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How to Lose Weight Safely Eating One Meal a Day

Updated on July 5, 2017
Eat one main meal a day and lose weight, but make it a nourishing meal with lean protein, green vegetables, and a moderate serving of carbohydrate.
Eat one main meal a day and lose weight, but make it a nourishing meal with lean protein, green vegetables, and a moderate serving of carbohydrate.

The Most Natural Way to Eat

Eating just one meal a day may seem like a crazy concept to you. It might even seem impossible or too hard to keep up. In fact, it’s really not only possible, it's how humans were meant to eat.

Early humans would spend the day hunting and gathering food and have one big feast at night. They didn’t have a problem with keeping up that lifestyle. They didn’t experience slow metabolisms or low energy. They certainly didn’t have a problem with obesity.

How One Meal a Day Helps You Maintain a Healthy Weight

Eating only one meal a day can actually make you eat less. You retrain your body to want less food and break the habit of constantly eating.

The secret is to eat a nourishing meal and to eat until you are full. You can choose the time of day you want to eat, although it’s easier to eat at the end of your day. Most people lose weight with this regimen without having to monitor their portion sizes, but some people still keep track of how much they eat and when. It's up to you.

One of the benefits of eating this way is clearing out and detoxifying the body properly between meals. This process, and the reduction of calories, eliminates excess water weight that adds extra pounds and bulkiness to your figure. It’s kind of a dual effect.

It is worth noting that research backs up the idea that reducing the number of daily meals encourages the body to burn fat. A 2008 study found that people who ate one meal a day, compared to others who ate three, experienced reduced body mass and cholesterol levels after two weeks. Less clear is the effect on blood glucose levels, which is a critical question for diabetic or pre-diabetic people.

This way of eating might not be for everyone, but if you’re tired of constantly eating, being obsessed with food, or if you feel like your eating plan is making you bloated or bulky, one meal a day might be something worth trying.

Here's how to do it:

Eat One Meal a Day to Lose Weight

Tips
Why it Works
Eat one main meal with lean protein, green vegetables, and a moderate amount of whole-grain carbohydrate.
Lean protein and whole-grain carbs give you fuel without unnecessary fat while vegetables provide essential fiber for digestion.
Eat as big a meal as you want.
If you're eating nourishing, healthy food for your one meal, you can eat until you feel completely satisfied.
Eat your meal in the evening.
Snacking on fruit and vegetables (if necessary) during the day suppresses your appetite so you will be able to eat less overall.
No need to keep track of calories.
The amount you eat will depend on you and vary each day. Consuming plenty of calories ensures that your metabolism will stay high and you'll still continue to lose weight.
Snack on vegetables and fruit when necessary and first starting out.
By choosing vegetables and low-sugar fruit, your body can get fiber and minerals to stay satisfied before or after your meal.
Stick to low-sugar fruits, like apples and citrus, as snacks during the day.
Stick to low-sugar fruits, like apples and citrus, as snacks during the day.

Tips for Starting Out

  • Start by eating three meals a day and work down to one meal.
  • Make sure you are consuming enough calories or you will be hungry. Too few calories and your metabolism will eventually slow down and you might lose weight but not efficiently.This will also make maintaining a healthy weight much harder as you'll be more prone to gain weight when you eat normally again.
  • Start by eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day and your main meal at night. You can adjust the time of day when you eat your main meal later, if necessary.
  • Avoid processed snacks and foods. They are addicting and they don’t satisfy hunger.
  • Stick to lean proteins, fresh vegetables, low-sugar fruits, and whole grains. It's ok to treat yourself but don't over-do it.
  • Don't focus on being perfect.
  • Never sacrifice health over perfection. If you feel light-headed at any point, eat!

Snack on raw vegetables during the day while on the one-meal-a-day lifestyle.
Snack on raw vegetables during the day while on the one-meal-a-day lifestyle.

The Rise in Obesity and the "Six Meals" Craze

Some diets claim it that eating as many as six meals a day will rev up your metabolism, keeping you from getting hungry. The only problem is that eating throughout the day has led to the obesity epidemic. The truth is it that eating six meals a day does not have a big impact on your metabolism. You’ll burn maybe 10 more calories a day if you’re lucky, but that will be offset by how many more calories you will most likely consume. It would take three days of fasting to have any noticeable decrease in your metabolism. If you eat enough calories in a day, it doesn’t matter how you spread it out.

It seems that the more you eat, the more you want to eat. Everybody has experienced this. When you start eating more often, you feel hungrier more often as well. The opposite affect happens as well. The less you eat, the less you feel like eating. When trying to lose or maintain weight, it's easier to get a calorie reduction through eating less often. In the end, eating six meals a day makes you want to eat more, and more often than not, that's exactly what happens.

Benefits of Eating One Meal a Day

  • Increased productivity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss/better weight management
  • Maintain ideal weight
  • Increased mental clarity and awareness
  • Increased energy
  • Better health

What Do You Think About Eating One Meal a Day?

See results

Disclaimer: Before undertaking any diet or exercise plan, please consult your physician or healthcare professional. UltimateLife is not a doctor or trained health professional. Thank-you for your interest and support!

© 2013 Michelle Barnes

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    • profile image

      Vitto 5 hours ago

      30 years on one meal a day and perfect results so far

    • UltimateLife profile image
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      Michelle Barnes 2 days ago from USA

      Hi jesse2020, yes you can eat chocolate! It all depends on what particular goals you have, and if eating chocolate doesn't trigger you to overeat.

