7

votes

One Meal a Day... What do you think?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 02, 2012 at 7:49 PM

I have been eating one giant meal (lots of meat/eggs and a few veggies) every night for 6 days. I am wondering if my body will get used to this way of eating. Does your body get used to taking in less calories? I saw a youtube video of Hershel Walker saying he has been eating one meal a day for a long time. He said he started in high school unintentionally and he just does it now. By the way if you don't know who he is... he is one of the most incredible all-around athletes ever.

So one meal a day... good idea? Any experience?

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on July 05, 2013
at 10:53 PM

9000 per day? cmon stop lying

0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on March 03, 2013
at 08:38 AM

Do you get very hungry?

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 08, 2012
at 03:03 AM

I don't sleep well if I eat late at night. Either I can't sleep, or if I do I toss and turn a lot. So I end up staying in bed later in the morning. But if I eat just breakfast (and lunch), then I go to bed, sleep well, and wake up as soon as the sun is up. Growing up, dinner was always 5-6 hours before bed time, contrary to most american children who eat 2-3 hours before bedtime. So maybe it's just what my body prefers.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on December 07, 2012
at 08:33 AM

'No slacking' lol. Nice :) I;ve been experiementing with one meal a day for a few months too. It started when I was travelling for a bit and ate at night after getting back to the hostel (there was kitchen...). So easy. Only problem was it got too late and my circadian rhythms got messed up. I've been doing it a bit earlier dince. Have you found that a late one meal affected your circadian ryhthm?

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on March 09, 2012
at 01:38 PM

I prefer mine in the morning for the energy as you say. I don't think a big bolus of food before bed is a good idea. Besides, by the time you start to feel hungry in the evening it is time to go to bed so you sleep through any hunger. On workout days I might have an extra protein shake. Works for me.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 10:48 PM

Wooziness and headaches are not "detoxing" they are more likely a result of changing your metabolic requirements/demands.

F4a6fc9f0b701e12cdf2ad5dadaeb2dd

(360)

on February 03, 2012
at 01:36 AM

If you look at his tags, it is obvious he has already made this web search. ;)

324bf94d3d6f9322d6e4dba4becfaab1

on February 02, 2012
at 08:25 PM

Not as good as one meal every 2 days.

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18 Answers

5
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 02, 2012
at 09:43 PM

I do this some days, though not daily. In my experience, yes, your body does adjust. Intermittent fasting makes a lot of sense biologically, and it is a good way to trim out calories, if you are trying to lose weight or maintain.

It is important though that you make sure you are getting the proper nutrition with one meal, so as to not lead to deficiencies in the long term. If you do not take supplements, adding in veggies at least a few times a week, especially veggies like kale with lots of good vitamins, will help with this. You may also want to switch out meat for fish sometimes, for the good fats.

In short, one meal a day can work as long as you are not depriving your body of proper nutrients.

2
912ec069b5bd84af1b6ef7545b950908

on February 02, 2012
at 09:38 PM

I lived in a less-developed country with some food scarcity issues for a year and ate one meal a day. It took some getting used to (in particular I was woozy and nauseous in the afternoons) but after about a month I adapted pretty well to it. It seemed much easier to do this during the hottest part of the year. I can't speak to the health effects of it (and I'm still learning about the whole paleo approach to nutrition) but it certainly was possible and I did lose about 15 pounds doing it.

1
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 07, 2012
at 07:43 AM

Happened to me unintentionally. Even though it was unintentional, I really, really loved how I felt! Amazing, considering pre-paleo I had to eat a meal every 30 minutes or my vision would black out and I literally thought I would die.

Eating once a day gets rid of "snack cravings" for me. You know, when you're not hungry or craving any particular food, but you want to chew something? I hate that!

Also feel better when I exercise in a fasted state. (Natural exercise like helping my in-laws shovel non-stop all day long, or doing physical labor) I have much more endurance and can break my limits easier and with less recovering time, or even no recovering time. Not bad, given that I'm otherwise pretty sedentary and not used to being active. When I eat more than one meal per day, I feel like I'm pretty slow and my body gets tired faster, then I have to rest to recover (don't ask me why, it doesn't make any sense to me why one or two meals would made a difference!)

Sleeping early and waking up early was easier too, so long as my one meal was breakfast. But my boyfriend doesn't eat breakfasts, and I hate being with him but never sharing a meal together, you know? So now I eat two meals per day so I can eat one meal with him.
Wish I'd stop caring and go back to eating the one meal per day, since it makes me feel like a superwoman :)

I had pretty bad hair-loss from not eating enough calories this way, though (but I have so much hair that I saw this as a bonus, haha! Really, I lost 9/10ths of my hair and it still looks like I have more hair than most women!). Part of that is because I always thought "oh, I'm going to eat later anyway, I don't need to eat a big meal now". But then, later, I wasn't hungry and didn't eat.
So, as long as I make sure to make it a calorie and nutrient dense meal, I'm okay. Much easier to accomplish this now that I eat lots of organ meats every week, and can afford more grass-fed/pastured foods than before. Some days when I would eat fish, I chose to eat a second meal. Fish doesn't seem to provide enough calories unless I add lots of heavy cream or coconut milk.

