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How to Lose Weight Safely Eating One Meal a Day

Updated on January 22, 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.

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

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 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 lose weight.
Snack on unlimited raw vegetables and fruit.
By choosing raw vegetables and low-sugar fruit, your body gets the fiber and minerals it needs to function before and 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 slow down and you won't lose weight.
  • 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.
  • Don't focus on being perfect.
  • Never sacrifice health over perfection. If you feel light-headed at any point, eat!

Snack on as much raw vegetables as you want while you're on the one-meal-a-day diet.
Snack on as much raw vegetables as you want while you're on the one-meal-a-day diet.

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 to be true 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. It can happen during the holidays. In the end, eating six meals a day makes you want to eat more.

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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    • UltimateLife profile image

      Michelle Barnes 2 days 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.

    • Iván Quinones 6 days 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...

    • Win 3 weeks 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

    • Dan 4 weeks ago

      Thanks for the excellent info

    • PARAMESH 2 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

    • Ivy 2 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.

    • mrjansanman profile image

      mrjansanman 3 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.

    • Zen 3 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.

    • Just me 3 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.

    • Amanda 4 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!

    • jalbert 4 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

    • lunesoleil profile image

      lunesoleil 4 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)

    • ST 5 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

    • UltimateLife profile image

      Michelle Barnes 5 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.

    • 5 months ago

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

    • yanick 5 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

    • BadMojo92x 5 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.

    • Dimitri 5 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.

    • UltimateLife profile image

      Michelle Barnes 6 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.

    • Patrick 6 months ago

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

    • Cas 6 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.

    • UltimateLife 6 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.

    • another guy 7 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.

    • Idk 8 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.

    • kimmy 9 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

    • guy 16 months 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

    • Marie D 21 months 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.

    • Milly 24 months 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!

    • Constantine 2 years ago

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

    • Timothy Erb profile image

      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.

    • Caitlin 2 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.

    • UltimateLife profile image

      Michelle Barnes 2 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!

    • UltimateLife profile image

      Michelle Barnes 2 years ago from USA

      TrainerForLife, sorry you don't understand the concept, but threatening physical violence because you disagree with someone's personal eating style makes you sound pretty uneducated. So no use explaining it to you.

    • Yogi Lim 2 years ago

      I have been trying intermittent fasting in the last 6 months and have lost over 20 lbs from eating 6x small meals per day. I'm a make 5'9" 160# 30" waist now from 185 34". I only eat 2x per day for 6-8 hours and fast at least 16 hours per day. I have been thinking what if just eat once a day, that's how I found this website. I'm extremely where I'm now and great to read this article!

    • TrainerForLife 2 years ago

      If you were within slapping distance I would. Please tell me where you got your info from. Please tell me what athlete or body sculptor or anyone normal for that matter would eat 1 meal a day!! If you want to get a body like the people you see in body comps or on athletes you need to eat and eat often. The thing you change is the amount you eat in each sitting. Small meals often keeps your metabolism running flat out because it has learnt that there is no need to go into a starvation cycle holding onto fat deposits which is what's going to happen if you eat 1 meal a day.

      Fad diets are rubbish and will lead you to cheating on your food plan and ultimately lead to an unhealthy lifestyle.

    • UltimateLife profile image

      Michelle Barnes 2 years ago from USA

      I agree Anton. People should listen to their body and appetite when decided how much/often to eat, and not go by generic guidelines.

    • Anton 2 years ago

      I've been eating once a day, most days, since i moved out the house. Even before that i would toss my premade lunch at school. I'm not starving at all, I have a healthy body weight (BMI around 21). I find i hard to eat before 4 to be hounest, and mostly don't eat a meal before 6.

      I will admite I can eat a snack (can be anything) during the day, and somedays, if i feel like it i'll make make myself a nice big lunch.

      The thing is, this is not a diet for me. I eat when i want! I just don't want to eat that often.

      People have been telling me that its wrong, that I'm unhealthy doing so.. WHY?! My docter has always told me i have a healthy body, I'm not more tired then others either.

      I'm not saying its the way to go. All i want to say is eat what feels right for you. I eat when i want to, if i suddenly crave some kabab for lunch I'll get some. But most days I'm eating one BIG meal a day. But when i say big, I mean i eat a good plate of food, sauce and I like meat!

      I have always felt that unless you feel you are unhealthy, you should just do what you want. If you are to fat yeah, you need to think about it, same if you are to skinny. But if not, why would anyone else have the right to dictate you when to eat and what?!

