If you’re like most people who step into our practice, weight loss or weight maintenance is an uphill battle.
It’s such a big problem that researchers have spent millions of dollars and many years researching this very topic. Because of their efforts, some people have finally been able to lose weight on a low-fat or low-carb diet, or some other popular diet plan.
These are not to be confused with fad diets. Fad diets are here today, gone tomorrow and offer no lasting results. What if you’ve tried a variety of approaches and still struggle with losing weight? Thankfully, researchers aren’t done studying the topic of weight loss.
In recent years, they’ve come across an interesting approach to weight loss: eating according to your circadian rhythms.
Just what is a circadian rhythm? Simply put, it’s our own personal 24-hour period. During this period of time, our body produces hormones, the cells regenerate, and the brain is always hard at work. Like other animals, a human’s sleep cycle is dictated by their circadian rhythm. We’ve been able to adjust our natural rhythm a bit through the use of electricity (or sunlight) and temperature.
In the animal kingdom, circadian rhythms dictate not only when they sleep and wake, but when they eat.
Researchers have hypothesized that if this is the case for animals, it might very well be the case for humans, too. And if a human eats according to their body’s natural rhythms, they might be able to regulate their weight. That means if someone is already overweight, they may be able to lose weight somewhat easily by eating this way. Those who are already at a healthy weight or who’ve experienced some weight loss might also have an easier time maintaining a healthy weight.
According to an NPR article, studies have already proven that if we try to go against our natural sleep/wake rhythms, we pay the price. For instance, someone who works the night shift might eventually deal with insomnia, mood swings, and lethargy.
In the same vein, when we eat outside of our body’s natural rhythms, it throws off the body’s hormone production and balance. Our blood pressure goes up and blood sugar goes down. The result is an increase in weight, as well as risk factors for heart diseases, metabolic syndrome, and Type II Diabetes.
Those who encourage eating according to the body’s circadian rhythms recommend eating more in the morning, less for lunch, and even less for dinner. It’s eating according to the old saying: eat the breakfast of a king, the lunch of a prince, and the dinner of a pauper. Spreading the calories out throughout the day not only helps people burn them off more efficiently, it also helps keep the body’s hormones balanced.
Is eating according to the circadian rhythms going to revolutionize weight loss? It could – we will have to wait and see. In the meantime, we should keep in mind that this isn’t the only way of eating that’s produced results for people.
That’s why we believe strongly in treating each person as an individual when it comes to losing weight. On paper, a diet plan may look perfect, that doesn’t mean it translates well when put into practice. Why?
Our genes often dictate the best way to lose weight. Some people can eat according to their circadian rhythm – three meals a day – and still not lose weight. For those people, their body might do better with intermittent fasting or skipping breakfast.
When it comes to losing weight, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why it’s important to customize your dietary and weight loss plan.
At Valhalla, our goal is to provide weight loss services that will fit your unique needs. In our experience, people who lose weight this way are more likely to keep it off for the long haul.
Have you been struggling to lose weight? Call us today! We can create a weight loss plan that’s based upon your individual needs, which may be the key to finally getting the weight off.