When I eat one meal per day, there's no slacking, I need to make sure I eat a lot at each meal. There's no "I'm not hungry today, I'll eat tomorrow". I force myself to eat atleast one very calorie and nutrient dense meal per day. I don't allow myself to eat a light meal. Always a heavy meal. No exceptions. I don't want to have nutritional deficiencies.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on December 07, 2012
at 08:33 AM

'No slacking' lol. Nice :) I;ve been experiementing with one meal a day for a few months too. It started when I was travelling for a bit and ate at night after getting back to the hostel (there was kitchen...). So easy. Only problem was it got too late and my circadian rhythms got messed up. I've been doing it a bit earlier dince. Have you found that a late one meal affected your circadian ryhthm?

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on December 08, 2012
at 03:03 AM

I don't sleep well if I eat late at night. Either I can't sleep, or if I do I toss and turn a lot. So I end up staying in bed later in the morning. But if I eat just breakfast (and lunch), then I go to bed, sleep well, and wake up as soon as the sun is up. Growing up, dinner was always 5-6 hours before bed time, contrary to most american children who eat 2-3 hours before bedtime. So maybe it's just what my body prefers.

1
B42184c180ce5193832ce833aec53643

on July 25, 2012
at 04:33 PM

Eating one meal a day is fantastic. I have been following this lifestyle for awhile now and I have never been thinner or healthier. Snacking, even if it is healthy, triggers food cravings for me, so in the beginning I did a cold turkey switch from 2 meals/day plus snacks to one meal, no snacking. I was also a sugar addict so I cut desserts out of my life until I learned to enjoy them in moderation (eg dark chocolate-covered strawberries once/week). It can be tough at first, especially in social situations. However, sticking with it is far more gratifying, especially when the people who told you you were being unhealthy in the beginning now ask what's your secret.

I recommend everyone try it for a few days, a week, a month, and feel the difference. Amazing!

1
47394be0607f27d811f83e5cb938d56c

(10)

on March 08, 2012
at 05:58 PM

This is something I have been wanting to try for a long time. I used to do one meal but eat it in the morning. I found this amazing natural energy, it was great. Now I want to do the same thing but move it to a night meal.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on March 09, 2012
at 01:38 PM

I prefer mine in the morning for the energy as you say. I don't think a big bolus of food before bed is a good idea. Besides, by the time you start to feel hungry in the evening it is time to go to bed so you sleep through any hunger. On workout days I might have an extra protein shake. Works for me.

1
01adafcb4dd4147c6af543f61eee60a8

on February 23, 2012
at 08:12 PM

I eat twice a day mainly but at the weekend I will fast completely or just have the 1 Meal.So simple and liberating

1
F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on February 03, 2012
at 03:18 AM

From a time management/productivity perspective it's very appealing to only have to cook one meal, do the dishes for one meal, and sit down to eat one meal. Obviously all 3 things will take a little longer with the volume of food but if you save 30 minutes a day every day for the rest of your life? That's a lot of time.

I couldn't do one, I've been doing two on non-workout days and 3 on workout days. Good balance for me.

1
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on February 02, 2012
at 07:56 PM

I have eaten one large meal per day for long stretches twice in my life--once, in my twenties, on SAD and now for about 5 months although I recently inserted a dish of yogurt with fruit in the mornings so officially I eat twice now.

On SAD, my meal and therefore calories gradually reduced in size on one meal per day and I lost 50 pounds over about 6 months.

Now, I've also lost weight on IF but my daily food volume is at least as much now as when I started. The difference is that more of my food volume is high-moisture, less nutrient-dense foods than months ago.

Your question is interesting to me because I'd been interpreting my gradual calorie reduction as an instinctive response to loss of about 40 pounds--meaning right now my metabolic disorder is in recession or gone and my metabolism isn't fighting to re-fill the fat cells.

I'd say my body has not really adjusted to taking in less calories because I'm still losing fat although quite slowly. If I were to stop losing then I can see where it would indicate adaptation. I should also say that I don't eat the same calories from day to day; some days are less than usual, others are more than usual and sometimes I skip eating altogether.

