Chrononutrition is a way of eating while respecting the hormonal and enzymatic secretions of the body. This is a diet developed by Dr. Delabos that goes against some of our eating habits but may have positive health effects. Starter diets are other methods developed by Dr. Delabos that use the principle of chrononutrition.

Chrononutrition: understanding everything in 2 minutes

Characteristics of chrononutrition:

  • Consists of eating according to enzymatic and hormonal secretions
  • Very important concept of schedules
  • Few deviations allowed
  • Portions calculated according to size and morphotype

The main principles of the regime

In 1986, Dr. Delabos developed the concept of chrononutrition. This eating pattern is based on the premise that undernutrition in the elderly is often linked to the fixed nature of meals, both in terms of timing and composition. After studying the biological and metabolic rhythms of the human body and the instinctive eating habits of our distant ancestors, he came to the conclusion that it is not the choice of foods or the amounts that are lacking, but the time of day when they are consumed. This new theory is not unanimously accepted and is still strongly criticized by health professionals.

How to lose weight with chrononutrition?

In chrononutrition, we find major principles important to achieve and maintain a healthy weight:

  • Good eating habits must be maintained for life
  • Do not consume low-fat foods
  • Never change the order of meals
  • Possibility of having 2 joker meals per week during which everything is allowed
  • Never increase the proportion of vegetables in dishes or eat them between meals (eat more meat to satisfy yourself)

The quantities of food allowed are to be defined according to the size and morphology of the person.

What is the difference between chrononutrition and starter diet?

The starter diet is an implementation of chrononutrition. This is a diet developed by Dr. Delabos himself and uses all the principles of chrononutrition through a comprehensive nutritional program. The starter diet does not last more than 4 weeks, it is quite restrictive and promises a significant weight loss.

Why does chrononutrition lead to weight loss?

This diet is based on the body’s hormonal and enzymatic secretions, which vary according to the time of day:

  • In the morning, it is recommended to eat fat and protein since the secretion of lipases and proteases is important at the beginning of the day.
  • In addition, at lunch it is recommended to have a meal rich in protein and slow carbohydrates since proteases and amylases are secreted in an important way at this precise moment.
  • In the afternoon, the peak of blood cortisol will generate hypoglycemia, which will be limited if you take fruit or sweet products at that time.
  • Finally, in the evening, digestive secretions are low, which means a lighter dinner based on vegetables and lean protein.

Not all these claims have been scientifically proven to date.

How long does the diet last?

Chrononutrition is a way of life rather than a diet. It is a question of eating while respecting the physio biological needs of the organism. There is, therefore, no time limit. Good eating habits must be maintained for life, even after reaching the desired weight.

Permitted foods

The foods authorized in the chrononutrition diet are:

  • Meat, sausages, poultry, fish and eggs
  • Cheeses, cream, butter
  • Bread and starchy foods (in small quantities)
  • Oilseeds
  • The fruits
  • Vegetables (in small quantities)

Prohibited foods

The foods to avoid, or even eliminate, in the chrononutrition diet are:

  • Dairy products other than cheese, cream and butter
  • Soups and soups
  • Sweet sauces
  • Low-fat or light foods

Even within joker meals, it will always be recommended to avoid these foods.

Menus, recipes and typical chrononutrition day

Breakfast (required)ButterButterGoudaTea

, herbal tea or coffee (without sugar or milk)

Lunch (required)Beef
steakStir-fried potatoesWater
Snack (when hunger is felt)Avocado
Dinner (optional)Fillet of
codGreen pearsWater

Advantages and disadvantages

The positive points of the chrononutrition diet

  • Weight loss at the beginning of the diet
  • Quite easy to follow
  • Wide variety of foods
  • Compatible with an active social life

The negative points of chrononutrition

  • Need to shake up eating habits (e. g. fatty and salty breakfast)
  • High intake of animal proteins and fats
  • Long-term kidney and cardiovascular system fatigue
  • Can be constipating due to low fibre intake
  • Low weight loss is not the long-term goal

Recommendations and precautions to be taken

Are there any risks?

With its high proportion of animal protein and saturated fatty acids, this diet can lead to poor arterial health and premature wear and tear of the renal system.

Moreover, given the rare presence of fruits and vegetables in this diet, the fibres are insufficient to allow a good intestinal transit, this diet can therefore cause important digestive disorders and in particular constipation.

Is this a diet for you?

A chrononutrition diet can be a solution for you if you are looking to develop good eating habits over the long term. If you are chronically tired, slightly overweight and have difficulty digesting, you can use this diet as a model for effective solutions. However, be careful to maintain a good dietary fibre intake, it is important to maintain a varied and balanced diet.

Is it a diet compatible with sport?

Yes, physical activity acts in synergy with diet to restore optimal physiological functioning. The practice of sport contributes to the elimination of toxins and makes metabolism more efficient in the long term. This is an excellent thing, except in exceptional cases.

How effective is chrononutrition in the long term?

In terms of weight loss, chrononutrition can help to achieve and maintain a healthy weight since the objective is to have a diet that is consistent with the body’s needs. However, in the long term, this is not the purpose. When a physiologically healthy weight is reached, weight loss will stop and weight will stabilize. Although many studies are still ongoing, chrononutrition seems to be effective in the long term to maintain a healthy weight and feel good about yourself. However, be careful with food diversity, which is a pillar of health.

Also read: Cohen diet