      Everyone is different. Just don't starve yourself trying to follow someone else their diet.

    • MomandBoss 2 years ago

      Just posting some great info from Ori Hofmekler on what he calls... The Warrior Diet.

      Eating once a day switches on your biological powerhouse for high energy, explosive strength and a leaner harder body. Humans are inherently nocturnal eaters.

      As a species we are nocturnal eaters, inherently programmed for night eating. Unfortunately, we consume most of our food during the day, starting with a big breakfast, and we pay the consequences with ever growing epidemics of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and other modern man diseases. The solution: skip big breakfast and lunch, eat your main meal at night, and you'll notice how you're leaning down and strengthening without even changing your calorie intake.

      Ori Hofmekler

    • MomandBoss 2 years ago

      That's awesome Audrey and i agree 100%! Breaking the seal is such a great way to put it... And it's the Truth. Most of the discipline for eating once a day comes from the mindset and once that's in check and set... There's no stopping you!

    • Audrey 2 years ago

      I've done this for a while and love it. I've felt for a long time that the first time you eat in the day really breaks the seal, as to say that if you have a big breakfast, you'll be hungrier more often than if you hadn't eaten at all and that lead me to wonder what would happen if I didn't break the seal until the evening time. My work hours vary and sometimes I don't get home until 8 pm and on those days I'm pretty hungry from about 6 until I eat but it's not unbearable especially if I'm busy with work. Glad to see I am not the only person this has been beneficial for!

    • MomandBoss 2 years ago

      I've been eating once a day aka The Warrior Diet by Ori Hofmekler... for several months now and lost 20 lbs already. Usually around 4:30-5:00 pm i eat a nice good sized meal. I make sure to include a good source of protein with veges and even dessert right afterwards. This is included in my one meal a day, i'm always satisfied and never starve. I mean 6 meals a day... Then time is too consumed with food alone. I was an avid snacker and now i don't even have the hunger for all the sweets as before. When i do, i eat it for dessert with dinner. I drink lots of water and light drinks. This has become my way of life. The benefits of Intermittant fasting are endless! It's not for everyone. It also makes life a lil easier in planning your meals, shopping etc. And for me its helped me make better healthier choices. Thank you for writing this article... Myths are getting shattered with real people living a healthy life via one meal a day. Detoxifies and cleanses the body and mind. Can't beat that!

    • Jeremy 2 years ago

      A great way to start this plan is with an ec stack/bronk aid. I used to eat tons of food- three meals a day. With the help of brokaid I eat once around 12:30 and am not hungry the rest of the day. The ephedrine really helps the appetite and food cravings.

    • OceanLove 2 years ago

      I love this post and the comments, it's great. I do this mainly for the mental clarity, I need my brain to be 'ON' and I need maximum energy to achieve my goals. So I drink coffee, smoke my pipe, smoke cigars in the morning, take a dump, then nothing till 7-8pm, eat with my family, drink beer, and eat a lot of seafood and meat. I feel like a god.

    • Denise 2 years ago

      I agree with the eating one meal a day for several reasons 1) I am more focused on task at hand 2) I don't get tired and need a nap 3)I save a hell of a lot of money, and I could list a lot more. I think people that are taken back by this have been through the same education I had. SAD but true the government pyramid, with grains and fats and well everyone knows what it looks like. To be told that that is so wrong is almost insulting to them. I mean for Pete sake some of these people have went into major debt and went to school to teach people how to eat and be "healthy" although their intentions are good, they are wrong in so many ways! We can get enough calories in a signal meal and be healthier then we ever dreamed! Yes you should eat a realm of different food in this meal but it is totally doable. So many people are realize that we should listen to their bodies on how to feed ourselves, rather then let the government make up our menus.... It seems like a horrible cycle eat more food, have negative health effects, spend so much money at the doctors offices, all of these industries there is sticky fingers taking money! It's pretty simple listen to your bodies and let them tell you what is best for you! Thanks for the post:)

    • sk8er123123 2 years ago

      I've done this for about 1 and a half years and its been very easy for me mostly its just habit and what I eat I think helps(avocado) because I am using fat as a main energy source instead of sugar. I haven't gained any weight I lost a couple of pounds but it has leveled out for a while now. It is possible to do it for a long period of time I don't snack or drink any water in between my meal is at 3pm then basically fast for 24 hours to the next 3pm.

