The other day, as I entered the dental clinic, I met an acquaintance I hadn’t seen for 15 years. She looked wonderful and as I stared into her deep brown eyes, I remembered she’d once been a bathing suit model. With almost no imagination, one might suppose she still was.
We chatted breathlessly as people do when one of them is likely to be called away by a dental assistant. It happened sooner than either of us would have wished and whenthe woman stood , turning to say goodbye, I noticed that though she was still tall and slim, her waistline had thickened a little as had mine. So much for gravity I sighed, remembering a time when I could wiggle into a size 6 dress.
Still, just as she had obviously done, I, too, have followed a diet to help stave off the years. I eat a good breakfast, for example, because I know it gets the metabolism going in the morning. At noon I enjoy a medium size meal while at dinner, I snack. I follow this plan because long ago I read that reducing calories as the day wears down helps control weight gain. I was never sure why this was the case but now science has discovered a reason, at last.
We all know about the circadian clock that rules our biology. The neurons in our brains are stimulated by the light and dark of a 24 hour cycle. But there are other clocks within us, timing mechanisms that reside in our genes. They turn on and off throughout the day, governing our metabolic processes. (“Make Over Your Metabolism—Really!,” by Arlene Weintraub, More Magazine, 4/2014 pg. 102).
Fat burning cells work best in the early part of the day and then begin to shut down toward evening. Fat that isn’t processed before these cells switch off is then stored, usually in the thighs and abdomens. Exercising late to compensate for a large meal won’t do much good because these fat burning cells have gone to bed — with one slight exception (Ibid pg 107) Men are able to metabolize some fat while they sleep. Women, unfortunately, can’t. (Ibid pg. 104)
To control weight, it appears we must do more than count calories. We must honor our inner clocks. A donut craving might be tolerated in the morning but at night reach for a yogurt cup.
(Courtesy of www.reveal.co.uk)