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My One Meal a Day Diet

My One Meal a Day Diet
Pat Dickson - Tue Jul 02, 2013 @ 12:15PM
Comments: 1

Summary of
My One Meal a Day Diet:

I eat one time per day at 2:00 pm. I eat as much as I want and whatever I want. That's it.

On this diet, everything starts falling into place within a few weeks. I naturally and effortlessly start eating better and my body fat drops. I have more energy and I'm more focused. My blood pressure stays low and my other measures of health are maintained at desirable levels.

Because during each day's meal I can have whatever I want and as much as I want, I don't feel I'm sacrificing anything but time. Every 24 hours I know I get to feast! A little bit of hunger here and there is easy to bear. A wonderful reward is coming!

I'm a 44-year-old male. I don't take any vitamins, drugs or supplements. 

I do work out daily, so I must say I don't know how this diet would work for me absent exercise. I walk several miles a week and work out with weights an hour at a time, about 5 times per week.

The point is that eating just once a day is quite effective for me and not difficult. My recent scientific results have shown that in 40 days of eating just once a day, I lost 1% body fat and gained muscle weight. In 40 days I lost 2.5 lbs of fat and gained 4.5 lbs of muscle.

Below I detail my diet.

 

HOW I DO THE ONE MEAL A DAY DIET:

 
 

SYNOPSIS OF ONE MEAL A DAY BENEFITS:

 
When I eat one meal a day, I am blessed physically, mentally, emotionally and financially:
 
*Natural Desire to Eat Good Food
*Lower Grocery Bill
*Lower Blood Pressure
*Better Sleep Patterns
*More Free Time
*Addiction Control
*Greater Spirituality
*Greater Empathy and Kindness
*Less Wear and Tear on the Body
*More Patience
 

ONE MEAL A DAY RESEARCH, NOTES, HISTORY, CREDITS, CHALLENGES AND CRITICISMS:

 
*Fasting
*Peer Pressure
*Multiple Small Meals
*Constant Digestion
*The Scales as a Daily Tool
*The Diabetic or Hypoglycemic
*Standing or Sitting
*Speed Eating
*How Many Times Should You Chew Your Food?
*The Joy of an Empty Stomach
*Food Addiction 
*The Best Time to Eat
*Protein and the Liver
*The Caveman
*A Calorie is a Calorie
*The Stand on the Scale and Lose Weight Diet
*Ketosis and Carb Loading
*Temptation to Cheat and Eat
*Detox
*How Much Water do You Really Need to Drink?
*My Exercise Routine
*Sugar
*Dental Hygiene
*Coffee, Tea, and Alcohol
 

ONE MEAL A DAY DISCLAIMER:

 
I am not a doctor. I am a lawyer. Do not listen to anything I say or do, and don't do anything I do, with respect to my dietary practices, before first consulting a doctor. Even though eating one meal a day provides me with great health benefits, such as mental clarity, increased energy, muscle and strength gains with simultaneous body fat reduction, all while allowing me to binge on delicious food, you may not fare so well. Doing as I do, namely eating one meal a day, may kill you or permanently or temporarily disable you in just about every way.
 

A WORK IN PROGRESS:

 
My goal with this article, or blog, is to ultimately produce a complete work on eating one meal a day. In the beginning, most of what I proffer is anecdotal. I am giving my subjective opinions and observations as to how this diet has, and does, benefit me. However, I reserve the right to ultimately decide this diet is good or bad, and whether there are better alternatives to it. Perhaps it needs some minor tweaking, or perhaps what I am currently doing is completely wrong and needs to be thrown out.
 
So, this article, or blog, will change and grow over time. And the more time passes, the more I will support what I have espoused with references and support. I will also do my best to set forth all the objections to my cherished one meal a day plan. Though none of my other blogs to date have allowed comments, I will be opening this one up for unfettered public comment and feedback. In fact, one reason I desire criticism, which will inevitably come, is because it will help guide me toward creating a full - and as accurate as possible - treatise on this subject. Criticism will lead to better content.
 

DISCUSSION OF ONE MEAL A DAY TOPICS:

 
 
At about 2:00 pm sit down and eat (or remain standing) and drink whatever you want for one hour. At 3:00 pm or before, you are finished. This is your feasting period, and you only get it once every 24 hours. There are no limits to how many or what kind of calories you can consume during this gorging hour. At all other times, you only get to drink water and are not allowed any snacks. Drinking 
anything with calories is cheating. Snacking is cheating. Every calorie you consume must be ingested during this one-hour period. 
 
However, when (at what time) you eat your one meal a day can vary. You can pick any time you desire to spend one hour a day feasting. I like 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm because by eating at this time I am not made groggy by the digestion process during the majority of the work day, and by bedtime my stomach is empty again. Food in my stomach makes me tired and less productive when awake and disrupts my sleep at night. You may be different. Some proponents of eating once per day like eating before bed, as they did in ancient Rome.
 
