How to eat (Way of intake)

Does a biological clock affect obesity? (Importance of eating breakfast)



  This time, I would like to think about the timing of meals, especially whether eating or skipping breakfast affects obesity. I'm going to write about “late dinner” on another blog.


  There are many things in common with my theory and I have no objection to the statement that eating a balanced breakfast is important not only for your health but also to prevent obesity.
  However, it is wrong to explain whether you gain weight or not by “metabolism”. “Metabolism” is not so versatile. Rather, I think it should be explained using my “intestinal starvation" theory.

1. The current state of obesity in Japan

(Although calorie intake has decreased, people today are gaining more weight)

(Reference: “Clock Gene Diet ",2012)


The number of diabetic patients in Japan is about 8.9 million (or 22.1 million including prediabetes) (as of 2012). Diabetes started increasing in 1970s.
  Then, you might think “it is because Japan became rich and Japanese people started to eat delicious food”, but the average daily energy intake dropped from 2210 kcal (in 1970) to 1849 kcal (in 2010).
  Nevertheless, the number of diabetics has increased nine-fold. Similarly, obesity has increased—Japanese people’s energy intake decreased by 16% from 1975 to 2010, but obesity of middle-aged and elderly people increased by 40%. Today, people gain weight not because they eat much. Rather, they gain weight although they eat little.


2. What is a biological clock?

These are just theories from the book above.

(1) Discovery of a clock gene
  Recent research has unraveled this mysterious phenomenon. It was a discovery of a clock gene of humans in 1997. Not only humans but all animals and plants have a “circadian rhythm” in which one day is 25 hours. When they wake up in the morning and the sunlight (blue wavelength) is transmitted to the “central clock gene” in their brain, the 25-hour “circadian rhythm” is reset to 24 hours and the day starts.


  However, their internal organs do not receive the sunlight. By eating breakfast, nutrients spread to every corner of the body, informs the “peripheral nerve gene” in each cell of the arrival of the morning, and resets the 25-hour circadian rhythm to 24 hours.

(2) The effect of nutrients differs depending on when it is taken
  In Japan, the term “Chrono-nutrition” was used for the first time in 2008 by the Japan Society of Nutrition and Food Science. The harder you work on your diet, the more you try to decrease the amount you eat from morning until night, but the effect and influence differ significantly depending on when you take the food and nutrition.
  It is said that the following three are important:

­¡When to eat (the timing of the meal)
­¢What to eat
­£How to eat (the order of eating etc)

3. Researchers’ views and my argument  (the relationship between breakfast and obesity)

  A brief summary of the theory of chrono-nutritionists is as follows. I will also show my argument.

(1) Skipping breakfast makes it easier to gain weight.
  Eating breakfast informs the “peripheral nerve gene” in each cell that the morning has come and resets the biological clock. By this, your body temperature and metabolism rise and nutrients and calories you take at breakfast are going to be consumed, so even if you eat a lot, you do not gain weight. Moreover, calories you take at lunch is used for metabolism, making it less likely to be body fat.


  On the other hand, if you skip breakfast, your metabolism will remain low and you will be fat easily. During the daytime, a high-calorie meal suddenly comes in and it is difficult to be changed to energy, so you tend to accumulate body fat.

<My argument>
  Aren’t they using metabolism as a “magic word”? Certainly, eating breakfast will move your body cells and increase body temperature and metabolism, but it is because nutrients come in. For a normal range of meal, the increased metabolism should not exceed calories you take at breakfast. At least, they should have more calories surplus than people who do not eat breakfast.

  Also, what about saying “If you skip breakfast and eat a lot of lunch when your metabolism is low, you cannot convert it to energy and gain weight”? This claim is also used when a dieter rebounds and gains more weight than before, but sound strange to me. Of course, when you start eating, your metabolism may be low, but as soon as 30 minutes later, your body temperature and metabolism will rise and your body will start moving, right? Then, how much is the difference? Don’t you eat breakfast when your metabolism is low soon after you wake up?

  In other words, if you try to distinguish between slim and fat people by metabolism, all calories and nutrients are supposed to be absorbed by everyone in the same way, and only slim people break down and consume the calories as energy. Why do they need to do such a useless thing? Why don’t they save the extra valuable energy that they have taken in case they cannot eat in the future?

(2) Try to take a balanced meal
  Unbalanced breakfast (only bread and coffee or rice balls etc. ) resets the “peripheral nerve gene” halfway, so metabolism does not start properly and makes it easier to gain weight.


<My argument>
  Of course, I admit that balanced meals affect nervousness and concentration. However, even one slice of toast, ham and coffee increase your body temperature and provide energy for the brain. Then, how much metabolic difference is there? If a balanced diet (e.g. 700 kcal) makes it difficult to gain weight and an unbalanced diet with lower calories (e.g. instant noodles: about 350 kcal) makes it easier to be fat, something is wrong.

  Also, when you grow fruits or vegetables, isn’t it normal that if you provide them with a balanced nutrition, they tend to be larger?


Even for humans’ growth, it is essential to take a balanced nutrition. Thus, the argument that eating a well-balanced breakfast increases metabolism and consumes the extra calories you have taken sounds strange.

(3) Late dinner makes it easier to gain weight.
  From 6 a.m. in the morning to 4 p.m., BMAL1, a clock gene protein that promotes fat synthesis is lower, so it is difficult to store food as body fat. From 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., the level of BMAL1 reaches its peak, so it is a few times easier to be fat even if you take the same calories as breakfast.

¢£As for a rebuttal on this argument, please see the following blog.
(Not yet)

4. My opinion toward the overall argument

  While the idea that the reason of gaining weight is “the total amount of calories intake” is still pervasive, it is a great progress that people started to understand “­¡When to eat, ­¢What to eat and ­£How to eat” affect the prevention of obesity or losing weight. Also, it is clear that eating breakfast and balanced meals is important not only for our health but also for our concentration and mental stability.

  However, the strange thing about this theory is that they are trying to explain everything that does not fit with the calorie theory only by “metabolism”. Isn’t this a mere theory just linking “people who are slim though they eat breakfast and lunch enough” and “people who skip breakfast and tend to gain weight” to the values of “metabolic”?

  Moreover, if the relationship between the timing of the meal and nutrition determines whether people gain weight, they only need to mention “the timing of the meal” for their explanation. Nevertheless, they add ­¢ and ­£, which sounds unreasonable.

  As I mentioned in the beginning, my “intestinal starvation" theory should be more reasonable. In the following blog, I will explain “why eating a balanced breakfast leads to the prevention of obesity” based on my theory.
(Not yet)