The High Performance Journal

How To Eat To Your Circadian Rhythms

circadian rhythm Aug 08, 2022

Awhile ago I got into it with another fitness guy online.

I had posted that intermittent fasting is not a magic bullet for fat loss & he chose to take offence.

It's not surprising either. He had built his entire business on the back of telling people to do 1 to 7 days a week of fasting.

I'm not here to rehash the details of our debate but I stand by the fact that fasting is overrated as far as diets are concerned.

It's funny when I tell others that fasting is overrated. Diet camps can be very religious.

People will proceed to shout from the rooftops about how much it works when they've been losing & gaining back the same 25 lbs over the past few years.

Remember that the diet that works is the that helps you keep results.

...And it's not to say that fasting is bad for you. It's a tool to prevent calories from coming into your body. No more. No less.

But it does come with it's own set of drawbacks.

The first one is the effect it has on high stressed individuals.

Fasting is a stress and when you add this to someone who lives a high stress life it causes issues.

One of them being overeating, hunger problems or stress numbing behaviours especially at night.

The second drawback is it inhibits muscle building.

Studies show that having moderate amounts of protein in the morning help build muscle & prevent catabolism.

This creates an uphill battle for people trying to build muscle.

Another is workout performance.

Your body does better when it has calories to play with when you're in the gym building your body.

Some people lift in a fasted state, which limit the gains they can make in the gym.

So, if fasting is not the magic diet it's made out to be, what should you do instead?

I've been employing an evidence based method with my clients that's helped them lose weight & increase energy while feeling almost zero hunger.

I call it "Eating To Your Circadian Rhythms"

(I'm trying to figure out a more catchy name so please let me know if you come up with one. I pay my royalties in internet hugs)

We take your current rhythms when it comes to life and business and we attune your diet to support both of those in a way that works for you.

This diet works better than IF because:

  • You put your hunger on a schedule.
  • This diet is more in tune with your circadian rhythms.
  • You start the muscle building process with a protein rich meal in the day.
  • You maintain steady energy throughout the day, which helps you reduce stress.
  • You create eating times based on your natural schedule. No more cookie cutter fasting protocols.
    You optimize sleep by not eating before bed.

Eating To Your Circadian Rhythms Looks Like This

1) We start with your final meal of the day and set a time to stop eating 3-5 hours before going to bed.

This helps you optimize sleep, gives your digestive system a rest & sets a boundary for nighttime eating.

2) We set the 2nd meal to be 3 to 5 hours before that meal.

Having a second meal is important as it helps you regulate hunger later on in the evening & maintain energy.

3) We set the 1st meal to be 3 to 5 hours before the second meal.

The first meal is the one that sets the day. Some clients don't like to eat a heavy meal so we opt for lighter options such as a shake with greens or an omelette.

The main idea for this meal is it's protein based to help you start the muscle building process.

Add in some high quality nutrient dense foods to that schedule and you'll find that losing weight can feel easy & more effortless.

Dieting is so easy when you have a schedule that works for you.

Of the 20 years of coaching and hundreds of diets I've implemented this is the one that has worked at helping clients lose weight once and for all.

Plus if it's a change to what you're already doing...and what you're doing is not working ... then that's a good thing!

Stop trying to fit a round peg into a square hole.

Life is long. Let's find out what works for you not just for the short term but for life long results.

Onwards and upwards,

- Dan

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