The concept of doing as the Romans did, eating their one meal a day at night, has a twofold purpose. First, of enjoying food as part of an evening celebration after a day of hard work. Second, I've heard it said that going to bed on a full stomach, thereby allowing digestion to takes place during sleep is beneficial to health and efficient. Such advocates believe that sleeping on an a full stomach gives the body the chance to focus solely on making sure all the nutrients you have consumed are properly allocated to building and repairing your body. During sleep, the body is not distracted by any other activity but digestion and the best allocation of nutrients.
 
Alternatively, others espouse eating your one daily meal in the morning. Here the idea is that by partaking of all of your food allowed for the next 24 hours at this time, your body is both given all the fuel and nutrients it needs for energy during the day, and by filling up at this early hour, you also maximize your wake hours available for burning it off.
 
Finally, for social and peer pressure reasons, 2:00 pm may not work for you. For instance, if it is a custom in your family to sit down to dinner at 6:00 pm each day, this should be your time to eat. Here the benefit of keeping your family members happy may outweigh the agony of going to bed on a full stomach. Plus there will be the added benefit of your always liking what your partner cooks! You will be at your hungriest, so just about any food will do the trick, even if it is burned, too cold, or doesn't have enough salt or pepper!
 
In my case, I vary my 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm eating period for social occasions. Sometimes I'll join a friend for brunch or dinner, or a party or social event, and it is just a lot easier to make these times my once per day feasting period, rather than dealing with the peer pressure I'd otherwise likely be getting to eat a second meal. Plus, you don't have to pass up any chips, bread, appetizers, or desserts! There are no rules to what you can have during your daily feast! 
 
 
Yes, you heard me correctly. When you eat your one meal a day, you can eat as much as you want. Your only limit is time. You have one hour to pack your stomach full. Give it a try. See what happens. Worst case, you'll gain a little weight, but best case you'll begin to lose weight. Just make sure to stand on the scales once every morning to check your progress. If it works, keep it up! Keep eating as much as you want. If it doesn't work, try tapering down a little on sheer volume, or cut back on things like sugar, bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, as these are what I believe to be the biggest culprits when it comes to weight control. Eat more fruits and vegetables and lean protein instead. It may be that in some cases, something like not getting enough exercise, or having a bigger than average stomach, might make the one meal a day diet less successful for you than it is for me. So, if you aren't losing weight, then cut back a little on the bad stuff or fill up more on the good stuff first. Keep track of your progress, via the scale, and go with what works. 
 
Of course, if the one meal a day diet doesn't work for you at first, so long as your weight gain or negative symptoms aren't out of control, try sticking with it a while to see if it starts working. What I've found is that when I only eat every 24 hours, my ability to eat large portions decreases. For instance, when I'm eating like a normal American, enjoying breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, when I get a chance to eat at a buffet, I can put down three full plates! However, a few weeks into the one meal a day diet and I'm only able to eat about one and a half full plates. What is my explanation? Going without food 23 hours per day shrinks my stomach. I just can't eat as much. In fact, if you apply the calorie is a calorie test, I figure that three full plates at a buffet for me equals about 4000-5000 calories. Half of that, the one and a half plates, would be around 2000-2500 calories. My daily requirement for calories is about 2800 because I'm very active and weigh more than 200 lbs. So, when my stomach shrinks by eating once per day, the most I can eat still puts me at a calorie deficit. So, I suppose my diet agrees that a calorie is a calorie, whenever and however you eat them.
 
The first time I realized the one meal a day diet allowed me to eat as much as I wanted one time a day was, of course, the first time I tried it. I was living close to a casino with a first class buffet, so I started going there every day for lunch and piling up my plate. Each day had a different variety of food to offer. I think Monday was random, Tuesday Chinese, Wednesday barbeque, Thursday Italian, and so on, so I never got bored. Plus, all the varieties of fruits and vegetables were always available. For $9.85 each day I feasted like a king! So my entire grocery bill was just $300 per month! This may sound expensive, but for what I was used to spending for food, is was a great savings. Plus I had available everything I needed for a perfectly balanced diet, and I never washed dishes. I loaded up on lean protein, like chicken and fish, and always made sure to eat a lot of green vegetables and fruit. When I desired, I even finished up with cake and ice cream.
 
