Our body has clock genes. It works better at certain times of the day than others. To get the most from these clock genes, scientists recommend the follow strategies:
One: Eat your main meal before 3pm; eat your highest calorie meal for breakfast.
Eating your fatty meal early in the day allows the body to digest in alignment with your brain’s circadian rhythms meaning your brain and your body will work in concert to provide more energy. The body’s clock gene’s work to give you the energy to wake up and get going. Adding the high calorie meal at that time assists the process. If you add the high calorie meal at the end of the day, you are working against your body’s rhythm. If the clocks go wrong, the body can have problems making the energy you need. It seems that scientists have finally proven the old adage “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”
Two: Eat your daily food allowance within 8 hours.
A study was conducted where food was available for 8 hours a day in one group and available for 24 hours a day in the second group. The calories were the same for both groups. After 100 days, it was determined that those who had food available to them only 8 hours a day lost 28 percent more than those who had it available 24 hours a day. The group who had food available only 8 hours per day also had lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as less liver damage. The theory is the fasting allowed the body gene “cryptochrome” to perform more efficiently, which allowed the body to control blood sugar, cholesterol, and fatty acids better.
Three: Exercise in the mornings, not the evenings.
Exercising late in the evening can knock the body gene clocks out of alignment for up to 4 hours creating sleep disorders similar to jet lag. For the best results with the circadian rhythms, exercise in the morning.
Four: Don’t think you can make up for lack of sleep on the weekends.
You should arise and sleep at the same times whenever possible. While it only takes the brain 2 days to adjust to change in sleep patterns, it takes the body 8 days to adjust. To avoid this, simply keep to your normal sleep patterns.
To summarize – eat within an 8 hour time period, don’t eat after 8pm, eat your highest calorie meal in the mornings, exercise in the mornings, and keep your sleep routine standardized to work with your body’s gene clock and circadian rhythms.
Reference: Arlene Weintraub. More Magazine. Volume 17. No 3. April 2014.
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