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It's not just what you eat, it's also when you eat...

There's a new-ish field of nutrition research, known as chrono-nutrition, which studies the interaction between the natural, intrinsic circadian rhythm we are born with and our eating behaviours (the what's and when's of our eating choices). We've known for a while that a lack of sleep can interfere with appetite and satiety hormones (thereby helping to trigger problems such as overweight in susceptible individuals). But what else are these studies unearthing?

Two recently published studies in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society explored the implications on health of various different eating rhythms globally: they are so interesting and completely back up what I anecdotally see in my clinics (yay!) - I like it when scientists and clinicians are in sync :-)

The evidence is not conclusive (it barely ever is with nutrition - grumble) but anyway it can't hurt to incorporate changes into your lifestyle based on these insights. I find they are life changing for many clients: sometimes excess weight will simply not shift till we get to bed on time!

Some highlights:

- Eating inconsistently may affect circadian rhythms (your 24 hour internal body clock) - this then impacts your appetite, digestion, fat metabolism, cholesterol and glucose.

- Shift work has been associated with increased risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

- Social jetlag (usually seen in urban areas) - where there is a discrepancy between what your internal clock and your social clock - leads to an increase in the risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome.

- Poorer food choices later in the day are linked to skipping breakfast.

- In all likelihood, eating a king's breakfast and pauper's dinner is the way forward.

If you want to read more here's a link:

And here are the basic rules:

1. Eat whole, natural, real food.

2. Have a beautiful, colourful breakfast that doesn't come out of a box. Fill up!

3. Have a good, colourful lunch.

4. Eat a light (preferably vegan) dinner.

5. Go to bed on time.

6. Exercise.

7. Laugh.

8. Hydrate (with water)

9. Don't worry too much about Brexit or anything else you can't control - say ohhhhmmmm.

Good night :-)


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