My casino buffet once a day diet was a tremendous success in less than 90 days. My body weight went from 225 to 205 and my bench press, squats, and deadlifts went up by about 15%. I gained muscle while losing fat and bodyweight. Additionally, my pulse went from about 80 beats per minute to 65 beats per minute and my blood pressure dropped from 140/80 to 120/65. My sleep patterns improved - in fact I needed less sleep, I was more productive at work, and my emotional state became more serene, balanced and motivated at the same time. I kept my house cleaner, engaged in more self improvement activities, and my social life improved. I had more energy.
 
However, my confession is that I did fall off the wagon since this success, which is why I am now back on the one meal a day diet. I miss all the benefits. Below I will be chronicling my success this time around in My One Meal a Day Journal.
 
 
Just as with this diet's rule you can eat as much as you want, you can also eat whatever you want. Yes, there is a catch. My theory is that once you are a few weeks in, you will naturally start eating what is good for you. Maybe at first, you'll eat nothing but sweets, potato chips, and fried food, but in most cases I'll wager that after intermittently fasting for 23 hours several days straight, the last thing you will want when mealtime comes will be fried foods or sugar. I say this because my own experience with the one meal a day diet is that the longer I'm on it, the healthier I eat just because I'm hungrier and hungrier for good, natural, and raw foods. Sugar and fried foods, and starches just don't appeal to me.  I still remember the first time in my life I craved nothing but fruit. It was about a week into my diet. I went into the grocery store and loaded my basket with berries, apples, bananas, and grapes. I craved nothing else! And when I had my fruit feast, I remember never having tasted such delicious sweetness. It was better than anything I'd ever experienced with a cookie, cake, or pie.
 
 
Do not snack on anything at any time. Snacking is consuming calories and you only get to eat or drink calories one time per day, during your chosen one-hour feasting period. Snacking is cheating! Nevertheless, remember I warned you to consult a doctor first. In some or most cases I imagine being hypoglycemic, diabetic or having other physical challenges may merit your having a handful of this or that, here or there, outside your one meal per day.
 
 
Drink as much water as you want, whenever you want. Drink water during your one-hour feast and during each day's other 23 hours. I believe your body will tell you when you are thirsty once you have been eating one meal a day for a week or more. That has been my experience. So when you are thirsty, drink a glass of water! When you aren't thirsty, don't force yourself to drink. I remember as a child I was always told to drink 8 glasses of water per day, but lately I've been reading that doctors are changing their minds. It may one day be the medical consensus that drinking when you are thirsty is best. This is what I do. I drink when I am thirsty and am unaware of having any signs of dehydration or negative symptoms which may come from it.
 
 
Every Sunday I try to fast. Sundays work well for me, not for religious reasons, but because this is the day I'm least likely to be invited out to eat by friends, coworkers, or family. It can simply be a nearly unbearable social challenge to reject invitations to go out to eat. You don't want to be labeled antisocial, so the quietest and least active days, I believe, are best suited for fasting.
 
The benefits I receive from fasting are increased clarity, more energy, greater self control, as well as saving money on what I otherwise would have spent on feasting that day. Fasting isn't hard for me once I've gotten into the habit of eating once a day. After all, for many people my diet is nothing but a daily fast broken once every 24 hours. In short, once you are in tune with going 24 hours without food, going for 48 might not be very challenging. It isn't for me. Of course every person is different in terms of what she will experience with fasting, but in my case I often crave skipping a meal and going for a full 48 hours without any calories. Besides, think of it this way: when you are on the one meal a day diet, fasting for an entire day - two days actually - is really just the same thing as skipping a single meal! That's no biggie at all!
 
Enjoy the emptiness. The greatest benefit I receive from fasting is emptiness. I get a lot of it just when on the diet, but 48 hours of abstinence really gives it to you. I'm not sure what it is, but I think it ties to the detoxification which occurs during this period. We've all heard a lot about detoxification lately, and most of the methods I've heard about involve ingesting something, or a lot of something, be it fiber, fruit juice, special pills, or whatever concoctions the fad diets are currently offering.
 
My detox proposal (simple fasting alone for 48 hours) costs you nothing. In fact, it saves you money. Just eat nothing for an entire day. Yes, drink water, but partake of nothing else but fresh air, silence and solitude. You will be surprised by how much your body eliminates during this period, in the bathroom, by sweating and even through exhaling the air you take into your lungs. I believe the body naturally cleanses itself. So, one sure way to detox is to consume nothing for long enough, thereby giving your body the time it needs to rid itself of all the impurities. If you haven't tried it, give it a shot. I can't quite explain what you'll feel, but I feel clean inside and out, and my mind and body is just nicely balanced in what I can only describe as a transcendental or meditative state.  
 
