Maïa Baudelaire, Nutritionist Expert in Food Behaviour and Founder of the Maïa Baudelaire® Method I Love My Diet Coach® – the first Nutritional Coaching website reimbursed by Healthcare – describes the pitfalls of Chrononutrition, that seem ideal … At least on paper.
“Eat what you want but not at any time” I grant you this is a slogan that has everything to please, especially when talking about a diet! But trust me; the miracle cure does not exist, behind these wonderful promises, there are always hidden truths.
The Chrono-nutrition diet, developed by Dr. Alain Delabos, does not prohibit any food. Instead, it indicates when to eat them. To create his method, the doctor based his principle on the fact that depending on when you eat something, the food will either be converted into energy or stored. But things are not all that simple.
But Nutritional professionals do not all praise chrono-nutrition. Far from it.The rules described by this diet grossly simplify the mechanisms acting inside the body to justify it’s method.
What are the hidden pitfalls?
ANSES (National Agency for Food Safety, Environment and Labor) has examined this particular scheme and has drawn various conclusions regarding the health risks that could result from following one of these diets.
- Too much protein! With a piece of cheese every morning (you have to swallow it first), meat at noon and fish in the evening, the protein intake would be twice as high as the daily intake recommended by the public health authorities. Basically if you are vegetarian, this method doesn’t even consider you! The harmful effects of too many proteins are described in my previous article: “What are the risks of high protein diets”.
- Beware of deficiencies: There is a serious lack of sugar consumption (intake is twice as low as recommended). There is also a lack of fruits and vegetables in this type of diet which can lead to an insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals. These nutritional imbalances can have consequences in your health: fatigue, problems of concentration, lack of energy, problems with the kidneys …
• High in fat: The Chrono-nutrition diet has too many fats (fats make up almost 40% of the calories consumed) which in itself, seems contradictory to the main objective of a diet! Especially since, it’s principally composed of bad fats, representing a significant risk to your cardiovascular system.
• It’s anti-social! With a diet as complex as this, it’s difficult to share meals with friends! Not to mention how it upsets our eating habits … Still, each week, you’re allowed two jokers, allowing you to eat whatever you want.
“With this dieting method, I have often said to myself: Damn! I regret accepting this work invitation to the restaurant, now I have to refuse my friend’s invitation because I’ve already used my two jokers this week … it’s very frustrating, and even if you eat everything, you never really eat what you want to eat at the right moment. Moreover, the pleasure of eating becomes of second importance. Meals become a daily chore that you don’t really pay attention to anymore. I also got stressed out by the quantities, because in terms of carbohydrates it’s really doesn’t add up to much: I often went hungry between meals and that’s a really unpleasant sensation. This method didn’t work for me as i immediately regained the weight that I lost when i stopped the diet. When you read the theory behind the method, it seems logical and easy enough but i can assure you, that in practice, it’s a very different story …”