Our Circadian Rhythm is our body clock and is affected by environmental cues such as the rising and setting of the sun. Our circadian rhythm is critical for the keeping our metabolism regular and our energy levels high. Why is this so important? Because the faster the metabolism is, the greater fat loss will be. There is emerging evidence suggesting that if our circadian rhythm is constantly disrupted, it can increase the chances of cardiovascular events, and obesity.
So what affects our circadian rhythm for us to see such adverse reactions??
- Eating meals too far away from each other.
Carbohydrates are our primary fuel source and without them we our energy levels can be quite low and cravings through the roof. After we eat a meal that has a good quality carb source in a right amount for your body, the glucose (carbohydrate) is broken down in the blood stream and is carried to the body’s cells. After 4 hours of eating this good source of carbohydrate our blood glucose levels significantly drop. As a result your body goes into a crave or hunger mode. However rather than the individual only have a normal portion size, because they are so hungry the portion sizes increases along with the waist line.
2. Eating too often
Eating too frequently can also affect our circadian rhythm. If an individual picks at food every time they walk into the kitchen or past the tea room at work the calories can count up very quickly. But then once the habit sets in it is very hard to change and the struggle to stop is too hard.
So what are our strategies to change :
- Set an alarm to eat every 3-3.5 hours – a meal of good quality protein, a carb source and a small portion of fat – e.g. 2 eggs and a piece of fruit or 1-2 slices of wholegrain/light rye bread.
- If know that you tend to binge when at home, again set the alarm and try and hold yourself off until that 3 hour mark. If you still want to binge – binge then only. But still try and work into it being within your circadian rhythm. Occasionally you may find, the craving is not as intense by the time you get to the three hour mark and you may not eat as much.
- From there decrease the size of the binge.
This is all a learning process – these things take a long time to be able to change, so be patient, not hard on yourself, because it will only make matters worse and decrease your own confidence in yourself. One step at a time 🙂
Did you know our sleeping patterns also affect our circadian rhythm?Our sleeping patterns can significantly impact our circardian rhythm and which in result will impair metabolisms and increase glucose intolerance. But this about it if you are a person who normal gets 8 hours sleep, and one evening you only get 5.5-6hours. What happens to your body the following day? How do you feel? I know for me, if I don’t, I am grumpy, frustrated and feel completely out of routine. When feeling like this what happens to your motivation to eat well? The motivation to prepare food, pick the right options decreases. The quick option is what is most readily reached for. Not only this but because you have been awake for a longer period of time, your body requires slightly more calories to be able to function, and the cravings can set in.
So trying to get a good night sleep consistently will help balance your circadian rhythm and prevent any disruptions to your metabolism!