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      Pradosh 8 days ago

      Eating one meal a day surely works. Worked for me. I am on keto diet and have been eating a big meal before bed comprising of fats and protein. No carbs. I have significantly reduced tummy which i was not able to since a year of gyming. Also hunger has come down drastically compared to 6 meals a day i used to have once upon a bad time. :P

      I am enjoying it. Carbs are villain, Fats are hero and Protein sweet Actress. :P

    • profile image

      jesse2020 9 days ago

      have been eating one meal a day around 2 0r 3 in the afternoon and the drink just water.

      im asking if it is okay to eat chocolate once every week or every 2weeks.

      await your reply

      thx

    • profile image

      Chris Wager 3 weeks ago

      Best thing to ever happen to me is start eating 1 meal a day.

    • UltimateLife profile image
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      Michelle Barnes 3 weeks ago from USA

      Hi MM, glad you are liking the results! The best way to curb hunger that works for myself is (1) Drink tea, coffee, and lots of fluids throughout the day, and (2) Keep yourself occupied!

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      MM❤️ 3 weeks ago

      So, i am planning on doing this. Really excited because of all the results i have heard so far. This post motivated me even more, but i have a question.. Since i know i am gonna be hungry first week or maybe even more, is there some effective way to kill hunger without eating any food? e.g. some drinks or something to kill that appetite? Thank you!

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      vickyallum84 3 weeks ago

      I have just started the one meal a day diet a few days ago. Previously I was doing the 5:2 diet but do find that fast days on 500 kcal can be difficult, moved over to this and it seems easy. I have actually started to enjoy the feeling of hunger because I know my body is burning fat. It is also a more manageable diet when you have children. You know you only have to wait till tea time to have a nice meal.

    • UltimateLife profile image
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      Michelle Barnes 4 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Lee, I think as long as you are healthy and not underweight you should be fine. Yes, sometimes when you are not used to being thin, you can sometimes feel you are too slim when you're perfectly healthy!

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      Lee 4 weeks ago

      have been eating 1 meal a day since April last year. It was totally unplanned and mainly due to a life change mental health problems where my whole eating habit changed.

      I was 16 and a half stone since I was 17 I am big boned and 6f 3" I did used to drink a lot of beer and aside from a bit of a belly was slim.

      I am now just under 15 stone have hardly any body fat whatsoever and have lost 4 inches off my waist, neck was 18 half now 16 half inches ,

      The thing with me is I cant help feeling like I am ill sometimes I ache so bad, have had full bloods done everything is ok, I actually feel a lot better when waking, previously I would wake feeling so sick, now I'm up and feel great for the most part.

      the one thing because none of this was planned is the worry it caused watching weight fall off until I became convinced I was seriously ill and now I cant seem to get back into how I ate before and gain weight.

      I'm in i dilemma I also wanted to have a flat stomach and look better than I did at 16-161/2 stone, and I do. I just think we are embedded with weight loss is bad, despite how we are losing it, if that makes sense, every single day people I see regularly will comment how much weight I have lost and it send me into a panic.

      reading this makes so much sense and makes me feel a little more focused on what has been achieved here albeit unplanned.

      Also recently read I should be getting 2500 calories a day to maintain weight just makes sense if you are eating once in any 24 hours your body begins to use fat reserves and weight falls off. This makes sense but even after speaking to an ex gym fanatic who was 18 stone no juice natural and is now 15 stone he said he went through the same thing worrying , is this like some kind of body dis morphia reversed, think there is definitely physiological attachment. not dissimilar to a slim person thinking they are overweight, a slim person thinking they are too slim and ill?

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      Donna 5 weeks ago

      This way of eating is the way to go. I started one meal a day a few days ago, and I love it. Before I used to be so hungry all of the time and snacking. But now my body only gets hungry during 5 or 6. Six meals a day is a waste of time. The more the person is snacking, the more they are training the body to want to eat.

      I believe that as long you are eating enough calories for your body, then it is fine. It's about the calories.

    • UltimateLife profile image
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      Michelle Barnes 5 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Karie, the best way in my opinion to get over emotional stress eating is to get to the bottom of what's cause you stress. Then work to fix that problem or find another way of coping. You have to understand that you can't control your feelings, you have to feel them and accept them. You also have to love yourself enough to not be controlled by them. Eating patterns are habit. Once you allow yourself the time to develop a new habit (OMAD), you'll see how easy it becomes over time and you won't even feel like eating when going through your emotions.

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      KARIE 6 weeks ago

      IM KIND OF NEW TO THIS OMAD. ANY ADVICE TO AN EMOTIONAL STRESS EATER? I DONT EAT MUCH REALLY BUT I DO EAT WHEN IM BORED OR JUST FEELING SAD. & WHEN I FINALLY DO EAT ITS NOT ALWAYS THE BEST OPTIONS. BUT DEFINITELY MY FIRST MEAL OF THE DAY. ITS HARD FOR ME BECAUSE I DONT HAVE THAT FAMILY/FRIENDS SUPPORT. IM ALWAYS TRYING TO LEARN ON WAYS TO STOP LETTING MY EMOTIONS GET THE BEST OF ME BUT I ALWAYS FIND MYSELF FAILING. MEAL PREPPING IS SOMETHING I AM TRYING TO DO RIGHT NOW AND I AM GOING TO STICK TO IT FOR AS LONG AS I CAN. I FIGURED SOME PROFESSUIONAL ADVICE WOULDNT HURT.

      IM 230 PDS/// 5'4 //22 YEARS OLD :(

      IM JUST WAITING FOR THAT ONE DAY THAT I WILL BE HAPY WITH MYSELF, AFTER 22 YEARS I THINK I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY IN MY OWN SKIN FOR ONCE.