Additionally, by fasting, I improve the quality of my diet. I eat more nutritional food than ever. The longer I participate in daily 23 hour fasts (also called intermittent fasting), as well as my Sunday 48 hour fasts, the better food I eat, NATURALLY. I remember the first time I fasted for 48 hours (which by the way was not during participating in the one meal a day diet). During this time, when I went through my first hunger pangs, I was craving sweets, like cookies, cakes and pies. With the passing of several hours, these cravings for sugar dissipated, and I began craving fatty and fried foods. At about hour 40, I was finally craving raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, and lean protein. Why fasting makes me desire eating better and better food I am not certain, but I believe it is because going long periods without ingesting anything gives your body a chance to overcome its food addictions and detoxify. It resets itself to its natural state of hunger and instinct helps you make healthier eating choices. In other words, fasting helps your body better tap into hunger so that it tells you what it really needs, not what it craves out of addiction or habit. In its state of nature, man, as well as beast is guided by instinct and hunger to eat healthily.
 
 
Every diet needs some kind of motivational force behind it. For me, going on hunger strike helps me both stick with eating one meal a day as well as stick to my fasting periods. Beware, my method here is rather belligerent, but it works for me.
 
The secret to going on hunger strike: all around us there are forces tempting us to eat bad things, to eat more often than we desire, and to eat more frequently that once per day. Your job is to become an enemy to these forces! You are a peaceful and silent warrior on hunger strike against all of these temptations!
 
Here are a few personal examples. Almost on a daily basis (whenever I'm on the one meal a day diet or fasting), my well-intending friends, family and coworkers tempt me to eat extra meals, to snack, to have dessert, or to otherwise partake of things I don't want to include in my diet. And often, my tempters even start little arguments with me. They just won't be satisfied if I don't defy my diet. Like I said, their intentions are good. Maybe they believe eating once a day is bad for you, or they think that somehow it is necessary to prove to you your dietary practices are somehow mistaken. Or they feel they are duty bound to convince you your health or diet is not worth forgoing ice cream, cakes, and pies. Perhaps they are right for some people, but not for you! You are committed to sticking to your one meal because you have chosen to never falter from it. A conviction is a conviction! Right or wrong.
 
Go on peaceful and silent hunger strike against your tempters. Like Gandhi opposing the British rule, you will not eat! You are on hunger strike because you have the courage of your convictions! "Come on, just eat a piece of cake. It is yummy! Please?" You shall reply, "No thank you, but I appreciate your offer," but inside you are making a stand against coercive tyranny.
 
While on hunger strike you will not abandon your one meal a day diet or fast, you will maintain your weight or keep losing it. You will not give up the health benefits and blessings you have been receiving because surrendering to snacks and extra meal times is not for you. You are on hunger strike! You have a cause, and no one has a right to force you or shame you into pitiful capitulation! "No thank you, I appreciate your offer," is all you need to say. If you explain your motives for abstaining, you may regret it. Don't throw meat to the dogs! Your tempters may try even harder to force you to eat.
 
In fact, on more than one occasion, while I was in my 23 or 48 hour fasting periods, certain friends have tried to force food into my mouth! They came at me with their forks or morsels in their hands, "Here, try this, please!" Even to the point of smearing cake icing against my sealed and defiant lips. I stood my ground against my admittedly well-intending adversaries. I was on hunger strike! So, watch out for the arguments against your hunger strike. Do not be fooled. Do not relent. You refuse to gain weight or engage in practices that will damage your good health.
 
"But it tastes so good! You have to try it," they will cry. Yes, nice try. When I hear this argument I always remember a motivational weight loss magnet I once saw on a friend's refrigerator. "Nothing tastes and good as being thin feels!" Just say no thank you, but thanks, and embrace knowing that
the momentary taste of a cake or a pie is nothing compared to the joy of a flat tummy.
 
"But you have to eat!" Yes, but you have already eaten. Or, you will be enjoying your one feast a day when the clock strikes the proper hour. Thanks but no thanks, you say. Don't say any more. Just know that mankind has done just fine on one meal a day for most of his existence.
 
The Romans ate once a day, in the evening, and did just fine. They conquered the known world. Hunter and gatherers went for long periods without eating, even days between meals, and the human race has survived just fine for over forty thousand years. For all we know, the rise in diabetes these recent years is the product of simply eating too much and too often.
 
Three square meals, or even six little meals, per day are now being touted. I personally don't believe they have any merit, but like I said, I'm not a doctor. And maybe one day I'll change my mind. Nevertheless, to date I am personally convinced the one meal a day diet works many wonders for me, so it should work for many others. Besides, who wants to eat six times a day? What a time drain! You always have to be focused on eating. I have better things to do than spend all day eating and planning to eat.
 
