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Article by Corinne Kepler

Chrononutrition, or how to lose weight without depriving yourself!

Updated on 1 February 2024.

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ChrononutritionChrononutrition, which I’ve chosen to talk about today, is one of those methods that doesn’t involve cutting back on food. Contrary to what most slimming dieters think, not all diets are restrictive – or at least they shouldn’t be! Rather, this method is a way of returning our bodies to the eating habits inherited from our ancestors. What exactly would that entail?

Just for the record, a friend of mine had already been testing chrononutrition for some time, so taken was she by the logic of this method. A fan of slimming diets, she was still rushing to eat after periods of deprivation. The results? Her belly (especially), which kept coming back. I’ll tell you about her results below, towards the end of this article!

The chrononutrition : A method that’s still relevant today!

Chrononutrition - Dr Alain Delabos BookChrononutrition isn’t exactly a new theory. While poking around, I discovered that it was in 1986 that Dr. Alain Delabos began research into how to get rid of the 20 kilos he had gained after giving up smoking. At the end of his research, he concluded that the effect on our body weight did not depend directly on the quantity and variety of food we ate.

According to him, it was more a matter of “timing” (hence the name “chrononutrition”): the moment we eat counts for a lot, especially when other parameters relating to our body are taken into consideration.

In short, this specialist revisits the nutritional habits of our ancestors, who relied more on instinct and the body’s real needs, rather than on tastes, cravings and whims.

It made perfect sense to me, and led me to try out this method. After all, eating healthy could only be beneficial in the end.

The foundations of the chrononutrition theory

Chrononutrition ClockThe concept of chrononutrition is based on the principle of the biological clock. It turns out that our bodies secrete enzymes and hormones in relation to various stimuli, such as daily activities, light, sleep, heat, cold, hunger and satiety.

Chrononutrition is therefore not a restrictive diet, but rather a balanced way of eating based on our internal clock. Let’s think of it more as a reorganization of our daily food list.

Let me give you an example: science tells us that in the morning, our bodies tend to secrete enzymes that help digest fats. That’s when it’s best to eat fat, without being afraid of it.

Similarly, our bodies produce insulin towards the end of the afternoon, so that’s when it’s best to indulge in a sweet snack. It’s said that sugar begets sugar…

In short, it’s a matter of reorganizing your diet according to your body’s internal activity.

The chrononutrition : How does it work?

The basic principle of chrononutrition is that all food is good for the body, provided you eat it at the right time of day and in the right quantity. I have to say, as a bit of a gourmet, I found this very reassuring!

Before starting a program of this type, an initial assessment is necessary. This involves drawing up what’s known as a morphotype. In simple terms, this involves determining the person’s body type (every body gains weight in certain areas) before prescribing a diet accordingly.

Thus, the following measurements are taken:

  • Weight ;
  • Waist size
  • Chest size ;
  • Waist circumference ;
  • Hip circumference;
  • Wrist width.

Chrononutrition Morphotypes
Depending on the type of morphotype identified – there are 5 in all, according to the Delabos method now patented and validated by the Institut de Recherche Européen sur la Nutrition (IREN) – the specialist is then able to propose a typical day’s program in terms of food.

Here’s a generic example:

  • Morning: very rich foods (cheese, bread, butter)
  • Lunch (4 hours later): animal proteins and starchy foods (pasta, meat)
  • Snack (4 to 5 hours later): oilseeds and natural sugar (fresh fruit, dried fruit, honey, chocolate)
  • Evening (at least 1 to 1.5 hours before bedtime): light, easily digestible proteins (fish, vegetables).

As you can see, chrononutrition recommends eating 4 meals a day (although dinner is optional). To avoid forcing people into a certain routine, 2 “wild card” meals are allowed during the week: carte blanche!

However, 4 food categories are strictly forbidden:

  • Dairy products other than cheese, cream and butter;
  • Soups (likely to increase the risk of water retention);
  • Sweet sauces;
  • Low-fat or light foods.

Chrononutrition : Is it working?

Breakfast KingAlthough some critics accuse chrononutrition of encouraging patients to eat a lot of fat, it seems that organizing food according to our internal biological clock really does help to keep the body slim.

If we look closely at this way of eating, we can quickly relate it to the famous old adage:

“Eat like a king for breakfast, like a prince for lunch and like a pauper for dinner”.

This type of diet respects the needs of our body, which expects to have enough energy in the morning to last until lunch, when we need to strengthen our body’s capacities while avoiding anything that would cause unnecessary sleep. Then comes the snack, which is considered the keystone of the program, guaranteeing the body’s intake of non-harmful sugars.

Our opinion on chrononutrition

“At first, I found it difficult to stick to a certain schedule on a daily basis. It’s true that you don’t really deprive yourself (except when it comes to foods to avoid), but the change in habits is likely to dissuade many people. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that if you want to achieve your weight loss goals, you’ll have to stick with it!” That’s how my friend started telling me about her experience. I think it’s appropriate to point out that there’s a bit of a “disincentive” to any weight-loss endeavor: but you get there in the end!

As soon as she got into a rhythm, she began to feel changes internally: her transit was now easier and a certain feeling of lightness gradually set in. At one point, she even decided to skip dinner in favor of a large glass of cold water: she says that’s her personal touch!

“I’m also grateful to Dr Delabos for having thought of joker meals: I can always afford a few splurges with friends from time to time! But, I tell you, as soon as I’ve done it, I’ve forgotten it! she asserts, with a delighted look on her face.

phenqAnother personal touch was her reflex to prepare her body for this dietary rehabilitation. Her secret? She ordered PhenQ making sure she had the right detox for this renowned pill, Fibre Select.

Today, my friend seems to feel better about herself, and her challenge is to keep up this pace as much as possible. From what I’ve seen, I can guarantee that chrononutrition works!

In short, eating healthy and balanced never killed anyone! Rethink your diet and give it a try – you won’t have much to lose, except more pounds!

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