The Primitive Component – With the development of tools, language, culture, and technology humans have made rapid advances on the evolutionary scales. However, genetically we have not changed much over the past 40,000 +/- years. Our physiology is still programed with the hunting and gathering process. Food abundance was not something that our primitive, hunting and gathering, ancestors encountered. Spending stored energy was necessary to maintain biological processes between finding food.
Humans are genetically programed to be day creatures. We do our hunting and gathering during the daylight hours and sleep during the night. Hormones, cortisol and melatonin, are associated with being awake and sleeping are directly associated with the original genetic design. Cortisol as a result of “sunlight” and at its highest levels within the first hours of sunrise. Cortisol levels are also nearing their lowest levels within the final hours of sunset. Opposing cortisol is the sleep hormone of melatonin. Melatonin is at its highest during following sunset and at its lowest prior to sunrise. Cortisol, being a prominent metabolic hormone, is directly related to metabolic levels in breaking down glucose. Looking at when cortisol levels are naturally higher during the day helps us identify when our body’s metabolism is the highest.
What to Eat and When to Eat it – is the basic understanding of controlling weight. Traditionally, most people tend to eat the largest meals in the evening (dinner/supper) and tend to eat the smallest in the morning (breakfast) or they simply skip eating in the morning all together.
The body does not tend to waste energy, if it is not being spent, it gets stored. The metabolic energy follows the cortisol levels, being highest in the morning. Therefore, eating your higher caloric foods should be consumed at that time, where the energy gets spent. High caloric foods consumed late in the day and in the evening do not usually get spent and tend to be redirected into storage. Maximize your metabolic clock by consuming your calories when they are needed most. Build the fire in the morning and extinguish it in the evening.