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Chrono Diet

By Tracey Allison Planinz ; Updated July 18, 2017

Most diets that either restrict calories or limit one of the three macronutrients: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The chrono diet allows you to eat most foods as long as they are eaten at the appropriate times throughout the day. There is no calorie counting, and the only prohibited food is dessert. Although the chrono diet generally follows healthy guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it is still important to check with your doctor before beginning this diet plan.


Eat breakfast mid-morning, around 9:00 a.m. It should consist of fats and sugars or carbohydrates. Sugars give a quick burst of energy when it is needed most, at the start of the day. Fats take longer to break down, and provide longer lasting energy. Examples of chrono breakfast items include yogurt, cheese, milk and cereal or toast with butter. Other than dairy, protein items such as meat and eggs, should not be eaten with carbohydrates on the chono diet. A traditional breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast would be prohibited.


If following the chono diet method, lunch should be your largest meal of the day. It should be eaten around 1:00 pm. This is when energy is highest and calories are required to keep you going through the rest of the day. Lunch on the chrono diet is comprised mainly of complex carbohydrates. Have one large dish without any side dishes or desserts. Examples of starchy lunch items include pasta, rice and beans or vegetable soup with lentils.


There are two snacks permitted per day, one at 10:30 a.m. and the other at 4:00 p.m. The morning snack consists of a piece of fruit of your choice. In the afternoon, you may have something sweet, such as a piece of dark chocolate and some fruit. Do not skip the snacks. Your body needs the sugar to help maintain your energy levels.


Try to eat dinner around 6:00 pm. Do not snack after dinner. Allow your food to completely digest before going to bed. Dinner on the chrono diet is a lighter meal, and based on protein foods. Grilled chicken with a small salad, baked fish and steamed vegetables, or other lean meat item is appropriate for this time of day.

Balanced Diet

Although eating most of your food groups separately, you should still make sure you are getting all of your daily requirements. According to the USDA adults need 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit; 2 1/2 to 3 cups of vegetables; 6 to 8 oz. of grains; and 5 to 6 oz. of protein foods such as meat, beans and dairy each day.

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