Our life pulsates to a rhythmic beat. From lungs breathing to our heart pumping it’s all a rhythm, and when these rhythms are interfered with disease and death may follow. This according to Tricia Williams, a lifestyle nutrition and eating psychology coach who is also the owner of Healthy Inspirations in Atascadero & Paso Robles.
Too often we are more concerned with WHAT we eat rather than WHEN we eat. Do you often skip breakfast thinking you’re not really hungry? Then grab coffee to keep you awake? Or plow through lunch while working only to be ravenous at 3 or 4pm? Then the snacking begins only to continue through the night? Understanding eating rhythms (bio-circadian nutrition) can help to curb your cravings and more importantly put you in the optimal state of metabolism and calorie burning.
Think of your body as a wood burning fireplace. During the early morning hours and during the evening when we sleep, your body temperature drops just like logs that are now burned to embers. As we sleep our body is in a fasting state. Upon waking in the morning, your body temperature starts to rise. Starting your day with a nutritious breakfast breaks your fast and is similar to stoking the fireplace with another log. Body temperature continues a slow, steady rise and subsequently peaks around noon.
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 1:30pm in the afternoon.”
It would make sense, therefore, that lunch would be our most significant meal of the day for optimal metabolism, digestion and calorie burning capacity. After our metabolic peak our body temperature will dip between 2:00 – 5:00pm, when most of us may feel tired. This is normal & natural and is due to the body’s natural process of digestion. (A lot of cultures have adopted the practice of siestas or naps as a way of acknowledging this natural rhythm). We like to encourage conscious relaxing for 20 minutes while consuming a nutrition bar, protein or fat.
At about 4:00 – 6:00pm body temperature starts to rise again, energy increases, it’s time for another log on the fire. This is where you would ideally have your dinner meal. Ideal…because a four-hour time period is sufficient for most people to metabolize a meal, thereby allowing you a restful sleep. By consuming a big meal right before bed, much of the metabolic energy is spent on digestion, instead of need maintenance, detoxification & repair.
Does this make sense to you?
Source: Paso Robles Press. Photos taken from “Images”