Two thirds of Australian adults are now overweight or obese.
Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, infertility, cancer and poor mental health. We also know that obesity is a risk factor for suffering more severe symptoms if you catch COVID19.
Most overweight people have tried multiple diets and are told to simply ‘eat less’ and ‘count calories’ – with little success. Often, obese people feel guilty for not being ‘disciplined enough’ or being ‘lazy’ with significant impacts on self esteem and a spiralling into the chronic disease maze.
But weight management is not a simple equation of ‘calorie intake minus calories spent’: Obesity is the result of an obesogenic environment combined with other individual factors such as genetic and epigenetic predisposition, cultural factors, socioeconomic status etc.
Some of the factors in our society that makes us put on weight include
● High processed foods (calorie dense but nutrient poor)
● Hidden toxins in food, water, air, clothing, furniture, cleaning and personal care products
● Sophisticated food marketing targeting the addiction areas in our brains
● Snacking and late-night eating culture
● Lifestyle that is not ruled by the light-dark cycle anymore.
The tendency to stay up late to watch a movie or attend to the many social media channels causes a misalignment of your inner clock – which is called the ‘circadian rhythm’. The circadian rhythm (governed by a centre in your brain called the hypothalamus) regulates daily hormone secretion, blood pressure, glucose metabolism, the immune system, hunger, your ability to get rid of toxins and many other functions.
The hypothalamus, the central part of the body clock, is in constant communication with the many small peripheral body clocks which are located in all other organs. One whole feedback loop takes – you guessed it – 24 hours. Constant eating and late night eating uncouples the signals between the master clock and the peripheral body clocks. This can result in an impaired sugar and fat metabolism – leading to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Here comes the good news:
Improving the general quality of the food you eat and using time-restricted eating (TRE) can help to restore the circadian rhythm of the metabolic processes in your body and thereby reduce your risk of chronic disease and improve your quality of life.
While there is no one-shoe-fits-all solution and the research of chrononutrition is still relatively young and ongoing, using nutrition and lifestyle changes as a treatment modality is definitely an area I can assist you with. There are objective parameters that can be tested to measure your metabolic progress and quite often medication can be carefully reduced.
I am happy to help you on your way to improve your individual wellbeing and look forward to seeing you at Fresh Holistic Health.
– Dr. Alex.