The universe really is amazing. There are cycles in everything in the universe. There are cycles in weather, the seasons, the economy, wars, moon, sun, animal populations, geological formations, sea, physics, clocks and a million others I don’t have room to mention.
But did you know that your body also has a cycle?
And I am not talking about the obvious, nor am I talking just to the ladies here. This information is important for Everyone, so listen up! If you are not familiar with body cycles yet, so much is about to make sense…
Your body runs on 3 eight-hour cycles per day. Formally referred to as the Circadian Rhythms, and known for thousands of years via Ayurvedic teachings, to me understanding and applying these body clock principles has been the reason behind enjoying easy digestion, keeping my weight from fluctuating, never experiencing fatigue and maximizing my metabolism.
These are the cycles:
During the hours between 4AM and 12PM, your body is in the Elimination Cycle. It never stops to work on your digestion and you can still eat or drink or whatever at this time, but understanding that this is the period most important for cleansing and releasing toxins (‘Eliminating’), we can make the right food choices if we are going to eat. It is best to stick to liquids and most hydrating living foods, as we let our body shed the toxins (think how you wake up tired, sweaty, headachie and with bad breath- all are signs of detox symptoms). So if you do choose to eat during this period, it is important to go for anything that will require minimal digestion and support this cleansing cycle, such as fresh fruit or green juices. This is why you often hear experts refer to breakfast as ‘the most important meal of the day’, exactly so you can make a careful choice on what’s light on digestion, not so you can eat the most gigantic feast. You are breaking the fast (break-fast), so do it right or proper elimination won’t get a chance.
“The elimination cycle is without question your greatest ally in the preservation of health and prevention of disease”; “If a blood test was to be taken every hour for 24 hours, it would show that the bloodstream is most heavily burdened with the by-products of metabolism during the hours between 4am-12noon, indicating the stepped up elimination cycle, because it is the blood that carries waste material to the four channels of elimination: bowels, bladder, lungs, and skin”- Harvey & Marilyn Diamond, Fit for Life
During the hours between 12PM and 8PM, your body is in the Appropriation Cycle. During this period, we are most awake, active, present and therefore efficient at digesting, metabolizing and burning through the majority of our heavily concentrated foods. This is why the majority of meals (lunch, dinner and snacks) also occur during this cycle. The most important thing to do during this period however IS NOT to be dictated by the clock or so called ‘norms’ of mealtime, when we are too starving to care what we have for lunch and tend to shove so much food down ourselves too quickly, that by the time the body registers what happened, it is too late and we overeat, get bloated and ‘too tired’ to digest. The most important thing to do then IS to eat only when hungry and in smaller portions, so you give your body plenty of breaks and chances to break down through the food with the least required effort, so it reserves the energy for everything else you need doing, not merely wasting it on digesting your meals.
During the hours between 8PM and 4AM, your body is in the Assimilation Cycle. This is the time you are most likely to be relaxed or sleeping. This period is when all the ‘assimilating’ or absorbing of nutrients and minerals from your food occurs and gets transported to your organs, bones and cells via the blood. It is when all the rebuilding, renewing and healing takes place. It makes sense to eat dinner early, so that the foods you eat are digested and out of the stomach in preparation for this phase. As all the goodness gets drawn from the food for you to strengthen, the remains get ready for Elimination, the start of the next cycle all over again.
Try this for yourself and be mindful of these three cycles for 10 days. Once you learn to pay attention to them, it will become second nature and your body will reap the bounty of benefits.
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Tanya Alekseeva is a Wellness Coach who specialises in Raw Food Nutrition and Detoxification options. Tanya works with a variety of clients ranging from corporate organisations through to individuals and schools, to educate and ensure they achieve their most desired wellbeing and ultimate health objectives. She is the founder of Better Raw and Corporate Créme in London, travelling nationally and internationally to provide seminars, workshops, detox programs and one-to-one coaching. Tanya is also an author of various books, and they as well as her DVD 'Raw Food 101' are available now on