So remember, when on hunger strike you are pitted against an adversary. People are literally trying to conquer your commitment to eating only one meal a day. Stick to your guns! Keep with your hunger strike. What often helps me during these challenging times is just sitting back and meditating on how nice it feels to be healthy, not bloated with food all the time, alert and aware and full of energy because my body isn't using all of its power constantly engaging in digestion. I'm on hunger strike! I have self control and I respect my body. It is a temple, and when it is not sated with food it sometimes allows me to reach a higher level of cognizance, a transcendental state of mind. My will is overcoming base urges and rising to a higher level.
 
Don't give in! Giving in and cancelling your hunger strike is akin to surrendering to the more carnal and base things, accepting defeat! You refuse to regress into gluttony! Never fear, nothing is lost. If your tempters desire eating, they can do it. It is not your responsibility to do all the eating they desire for them. Your one meal a day diet is your fundamental right, and your hunger strikes do nothing more than help you put your foot down and refuse to give in to unfair demands. You have a right to say NO! They have no right to force you to eat cake and pie. You would not dare do it to them because you cherish individual freedom - the choice to eat or when to eat to which each person is entitled to make absent coercion or bullying!
 
With all this said, I have to tell a story about one friend's rationalizing attempts to keep me fattened up. I'd told her I was going back on my one meal a day diet because, among other reasons, I couldn't fit into my best dress clothes, so I needed to trim down. In the context of her trying to force feed me, I said no, thank you. I need to get into my nice outfits again. Her reply was "Good grief, don't be so uptight. Just have a bite. It's yummy! You can just go and buy some new clothes." Bigger clothes she meant! No way! I'm on hunger strike!
 
Needless to say, as I mentioned in the beginning, my hunger strike method can be perceived as belligerent, and perhaps radical. The good news is that it is just one of many motivational techniques for sticking to my one meal a day diet. It may or may not work for you. It may be too contentious a method for you, so maybe you need to think of an alternative. The point is that finding a way to stay mentally motivated can work wonders, and keep you on your one meal a day path.
 
 
Eating once per day helps me maintain or lose weight. There are at least three reasons for this, in my anecdotal and personal experience.
 
First, when you only eat once every 24 hours, it is easy to track what you are eating. When you eat or snack multiple times, it is easy to forget all the details unless you are always writing everything down on a note pad. Even so, it can be difficult to track so many details accurately. Hence, every morning when I stand on the scales, it is easy to make changes to what I consume at my single mealtimes, supposing I am not happy with my progress. Maybe I'm eating too much starch, or sugar, or need to fill up on protein at the start of every meal? So, throw out the bread and see what happens.
 
Second, for me, eating one meal a day simply results in automatic and natural weight management because once I'm used to it, my stomach shrinks, my brain readjusts its empty and full meter, or both. When I start this diet, I'm usually able to eat three full plates in an hour. But over a few weeks, I naturally start eating a plate and a half, at most. As a result, my body fat just starts melting off.
 
Third, when I'm essentially living by an intermittent fasting rule, eating once every 23 to 24 hours, my body naturally begins craving less sugar and starch, and more protein, fruits and vegetables. Even when calories are held constant, I believe that 500 calories of protein are less likely to go to your belly than 500 calories of cake and ice cream.
 
In conclusion, it seems that when the body is often subjected to fasting periods, it naturally knows what it really needs and how much is enough. Eating all the time, I think, throws your natural eat healthy mechanisms out of sync. 
 

Muscle Maintenance or Gain:

I have gained muscle and strength, while losing weight, on the one meal a day diet. The first time I tried the diet, almost every weekday for lunch I ate as much as I wanted at the Indian casino buffet. It was just down the street from work. Over a 6 month period of time my bodyweight went from 230 lbs to 205 lbs and my bench press went from 275 lbs for 1 repetition to 275 lbs for 10 repetitions. Long story short, though I was training harder than usual, I was able to achieve great strength gains while losing weight. In fact, my strength gains progressed as rapidly as they ever had, even as compared to eating multiple meals per day. Obviously, one meal a day was enough to feed my muscles for growth. Caveat, I did focus heavily on protein, as it was about 40-50% of my caloric intake. I probably ate about 1000 calories of protein at each mealtime. I also had historically bench pressed as much or more, so muscle memory likely played a role. Still, in my case, one meal a day is as good as any other diet plan for, at minimum, regaining previously lost muscle and strength.

Of course the research on intermittent fasting and its effect on muscle composition and protein synthesis is not in agreement, but long story short, in my case it appears that I can get all the protein I need in one meal a day. This is even the case when I'm working out pretty hard with weights. So, how much protein does my body need? Something less than 250 grams per day, based on the assumption I can eat 1000 grams of it in a single sitting as I claimed I can do above, as there are 4 calories in a gram of protein. This would suggest the old bodybuilder rule to eat at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day jibes with how much works for me. The difference is most bodybuilders say to eat this protein via 5-6 meals per day, but I'm doing it in one.

