Chrono diet or Chrononutrition is a kind of diet that was formed using facts derived from a young science called chronobiology.
Chronobiology is a field that studies the periodic physiological changes in humans. Simply put, it is the study of how living organisms adapt to solar and lunar periods; the body’s Circadian Regulatory System (Circadian Rhythm). Chronobiology is based on the right thing occurring at the right time. And with the use of this science, Dr Alain Delabos in collaboration with Professor Jean-Robert Rapin, created the Chrono Diet or Chrononutrition in 1986 by adapting their findings on chronobiology (particularly the biorhythms of the human body) to nutrition and weight loss.
Chrono diet is a nonrestrictive diet as all foods except lactose rich dairy products are permitted. The Chrono diet is simply concerned with the alignment of meals to the times the body optimally absorbs and processes particular foods and supplements. It centers on the basic principle that any food is good for the body provided it is eaten at the right time and in good quantity. Since nutrients are absorbed by the body, either from the glucose in the bloodstream or fat deposits in the body only during specific time periods. Your body be must given sufficient nutrients per meal as well as enough time to use up these nutrients.
This food program specifies that the hours between 12pm and 2pm are the best time to enjoy a variety of foods. This is because poor nutrition has fewer consequences during the aforementioned hours.
Also, Chrono diet recommends 12 hours of fasting between dinner and breakfast. This is so because cell regeneration is swift at night and your organs can consume a large amount of energy while you sleep. By avoiding carbohydrates from the late afternoon onwards, a lack of glucose in the blood will occur during the night time, ergo the body is forced to convert fat into energy in order to complete its overnight tasks. The 12 hours fast between dinner and breakfast is simply an avenue for you to lose weight while you sleep. Hence one schedules their food intake in this manner;
Breakfast – 5 hours fasting – Lunch – 5 hours fasting – dinner – 12 hours fasting
Although the Chrono diet was created in a 1986, it was arguably the most recommended diet in 2018, and it is not hard to see why; the Chrono diet allows you to lose weight quickly while keeping mealtime a joyous time. It slows down the aging process. Unlike many diets, you don’t need to join a club, count calories, or use meal-replacement shakes. Weight loss achieved using this diet is easy to maintain on a long term basis.
Delabo and Rapin presented evidence that chrononutrition can aid in the reduction of cholesterol levels or prevent cardiovascular disease. Since the presentation of chrononutrition, scientists have been conducting several studies to see how chrononutrition can be used to improve daily life. Yet, there are many aspects of Chrononutrition that remain unexplored.
Observations from a 2018 study emphasize that Chrononutrition is of importance in people with diabetes. This is because insulin sensitivity has been shown to exhibit circadian rhythmicity. The researchers recognized that optimal hormonal and hepatic function begins in the early morning (4:00am) and fades in the early evening (4:00pm). This research also revealed that the evening lifestyle of an individual defines morning glycemia. And that things such as late-night feeding and night-shift work introduce a “jet-lag” experience in the body which when sustained, guarantees metabolic dysregulation.
Another research conducted in 2018 showed that limiting the amount of energy consumed and engaging in intermittent fasting extends the lifespan of mammals and prevent or delay the onset of major health related diseases. The research also showed that the clock mechanism of the body regulates metabolism and that the timing of meals can impact the well-being of a person.
The available knowledge on Chrononutrition is continually increasing, each research conducted on this subject creates room for more exploration and discuss on the extent of its influence. And as we continue to advance in our knowledge, it is becoming increasingly apparent that what we eat and when we eat are equally important for the proper functioning of our bodies.