The In-Sync Diet may seem like a regular diet book, but that’s actually not the case. There’s so much more to a healthy weight and a healthy body and mind, than what we eat. Our bodies are made up of incredibly complex systems and they are all connected. If one part is out of sync, it affects all the other parts. This can affect weight, mood and general health. That’s why my co-author (psycho neuro immunologist Fleur Borrelli) and I set out to write a book to show how you can take control of your health, weight and body by getting as in sync as possible.
And now we’re busy setting up the In-Sync Online Programme to make it all easier and guide you through as best we can. It’ll take a few months but in the meantime do check out theinsyncdiet.com and grab yourself a discount while you’re there.
Here’s an extract from our book that was published in Natural Health magazine recently, showing some of the unexpected ways that can help optimise weight and health and even affect how you age:
Nutritionist Fleur Borrelli and actress Glynis Barber show how the in sync diet can not only help you lose weight, but also turn back the clock.
At some point in our lives, most of us will have been on a diet. Some may well have spent a fortune on the various diet books, services, meal replacements and other ‘miracle cures’ that there are on the market. But they often don’t work – and the reason is because many of us are still out of sync.
Let’s look at the problem a little more closely. Our behaviour is regulated by daily rhythms known as circadian, or bio, rhythms. Studies have shown that it is the disruption of these biorhythms that can contribute to conditions such as depression and seasonal affective disorder.
In today’s fast-paced society, we are surrounded by constant demands on our attention and various stressors – all of which are mentally and physically exhausting and play a role in disrupting our biorhythms. On top of this we are exposed to food choices that our evolutionary ancestors would never have dreamed of and we have very little opportunity to move around in the way our body needs. It is no wonder, then, that we are all having to watch our waistlines – food is available at every turn and we don’t need to expend any energy to get it.
The principles behind the in sync diet work to the idea that our clock genes work best for us if we behave in the way we are designed to – eating when we are hungry, drinking when we are thirsty and sleeping when we are tired.
But the problem is we don’t always have the energy to act in this way anymore and often we do the reverse – we eat in case we get hungry and we have a cup of tea just to break up the day rather than drinking because we are thirsty. We don’t sleep well because we don’t have the energy to go to sleep and stay asleep, and then we resort to stimulants such as coffee when we get tired during the day which can negatively affect our energy levels and drive up appetite.
Research shows that when you are out of sync in this way, you are more prone to weight gain, obesity, heart disease and a whole host of other health problems. So how do you survive this modern life, stay lean and healthy and full of vitality?
Principles of the in-sync diet
Move before you eat
With the In-Sync Diet, this is fundamental to maintaining a healthy body composition and good health for the rest of your life.
Your Stone Age ancestors did not eat before they set off in the morning and you do not need to either! When you move around on an empty stomach, your cells quickly adapt and become incredibly efficient at burning fat. The more you are able to do this, the better control you will have of your blood sugar levels and the less prone you will be to putting on weight. So remember, move first, then eat, rest and digest.
Keep up your water intake
Aim to keep your water intake up by drinking plenty in one go and then not drinking again until you feel your thirst returning. From our point of view, the problem with constantly ‘topping-up’ our water levels is that we may be losing the ability to recognise when we are really thirsty, and instead we may be mistaking thirst for hunger or a craving. More often than not, hunger cravings are quenched with sugary, processed snacks which can have a large impact on the health of our body and lead to weight gain. To get our thirst back, we suggest that you should stop sipping through the day and only drink when you sense you are thirsty.
Eat two or three meals per day and do not snack
We are not genetically made for frequent eating and yet in modern life this is a situation that is hard to avoid. It is actually no mean feat to cut food intake down to just three times per day because food is everywhere you go. We often do not register a lot of food we put into our mouths. The in sync diet suggests that you should eat just two or three meals a day, with nothing in between. If you are getting a mid- afternoon slump, it could be that you are not eating enough protein at lunchtime and you should put some more in.
Reduce your lectin load
This means eating a diet that hardly includes grains or pulses unless this is part of your culture or you do not eat animal protein for ethical reasons. Lectins are proteins in foods that are anti-nutrients and can also damage your gut. While it would be impossible to get them out of your diet completely, you can certainly make a difference by reducing them. Gluten (from wheat, barley and rye) belongs to this category as do legumes such as kidney beans and all the other beans that need soaking before cooking as well as lentils and chickpeas. They can cause you terrible discomfort such as indigestion, bloating, nausea and soreness known as inflion. Inflion, if not resolved, can cause the perpetual release of inflory molecules that travel around the bloodstream causing damage to the body and speeding up the ageing process.
Choose foods that support the health of your mitochondria
These are the power houses of your cells that provide the energy for your body – if their capability declines so does the capability of every organ and tissue in your body. By supporting them you are also supporting your anti-ageing systems.
Foods that help your mitochondria include coconut oil, avocado, spinach, pomegranate, blueberries, seaweed, almonds, salmon, grass-fed beef, unrefined extra virgin olive oil, mango and broccoli.
Keep hold of your brown fat by avoiding sitting down for too long and keeping active.
Brown fat is so called because it has a large blood supply and plenty of fat burning iron-containing mitochondria that give it its colour. Unlike white fat, which stores excess calories in unwanted places around our body, ‘good’ brown fat generates heat for us by burning excess calories. This is a process known as thermogenesis. You can boost your levels of brown fat simply by exposing yourself to cooler temperatures. Try not to be too quick to turn on the heating in winter and enjoy cold showers and swimming in the sea in summer.
Reduce your over-response to stress
Employ techniques such as yoga and meditation each day that will allow you to remove yourself from issues that are bothering you so that when you look at them again, you can appreciate them in a new light.
Be mindful of your biological clock
Many diseases such as heart disease, obesity and diabetes can be related to a disruption of your circadian rhythm. Make sure you are getting to bed on time and not eating too late.