Fat Reduction:

Research shows that eating one meal a day, or engaging in intermittent fasting, can equal fat loss without muscle loss. The lay explanation is that by feasting then fasting your body goes into an energetic and worry free fat burning mode which preserves muscle. Because you are feasting once on a daily basis, your body never goes into fat storing mode, otherwise known as "starving." It knows a big meal is coming soon. So, your body burns fat. That's the best energy, as using muscle weakens the body. There is no reason to worry about keeping fat on reserve because food is plentiful. Keep the muscle! After all, you pig out every 23-24 hours. There is no food shortage. You body has its ways of knowing what's going on with your nutritional environment. Its messengers are all the hormones which respond to your your eating patterns, telling your body which nutrients to store and which to burn.

In my experience, when I work out with heavy weights while eating as much good food as I want every 23-24 hours (a lot of protein included), my strength gains are as positive as they've ever been while losing fat at the same time. As I mentioned elsewhere in this article, in 6 months this diet has resulted in my bodyweight going from 230 lbs to 205 lbs, all while my bench press went from 275 lbs for 1 rep to 275 lbs for 10 reps.

Mental Clarity and Focus:

I cannot emphasize how being hungry with an empty stomach greatly increases my mental clarity and focus, especially in the morning. When I was eating breakfast before work, my ability to do financial calculations, to write letters, and verbally communicate was hindered. I was groggy, somewhat lethargic. I've read many explanations for why this is the case.

Some say a full stomach makes the body take blood from the brain because it has to focus on digestion. So, your body is dividing its resources between your stomach and your brain. Your brain can only be at 100% when your stomach is empty. This makes me recall how when in law school I always took my tests on an empty stomach. If I had a big meal beforehand, I'd be in a pickle. Sitting there sweating, digesting, with a cloudy mind. One bad test score was all it took before knowing never to eat before testing again!

I've also heard Biologists and Anthropologists explain that hunger provokes the body and brain to function at a supercharged level. When we are hungry, the hunter in us appears. We are more focused, more aggressive, more alert. The killer instinct comes out! We have to patiently wait in the bushes, spot that deer, sprint straight at it and cast our spear with all our might! If we have a full belly, why bother? It is time to take a nap.

Increased Energy:

On this diet, after only a few days, my energy skyrockets. Instead of waking up groggy, I pop right out of bed. My mornings at work are phenomenal. I estimate that I'm able to do what used to be an entire day of work before noon. The thought of eating before 2 pm is dreadful. I don't want to do it. I'd lose all my energy as soon as food hit my stomach. My body would be focused on digestion rather than on reviewing and negotiating contracts, preparing spreadsheets, or juggling multiple work tasks.

My weekends have completely changed! I get stuff done and don't need naps in the afternoon anymore. I hop right into cleaning house, doing laundry, and running around doing errands I've put off for too long. In fact, last Saturday I tried to take an afternoon nap and couldn't do it. I had too much energy, so instead I went to the gym for a second time!

Increase in HGH (human growth hormone) Levels:

There is some scientific evidence that fasting for 24 hours can increase HGH, or Human Growth Hormone levels up to 2000%. However, many medical professionals and researchers are still not completely confident in this evidence, believing that more research is still required. Also, perhaps this spike in HGH only occurs for infrequent fasting, not daily fasting, such as eating once per day as I practice. So, let's take a look at the benefits of higher HGH and I'll anecdotally comment on each. Is my diet leading to my experiencing the apparent benefits of higher HGH levels in my blood?

1. Increased muscle mass: So far, every time I've consistently eaten one meal a day I've gotten stronger with my heavy compound lifts. The gains have always been at the most rapid rates I've ever experienced.

2. Decrease in adipose tissue: I always lose fat on this diet, while at the same time gaining muscle.

On both points, as I've detailed elsewhere in this article, in less than six months on this diet I've lost up to thirty pounds of fat while increasing my bench press from 275 lbs for 1 rep to 275 lbs for 10 reps.

No other diets have ever yielded such success. Not even close! I've tried many other diets and none have come close! Did I just say that twice? All other diets which resulted in my losing weight have caused a loss of both fat and muscle. The Adkins Diet made me lean but my strength dropped. Eating 6 small meals a day caused my strength to drop whenever I reduced calories low enough to lose weight. Increasing calories caused me to gain both fat and muscle. In conclusion, in my personal experience I have only gained muscle while simultaneously losing fat while on the one meal a day diet. I believe the surge in HGH may be responsible.

Finally, though I have no scientific evidence to support this accusation, I believe my higher HGH levels help me heal faster. My only proof is that when I am eating one meal a day, I can do heavy compound lifts every five days. On any other diet I have to rest at least 7 days between bench presses, squats, and deadlifts.