    • UltimateLife profile image

      Michelle Barnes 2 years ago from USA

      Thanks for your input Jaime! I agree with the fact that for some people just doing it once or twice a week could be best. It's always important to never take anything to the extreme, listen to your body, and don't starve yourself no matter way of eating you choose. I also think that eat one meal a day on a regular basis will not harm your body as long as you are getting enough calories a day. When a lot of people hear about eating one meal a day, they automatically assume you are starving yourself, and only consuming a low amount of calories, but that is not true!

    • UltimateLife profile image

      Michelle Barnes 2 years ago from USA

      Thanks andulairah, and good example! I like to drink tea myself during the day before I eat. And the energy and vitality I feel during the day is what I like the most!

    • UltimateLife profile image

      Michelle Barnes 2 years ago from USA

      Thanks RT! Yes, I believe It's extremely hard to keep track of calories (and eat less) when you're eating all day long! Initially a motivated person might be able to stay on track, but long-term most people will be lead to overeat.

    • Jaime 2 years ago

      There is a big difference from 1 meal to 6 meals a day. Studies show that 2 and 3 meals a day are best and one meal a day can actually potentially cause metabolic problems i.e. weight gain.

      However, studies also show that intermittent fasting is excellent. Logic has it that eating once a day would tell your body food is limited and cause fat storage and a slower metabolism, however doing it every once in a while would be a clean up of sorts.

      I'm guessing that people initially have success with once a day because of the clean up that happens and also it could be that when people go on diets they often revamp everything they are eating and are possibly eating healthier food and less than they ate before.

      Just be careful to do some research before jumping into a new diet! What may seem like a good idea may wreak havoc on your system.

    • andulairah 2 years ago

      This way of eating is ideal for me. I have done this for a week, and it is as natural to me as breathing. Ive never been a breakfast/morning person and find the thought of eating so early in the day hard to swallow. Instead, I drink fresh juices/tea throughout the day and then have a hearty vegan meal of whatever it is I desire, and eat until I am full. Even if I don't lose weigh on this way of life- the thought of not thinking about food, or feeling lethargic from eating throughout the day is beneficial enough. In actual fact, I had a Nigerian boyfriend many years ago and he, his brothers and sisters, as well as friends ate one meal a day. He was the most slender, fit guy (had GREAT lean legs) and never once got sick the whole time I was with him. At the time I couldn't understand and asked him 'why do you only eat one meal?' to which he replied 'Its the way my people always eat'.... Their only meal for the day was cooked with all the trimmings and they would sit together on the floor around huge platters of food and eat with fingers. It was a beautiful way to reconnect everyday with the family/friends, with lots of feasting, laughter and love. Thank you for the post.

    • RT 2 years ago

      Yes, Eating one meal a day works. How can you keep track of all the calories you eat when they are spaced out over 6 meals?...impossible! You are bound to overeat.....constantly eating all day long.

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      Michelle Barnes 2 years ago from USA

      Thanks for your input Chime!

    • Chime 2 years ago

      For some reason, I've never been one to eat breakfast. Where I come from, this meal in particular, along with lunch, with considered VERY important- so it never was an option to skip it. We also have lunch too early, even before 11 AM, so you kinda get in this spiral of eating, eating, eating more...while kids might just eat less, adults learn to snack every few hours. It makes no sense to me, since it can't be good for your metabolism nor digestion.

      I've noticed that if I skip breakfast, I can strech having my lunch time almost infinitely- but if I do eat breakfast, I need to have lunch in a few hours or else! The best method in my case is to eat lunch and maybe something light during evening, NOTHING ELSE. If I more than this, I get hungry, get cravings, get pissed name it.

      My bloodtype is O and I come from an old Nordic family so I believe I should eat (and live) like my ancestors did. My grandparents lived to be over 90 years with this sort of eating, but my parents who followed this new eating routine, never made it past 70.

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      Michelle Barnes 2 years ago from USA

      I agree Dean! The main point that I want to get across is that you don't need to eat so frequently in a day. People are so afraid of slowing their metabolism that they feel (or think) that they need to eat at every hour of the day. Of course that it what the media tells us, but the plan they lay out is not realistic for most people. Eating more times a day gives a person more chances of underestimating calories and inevitably overeating. If you want to lose weight you need to eat less, and eating so many meals makes it harder to do that. Most people that I know that have successfully lost weight have done so by eating fewer calorie reduced (not fat reduced) meals. I'm also thinking about writing another article on metabolism and plateau myths. It's a lot harder to damage (or slow) your metabolism than most people think, and plateaus usually only happen after about 6 months of constant dieting! Most of the time reducing your calorie intake is all you need to do to get out of it. Eating one meal a day definitely makes that a lot easier!

