Clock genes and weight gain - Waitplate

‘Clock genes’ and weight gain

Everyone of us has a ‘body clock.’ It’s the special genes that us humans have to ensure our body and brain are getting enough rest and enough nutrients to function.  These special genes are actually clocked ‘clock genes‘ and are the reason for us maintaining a reoccurring circadian rhythm that regulates our other genes.

As defined by Urs Albrecht, Jurgen A. Ripperger of the Department of Medicine at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland: “Clock genes are components of the circadian clock comparable to the cogwheels of a mechanical watch. . .  Any of a number of genes that interact with each other to make up an auto-regulatory feedback loop, in which its activation and repression cycle takes about one day.”

There are several genes that are responsible for contributing to our ‘body clock’ including:

  • Core body temperature
  • Melatonin production
  • Sleep and wake cycles
  • Metabolising sugar and fat
  • Digestion
  • Immune system
  • Satiety hormone

So what happens when all of these clock genes are either out of sync or worse still, don’t even have a rhythm to reference to? The answer is our body just doesn’t work properly as it’s not receiving a regular pattern of when it can prepare to sleep, prepare to digest and even prepare to go to the toilet! The most common ‘side effects’ when these clock genes are de-synchronised are:

  • Diabetes
  • Weight gain
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic disorders

Skipping meals, having irregular bed times and eating meals late at night are three of the biggest factors in causing havoc with our metabolism.  If your body can’t anticipate when it has to digest food then all of the other clock genes will be in a constant state of confusion – this is why you sometimes feel hungry when you’re tired.

If we need affirmation that we don’t function properly when we’re out of routine, we can simply look at children as an example. If it’s past their usual dinner time or they are up later than they’re usual bed time, the effects on their mood and behaviour is immediately obvious and they can sometimes take a day or so to recover.

Having a regular routine of eating and sleeping is not only beneficial for your body being able to maintain a healthy weight but also your general well-being.



Why emotional eating is hurting your health

We are all guilty of reaching for that chocolate bar when we’re feeling a bit down.  Bridget Jones famously devoured an entire tub of ice-cream when she was having men problems! But as we all know, we usually end up feeling a lot worse after our eating binge.

Emotional eating is a natural response for most people.  As humans, we don’t like feeling down or out of control of our emotions, so eating food which gives us that temporary high, can be a solution for many people – especially those who struggle with their weight. Unfortunately ’emotional eating’ can turn into a bad habit or behaviour and end up being destructive both physically and psychologically.

There are many reasons why people can turn to eating when they are not feeling happy with themselves:

  • Stressed   fatshadow
  • Lonely
  • Anxious
  • Upset
  • Angry
  • Guilty
  • Boredom

If we take a look at all of these negative emotions, we can see a pattern.  All of these emotions which trigger unnecessary eating are the same emotions we feel after we have eaten that whole block of chocolate.  When we are feeling these emotions our thoughts are not in a good state of mind.  By eating food which makes us feel good, it is inadvertently rewarding these bad eating behaviors.  It is creating a habit that each time you are feeling low, your brain has conditioned itself to expect a reward of a big slice of cheesecake.

Bad habits are just bad behaviours and like any bad habit, you have the power and choice to stop it.  The way to do this is to instill and stick to new habits. Such as:

Drink water: Whenever you are feeling ’emotional’ and that you need to eat something, have a big drink of cold water. Most of the time when we think we are hungry, we are actually thirsty and need hydration. Drinking water will also help your brain oxidize which will give you more clarity in your thoughts.

Create a routine and stick to it: Set yourself definitive times for your breakfast, lunch and dinner and stick to them. Even if it starts out as reminders on your phone. For your morning and afternoon tea breaks, have a hot drink (even if it’s just hot water with lemon) and a small snack such as nuts or fruit.

Stay away from the sweet stuff: We’re not saying to cut out of the naughty treats altogether, but just make your sweet sugary delights your rewards rather than your staple diet.  Lots of sugar will dehydrate you and make you feel hungry and un-satisfied.  Keep the sugar to a minimum when you’re feeling down and reward yourself occasionally when you’re feeling happy so your brain starts to associate eating with feeling good.  You will find by reducing sugar your mood will improve and those ‘down days’ will start to decrease.  If you get a sugar craving, grab an apple – they are the best natural sweeteners around!

