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The Circadian Code: Lose Weight, Supercharge Your Energy, and Transform Your Health from Morning to Midnight
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The Circadian Code: Lose Weight, Supercharge Your Energy, and Transform Your Health from Morning to Midnight

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  1,878 ratings  ·  230 reviews
When we eat may be as important as what we eat.

Like most people, you probably wake up, get hungry for meals and doze off in bed around the same time every day. If you’ve ever experienced jet lag or pulled an all-nighter, you know that this schedule can easily be thrown off kilter. But for some people, that imbalance—difficulty sleeping at night, hunger at odd times, or su
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 12th 2018 by Rodale Books
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Start your review of The Circadian Code: Lose Weight, Supercharge Your Energy, and Transform Your Health from Morning to Midnight
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love reading science books that are well-written by an author who is really an expert in the field. And, in this case, Dr. Satchin Panda definitely fits the bill. He is a professor at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies. His specialty is the molecular mechanism of the biological clock and the part it plays in overall health. On the other hand, I do not care for self-help books written by scientists, and while there is some excellent advice here, there is also some bad advice.

The basic ide
Martin Brochhaus
I read "Why We Sleep" right before this book and thought it might probably the most important book ever.

Well, this one is a close second! While "Why We Sleep" focuses pretty much only on sleep alone, this book underlines and confirms all arguments from "Why We Sleep" but adds a completely new dimension to it: WHEN we should eat and (to a lesser extend) WHEN we should exercise.

It introduces the concept of Time Restricted Eating (TRE) and while there are a few pages of "good ingredients", it doesn
Jahongir Rahmonov
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very useful book. 4 stars because it could have been written much much shorter. After this book I started practicing 9-hour time restricted eating. What this basically means is that I eat my breakfast (the first meal in the day) at around 8 and I eat the last one at around 5. After that I eat/drink nothing but water. I lost 7kg (down to 78kg from 85) in a couple of months. The most interesting thing is that I didn't stop eating burgers, plov and pizzas.

I am also paying more and more attention t
Jul 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dull-jane, 2018
Step right up, folks! I have a humdinger of a cure for ya that will add years to your life and make you the person you have always wanted to be!!! All you have to do is follow this simple plan…

This book reads like a script from an ol’ timey Medicine Show. The author is the perfect peddler, pimping out his miracle cure for everything that ails you. He preaches to you about how all the things you suffer from are all connected (even if you haven’t realized you had them and that they were actual
Tiago Faleiro
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fitness, owned
I've had sleep problems for as long as I can remember. I always went to bed late and did not get sleepy until way past midnight. At some point, I often took more than one hour to fall asleep. When I finally got into fitness in my late teens, I started to try to fix my sleep schedule. A little by little I managed to do so, but with great effort and it took many years. I've read a lot on sleep so I could better fix my schedule, and by extension, on the circadian rhythm which heavily influences it. ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-reads
This book is really about TRE (Time Restricted Eating) and the benefits of TRE for health. Weight loss might be a result of restricting one's eating to 12 hours a day (or 11, 10, even 8 for the devoted), but other effects are better sleep, improved digestion, energy levels and athletic performance, etc. We alter our circadian clocks by eating too often - and eating within 3 hours of bed is particularly problematic. Apparently the liver and pancreas (insulin) better accommodate a large meal earli ...more
Yelena Dubovaya
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Debated on rating this a 4 or a 5, but given the fact that I've been convinced to try TRE (Time restricted eating - AKA Intermittent Fasting) - I think this deserves a 5.

Overall, an interesting read outlining the benefits of all the basic things I've heard since adolescence (get enough sleep and don't eat after 6pm). However, instead of just preaching these mantras, Dr. Panda goes into detail about the reasoning behind the benefits and what happens on a cellular level - which is both convincing
Peter Tillman
Jul 25, 2018 marked it as to-read
This sounds unpromising -- I mean, Rodale Press! But the NY Times has good things to say about the idea, and the author is a professor at the Salk Institute and an expert on circadian rhythms research. Dr. Panda argues that people improve their metabolic health when they eat their meals in a daily 8- to 10-hour window, taking their first bite of food in the morning and their last bite early in the evening.

Here's the NYT article :
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Over and over I was floored by the information in this book. I read it slowly, bit by bit, over about 8 weeks, learning as I went. There is so much packed in here, and I'm grateful for Dr. Panda's work to bring together all this science and present it -- I have changed how I eat and am working hard to give myself the sleep I need given my much deeper understanding of its profound effects on the body. ...more
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
This one was interesting. I took away a couple of things from it for sure, but there was a lot of science-heavy stuff in there that passed me by!
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost five stars, as I will accept any advice that suggests I can have a terrible diet - and as long as a wrap up my eating to a 8 to 12 hours window a day I will be healthy. Lots of interesting details on the body's circadian rhythm I didn't know - I struggle with poor quality sleep, and have used a simulated dawn wake up light to try to help set my daily rhythm in darker Canadian winters, so it was really interesting to read how much else in the body is driven by it's own circadian rhythm and ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Some great information here. It just felt like he was padding it a bit to get to book length. He repeatedly states it doesn’t really matter what you eat, but then turns around and spends a significant portion of the book telling you what you should and should not eat. Still, the main takeaways are definitely valuable and actionable. Worth a read.
The main idea in The Circadian Code by Satchin Panda is TRE - Time Restricted Eating. According to him, restricting our eating hours could be the key to curbing obesity, kidney disease, high cholesterol, bad sleeping, joint pain, possibly even cancer, according to recent research. This idea seems too far-fetched. The most unscientific thing that he says is "Everyone should focus more on when they eat, instead of what they eat." Still, there were a few things to be learnt from this book:

• Weight
Leo Walsh
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Satchin Panda is a well-respected scientist, known for researching circadian rhythms in mice. And he is wicked-smart. But THE CIRCADIAN CODE seems to fall a little short for me. Why? Panda generalized his research with mice to humans, perhaps in places where it is not warranted. And this makes him see a CIRCADIAN SOLUTION to nearly every problem facing humans in the 21st century,

Have diabetes, ADHD, depression, high blood pressure, leaky gut, fatty liver, etc? Panda has a solution: go to bed at
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is the attempt of a scientist to make his field of expertise available to the general public. And in a way, this makes it an important book, as this is the first one to summarize all the findings regarding circadian clocks (up to this point) in a way, that allows you to get an overview without having to sift through all the relevant papers yourself.

But there are some problems with this book. For one, in an attempt to make the content more available, the author sometimes makes use of so
Sep 02, 2018 rated it liked it
As I age I have found it increasingly hard to stay asleep. I nod off within 10 minutes however tend to wake up sometime between 3 and 5 am and struggle to get back to sleep. Consequently I have developed a keen interest in books and advice about sleep.

This one is well worth a read if you have an interest in sleeping better or, more broadly, optimal health. As with many such books it contains a lot of extraneous detail and is a bit repetitive however Dr. Satchin Panda's pioneering work is fascin
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
There are things that you know but not really follow until you learn how important they are. Drinking enough water comes into my mind, eating more vegetables, exercising and so on. Getting enough sleep and following your inner clock is one of these topics and this book opened my eyes.

The author makes a strong argument that modern life interrupts our inner clock with drastic consequences. Not immediately but when we get older the body may start to break down showing diseases that are all too com
Two Readers in Love
While it is a bit repetitive in parts (or, to be fair, perhaps I'm just too sleep-deprived to absorb the underlying organizational structure?) this is quite a useful book. I've been reading multiple books on sleep this year, and this one covered some similar ground but also introduced several areas of research that were entirely new to me. Dr. Panda's research is on the multiple interrelated clocks in our body, so whereas most of the popularization of the research that I've read so far focuses o ...more
P.S. Carrillo
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent research on a topic that should be a part of every medical doctor's prescription pad. I first became aware of Dr. Panda while watching Dr. Rhonda Patrick on YouTube. It was a fascinating interview and based on the science presented I went on a time restricted eating regimen immediately. That was over 1 year ago. Better overall health, digestion, weight control, sleep, etc. Than you Dr. Panda for all of your hard work. The human body continues to astonish. ...more
Aug 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non_fiction
DNF. A lot of the research in this book is based on mouse experiments that the author then extrapolates are applicables to humans. As a consequence a lot of the principles and arguments are not actually supported by evidence. The author also explains that he is not an MD but he then proceeds to recommend people stop their sleeping meds and implement his advice instead, this raises a red flag for me.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
In The Circadian Code, researcher Dr. Satchin Panda, PhD explains the impact and significance of our internal clocks. A professor at the Salk Institute, Panda is also a founding executive member of the Center for Circadian Biology at the University of California, a Pew Scholar, and a recipient of the Julie Martin Mid-Career Award in Aging Research.

According to Patcha, daily rhythms are a driving force in all biological processes. Light exposure, exercise, and when and what we eat can all impact
Nick D
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I think there are a lot of good habits encouraged in here even if they are a bit oversold:

-Consume all your calories in an 8-10 hour window. Earlier is better if you can fit it into your lifestyle.

-Peak physical abilities are in the afternoon but it is also a good idea to have light to moderate exercise in the morning before eating (to maximize fat burn and get early sun exposure) and after larger meals (to aid digestion). Any workout is better than no workout.

-Peak mental abilities seem to be 1
Braydon Phillips
May 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
The average person who stares at screens right up until they go to bed every night, don't get outside for direct sunlight in the morning (or little daytime direct sunlight at all), eat ad libitum all day long and often eat before bed might want to pick up this book.

I can say with confidence that we all have a circadian rhythm problem today. Modern lighting and tech tricks our brain into thinking its daytime during the night and our habits of spending ~90% of our lives indoors under insufficient
Dec 19, 2019 added it
Meh. I was disappointed in this one. It's got some good points but it boils down to two or three general recommendations:
1. Expose yourself to bright light during the day and use only task lighting at night.
2. Eat during an 8-12 hour window, ideally during daylight hours.
3. Those two things should help you sleep better and maintain circadian rhythm of other organs (gut, brain, liver, skin, etc.) for optimal health.
There's a lot of filler and too much emphasis on weight loss for my tastes here.
Tory Wagner
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
The Circadian Code by Satchin Panda is an intriguing look at how our circadian clock may be controlling many of our biological processes and thus directly impacting our health. Panda promotes a circadian lifestyle in which restricted eating along with exercise will result in optimal sleep thus allowing you to be a healthy, highly functional individual and who wouldn't want that! ...more
Piotr Karaś
I loved this book. My key take-away is: start your breakfast at about the same time every day, because your first bite of the day triggers all the digestive organs to start their circadian cycle. The book contains a lot of other useful advice, worth remembering, if you care about your health and your healthspan.
Sharvani Pinge
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Precise writing and excellent concepts explained with practical solutions. Loved it!
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
Some good nuggets in here but I found some of his claims about impact on mental health and the relationship between TRE and chronic illnesses a bit specious.
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
A compressive look at the importance of circadian rhythm in our lives. A large focus of the book is TRE - time restricted eating or intermittent fasting, it affects every aspect of our health.
Tiago Martins
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You get the gist after 100 pages. Keep on reading if you are curious behind the rationale. This is the kind of book that it's better to read on Blinkist. ...more
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“Sitting here in my lab, I can imagine you scratching your head again: Dr. Panda, what’s the big deal? Aren’t we talking about just a few ounces of fat gain after a late-night snack? Won’t my metabolic rhythm come back the next day? Actually, it’s worse than you think. It is hard enough for the body to monitor hormones, genes, and clocks for someone with a strict eating routine. But when eating occurs at random times throughout the day and night, the fat-making process stays on all the time. At the same time, glucose created from digested carbohydrates floods our blood and the liver becomes inefficient in its ability to absorb glucose. If this continues for a few days, blood glucose continues to rise and reaches the danger zone of prediabetes or diabetes. So, if you’ve wondered why diets haven’t worked for you before, timing might be the reason. Even if you were diligently exercising; counting calories; avoiding fats, carbs, and sweets; and piling on the protein, it’s quite likely that you weren’t respecting your circadian clocks. If you eat late at night or start breakfast at a wildly different time each morning, you are constantly throwing your body out of sync. Don’t worry, the fix is equally simple: Just set an eating routine and stick to it. Timing is everything.” 3 likes
“Our modern lifestyle, in which we spend most of our time indoors looking at bright screens and turn on bright lights at night, activates melanopsin at the wrong times of day and night, which then disrupts our circadian rhythms and reduces the production of the sleep hormone melatonin; as a result, we cannot get restorative sleep. When we wake up the next day and spend most of the day indoors, the dim indoor light cannot fully activate melanopsin, which means that we cannot align our circadian clock to the day-night cycle, making us feel sleepy and less alert. After a few days or weeks, we get into depression and anxiety.” 2 likes
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