    • UltimateLife profile image
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      Michelle Barnes 6 weeks ago from USA

      Hi Timeno1990, yes you can gain or maintain weight on OMAD. It all depends on how many calories you consume during your meal. My suggestion would be to find out how much energy you are currently burning daily on average, and initially track your calories to make sure you are eating that much. Don't be surprised if you feel very full during your meal, that's actually normal when eating to maintain.

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      Johnny-Z 7 weeks ago

      Started 2days ago before reading this article... After reading it, motivated to try for at least 1 month.. No harm in trying:)

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      tanisha 7 weeks ago

      started today! will give an update in a week :) fingers crossed

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      Timeno1990 7 weeks ago

      Michelle, everyone is covering the benefits of OMAD based on the desire to lose weight. My situation is totally different, I have always had a super fast metabolism and I actually am considered under weight for a 27 year old man of my height, but I'm healthy. I want to start OMAD because of the convenience. I am very active, running a business all day everyday, I want to be able to stop taking a break every 4 hours to eat. Being someone as active as I am (burning calories all day) and being too thin to chance losing weight, my question is, is it safe for me to switch to OMAD? And can I do it without losing weight?

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      Ashleen Darbey 2 months ago

      Starting tomorrow and can't wait ! I did this before and felt great and lost 20 lbs. the first week was tough but after that felt great

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      Yondy 2 months ago

      I do feel better mentally and physically. After two kids my life is changing . Thanks Michelle . The other diets don't work this is it. I drink lots a water in the day and have a balanced meal in the afternoon and a bit of walking in the evening . When I get up in mornings my energy levels r up .

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      Michelle Barnes 3 months ago from USA

      Hi Lucy, I will write an article in the upcoming week about meal examples. For now, eating chicken and tuna as protein is just fine, and with OMAD you don't have to go low-carb to lose weight. I don't believe in low-carb anyway so eating whole grain bread, pasta, and rice is just fine!

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      Lucy Gracey 3 months ago

      Hi Michelle,

      I would really like to give this a go but the only meat I eat is chicken and the only fish, is tuna. Could you possibly give me a few examples of main meals? I understand there should be the protein and the veggies, what could I have as whole grain carbs?Thank you so much. ☺

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      rjmagno85.rm@gmail.com 3 months ago

      I HAVE TRIED IT AND I STARTED 3 MEALS AND DOWN TO 2 MEALS FOR ONE MONTH AND FROM 76 KG I 'D DROP 5KG SO I'M NOW 70KG AND WILL TRY TO DO 1 MEAL A DAY. I FEEL GREAT NOW BECAUSE I FEEL LIGHTER AND LEANER. THANKS TO INTERMITTENT FASTING IT REALLY HELP IN OVERALL OF MY BEING.

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      Michelle Barnes 3 months ago from USA

      Hi Maxine, yes your one meal should generally be a combination of 2 or 3 meals so that you are not starving. It's ok to have minimal snacks (fruits/veggies), but once you get more accustomed try drinking only water and herbal teas outside of the meal for even better results.

    • UltimateLife profile image
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      Michelle Barnes 3 months ago from USA

      Thanks Kiwi Jane, that's really helpful!!

    • UltimateLife profile image
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      Michelle Barnes 3 months ago from USA

      Thank-you for sharing Brian!

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      Brian 3 months ago

      Two months today since starting one meal a day. (207 lbs at start)

      Male in 60 th year. (5 ft 8)

      Lost 13 lbs the first month and 10 the second month.

      This month my goal is 9 lbs. Next is 8 lbs for a total of 40 lbs in 4 months.

      I eat my meal between 6 and 8 pm ...including something sweet and have a 20 minute excercise program daily.

      Before I started my joints were sore especially in the morning.

      Now have no pain at all , psa is below one and cholesterol is down.

      It takes determination especially when others around you are eating, camping , travelling etc. But it is well worth it.

      Save money ...better health...as good as quitting smoking.

    • profile image

      Kiwi Jane 3 months ago

      Technically, I suppose I 'graze' ... but it IS a single meal! Judge for yourself :) I rarely eat meat (except weekly steamed oily fish which I nibble on) so put everything I need: raw eggs, fruit (whole - skin, pips'n'all in most cases), veggies, nuts, grains, whey powder et al; in a Bullet-blender with water, varying the combinations for a good balance. I keep it in the fridge and slurp a mouthful when I feel the need. Start time doesn't matter but I always finish by 3pm. As it becomes too much, I reduce the volume. I drink lots of water and herbal teas too. Dropped 18kg (40lbs) over 12 months (having yo-yo'd since puberty - I'm 62 now). No hunger, no bloating, more energy, better sleep ... all good! Have been at my ideal weight for nigh on 12 months but maintain the same regimen and remain the same weight ... my body is smarter the I am! (No surprise there!)

    • profile image

      Maxine Elliot 3 months ago

      If you snack while on the one meal a day, wouldn't that be considered a meal? Would you make your one meal a day meal be very large and therefore more of a couple of meals in quantity?

    • UltimateLife profile image
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      Michelle Barnes 3 months ago from USA

      Hi Emma, thanks for sharing your experience! I'm a big advocate for drinking lots of fluids before your meal!

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      Emma Lea 3 months ago

      Hi Michelle,

      Thank you for sharing and providing a platform for us to share our experiences. Hubby and I just stared OMAD this week and we like how we feel. I take in about 1 gallon of water/teat/coffee zero calorie fluids. And when I feel like my energy is low or I need a little something I warm up chicken broth and eat it with a soup spoon. It does several things, the salt seems to have a rejuvenating affect, the warm liquid is soothing, eating with the spoon satisfies my mental desire to eat and makes me eat slower so my headspace can register "I'm ok".

      I just convinced hubby to try the chicken broth as well and he said it really helped.

