Edited by Dr. Davide Marciano
What is the Chronodiet?
The chronodieta was conceived by the doctor from your country Mauro Todisco.
This diet maintains that it is not only the quantity of calories consumed during the day that determines the success of the diet, but also the moment in which the foods are consumed; because depending on the time, they can be stored or used as an energy source.
Chronodiet, as the word itself implies, is based on the principles of chronobiology. This science has shown that all human functions (hormone production, changes in temperature, mood, etc.) have a rhythmic pattern.
The rhythms that interest us most in the food sector are CIRCADIAN OR DAILY RHYTHMS, that is, those that last about 24 hours.
Hormones and Circadian Rhythms
Let's analyze the circadian rhythms of the most important storage / consumption hormones, which influence nutrition:
- INSULIN: produced by the pancreas, it is a storage hormone, its eventual fluctuations lead to the construction or enlargement of new fat cells. It also blocks the enzyme responsible for breaking down triglycerides (they represent almost all body fat).
- CORTISON HORMONES: produced by the adrenal glands, they represent the antagonist of insulin. They promote the transport of glucose into the cell and reduce its use. This leads to the breakdown of triglycerides and the use of their components as an energy source.
Their maximum peak is between 07.00 and 08.00 in the morning but they remain quite high until the early afternoon.
- THYROID HORMONES: produced by the thyroid, they are the embers of our organism, in fact, they allow us to use food as a source of energy. They are at the highest levels from 13pm to 16pm.
- GROWTH HORMONE OR GH: produced by the pituitary gland, it allows the development of muscle mass at the expense of fat in adulthood.
It has three significant peaks throughout the day, with the two highest occurring in the first and fourth hours after falling asleep. The third, less influential, develops in the early morning.
Rules of the ChronoDiet
Based on what we have learned, we need to distribute the nutrients as follows:
- Carbohydrates must be distributed in the first part of the day, so that the cortisone hormones counteract the fattening action of insulin.
- The most abundant meal must be taken from 13 to 16 in the afternoon, so that the high production of thyroid hormones converts what we eat into energy. The only precaution is not to combine proteins with carbohydrates.
- Dinner must be made up of proteins with the almost total elimination of carbohydrates so as not to affect the nocturnal peak of GH.