4. 7 Circadian rhythm diet
The Circadian rhythm diet or “not another diet!”, has been created by doctor Daniela Jakubowicz, and it has become quite popular. In this lesson, we will explain some guidelines of this diet as well as suggestions to follow it.
It is guided by the wakefulness/sleep pattern, and based on an abundant breakfast "The big breakfast diet", high in proteins, to the effect of calming the anxiety of the rest of the day.
To understand the scientific foundations of this diet, it is a good idea to understand the point given by its author.
“The circadian rhythm refers to the rhythm our hormones adopt depending if it's in the day or night. Depending on these natural changes, what we eat will become fat or energy.
Thus, we need to eat any food rich in fats and calories during the time in the day in which we will transform it into energy. The rest of the day, we need to control this type of food. Since we are not suppressing it, the desire of eating restricted food is non-existent.”
This theory is divided into 2 phases: the day-time phase (starts at sunrise) and night-time phase (starts at dusk).
”When it's time for bed, our body begins to produce serotonin (hormone that regulates appetite, the desire for sweets, chocolate and flour). The higher the level of this hormone is, the less we will want to eat these types of food; the lower the levels are, the more we will want to eat them. It's important to know that this hormone is still elevated when we wake up. This produces a rejection towards breakfast. It drops drastically around 5 o'clock in the afternoon, which is why we feel a low and we get an urge to eat sweets.
During morning hours, the hormones that transform everything into energy (cortisol, adrenaline and dopamine) prevail. These hormones keep the body in a state of being awake. As soon as we open our eyes, we should drink a glass of milk, since this stimulates the aforementioned hormones”
According to the author, carbohydrates can also be consumed in the morning since these increase insulin production and serotonin, which diminishes the need of eating sweets in the afternoon. Thus, if we eat them in the morning, we are controlling the desire of eating them later in the afternoon.
In the afternoon, we can eat any type of vegetable, drinks or sugar-free sweets, and some types of fruit. If this system is followed correctly, we shouldn't be hungry at night.
”insulin is highly efficient in the morning and the carbohydrates we eat are transformed into energy, with the aid of cortisol. In the afternoon, it becomes lazy. Everything we eat will go to our reserve, because insulin is no longer able to produce more energy”.
“The mgarlicrity of obese patients doesn't have breakfast and this represents a serious problem. If we don't have breakfast, we activate an emergency system within our bodies protecting itself thinking there won't be any food. This system becomes active around 15 minutes after waking up whenever there hasn't been any food ingestion. It makes the body supply itself with muscle fat to get energy. Fat can't be used because the hormone which performs this is only active at night. Therefore, we are loosing muscle and accumulating fat because the body is acting like a stockpiler and we don't have energy”.
"At night, the growth hormone increases. This hormone stimulates the body to use fat reserves for energy for survival. In other words, if we don't eat at night and we just sleep, we are stimulating fat burning. From this premise we know that sleeping is good for loosing weight.
It is calculated that a person looses weight, around 500 and 800 grams, while sleeping. The problem is where these calories come from. An obese patient usually eats flour and proteins at night. As a result, the energy will come from this food and not from fat reserves, as the growth hormone intends to do”.
So, bearing this in mind, this diet can be organized in this way:
Breakfast: It should include proteins such as milk, cheese or meat products, chicken, fish and eggs. Fats, such as oil or vegetable fat. Carbohydrates, such as flour and sweets.
Lunch: the proteins we eat for lunch extend the energetic effect and appetite control already induced during breakfast. Thus, it should be measured. For instance, we shouldn't eat flour or sweets, because the hormones which transform food into energy have been diminished. As a result, we gain more weight than in breakfast. We should have lunch before 2 o'clock in the afternoon. We mustn't skip lunch and it can be divided into 3 courses: for example soup, main course and dessert which includes proteins, vegetables and fruit.
Dinner/Supper: at this point, since the hormones that move fat and are responsible for loosing weight at night begin to increase, we must generate a negative balance of food. In other words, we should eat less to force the organism to move the stores fat reserves and loose weight. Anything we eat in the afternoon or at night must be vegetables and fruit.
This eating plan is difficult to follow because it doesn't agree with the eating habits of the mgarlicrity of people. Nevertheless, the people who have followed the treatment through have obtained good results.
Here are some options to follow these eating plan:
1 skimmed yogurt, liquid or regular or
- 1 fruit salad
- 1 fruit juice (with pulp): 2 oranges or tangerines or 1 grapefruit
2 loaves of bread or 2 rice cookies or small whole-grain muffin
1 slice of ham or slice of cheese or
- 1 spoon of spread cheese (low fat),
- 1 hard-boiled egg, or omelet
1 light yogurt or
- 1 light chocolate drink, or any sweet you like.
skinless chicken, lean red meat, fish, lean pork or exotic meat
raw and/or cooked vegetables with abundant dressing
2 whole nuts, 6 almonds or chestnuts or 20 peanuts
or 2 slices of peach or apple or 20 raisins
or dry tomatoes
1 yogurt and 1 fruit or
- ricotta tart with cooked or fresh fruit
- sugar-free fruit macedoine (or fruit salad)
- bavarois (light jelly with light yogurt )
- sugar-free shake with 1 fruit with 1 cup of skimmed milk
1 glass of light juice.
vegetables and/or fruit, raw and cooked