Keep everything in proportion: Having a balanced diet and eating the correct portion sizes will retrain your brain both visually and physically. Understanding exactly how much food you actually need as opposed to want, is the best way to break the habit of over-eating and unnecessary eating. If just by looking at your meal you can understand how much you need, your brain will begin to automatically distance itself from over-eating.  Chewing your food properly and waiting for ten minutes after you’ve finished your plate will also assist your digestive system. This is helping train you towards hunger satiety – the state of feeling full rather than hungry.

Emotional eating has become a big health problem in the western culture with fast food and sugar fixes available at our finger tips.  Health issues directly related to a poor diet include:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

As the patient becomes move anxious or worried about their weight and health, they can often turn to the thing which is causing the problem – over-eating.

There is hope! As with breaking any bad habit, it takes discipline and a need to want to have a healthier life and the only person that can do that is you.



waitplate chewing timer

1,2,3 and Chew!

The Chewing Timer is part of The Waitplate System you receive to begin your journey to a healthier lifestyle and maintainable eating habits.


The other tools you receive include:


* Dressing & Fat Template

* Baked Good Template

* Protein Templates

* Soft Proteins and Carbohydrate cup


But let’s face it, we all love gizmo’s and toys and the Chewing Timer makes meal times fun – especially for the kids. As well as being a bit of a novelty, the timer is also addressing one of the most important and overlooked issues when it comes to eating properly.


There are a lot of different elements that need to be addressed when it comes to correcting poor eating habits with portion control and food choices being two of the most important. But a lot of meal plans or ‘diets’ fail to acknowledge the importance of actually eating and digesting your food properly. This is where the chewing timer establishes itself as a vital tool in your goal to improve your eating habits.


If your food is not chewed correctly, there are all these behind the scenes aspects in your body that are having to work un-necessarily harder. If your food is consumed too quickly, again you will probably receive a bit of a backlash from your body such as indigestion, heart-burn or just the general feeling that your belly is going explode from eating too much.


The Waitplate System Chewing Timer is educating your mind and your body on the basics of eating: chew, swallow and digest. It is also working on your Hunger Satiety since you are giving yourself time to eat properly, you’ll be more in tune of when you are actually full. As most of us know, we don’t actually have that ‘full’ feeling until approximately ten minutes after the fact.


The Chewing Timer is the first visual aid designed to specifically address and re-educate our eating habits through the speed of our eating. It it is a fantastic tool for the children to use as it’s a fun way of instilling good habits at a young age. It might just be a bit difficult to get it away from them so you can have a turn!

chewing timer



Magic Bullet for Weight Loss – I don’t think so!

Like most things in life there is no magic bullet (or pill or powder) for weight loss that is sustainable. However if we just stop and pause and reflect there is actually a nice, gentle and sensible road back to the very basics of correct eating behaviour. We just have to be willing to give it a go. If the average overweight adult could reduce their calorie intake by just 20% – 25% (using the Waitplate System), they could lose up to .5 kilo per week. Add to this just half an hour of exercise (like moderate walking etc) and they could lose another half a kilo of body fat. (Not muscle or excess fluid) Just gentle sustainable weight management. Never aim for extremes. So why don’t we all just do this and lose weight? Simple? Unfortunately not so simple because simply reducing calories and portion sizes (even with healthy food choices) is difficult for most adults and children whose metabolism and psychology is used to an abundance of food and immediate gratification. Why are we prisoners to this effect? Because in the past we have learned to eat too much, too fast, don’t feel satisfied and have adopted ingrained poor eating habits. (This includes eating anxiety and food obsession). Just reducing the amount of food consumed will not totally correct these problems. If you don’t feel satisfied and satiated you won’t stick with it. It’s called deprivation and as humans we avoid this type of negative reinforcement at all costs. However our bodies are a lot smarter than we give them credit for and we have an inherent mechanism for the control of our nutrition and our weight.

Our Hunger Satiety Response:

It is unusual to get fat animals if they are left to their own devices. They become fat through endocrine disease or through human interference such as force feeding, lack of activity and growth supplements (usually for commercial reasons).

