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Paleo: One Meal a Day?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 08, 2011 at 4:47 PM

I read somewhere that when your body doesn't have to spend energy digesting food, it uses that energy to repair the body. I have also noticed that when I fast on a zero carb diet I have more energy. Is there any science behind a one meal a day diet?

Thanks for reading!

63075669c2ec8cb6dab906c334c9b911

(112)

on June 10, 2013
at 10:15 PM

I've read that humans for a long time preserved and stored food, such that they could eat smaller amounts over time.

8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

(525)

on June 25, 2011
at 03:42 PM

I'm not saying its necessarily a fact, but the theory behind it is that women would have stayed around at "home" and grazed while gathering throughout the day, whereas men would spend their day in activity hunting.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on June 08, 2011
at 07:41 PM

Why would women have eaten 10 smaller meals a day?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on June 08, 2011
at 07:07 PM

If you can eat an entire days worth of food in one meal then you have a bigger stomach than me :)

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4 Answers

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 08, 2011
at 07:04 PM

I now eat one HUGE protein/carb meal on days when I lift heavy. Then I won't eat again for 24 hours. Otherwise, I eat twice a day, ZC-VLC Paleo, spaced about 7-8 hours apart. It works!

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 08, 2011
at 09:34 PM

can't find the links at the moment, but i've read at least two points which convinced me of the feasibility and adequateness of OMaD (one meal a day):

  1. the body needs at least 18 hours to digest a meal - thus, eating on a more frequent schedule leads to incomplete digestion and an accumulation of waste products in digestive tract, which in its turn...

  2. as digestion is a very resource and energy intensive process, no cellular repair may be effectively done during it - thus, is it a coincidence that there are so many cancers if people eat 3 meals a day everyday?

1
8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

on June 08, 2011
at 05:53 PM

Well I think it may be interesting to add that paleolithic men often used to have between one and two large meals per day so it's likely that very often people did eat just one meal per day.

Whereas women would have eaten around 10 smaller meals per day, so maybe this will vary between men and women.

However, effectively by doing this you're participating in an intermittent fast every single day. There are of course great health benefits of intermittent fasting, however by fasting every day I fear you may be starving yourself chronically - unless you feast, but then thats not such a good idea as you're not meant to eat too much after a fast, so I'd feel you'd either be depriving your body of nutrients or consume too many calories in one sitting; but good luck to you if you try it and it works.

Also, what you could try is eating two meals a day, eating them within quick succession of each other, so you still have time to digest your food and eat enough calories but not enough so that you're starving yourself. In addition, you could alternate the days you eat one meal a day and eat normally on the other days.

61b801de5dc345b557cd4623d4a4f26b

(2682)

on June 08, 2011
at 07:41 PM

Why would women have eaten 10 smaller meals a day?

8c2ed9a35f6c4d35a3552a13ddabec8d

(525)

on June 25, 2011
at 03:42 PM

I'm not saying its necessarily a fact, but the theory behind it is that women would have stayed around at "home" and grazed while gathering throughout the day, whereas men would spend their day in activity hunting.

63075669c2ec8cb6dab906c334c9b911

(112)

on June 10, 2013
at 10:15 PM

I've read that humans for a long time preserved and stored food, such that they could eat smaller amounts over time.

0
Medium avatar

(19479)

on June 08, 2011
at 08:32 PM

After years on the EE3H (eating every 3 hours) hamster-wheel, I'm feeling quite liberated by my new practice of sporadic IF, varied meal-times/sizes, less frequent feedings.

Right now I'm in a weight gain phase of my training and have only slowly increased by bodyweight while literally eating as much protein and fat as I can, but only eating when I am physiologically hungry. This usually works out to 1 large meal, 1 medium snack and one small snack each day (when I'm doing doing an IF).

I think that the energetic dynamics are more related to carbohydrate intake and whether we are sending a "reproduce" or "repair" signal to our body rather than digestion per se (although this may have a transient effect).

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