Do you want to eat what you like and still be thin, chrono diet might be the right choice for you.
What is chrono diet?
Chrono diet as created by a French doctor called Alain Delabos in 1986. Chrono is a type of diet where you don’t have to refer to the number of calories and amount of food. With chrono diet you simply need to eat at a certain time and properly combine foods.
Chrono is basically considered “fringe” and lacks the following of its more popular alternatives. However, claims of modest 10 lbs in a month and up to 15 lbs in 2 weeks have been reported, making it at least as effective as the competition, and all this without actual reduction of food intake.
How does chrono diet work?
Basic rule of chrono diet is that the gap between meals is a minimum 4 and maximum of 6 hours, ideally 5.
You may wonder what does a chrono diet meal look like or what you are allowed to eat with chrono diet.
Let’s see an example of a chrono diet breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For breakfast you are allowed to eat everything: carbohydrates, proteins, fats. You should only avoid wheat and corn. Permitted alternatives are: barley, rye, buckwheat, and oat. Chrono breakfast should be rich and should include fats, proteins and complex sugars. This means that with chrono diet you should eat cheese, butter, foods containing starch (bread), protein (eggs or meat). The body needs a lot of energy in order to successfully start a day full of activities. With chrono diet you don’t need to worry about calories because the body will burn them during the day. You can eat cured meat or even bacon, but do try to find some without additives.
Lunch should not be too large, but enough to not feel hungry until the next meal. During lunch you should not mix proteins and carbohydrates. Eat one or the other. According to this diet, you should choose a meal that is rich in higher animal proteins such as beef, pork, veal or lamb. Also, you should eat fresh vegetables as salads as much as possible. Lunch enables the body to stay in shape for the rest of the day and is used to recharge the batteries. It should be with less fat than breakfast, but should also provide small amounts of sugar and vegetable proteins.
For dinner also eat protein but make it lighter protein such as chicken white meat or fish. Sometimes you can eat some white cheese beside salad, but it’s only when you exit the weight loss stage. For dinner combine only white or green vegetables. No bread, pastry or pasta.
No snacks between meals
Sweets and fruits are eaten only in the afternoon, between lunch and dinner, not in the morning. The best choice is dark chocolate with a minimum of 70 percent cocoa and dried fruits like plums and raisins.
These are some basic rules that you should follow all your life, because this is not a classic diet. However, if you have a problem with excessive weight and you need to lose a lot of it, then you should undergo a restrictive period.
Chrono diet restriction period
Chrono diet restrictive period should last at least 28 days or until you reach the desired weight. For some people who are really overweight, restrictive period might last for 12 months but during that time weight losses of up to 110 lbs were reported. Those with a smaller excess can finish in a month or so.
The restriction period is great for losing weight and can also help you to understand all of the rules of chrono nutrition. If you do not study the matter carefully it makes you think you can eat absolutely anything. It is not far from the truth, but almost always and very quickly people start making mistakes, which of course leads to stagnation and bouncing back to old weight. Hence, tougher rules for the first month will help you figure out how all this works
• Drink only herbal tea or hot lemonade before breakfast; no coffee allowed at his time. It is recommended to drink a maximum of two cups of coffee during the day, one after breakfast and one after lunch. No alcohol except red wine, but only 4 cups per week.
• Milk is not used, ever.
• No snacks, no fruits.
• Meals have to be eaten regularly at 5 to 5.5 hours. The timetable is most important.
Breakfast is not optional; this is the only meal where you eat bread, but not from wheat flour. Use buckwheat, oat, barley, rye and other healthy flour. You can use some substitutes (muffins, pancakes, pies and etc., but once in ten days. They must be made from allowed flower. Only in such complex food can you mix eggs and dairy.
You can eat whole grains (buckwheat, millet, barley and oats). No cornflakes or any other type of flakes.
Eggs and dairy products are not to be mixed (except in complex dishes which therefore should be eaten rarely. See above).
Two different dairy products do not mix (If you eat cream do not eat cheese).
Meat and allowed meat products can be mixed with eggs.
Meat and allowed meat products and dairy products can be mixed.
Permissible meat products are: pressed ham, chicken breast and ham. Bacon is permitted but in small portions. Also, sausages and similar products are permitted, but only if you know their origin; they should be homemade or from trusted manufacturer.
Dairy products are consumed 3-4 times a week (white soft cheeses, yogurt, cream and sour cream sometimes)
Avoid aged cheeses in the restriction period.
Butter can be eaten and it can be mixed with cheese and sour cream. Although a dairy product, it is viewed as fat.
For breakfast it’s recommended to eat foods with high nutritional value and quantity is not limited. Breakfast should be the richest meal.