    • UltimateLife profile image
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      Michelle Barnes 3 months ago from USA

      Hi Emma, you could eat something small before your practice, and have your main meal a night. Everyone can tailor OMAD to their own personal life. Don't see this as a all or nothing strict plan. You still get so many benefits just from cutting down the amount of times you are processing food everyday.

    • profile image

      Phillip H 3 months ago

      Been doing this for 4.5 months.

      It's amazing I have lost 40 pounds so far!!

      Push through the hunger it's totally worth it!

    • profile image

      RICO Cook 4 months ago

      Yes I did it before for 30 days and I like it but I started craving for pizza and beer and got off of it I am going back on it next week on Monday but I'm eating two meals a day now and nothing but vegetables and fish and I'm looking for a female partner that we can switch recipes and have a good day

    • profile image

      emma s 4 months ago

      I am a 16 year old gymnast. i practice 4 hours a day 5 to six days a week. is this a healthy diet plan for me. i definitely would not want to go the whole day without food before practice, but if i eat before practice, how am i supposed to recover from my workout. i think that this diet does not take into account the energy and calorie requirements of high level athletes

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      Steve T 4 months ago

      Look I'm going to be very serious ...I've been doing this on and off whenever I've felt that I've let my body down and your own body will give you subtle feelings when it's time...maybe you just walked up a flight of stairs and was out of breath or you can no longer see you penis when looking down. Come on people I'm being so serious that I be been doing this for the last 12 years on and off that I know that food is a drug just like drugs...go ahead and laugh at me but believe me if your body knows that you have access to double cheeseburgers with fries and a shake it likes it a lot . Think about it being a hit of cocaine! You did it yesterday and now your body wants it again! Your body knows it has access to these cheeseburgers and fries so it wants you to eat more if you've got the resources to acquire them.

      Back in the caveman days we didn't have MacDonald's to satiate our desires? Do it learned how to conserve energy. This meaning when food is plentiful....we eat our asses off, but if not we go into a survival mode to conserve all our nutrients until other good sourced present themselves!

      We as humans won't die if we don't eat for a very long time @ three to four weeks! so don't go more than three days in a fast and I'm sure you'll be o.k.

      But if you feel hunger pains then yes it a little like a sandwich about 200 Cal's and you'll be fine!

      Believe me people,. I know for a fact that humans can get by on one humongous meal till your hearts content and then take on they day and stay at a normal weight!

      Try it you won't die I promise!

    • UltimateLife profile image
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      Michelle Barnes 4 months ago from USA

      Hi Elizabeth. I think it depends on what you are eating, and how much. Generally I feel more energized, have a positive mood and feel alert while fasting during the day. But eating less food in general can make anyone a little cranky!

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      Elizabeth 4 months ago

      Is this really healthy for both body and mind? Are there any physiological effects? I ask ask my husband has lost some weight, he thinks much more than he actually had but his behaviouris so much different. I'd genuinely appreciate your thoughts.

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      Shawna Ann 4 months ago

      Starting today. Only eating once a day around 4pm. I'll update how it goes for week 1.

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      Karen 4 months ago

      I started this way of life mid January. 4.5 months later I have lost 18 kgs which is just short of 40lbs. I don't count calories for my evening meal at all. Also one day a week I eat whatever I want at whatever time I want. I don't let it interfere with social activities either. If the ladies want to go to lunch or bring in a cake for a special occasion - I am there stuffing my face. I would say I eat once a day most weeks 6 days of 7 but on occasion 5 and I am still getting great results. I feel better look better. I think if you still allow yourself to be social (but not too social) and stick to it most days you will get life changing results

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      Lynne gough 4 months ago

      Eighty four year old lady can vouch for the one meal a day, fit well look and feel years younger, only started a year ago results fantastic , listen to your body the wisdom is there not with the doctors .

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      Live Long 5 months ago

      I typically eat one meal a day on a raw vegan diet and it works extremely well for me. Everyone should give it a try.

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      Jacob 5 months ago

      I did this. or something close to it. last week i was out all day. and ate around 6pm. then me and my friend came to our minds that it might work. feast like a king but once a day. i am starting to notice a HUGE difference in one week. i haven't took my weight yet. but my friend who i did not see me a week ago noticed i am thinner. tis WORKS.

      best tip:

      eat it mid day. i get up at 9. eat at 5-6pm sleep at 12-1am. why mid day?. this way you don't feel super hungry during the day. also no or little hungry at night.

      I also noticed this. after the 2nd day. my meal at 5-6pm feels like a normal sized one. i don't feel starvation. and i ate today at 7.

      calorie math for no brainers. and geniuses:

      i used to eat the same amount at lunch and dinner. not counting breakfast. my one meal a day = lunch or dinner only.so my calorie intake has decreased to 50% at least. timing is the game of this one.

      good lady. please spread the word. i am thinking of making this my everyday life habit. i don't even think about it these days. it feels super normal . i ate at 7 today and now it is 2 am. i still feel 0 hunger. if me. a guy with no self discipline can do it. then a gorilla or even a rabbit can!.

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      Michelle Barnes 5 months ago from USA

      That's great Erin, thanks for sharing!

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      Erin 5 months ago

      I'm starting my third week of OMAD and so far I'm down 6.2 from 218 to 211.8 this morning. I've been super conscious of how I've felt over the two previous weeks but other than feeling hungry at times, I have not been light headed or felt any fatigue. I still get in my gym time with my sister and I walk my dogs but I have desk job so I'm sedentary most of the day.

      If I have a snack I stick to carrots or an apple. I love that I don't have to try to track all my calories in three or four meals. I naturally ate like this when I was younger, I just wasn't that hungry throughout the day. But with family pressure to eat more I got in the habit of eating more throughout the day which has led me to gain a significant amount of weight.

      Over the last several years I tried to restrict and count my calories and exercise more all the things that you are traditionally supposed to do but it never really worked for me and when I would get down to 190 my weight would become stagnate.

    • UltimateLife profile image
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      Michelle Barnes 5 months ago from USA

      That's great Clay! Some may think one meal a day is a starvation diet, but it's really life-saving.

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      Clay 5 months ago

      I have a desk job and activity level has dropped to basically nothing. I started the one meal a day one month ago to the day today. I'm 37 years old and by far the biggest one of my friends. I started at 333 pounds and I'm now at 305 and feel like I'm 20. My energy level is huge, I used to come home and couch it, now I can't sit still get bored need to do something, take dog for walk or just play in garage. I also have sleep apnea and high blood pressure, high blood pressure gone and sleep apnea has improved

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      RooseveltPaul 5 months ago from England

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for making this Blog, for what I have read so far I love it, I just started the one meal plans and so far I am feeling positive about it especially after what I read.

      I'll keep you posting in a few days.

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      Michelle Barnes 6 months ago from USA

      Hi Gurps, yes it is easier to cut down the number of meals gradually. Even when cutting down to two meals a day, you will still receive the benefits.

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      Gurps 6 months ago

      Hi

      I'm doing one meal a day for insulin resistance, my question is how do i start it? I went from having 3 meals a day to just one in 2 days, i felt good for the first 2 days (maybe increased adrenaline), now i'm feel hungry and have brain fog.

      Should i have started with 2 meals then worked my way to one meal?

      Thanks

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      Michelle Barnes 7 months ago from USA

      Hi Raebo, that's great, do what works for you! I do believe that our ancestor's lower lifespans were due to other reasons than the way they ate. There have been many studies showing that humans and other animals have longer life spans directly related to eating less, and less frequently.

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      Michelle Barnes 7 months ago from USA

      Hi Mike, I am not a doctor so I can't give you medical advice. The only thing I can say for myself is that when I was eating all throughout the day, I was more likely to have those problems then when I eat one to two meals in a day. I personally think that all comes down to food choice, and paying attention to what's going on with your body.

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      Raebo 7 months ago

      I could never understand the Paleo craze, why are we trying to emulate our caveman ancestors, they had a very lousy life span living less than 40 years on average, not including those dying of unnatural causes.

      As far as eating once per day, Im a big fan, just eat a small portion of any unprocessed meat about 6oz, and loads of vegetables at or around noon each day just as the Romans did.

      I also snack on three to four servings of fruit spread over the 18 hours I am awake.

      Do some light exercise everyday for an hour like walking the dog, or going for a bike ride, and drink lots of clean water as required.

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      Mike 7 months ago

      I have been on the 1 meal a day for three weeks now and i have found it really easy! my energy levels have been good and three weeks on i don't get hungry in the day,

      unfortunately i have meet a lot of negative comments as to how unhealthy the 1 meal a day plan is, pointing me to studies which have been proven to be damaging to your health such as strain on your heart through increased blood flow to the gut and elevated blood pressure with a risk of high blood sugar leading to diabetes and weight gain ,

      i have embraced the one meal a day, but now i am uncertain weather i should carry on because of the health risks!

      i don't really eat any more in the 1 meal a day to compensate! and the meals i do have contain a good balance of protein and vitamins!

    • UltimateLife profile image
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      Michelle Barnes 7 months ago from USA

      Hi Jay, eating one meal a day will not slow your metabolism if you are eating enough calories!

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      Zinhle 7 months ago

      Today is my first day I hope all will be well. I am scared of hunger.

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      Francheska Irizarry 7 months ago

      Today is my first day :) and I feel good.

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      Jason Richard 7 months ago

      Great article! Eating one meal a day will benefit your body and mind in so many ways. Herschel Walker has been eating like this since he was a teenager. The Nation of Islam also promotes eating one meal a day for a healthier lifestyle. It creates a sense of discipline that you can apply to other areas of your life. Frankly, the average person eats too much, we literally dig our graves with our teeth!

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      Rob 7 months ago

      My 4th day in a row on the 1 meal a day LifeStyle (not diet), about 7th in 10 days. I dont feel too much different - I never really ate breakfast before. I admit I did used to look forward to lunch, but I think it was more because it was a break in the day vs actually being hungry. I dont find myself overeating during dinner which I feared would happen at first.

      I'm trying to limit calories to about 600 every other day.

      Just turned 38, 5'9", started at 173lbs, today I'm 170 - obviously weight fluctuates so lets see how this goes . My goal is get back to my college weight of 155.

      White collar desk job, only exercise I get is golf.

      I've bookmarked the page so hope to continue to give updates should anyone be interested or care.

      Good luck all!

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      Rob 7 months ago

      Hi all - I've read all the comments and congratulations to everyone.

      How many pounds have you folks lost and in how much time? Also how old are you?

      Thanks!

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      Jay 7 months ago

      Question. So should I not eat one meal a day for three days straight since it slows metabolism? or as long as i'm eating an adequate amount in my one meal I should be okay?

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      Michelle Barnes 7 months ago from USA

      Hi JoyAnn, the amount of calories to consume depends on several factors. First, you need to determine your goals. Do you want to lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight? Then you need to research, or visit a physician to find out how many calories you are currently burning (which depends on you weight, age, and activity level), and adjust that amount to meet your goals. Hope that helps!

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      JoyAnn 7 months ago

      If I fast all day, how many calories should I consume for supper?

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      Brenda 7 months ago

      I really think I can do this!

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      Michelle Barnes 8 months ago from USA

      Thanks for sharing KateJ!

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      Sheshe 8 months ago

      I am going to try it beginning 2/21/17

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      KateJ1080 8 months ago

      I'm sharing this because I BELIEVE in this diet.

      I lost 40 pounds eating one meal a day and have kept the weight off over a year (I'm mid-30s, F, 5'2"). I went from 160 to 120 - so I'm not underweight at all. It's the only diet that's ever worked for me - I was born plump and stayed that way, except for one inane year in high school when I ran cross country track and topped off the workouts with a 15 mile bike ride. So, like, untenable even for a 16-year-old.

      Get ready, when you try this, to face a whole lot of people getting worried about your "unhealthy" eating habits. But you gotta stay true to what your body is telling you. My body told me that this works because I *feel* amazing. Other people's bodies may tell them other things. To anyone who's struggled with weight all their lives: take back your body. Turn down the volume on the peanut gallery that's instructing you on how to optimize how your occupy your space.

      My body does NOT do well eating 6 small meals, or 3 meals and a snack. The yo-yo of energy and then crash (even on low carb diets) was killing me. Or maybe it's my willpower - once I start eating, I have a hard time turning off the faucet. Whatever "stop eating now" signal other people have, I don't. Or if I do, it's buried or emotionally repressed or *something* - and so, as I reach my late 30s, I'm tired of trying to find it. So I went with plan B: given I have this issue, what can I do? so the IF diet seemed worth trying.

      Now, when I do eat my one meal, I feel fuller, faster - I am *feeling* the impact of food on my metabolism. I enjoy, taste food better. I find myself willingly selecting healthier foods to eat. Because they make me feel better. On any other diet, forcing green stuff down my throat felt like sacrifice and punishment. I pull out a salad full of spring greens and spinach and eggs and beans and cheese and mushrooms and corn and sunflower seeds and YUM. I can't believe I just wrote that.

      My energy levels are FINE - in fact, better than they've ever been. For those who've ever done atkins (of course I have, because I tried everything) - it's constantly being in ketosis - so after a sluggish few first days, I felt amazing. In fact, I started jogging again and regularly run 6-10 miles 3-5 times a week (no shit! ME?! yes ME!) *before* eating that one meal (but when I do this, an apple and an egg right afterwards). NOTE: I lost a lot of weight before I started seriously working out again, so I can rule this craziness out in terms of its necessity for weight loss.

      Having your one meal at night, after all the work is done, also works well with my willpower. Emotionally, I want to reward myself at the end of the day. Now I can!

      PROBLEMS: It's socially inconvenient. You can't do impromtu lunches with the ladies without first committing to making it your one meal. Also, it's hard to build in enough fiber, fruit and veg - my meal usually begins with BIGASS salad (that's a term of art) and I allow myself 1-2 apples or other high-fiber fruit during the day.

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      Michelle Barnes 8 months ago from USA

      Thanks for sharing Lorena!

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      Lorena/Phoenician 8 months ago

      Fruit in the morning, then lunch is a big meal with meat and potatoes and vegetables, also, either slice of pie or a small peice of chocolate candy. The rest of the day is tea, water, and diet one soda. The plate was a dinner plate at first now down to a small plate. I am much more fuctional threw out the day in my internet research, in cooking, domestic chores are done in no time. However, the one meal a day is not full proof until you try it and then adjust to what works for you. Example, I find I need hearty food like beef, pork, chicken and sea food, and tortillas, yes I said tortillas because I not afraid to eat what I need to eat to keep me content threw the day and night. With that I hope this help somebody out the way somebody help me by putting their one meal a day story online google, thank you and I'm am greatful.

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      Michelle Barnes 9 months ago from USA

      Hi Ivan, yes I still eat one to two meals a day. My health has been great, and I've been able to effortlessly maintain a healthy weight and have tons of energy throughout the day. Some people may think that eating one meal a day means you eat very little, but that is not the case. If you're eating very little it will be hard to keep up, and is not healthy. The key is always to eat healthy foods that are not processed, and avoiding high amounts of sugar and sodium. I generally cook my own meals and that helps significantly. As with any new habit you want to develop in life, it will take about 1 to 3 weeks to adapt.

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      Iván Quinones 9 months ago

      Hello Michelle, this is Iván from Monterrey, México. I would like to know if you are still eating once a day? have you got any health issue? How long does it took you get used to it? Thanks a lot for your article and for your time reading the my post. Best regards¡dd Your Comment...

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      Win 9 months ago

      I eat Thru out the day fruits veggies and a regular meal around 4-5 pm I don't get hungry I don't gain weight. I eat right, drink plenty of water and exercise 3 times a week

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      Dan 10 months ago

      Thanks for the excellent info

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      PARAMESH 11 months ago

      Please eat the one meal at breakfast or lunch and not for dinner because studies have shown that timing of meals is equally important

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      Ivy 11 months ago

      I started cutting back eating a few weeks ago by just eating breakfast and lunch. Then I cut down to just a big breakfast. I dont think my body at age 33 is designed to eat 3 big meals a day. I get bloated, sluggish and constipated and also gain weight. At one big meal a day, I feel better, I don't get bloated, I shed excess pounds and I experience minimal PMS symptoms. No painful swollen breasts before my period. I also get more done because I dont have to plan for meals. I think people are mislead into eating too much. 3 meals is fine for a growing kid or teen, but I don't think adults need as much food anymore, since we're no longer in the growing phase of life.

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      mrjansanman 12 months ago from USA

      I became intrigued with this way of eating when I heard of it a few months ago. I'm on a plant based diet and feel better that ever. However I have a very big appetite and although I've lost over 40 lbs eating plant based I felt bloated from eating so much fiber and great tasting foods.

      I started by skipping breakfast then worked down to a 2 hour window in the evening. I actually feel better now while I'm fasting. Once I eat I don't have the same energy as I did. Right now I eat a lot during that small window because in my mind I feel I have to but in the coming days and weeks I feel as if this feeling will subside. The bloating is gone now and so I'm going to continue trying this for a while. It gets pretty easy to do after a couple of weeks weaning yourself down to a narrower window.

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      Zen 12 months ago

      yeah! to be honest I've been doing this for almost 6 years now, and I'm healthy i do medical checkup every 2 months and the results are satisfying.

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      Just me 12 months ago

      Hello I have been eating this way for a year and a half going from 312lbs to now 175lbs. I drink water all day long but at 6 pm I eat a huge healthy meal. I have not lost any energy, plus I eat dessert everyday. It's no longer a diet it is a way of life that is now second nature. I just hope that any one that Is overweight high blood pressure diabetic will give this a try. It has changed my life in so many expected and unexpectent ways. All my health problems have cleared. U can say for the first time on 25 years that I am healthy.

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      Amanda 13 months ago

      This page is great! I am so glad i have stumbled upon it. I know someone whom eats this way and she feels great and has lost a lot of fat. I think this could really help with my food addictions and cravings. Going to do it!

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      jalbert 13 months ago

      hey I'm a 33 year old black male and ive been doing the one a day meal for 2 years now. I work three jobs to make ends meat to pay bills and have a life, but working is the way that keeps me active and before I get home at like 11pm I get a double wopper meal, but I never eat all the fries cause I don't like to much fried foods and I notice besides it being processed meat I still get all the food groups in that wopper meal. In the past year and a half ive been able to lose 34lbs and still counting if I drunk more water and less sodas Ill probably lose more but ill get there baby steps first...lol

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      lunesoleil 13 months ago

      This definitely works for me. I normally eat mid afternoon and that's my meal. Sometimes a follow-up salad later while the rest of the family eats dinner. I have FAR more energy. The one meal normally consists of an avocado, cheese omelette or something similar. Low in carbohydrates, high in fats and proteins. It has the calories I need, the fats to keep me satiated and lacks the foods that can create a huge insulin spike if you have too large of a single meal. My energy levels are SO much better and I simply feel much better also. (and have lost app 50 pounds for 2 years)

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      ST 14 months ago

      Human bodies contain a system of filters which are organs. Just like a car , doesnt it make sense that the less you tax those systems, the less stress means they would last longer and perform better? Less food being processed by the body after age 25 means that much less stress on our heart, kidneys, liver, pancrease ect. Not to mention less chance of clogged arteries due to years of reduced intake. I have eaten 1 meal a day x 20+ years. With daily weight workouts i have plenty of energy and can still handle heavy weight as 30 yrs ago when i did eat 6/8 x a day .And that is after working a 10 hour day. Am now 59 no blood pressure or cholesterol problems, and no fatigue after eating so many meals during the day . Athletes do need more intake because they burn it off quickly. ALso this is not for childen obviously due to naturally high metabolism. For average people with 8/5 or whatever job , 1 main meal works. I would recommend fluids throughout the day and a power bar here and there. Also supplements like tumeric, beet juice, red yeast rice( for bp and choiesterol) , tribulus , arginine and creatine for power and blood flow. Pretty cheap compared to 28 to 56 meals a week . Dont reject this idea until youve tried it

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      Michelle Barnes 14 months ago from USA

      Dimitri that is amazing. Food can definitely be an addiction. What some people may think is hungry, are actually cravings to fulfill the addiction. I also think having tea or coffee in times of cravings really helps.

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      14 months ago

      I eat once a day because thats all I can afford.

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      yanick 14 months ago

      I fasted for 6 months I lost 29 kilos I only ate once every 24 hour , no diet I only ate normally I had Krown Desease

      my desease disappeared 2 years ago, i had krown desease at 21 i am 28 now

      now my colon can support meat and milk product, i don't have trouble going to the toilet and i have no pain even my doctor can not explain , he just said sometimes we don't know why the desease disappeared and every human body is different doctors never want to lose their face and always find an apology

      you don't have to listen to the doctors , because you are the only peron that knows your health situation. just listen to your body , you feel good do that you don't feel good don't do that , it is like excercise if you do too much your body says it is time to stop if not you can have muscle pain and worse heart attack or respiratory arrest

      thanks to the fasting i avoided a surgery

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      BadMojo92x 14 months ago

      I know I'm a lil late seeing that this article is about 3 year old but I recently started doing something similar to this. Basically in the morning before work I only eat an apple, 95 calories at most, then when I have a break I eat another apple and sometimes 2 tbsp of natural peanut butter, 295 calories, that's less that 400 for lunch and breakfast. And it's surprising how filling an apple really is. Then when I get home I eat dinner, whatever my family had usually between 1100-1300 calories at most, and becuase I still eat what everyone else eats my family doesn't even notice that I'm trying to lise weight. And that's it. So it keeps me in the 1500-1700 calorie range and I dont fee deprived because it's usually a pretty large dinner. I've been doing this maybe 4 weeks and I brand new pair of Jean I've only worn twice that fit perfectly when I bought them already try to fall off without a belt. I seem to be loosing weight stupidly fast and it doesnt even feel like in on any sort of diet. Besides who really has time to eat 6 times a day. And honestly I like eating apples for lunch and breakfast better than picking up some sort of fast food on my way to work or getting something not filling from the vending machine. So this idea works well for me, of course with a couple small tweaks.

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      Dimitri 14 months ago

      This has been a miracle for me. I would always eat 4, or 5 times a day and would always get cravings for more food! The more often I ate, the more food I wanted! I can't even describe what I felt as hunger, it was more of an addiction! I was a craving food, and I was powerless against these urges.

      Now that I eat 1 full meal a day I don't get cravings anymore. I just get hungry, and for that 1 meal around 5pm I eat whatever I wish. I take in liquids with 2 teaspoons of sugar, coffee, tea, five, or six times a day.

      When I started I decided that I was going to treat my problem as an addiction, so I abstained from all food for 2 days, and started eating 1 meal per day on the 3rd day. I'm a big guy, 6' 6" and after 4 months I lost over 60 pounds.

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      Michelle Barnes 15 months ago from USA

      Great comments everyone. I agree, there's no money to be made (in fact more likely less money) so the media doesn't promote this lifestyle. Which is a shame because the benefits are amazing! As far as a sample meal, you can really get creative as long as you are eating healthy, and getting your nutrients. For example you could double your dinner meal portion, or you could eat over the course of two or more hours everything you would normally eat in a day.

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      Patrick 15 months ago

      What would you suggest as a sample meal for one meal a day?

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      Cas 15 months ago

      Well for one thing the reasons why this diet/way of life isn't popular is because A) it goes against what we were taught in school/media etc. B) the idea of change and thinking of going crazy scares us. C) the first day/time is always very hard and last but not least... D) there is no money $$$$ to be made for any company. Therefore why promote it?

      Everyone is definitely different however it works for me and it makes sense and numbers don't lie with us being as fat as ever in the USA. Diet fat free meals substitute with sugar instead of fat. Sugar free meals substitute with fake sugar even worse. It never ends companies are constantly finding ways to sell, promote and make money.

      There's also a lot of info on other benefits of intermittent fasting from shrinking cancer cells to extending your life.

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      UltimateLife 15 months ago

      Hi Kimmy, I think that's a good question for your doctor. If you eat enough to get all of your nutrients, then I know over time the body can adapt to getting less calories.

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      another guy 16 months ago

      Eating one meal per day (with some Coconut water and seaweed at the other end of the day) got my life back in order. I really do believe that eating many meals per day is a notion of modern day life. Who ever decided that three was the right number? Someone with a lot of food and time on their hands, I think. Doesn't it make sense that our bodies would be designed for the daily cycle? I suspect that if you're doing heavy labor that you can be ok with eating extra meals, but most of us lead sedentary lives. What I know is that before I was overweight, and now I'm not.

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      Idk 17 months ago

      There have been times when all I ate was one meal, but it was a combination of poverty, and appetite problems.

      Now I have problems eating enough, sometimes where I forget to eat at all and I'm probably not getting enough nutritions because I also have sensory issues. I also have a hard time eating a full meal at once.

      This could be great for some people, but for others it could be bad, like people with diabetes.

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      kimmy 18 months ago

      okay I'm adult and never want to eat I'm not trying to go on a diet because I'm very underweight I just have no desire to eat I eat one meal a day and kinda make myself do it...I do take medicine to help maybe its just me???? help

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      guy 2 years ago

      Its a great idea. Americans are fat enough of the old debunked science of eat eat eat we are fatter and sicker than ever. This is common sense I like it thumbs up

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      Marie D 2 years ago

      This is a very interesting and informative article, and I have read loads. I am turned 70, look younger for my age and have never been overweight - but - I have been obsessed with food for years and years - never dieting as such, snacking, bits and pieces here and there wishing I could eat more healthily. I am fed up ( pun intended ) with constantly thinking about food, sweets, biscuits here and there, so I am going to do this before it is too late!

      There have often been times when I haven't eaten for a good while, maybe when I've been out walking, then feeling really, properly hungry and I find then it is much easier to eat real food and it is much more enjoyable. I suppose I've left it this long because I have been "lucky" in not having any real health problems. I want to feel the freedom around food that these one meal a day people seem to have, though I will probably eat fruit/green smoothie during the day as well. This is one of the more sensible articles. Thank you.

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      Milly 2 years ago

      I used to do this when I was younger as I was always late for school so skipped breakfast, and didn't feel like eating until I got home and had dinner with the family. I had always been very slim. Moving to America I gained a little weight (went from 112lbs to 133) and fell for the "eating a whole bunch of times a day" fad to keep that metabolism going whilst doing a heck load of cardio. This just wasn't feeling right for me at all and I wasn't really dropping the weight like I had hoped. I then remembered my old eating habits of only eating dinner and decided to try that again.

      It has been 4 months and I am now down to 121lbs and still dropping. I am not 18 years old any more so do not want or expect to be 112lbs but to get under 120 will be amazing. Plus I have so much more energy, do not obsess over food and I really enjoy my dinner. I do not like red meats and I eat a lot of fish and veggies. I also don't hold back on chocolate for desert.

      This is definitely worth giving a try. Just make sure you are eating yummy, nutritious food in this one meal and always stay active. It's a win/win!

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      Constantine 2 years ago

      I have been doing this for over three weeks and love it.

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      Timothy Erb 2 years ago from Amarillo, Texas

      TrainerForLife, check out Herschel Walker's personal diet. Ori Hofmekler, author of the warrior diet eats like this and is pretty ripped. Ronda Rousey, female MMA champion, eats like this and is a top level athlete. You should clear some of theories that have been sold as "facts" from your mind and allow it to open up to possibilities that don't require a person to spend 24 hours a day obsessing over food and exercise in order to be thin and healthy.

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      Caitlin 3 years ago

      Cool! This is what my body has been telling me to do all along. Food actually drains me and makes me very tired. The less I eat, the better I feel. So, I have been not eating all day for a while. Also, dinner is always a lot more satisfying when I don't eat all day.

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      Congrats Yogi! I hope eating one meal a day (or over the course of a few hours) will work for you too. As long as you stay within a healthy calorie amount you should do just fine!