    • Dean 2 years ago

      I felt this article and the comments supporting it as well very informative I have been training for strength and fat loss over the past year and its been very difficult dealing with this 6 meals a day which i still currently do there are even some programs i do that tell you to eat 8. it not only costs a small fortune to eat this many meals a day it's a royal pain in the butt. I have considered having my protein shakes throughout the day and having one primary meal with a multi vitamin to lose weight your article is rather unique and I think it can be realistic especially if someone is using the supplements they buy in addition to the meals they are eating. if i could cut back to one or 2 healthy meals per day and have my protein shakes every day i think i would get better results. i have even spoken to trainers that told me they themselves could not even maintain 6 meals a day it never worked for them they preferred 3-4 meals a day tops.

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      Congrats Pheladi, and I totally agree with you Angela! We live in a society where it's all about consuming. With food being so readily available and affordable to almost everyone, I think society pushes us to consume more and more of it to keep our economy going. But in turn, it has a high price on our health, image, and psychological well being!

    • Angela 3 years ago

      I really think there is definitely a government conspiracy or at least something suss about eating six times a day (unless you're an athlete - but even then). As consumers we are attacked on a daily basis to buy food whether it's at home watching TV or listening to radio. Even going for a walk and noticing the food printed all over buses! there's no escaping and no wonder people are always so hungry and crying out for more. It does sicken me to think there are children starving for a small amount of rice to survive when we in a disgusting and disturbing population of obese people kill ourselves by over eating. Yes, most people will say that eating three to six times is what they have been taught but it's getting to the point where eating is becoming more than a means to survive. How many times do you mindlessly eat and then realize how easy it is to do? When was the last time you sat down and chewed your food to enjoy it. Food is an addiction that I would consider just as deadly as smoking or alcohol. Why should it be dismissed as a genetic excuse for over eating or lack of self control.

    • Pheladi 3 years ago

      I lost 2jean sizes with this plan, feels good. I have now increased to eating 2times a day to maintain my weight!

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      The amount of calories you eat in a day is what matters, not when they are eaten. As long as you create a deficit in calories consumed vs. calories burned you will lose weight. All of these extra tidbits confuses people, and does not affect the body all that much. Eating one meal a day helps people create a deficit, and myself and many others have lost and maintained weight this way. I agree, people should eat healthy, and you can when eating one meal a day. And I also believe that our bodies were designed more for eating one or two meals a day, than five or six.

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      Jenny 3 years ago from Ozark, MO

      I understand that. I do have to stress something important though. Eating a big meal and getting all of your carbs and calories in the evening when we are least active, is hard on the body. Your body stores fat...especially when you are at rest. People who eat several meals a day should always eat healthy snacks. It's so important to remember healthy. A balance of protein, carbs, and fat (good fats, not animal fats). Balance is the key.

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      Hi Comerfordj, I respect what you're saying. Sure, for some people it might be best to eat throughout the day, but I also believe that many people can also benefit from eating one meal a day. I feel I have more energy eating one meal a day, than eating throughout the day. I'm also not advocating eating low carbs or low calories. You can eat one meal a day and still get the right amount of calories and carbs that you need. And I agree, people should be physically active, nowhere do I say people should sit on a couch all day long. But I also believe that people can be naturally physically active throughout the day, and mechanical exercise can have more cons than pros. For people who aren't physically active, they would benefit more from doing natural activities (or just walking more in their daily life) and I think that's all that is needed. I'm not a doctor so I can't say what's best for every individual, but I can say that if something isn't working for you, you need to think about your alternatives. I just think that when people are eating all of the time, the constant focus is on eating and for most people it's hard to stop. For people who struggle with that, lessening that amount of times they eat a day is key for weight loss.

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      Jenny 3 years ago from Ozark, MO

      The problem is that many people who eat several meals a day, aren't eating the right kinds of meals. Healthy snacking is the key. As a nutritionist, it's important to help people understand how the body works. Your body needs energy throughout the day. You may lose weight, but if you aren't getting enough good carbs, and yes, even calories, you body will start to break down muscle tissue for energy. So you may not feel tired at first. And skipping breakfast is not good for the brain. Eating a hearty breakfast, including plenty of protein and vitamins (fruits and vegetables) is important for good cognitive function. The other key is adding physical activity...those who hunted and gathered, were physically active.