Faster Recuperation:

As mentioned just above, I recuperate faster from workout related muscle soreness when I only eat once per day. The distance between recovery from heavy weightlifting is shortened by two full days, i.e. it takes 5 days instead of 7. I'm not certain of the reason for this benefit, but it may be from the increased HGH levels which come about by intermittent fasting. Alternatively or in addition to this explanation may be that when you aren't always eating, your body is spending less of its time and energy on the digestion process. It has more time and energy to devote to healing and recovery. I also require about one hour less sleep at night and don't need naps. When I eat every 23 hours, I only need 6-7 hours of sleep per night, whereas with any other diets I need at least 8 hours of sleep per night, plus a nap here and there. 

Joy in Eating (Binging):

Long story short, there is nothing like looking forward to pigging out once per day! It's just nice to eat whatever and however much you want at that one special mealtime. Other diets are often so restrictive that you are always handcuffed at the table. Nothing tastes good, you never get enough of what you really desire, and you have nothing to truly anticipate. On this diet, I often am able to refrain from eating until 2 pm (mealtime) because binging on exactly what I want will be my reward. I have something wonderful to anticipate in return for being good and maintaining self control. In other words, it is easier to abstain from food when I know my gratification will be delayed by 24 hours or less, rather than just having no idea when, or if ever, I'll ever again enjoy a satiating meal. Additionally to convincing my mind, maybe my body also knows it will soon have its hunger satisfied, which is why it doesn't go into fat storing mode. It knows there is no famine or food shortage. Supper time is coming! It just takes 23-24 worthwhile hours of waiting.

Social Benefits

What can I say? The social benefits of the this diet are that if you have to go to a party or a food focused get together and you save your one meal a day for this event, you don't have to say no to anything you are offered. You can eat every appetizer, try every hors d'oeuvre, say yes to a second or third helping and not let a single opportunity at a cookie, cake or pie pass you by.

Thanksgiving dinner? No problem. Have as much turkey and as many biscuits and mashed potatoes as you can stuff down your gullet!

So you see. The one meal a day diet is not a constant burden, a requirement you must always say no to this food or that, or limit your portions. This diet lets you make a party a party, a holiday a real celebration. You just need to make sure your one special gorging hour is set aside for the festival.  

Increased Self Control

This diet increases my self control. However, with respect to this virtue, one of the hardest things in the world for me is avoiding food, especially when I'm not supposed to have it.

For example, after a good morning workout, it can be a Herculean ordeal just to drive past the various restaurants serving my favorite breakfast burritos. But given my commitment to only eat one meal a day, around 2:00 pm, pulling in through the drive through is not permitted.

But I can break the rules, so sometimes I do.

As we have seen, I have failed at my diet due to lack to lack of self control. My staying fat at times has simply involved my failing to eat just once a day. I ate twice and that was all it took to keep my belly. I had my daily 2:00 pm meal, as well as one prior: the forbidden delicious breakfast! The culprit? You know it. Two quite large breakfast burritos amounting to at least 1500 calories. Boy how they have always been quite so delicious! I know, I already said they were yummy.

Nevertheless and notwithstanding my failures with dieting, i.e. putting delicious breakfast burritos before my waistline, increased levels of human growth hormone, more energetic and productive days, and all the other benefits I have set forth herein, I must still endeavor to eat only once per day, never give up. I have to exercise self control. After the gym every morning, I have to drive straight home, past all the fast food breakfast burrito joints. No breakfast burritos for me! 

How do I do it? One drive at a time. This morning I left the gym and walked to my car. I got in and started it up, and immediately started thinking of having a breakfast burrito, or two. But rather than succumbing, I took a few deep breaths and simply willed myself past all the drive through temptations. Each morning I do this, it gets easier. Soon the temptation will be gone.

Self control comes by winning one fight at a time.

Be prepared for the urge to eat when or what you should not. Be determined to say NO! when that disastrous urge to devour arrives. You can do it! With time, exercising self control, one step at a time, one challenge at a time, will become habit.

Unfortunately I'm not giving an easy answer, but I'm giving an honest one. Self control with dieting comes with exercising self control. To find the strength to not eat the forbidden, do not eat the forbidden. It gets easier and easier. Self control is like a muscle. Use it and it will grow and become stronger. Your self control will get stronger and stronger as you use it. Ultimately your dieting challenges will become no problem at all. Sticking to your one meal a day will become an effortless habit.

Now for the real magic. Practicing self control by sticking to my one meal a day diet not only increases my dieting self control. It also increases my self control in all other areas of my life. How does this one meal a day diet increases my self control? In short, learning to control my eating, as shown by my finding the will to skip breakfast burritos, one morning at a time, eventually becomes a skill for handling every other temptation. And usually the temptation is procrastination.

