Spartan Up! - A Spartan Race for the Mind!

We all know that it’s important to pay attention to our daily food intake. But many people don’t know this important fact: the number of calories your body retains is not only affected by how much you eat but also by when you eat.

What we Talk About:

In this podcast, we’re going to look at the impact of the body’s daily cycles – it’s circadian rhythms (or “CR”) – on supporting the maintenance of healthier food intake and more efficient weight control.

The process by which the body breaks down food and turns it into energy is known as our metabolism. The metabolism isn’t just what happens in your stomach; it refers also to a wide range of biochemical processes within an organism. So, something that impacts your metabolism has a huge influence on your overall health and well-being. And an important driver of metabolism is the hormone cortisol.

CR’s connection to metabolism is that it helps trigger a cortisol rise in the morning. Cortisol is your “get up and go” hormone; it drives your metabolism, supports thyroid function, and contributes to the energy you can access to complete your daily activities. Because your metabolic processes are receiving a bit of a jump start from cortisol, the food you consume when cortisol is released has a greater likelihood to be burned and turned into fuel rather than stored as fat.

Your CR supports a diurnal (or daily) release of cortisol. This means that two times per day your cortisol level peaks: once in the early morning and another time in the late morning.

If you guessed that the opposite is true for the evening hours, you would be right. As the sun goes down and night approaches, your body is winding down all its processes for a good night’s sleep. Part of that winding down is lower cortisol levels. If you consume food during late hours, that food has a greater likelihood that it will not be turned to energy to accomplish a goal or task; instead, it’s likely to be stored as fat.

Using your body’s own natural cycle to shape your eating habits can enhance weight loss efforts. Consuming food between approximately 7a.m. and 7 p.m. is the optimal time for your body’s needs.

Knowing this, you should leave your midnight snacks behind and ride the CR wave and cortisol peaks to maintain good eating habits that align with your body’s natural inner clock.


Circadian rhythm’s connection to the release of the hormone cortisol in the human body effects how the metabolism processes food intake. Eating according to those rhythms can maintain a healthy and efficient intake of food; this also helps with maintaining weight.

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle.

Cortisol is a hormone that drives your metabolism, supports thyroid function and contributes to the energy you can access to complete your daily activities.

Metabolism refers also to a wide range of biochemical processes within an organism (in addition to digestion).



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National Institute of General Medical Sciences, “Circadian Rhythms,”, accessed January 2019.

Society for Endocrinology, “Cortisol,” January 2017,, accessed January 2019.

The Mayo Clinic Diet, “What exactly is metabolism,” January 2019,, accessed January 2019.

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Producer: Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.
Writer and Host: Nada Milosavljevic MD, JD

© 2019 Spartan


Direct download: 016_Spartan_HEALTH_Circadian2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT