Isolate, But Don’t Gain Weight

Sleep and hydration are key, says local doctor; also, go easy on the carbs
By EDDIE RIVERA, Weekendr Editor
Published on Mar 24, 2020

When we emerge from the current crisis, we’ll all need our hair cut and styled and a manicure, and weigh ten pounds more. At least.

We can’t help you with the haircut part but, according to Dr. Claude Matar of the Pasadena Weight Loss Clinic, maintaining a safe weight is as much a matter of when to eat, as well as what to eat.

Dr. Claude Matar received his MD in 1986 and became board certified in naturopathic medicine and a clinical nutritionist in 1998.

“The most basic advice would be for them to time what they eat,” Matar told Pasadena Now Monday.

As an example, said Matar, carbohydrates should not be consumed after sundown. If it’s after six and for most people, dinner is after six, he said, then do not include any carbohydrates with that meal.

“Go for some protein and a ton of vegetables and that’s it,” he recommends.

Carbohydrates basically break down into sugar, says Matar, so he says that pasta or bread or rice or potato should not be a part of dinner, if you’re watching your weight. Nevertheless, carbohydrates can be a part of breakfast.

Oatmeal, which is almost entirely carbs, is a good choice for breakfast, says Matar.

“It’s completely okay,” he says. “It’s not going to cause you to gain weight.

“Also,” Matar added, “If one wanted to have a little bit of potato, or some rice, or a stir fry with rice and maybe some noodles for lunch, it’s okay. But not for dinner.”

And all of those carbs, explained Matar, are tied to your sleep.

Melatonin, which is your sleep hormone, starts to get produced after dark, and melatonin counteracts the action of insulin, which is what the body uses to handle carbs, he explained. So you don’t want to have carbs after dark, and preferably no carbs after lunch.

If you find yourself hungry after dinner, and before bedtime, Matar suggests some crunchy vegetables, like carrots or celery. Nuts are good, too, but go easy on those, he suggests.

More importantly, says Matar, try some herbal tea during the evening.

“In addition to the benefits from the active ingredients in the tea, it is also hydration,” says Matar. Hydration is essential for the immune system, he noted.

“So you take your liquids after dinner from herbal tea, that’s one,” says Matar. “Number two, you can have broth, any kind of broth. It could be bone broth, it could be vegetable broth, it could be broth that you can make yourself from any leftover vegetables or meats or bones or whatever is available to you. You can make broth out of that.”

While his suggestions are appropriate for those who have weight issues, Matar also suggests that his recommendations might also help anyone who is trying to maintain a safe weight in general.

“We do not have medication or vaccination for Covid-19,” said Matar. “So,the only solid effective strategy that we have, is to enhance the immune system and what should happen to enhance the immune system, is trying to sleep as early as you can.

Matar also recommends that we all get enough sleep.

“Sleep is number one,” says Matar. “Number two is not to interfere with the functions and production of your sleep hormone,so that when you are asleep, you’re sleeping deeply enough to help your immune system rejuvenate, so you can fight the virus.”

Sounds like good advice. We’re off to bed.

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