Lunch during the restriction period combines meat (boiled, grilled, steamed, roasted in the oven) with non-starch vegetables.
Do not eat: rice, beans, soybeans, lentils, beans, peas or potatoes.
Eat salads with cold pressed oil, salt and lemon juice.
Cooked vegetables should not dominate over the amount of meat. The only exception are leafy vegetables (cabbage, kale), which you can eat more of.
You can use oily fish or mushrooms to substitute meat.
Bread, pastry or pasta are not allowed for lunch.
The time between lunch and dinner should be about 5 hours
Combine light meat (white meat chicken and turkey, fish) with green or white vegetables and salads.
Instead of meat you can eat egg whites. There’s no limitation in the amount.
When restriction period ends you can start eating by standard rules. For example, you can bring back starchy vegetables which can be eaten for lunch. In this case lunch should be no later than 3pm. Also, you should not eat protein with starchy vegetables and carbohydrates, except sometimes fish or white meat.
After restriction period
Very few foods are forbidden in chrono nutrition so there are countless options; we only need to be careful how we combine them. Let’s start from the beginning.
You no longer have to wait five hours between meals. You can revert to the timetable of minimum of three and maximum of six hours again. If you have a snack, do it after 4 hours.
There is not much change there because you could previously eat pretty much anything. Only now you don’t have to worry too much about the combination of eggs and milk or milk and dairy products. You can also treat yourself with hard and aged cheese.
Well, this is the part that really changes. We bring back legumes (pulses) and starchy vegetables and sometimes pasta is allowed.
But, watch out how you combine them. When we eat dough or starchy food we don’t mix it with protein. This applies to beans. With peas, we can eat light meat sometimes, such as white chicken or fish. Pulses can sometimes be combined with white cheese while starchy food (like beans) – with a piece of whole-wheat bread.
Rice and pasta go only with vegetables.
Dairy products can be used for lunch. Do not forget that they can be really fattening, so don’t use too much. Cooking cream, cottage cheese, sour milk and sour cream are allowed. Dairy products should not be mixed with meat too often because they are not a good combination for our bodies even though they both contain protein. You can substitute cow milk with coconut milk, which is great for making all kinds of sauces and goes with all combinations.
Instead of meat, you can sometimes eat whole eggs for lunch.
Potatoes are not prohibited in the chrono nutrition but they are not recommended either, and should be avoided due to high starch content. But if you cannot resist avoid eating them with protein. Bake potatoes in the shell and eat them with salad. And if you crave for potatoes with cream, save it for breakfast once every couple of years.
All kinds of seeds and some nuts are allowed for lunch.
Dinner can be much more relaxed once the restriction period ends. You can eat green, white and red vegetables, chicken or turkey. You can eat beef, but look for lean meat. If you want to avoid protein, you can eat just a salad with seeds, for example.
To summarize it all, it is essential that you eat every 4 or 5 hours, that breakfast is the richest meal and avoid sugar, especially in products that you buy. Always read the label and if it has sugar in it, do not put in the cart.
In chrono diet these are strictly prohibited: cow’s milk, margarine, vegetable cheese, vegetable fats, vegetable cream, and pastry.
Few tips for chrono nutrition beginners
Start your morning with a lukewarm lemonade.
Print restrictions rules and stick them on the fridge. Look at them each time before you start to prepare food, before you go shopping. In ten days you will memorize them all.
Initially eat larger meals. Do not be afraid – you will not gain weight if you follow the rules. Until you come to grips with the new regime and until your body gets accustomed to it – eat enough. It is important that you don’t feel hungry between meals. After ten days, reduce the amount if it is too much for you. By then you’ll already be sure how your body is functioning with the new diet. Never reduce breakfast, just lunch and dinner.
If you feel hungry, make yourself lemonade or drink a lot of water. Hold on until the next meal and do not eat between meals.
If your blood sugar level drops between meals or you feel tremors and it’s been at least 3 or 4 hours from previous meal – eat.
Always carry a bag of almonds in your purse or pocket. If you happen to find yourself in a situation where you can’t have lunch, eat a handful of almonds. But this should be only in case of emergency.
You should always have fresh salad with your meal so you won’t overdo with protein intake.
Postpone making complex dishes where eggs and dairy products are mixed. Treat yourself at the end of the first month. Or start of the second one.
Make simple dishes with a small number of ingredients. This way your stomach will have less work digesting.
Do not go overboard with processed meat products, because they contain additives. Feel free to make meatless breakfast sometimes.
Never skip meals. Eat, even a little bit.
If your goal is losing weight, do not stand on the scale too often. Once a month is enough. You will first see the difference in clothes size, and later on the scale.