To some extent this applies to us as well. How our Hunger/Satiety response works in simplicity, is this. From the time we start eating we release Peptide Satiety Hormones- several of them in an escalating cascade which flood into our blood stream to be read and decoded by satiety centres in the Thalamus and Hypothalamus in our brains which analyse the data produced to give cerebral messages of satiety – (STOP EATING – I’M FULL). This whole process culminates in around 18 to 20 minutes.

Poor modern eating behaviours (including the nature of the food and the speed in which it is eaten) has over ridden and blunted the satiety regulation in many of us leading to overeating and obesity.

In terms of the nature of food, overweight individuals tend to eat high Caloric Density Foods with low satiety indices and poor nutritional value. That means that the food makes them fat but doesn’t fill them or meet nutritional needs. Eating larger mouthfuls of poor food choice foods too fast and swallowing only partly masticated food (only partially chewed) and you get a meal that can be mindlessly eaten in 5 minutes instead of 18 – 20 minutes. In eating this way the satiety cascade is bypassed and over-ridden and eventually blunted. (There is ground breaking evidence to verify this) The Waitplate Chewing Timer helps to correct and re-educate the user to dramatically reduce eating speed, thereby activating the hunger/satiety response so they feel fuller on much less food. This coupled with The Waitplate Portion Plate and Cutlery and the Waitplate Food Templates means that everything you need to gently and sustainably lose weight and maintain forever is at your finger tips.


Mindful Eating: Slow down everyone…

The Waitplate System really encourages not only changes in eating behavior but also changes in attitude towards food and the eating process.

For any new behavior to be permanent it must first be learned then practiced over a few weeks. The aim is to create harmony with food, joy in eating and satisfaction in smaller portions. To attain this we have to renew our love and appreciation for the food we eat and those we choose to share that food with. Sound too “out there”? Not really. When we have gratitude for the food we eat, prepare that food with love and eat it with those we care about we create harmony with the eating process. Following the simple but precise rules of the Waitplate System will assist you to slow down your speed of eating, chew more mindfully, improve digestion substantially and re- connect with that part of you that wants to be a gracious and appreciative eater. Some important things to consider when you consume any meal…..relax….take your time……be present……taste……enjoy……..savour…….be grateful…….rate your hunger…. truly experience every bite……be an elegant eater…….eat only what you need not just what you want.  Give thanks. When we embrace mindful eating we nourish not only our bodies but also our spirits and replenish ourselves with energy and joy. So start today. Be gentle with yourself and slow down your eating a little more each day. Remember, chew your food until it becomes a liquid and is swallowed involuntarily. I promise it will aid digestion and you will feel fuller on much less food.

Even when you have a small meal like a sand-which or snack, take one moment to appreciate the aroma of the food, then take a small bite and concentrate on the taste. Slow your chewing rate down and relax even if only for a few minutes. This process re-programs your eating behavior over time. I know this will be hard for some people initially but with practice it will become second nature.


The importance of rating your hunger as you eat

Hi everyone,

For those who are using the Waitplate System and even for those who are not, one very important aid in weight management and re-balancing is to rate your hunger while you are eating. Sometimes called your ‘hunger quotient’, this helpful tactic encourages eating behaviour awareness. It could be argued that constantly rating how sated you are, brings attention to eating, which may in itself lead to weight loss.

Before you start your next meal sit down with a pen and paper. Write down a number between 1 and 10 that best rates how hungry you feel. Number 1 being extremely hungry and 10 being comfortably full.

Now as you commence your meal be truly mindful of all the aromas, textures and individual flavours with each bite. Chew slowly and deliberately. Pay full attention to this process. You may need to practice this a few times. One chew per second is perfect. Make sure each bite of food is completely liquefied before you swallow it. This will ensure that your mouthful will be partially digested even before you swallow and the optimal amount of nutrients extracted. Continue in this manner for a couple of minutes then cease eating. Put your cutlery down, take a breath and a small sip of water. Wait for a minute and then rate your hunger again. (After you begin eating, it will take around 18- 20 minutes for the food to work its way into your blood stream, altering hormone and sugar levels. So if you complete a full meal in less than 15 minutes you may still be hungry.)

So after you have rated your hunger again, is your hunger subsiding? Continue in this same manner until you rate your level of fullness (or satiety) up around 7 or 8, then stop. By eating until you are only 80% full will result in increased energy as your digestive system doesn’t have to work so hard. Less food in your system will result in weight re-balancing and a healthy digestive tract. Try It!