0
Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on July 05, 2013
at 10:53 PM

I often eat 1 meal per day. But imo you have to be healthy, your hormones working properly, to do so. Otherwise, you overeat and feel worse, and then later on you have to eat again anyways.

0
89985542ffc00c296552951369fe809a

on July 05, 2013
at 10:31 PM

I only eat 1.5 meals a day. My body likes this approach a lot. My digestion wouldn't have it any other way. I say, do what ever makes you feel best, whether it be eating a lot of little meals or 1 giant meal.

0
3a87ed352583ad5ac5645894752d6f61

on March 03, 2013
at 03:09 AM

I have been doing this for 30 yrs. Meat..2 or 3 times a week..never 2 days together. I fast now and then. Once for 9 days carrot juice only;but now only 3,4,5..because quite simply I get hungry!It came about very naturally.I was a stonemason and felt icky if I ate in the morning so I just had one coffee and a few dozen push-ups. I didn't bother with lunch either after a few years and although its not advisable to bed down with full tummy I was so hungry when I arrived home I ate soon after which means 6pm ish. I still believe this a bit too late but It was the best I could do. Anyway now in mid 50's and semi retired in rural setting I eat mid afternoon mostly and its fine. Still have one black coffee on rising... and my current age in puh-ups and sit ups. I am remarkably fit and still work hard with alacrity. I am 180cm and 75kg. The human body can adjust to almost any situation...you just have to be at peace and find some good business to mind.

0
18d2399089693768cb260df37c09ece7

on December 07, 2012
at 06:16 AM

Everybody say it's crazy, unhealthy, from nutrionist's doctors dietetician's to the general public, except those who have tried it, those who do it feel great, have no weight problems. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on March 08, 2012
at 06:37 PM

I think it depends on how your body likes it vs how it works for others. And I think trying to blindly imitate people like Hershel Walker can be a bad idea, because you don't if they're genetic monsters and you're a genetic mouse.

0
93b7d799f1d7ba87bbdc6f4956343853

(0)

on February 23, 2012
at 07:36 PM

Yes it does get used to it. If you are talking about wooziness or feeling headachy or weak it's probably because you are detoxing much of the time when you eat this way. After you detox for about a week or so you'll feel much better, great in fact! Drink tons or water. Try to move to the healthiest meal you can and don't worry about portions during your meal. Chow Down! I started eating this way over a year ago and lost 50lbs and have so much energy and just feel great. If you find yourself at a party or whatever someday just eat some food etc then go back to one meal the next day etc. We eat way too much food in this world!! After you do this for a while you'll be really in tune with your hunger and if you do get hungry in the day just have a piece of fruit or a couple of almonds and you'll be good until dinner. For those who say it's unhealthy I just laugh. I entered a normal BMI range have zero pain and just feel great and alert and the meal is so awesome. With only one meal to plan per day you can think about making something good and to really enjoy it and eat until you are full.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 08, 2012
at 10:48 PM

Wooziness and headaches are not "detoxing" they are more likely a result of changing your metabolic requirements/demands.

0
785efa3950951957e65fa17efb25b078

(452)

on February 03, 2012
at 04:09 PM

You are just doing Intermittant Fasting. The food stays in your gut to be processed, so you will be fine.

0
Af3e3615beba642bcafd0f21d64d74f7

on February 03, 2012
at 01:21 AM

look up "Warrior Diet".

F4a6fc9f0b701e12cdf2ad5dadaeb2dd

(360)

on February 03, 2012
at 01:36 AM

If you look at his tags, it is obvious he has already made this web search. ;)

-1
B7af6d69b905a8d5e55fdaf53a088803

on July 05, 2013
at 12:38 PM

One meal a day is not only a great way to lose weight quickly and manage weight, but it is a great way to stop the "grazing" cravings that multiple meals give and also shocks the bodies of binge-eaters (like I was) into losing again.

What we aren't told is that once we get to a certain weight over time, the body just gives up and you quit losing. With small meals, I never lost but water weight. With a reasonably-sized meal a day, I know I will lose and any plateaus in the loss process will be super-short, unlike with conventional dieting.

To moderate, I just increase the meal size. That way, I don't tempt myself with food, spend less time cooking and clean, and get to eat just about what I want. All I have to do is wait till the next to day and I'm good.

Hunter-gatherers did it, animals do it, and yet some are going to tell us its unhealthy? Whateva!

I am 6'4 and was putting down 9,000+ calories per day. I went from 364 pounds to 278 (where I am) and am still going down--and that in less than 2 months.

-Joe

Cc69a51b427eaad36251cce9dcca4d3a

(1074)

on July 05, 2013
at 10:53 PM

9000 per day? cmon stop lying

-2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 07, 2012
at 06:34 AM

Never eating food is the best choice! food is so bad for you! never eat!

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