The chrononutrition diet

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The principle of the Chrono nutrition diet was developed in 1986 by Dr. Delabos. This is a hyperlipidemic diet. It started from the observation that undernutrition among the elderly was due to the fixedness of their meals, whether in terms of their schedules or their composition. He then studied the eating habits of our ancestors as well as the biological and metabolic rhythms of the human body, to conclude that it is essential to consume all foods, but only at the times of the day when they are most useful to satisfy the body's energy needs. Strongly criticized by nutrition professionals, it was not until the clinical research of Professor Jean-Robert Rapin in 1994 that this concept was recognized by the world of nutritionists.

The chrononutrition diet


THE PRINCIPLES OF THE DIET

Chrono-nutrition is about eating properly and at the right time of day. Dr. Delabos specifies that food does not have the same effect on the body depending on when it is ingested.

Determination of the morphotype: first step of the Chrono nutrition diet

The morphotype is a morphological evaluation tool, essential since it determines where your body is located in relation to the Galileo morphotype, which embodies the desirable perfection. Your morphology can change throughout your life, and get closer or far from this "perfection".


The morphological evaluation is done in six points:


  • The size of the individual
  • Its weight
  • Chest circumference
  • The width of the wrist
  • The hip circumference
  • Waist circumference

Depending on the results, 11 different morphotypes result. Defining it will allow you to adapt your diet according to your needs.


The Chrono nutrition diet 

As we mentioned earlier, Chrono nutrition is therefore about eating a little bit of everything, but at specific times of the day. Four meals are considered for this diet: breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and evening meal. Each has a certain category of foods to consume, in accordance with the biological rhythm of your body. The quantities for each meal are variable depending on your size and morphology.


Also note: you have the possibility to make 2 "joker" meals per week, where you can eat what you want.


1- Breakfast: no more sweet, fat on the menu!

All nutritionists will agree, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is to be taken within an hour of waking up! Dr. Delabos recommends eating fat for this first meal, to avoid fatigue and small hollows often occurring in the middle of the morning. You will not gain weight since the body then has the day to eliminate these fats, necessary for the proper functioning of the body.



On the breakfast menu:

  • Tea or coffee is allowed but without sugar!
  • Slow sugars (wholemeal bread, for example)
  • Fats: cheese, butter... If cheese doesn't appeal to you when you wake up, cottage cheese will do just fine.
  • Protein: eggs, ham

2- Lunch: a dense meal, but no fat

At noon, the meal must consist of a single dish, in generous quantities. So no room for appetizers, cheese, a dessert, and of course no alcoholic beverage, because all can be too rich and difficult digestion factors.


Your lunch will therefore include:


  • Protein: meat, fish, or eggs
  • Starchy foods: pasta, rice, wheat... Be careful though: some morphologies will have to replace these starchy foods with a portion of vegetables.

3- The snack: eat sweet!

Unlike other diets, snacking is one of the most important meals of the day, even more so than the evening meal. It is advisable to wait until you are hungry to take this snack, which will consist of sweet foods exclusively. This meal will allow you to get to dinner without being very hungry, which will allow you to eat light.

Menu recommendations:


  • vegetable fat: nuts, dark chocolate,
  • Fruits: natural fruits, dried fruits, compote...

4- Dinner: light and optional

Dinner is the least important meal of the day since the body consumes little energy until bedtime. If you are not hungry, you can delete this meal. Otherwise, prefer light foods, with few carbohydrates and fats and therefore easy to digest, and have dinner at least 1h30 before bedtime. Eating light in the evening will allow you to promote weight loss, but also to have a better sleep!


On the dinner menu:


  • Fish or lean meats (chicken, turkey... Without sauce!)
  • Vegetables in small quantities

BENEFITS

The Chrono nutrition diet makes it possible to rebalance our body by being more attentive to it, while eating the right foods when necessary, thus respecting our biological clock. This food rebalancing also makes it possible to improve one's well-being by being more attentive to one's body (better sleep...). It is a diet that allows you to lose weight without ever being hungry, or at least very little, unlike other diets.