When I am sticking to my diet, I am sticking to my daily reading, my daily writing, accomplishing my work tasks, going to bed on time, and not missing any workouts. To be controlling my stomach is to possess the strength to control everything else. I'm not sure why it works this way, but perhaps it is because eating is a base and instinctual thing. If you can harness your animal impulses, like hunger, finding the strength to not procrastinate and to conquer your daily endeavors comes easy.
 

MY ONE MEAL A DAY JOURNAL:

 
July 3, 2013. I just started my one meal a day diet. I have eaten nothing since July 2, 2013 at 6 pm. I will not eat until 6 pm tonight. I'm not eating at my usual 2:00 pm because I'm saving my calories for a dinner date. I am embarrassed to admit I've been off the diet for a while. I weighed 230 lbs this morning at the gym. My squats are currently 135 lbs for 20 reps. I will use my squats as a measure of whether this diet is helping me gain muscle mass or causing me to lose it. I will attempt to increase my squats every week during this one meal a day diet and see what happens. I think squat strength is a good measure of overall muscle mass because it is a very involved, full body, compound exercise. Overall, not having eaten all day has given me an incredible boost of energy. I am not tired at all, but have been lately, especially when I have eaten a large breakfast.
 
July 8, 2013. Today is the real day one of my diet. I am too ashamed to admit what I ate, and how many times I ate beyond once per day since July 3. No one is perfect! Plus, this morning I was lazy and skipped my workout, and I only weigh on the scales at the gym. So, I have no idea what progress or failure I may show when I weigh tomorrow. Today I'm only going to eat once, just as planned, and will do my best to eat sparingly. I'm hoping I will weigh less than 230. I did go up 20 lbs on squats on July 5, so maybe all isn't lost. Let's see. I think I'm going to always start my journal entries with three measures: bodyweight, squats to date, exercise for the day, pulse and blood pressure (when I have a chance to take it at the grocery store pharmacy), plus the nature of my one meal/any failures to stick with it, and general comments/notes.
 
July 9, 2013.
weight: 227
squats: 155x20
Exercise: back routine, walk one mile on treadmill at 3% grade.
blood pressure, pulse: 
yesterday's one meal: Widowmaker Burger, side of slaw, and half order of Southwest Eggrolls at Claim Jumper. Estimated 2300 calories.
notes: So far it appears that with my first successful day, eating one meal, even though it contained 2300 calories, has lead to a 3lb drop in bodyweight. The calorie calculators suggest I need as many as 3000 per day, so I'm at a 700 calorie deficit. Perhaps a calorie is a calorie? Even so, 700 calories is only about a 5th of a pound in body weight, assuming it is all fat. So, I lost some water weight. I've actually been drinking more water, so my belief is that my intermittent fasting is flushing out some sodium, as I'm only exposed to it once a day now.
 
July 12. 2013
weight: 224
squats: 175x15
exercise: squats today, 8 mile hike day before
yesterday's meal: Sweet and Sour Chicken, a four person serving, est. 2000 calories
notes: all my lifts are going up. my energy is higher than it has been in a long time, and I'm embracing the hungry feeling. My belly fat is starting to melt away. Pants already looser.
 
July 16, 2013
weight:219
comments: I've lost 11 pounds since July 3. I've been eating like a pig one time a day and today I ate at Denny's. I had the Moons Over My Hammy Omelet with pancakes and lots of ketchup. Quite a decadent meal! At least 1200 calories! However, this still puts me at a recommended calorie per day deficit of up to 1800 calories, so no wonder I'm losing weight so fast! Even so, I'm only burning fat because I'm getting stronger on all of my lifts at the gym. This morning what I last week military pressed and curled for a max of 8 reps increased to 12 reps. My energy is very high and I'm very motivated and alert, well, at least until I have my single 2 pm meal. This does make me groggy for about 3 hours, so I can see how eating at 5 pm each day would make me most proficient at work.
 
July 17, 2013
weight: 219 on gym scales (225 on pharmacy machine)
squats: 185x16, so far indicating a steady strength increase concurrent with weight loss
comments: I have decided to move my results to a new blog solely dedicated to tracking my progress. The reason is that I found an objective way to track a number of personal diet statistics via a Stayhealthy machine at the pharmacy. It measures weight, blood pressure, pulse, and body fat %, among other things, and provides a printout for your records. So, by assuming I stick to one meal a day and I add my progressive squat results to this report, I believe I'll be more accurately and objectively measuring my one meal a day diet results. As I'm journaling now, I feel I'm being a bit too subjective. Let's see what the real, scientific data shows over time, which shall be posted here.
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1. Juliecum  |  my website   |   Fri Nov 17, 2017 @ 11:56AM

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