 p.m. and around 9:00 p.m.
Whenever we are struggling with stubborn extra pounds, consider honoring the above phases. By tuning into natural inner and outer prompts, we may just find excess weight disappearing, never to return.