Chrono-nutrition can be suitable for people wishing to lose weight without depriving themselves. It is a rather unshort diet, especially since the weekly wildcard meals allow some deviations from the imposed diet. By allowing us to eat a little of everything, it does not cause dietary deficiencies.


The diet to follow requires a time of adaptation (especially for the consumption of fat at breakfast, which few of us are used to), but it is not very restrictive and we can vary our meals while remaining in the categories of foods recommended at each time of the day.


DISADVANTAGES

As with any diet, it can be psychologically difficult to restrict yourself without being able to eat what you want at any time of the day, although the recommended menus remain quite varied.


The weight loss caused by this diet is quite small: indeed, the goal of the latter is not to lose weight but to slim down and rebalance his figure. Even in the long run, the results can be disappointing for some.


Chrononutrition is only really effective if we prolong this mode of feeding over the very long term, or even throughout our lives.


Finally, this type of diet is not suitable for everyone. The type of diet recommended can lead to constipation problems in individuals who are sensitive to it. In addition, due to the high consumption of animal protein and saturated fatty acids, such a diet can lead to long-term cardiovascular and kidney problems.


ORIGINS OF THE SCHEME

The concept of this diet was developed in 1986 by Dr. Alain Delabos, having practiced for 7 years as a nutritionist geriatrician. Based on the metabolic and biological rhythms of the human body, along with the eating habits of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, he developed a diet consisting of eating everything but at specific times of the day.


In his book Slimming tailor-made thanks to Chrono-nutrition, he presents the details of his theory based on Chronobiology and proposes recipes for weight loss through a rebalancing of the diet according to our biological clock. Strongly criticized, it was not until the studies of Professor Jean-Robert Rapin, in 1994, that the notion of Chrono nutrition diet gained credit among nutritionists.


Recommendations and precautions to be taken

Are there any risks?

With its very high proportion of animal protein and saturated fatty acids, this diet can lead to poor arterial health as well as premature wear and tear of the renal system.


In addition, given the rare presence of fruits and vegetables in this diet, fiber is insufficient to allow a good intestinal transit, this diet can therefore cause significant digestive disorders and especially constipation.


Is this a diet for you?

The Chrono nutrition diet can be a solution for you if you are looking to develop good eating habits in the long term. If you suffer from chronic fatigue, are slightly overweight, and your digestion seems difficult, you can take inspiration from this diet to find effective solutions. Be careful, however, to maintain a good intake of dietary fiber, it is important to maintain a varied and balanced diet.


Is it a diet compatible with sport?

Yes, the physical activity works in synergy with diet to regain optimal physiological functioning. The practice of a sport participates in the elimination of toxins and makes the metabolism more efficient in the long term. This is an excellent thing, except in exceptional cases.


How effective is Chrono nutrition in the long term?

In terms of weight loss, Chrono nutrition can help achieve and maintain a healthy weight since the goal is to have a diet consistent with the needs of the body. However, in the long run, this is not the end. Upon reaching a physiologically healthy weight, weight loss will stop and the weight will stabilize. Even though many studies are still ongoing, Chrono nutrition seems to be effective in the long term to maintain a healthy weight and feel good in your body. Beware, however, of dietary diversity, a pillar of health.


Chrononutrition: opinion of the dietician

This diet is based on notions that are real: the secretion of hormones and enzymes at particular times of the day. That said, the recommended diet is relatively rich in animal protein and saturated fatty acids, which can eventually lead to the occurrence of cardiovascular and renal pathologies. The principle of Chrono nutrition can therefore be interesting if, and only if, the right food choices are made despite time constraints. That is, for this diet to be interesting it is necessary to leave sufficient room for vegetables, fruits, cereals, and vegetable proteins. Do not hesitate to seek the help of a nutrition professional to be accompanied in this process.

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