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks Paul, glad you discovered it!

    • Paul 3 years ago

      iv'e just recently started and i love it! I feel Better already , not lethargic like previously, looking forward to dropping the extra lbs....

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks for sharing Poleksija! Glad it's working for you. I think it's one of the best kept secrets for weight loss!

    • Poleksija 3 years ago

      I started eating one meal a day a week ago, spontaniously, lost 1,5kg (3 pounds I think) easily - it doesn't happen easily to me to lose weight now (I am 43, when I was in my 20-ies never had troubles with extra weight). After one week I started to think to keep this lifestyle forever as I feel better than on any diet I ever tried. During the day I drink one or two coffies with milk as I am used long ago, lots of water and about 0,5-0,75 l of lemonade with little honey. Have no problem with hunger during the day, I really enjoy the meal in the evening: I start with big plate of mixed fruits and half an hour later I eat some warm meal, as much as I can: it came out it is impossible to eat more than 700-800kcal for me. Special benefit is plenty of time to go out, walk, swim: preparing meals and eating takes just too much time. I just found this article checking if somebody else is doing the same and feeling great. Best regards from Belgrade, Serbia!

    • charu 3 years ago

      I eat 2 meals a day now. I was used to 4 proper meals a day, with snacking in-between. But one day I took the decision to manage my kitchen entirely without help ( I am physically challenged, I am a doctor, I live by myself, and I live and work in India). My food intake just started dropping as any eating meant effort. I am very comfortable with 2 meals a day and would love to do one meal a day, but I have seen that I get increased bowel activity if I am without carbs.

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      I accidentally discovered it too Thaler. I had to work a late shift so I only had time to eat an afternoon meal. The greatest discoveries happen by chance! Thanks for your comment!

    • Thaler 3 years ago

      I accidentally started one meal a day after working out one morning and running out of time for breakfast. Grabbed a meal at the cafe: quiche and yogurt parfait, which were large servings, and noticed I was full the rest of the day because of the protein. So now I eat a large portion of protein, veg and fruit in the morning, brush my teeth and go. Saves a lot of headache planning meals and packing lunches, not to mention shopping, cooking, and washing up. Hope my teeth last longer too, because before, I would get hungry at lunch and splurge on pastries.

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      pierceh 3 years ago

      It's certainly interesting, and would save a lot of time and effort too. But I just love food far too much to limit myself to one meal. Even plain old toast for breakfast is a pleasure I wouldn't want to give up :-)

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks for your comment Jay! It's funny how people think you're starving yourself because they don't understand it. You're actually more satisfied at the end of the day than the average many meals eater.

    • jay 3 years ago

      I eat one meal per day not purposefully- it just happened (I started drinking coffee and not feeling hungry for breakfast, and I don't have a school lunch period.) I love how I have energy throughout the day, and then my big dinner is satisfying. I've tried switching back to three meals, but it's awful; I constantly feel starving, tired, and obsessed with food, and it worsens insomnia. But people think I'm crazy! Glad to see someone advocate 1 meal.

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      That's great Julie! It's true, the more you do something, the more you feel like doing it.

    • julie 3 years ago

      i just started doing 1 meal a day about 2 months ago because i would eat and eat hour after hour and never feel satisfied, after eating my one meal i feel well. The six meals a day just constantly keeps my mind on food which i hate. Everybody is different and different things work for different people.

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      "By the time your diet is over, you will have a different relationship with food and just won't want / need to eat as much." Very true StuartBr!!

      If you've adapted to taking in less food, you're not going to all the sudden feel like eating a ton once you've lost all the weight.

    • StuartBr 3 years ago

      Hallelujah! Some common sense at last. I am so bored of (well-meaning, no doubt) people commenting on this diet and that diet and how it is dangerous, loses weight too quickly, destroys the metabolism etc. It is NONSENSE, and slowly people are realising this. If you want to lose weight, eat as little as you are comfortable with and exercise as much as you can. Don't listen to the bores who say "you just put the weight back on" with this diet or the other diet. What you put back on depends on what you do AFTER the diet and nothing else, obviously! Slash your calories, fast loads, and you will lose appetite big-time, and loads of weight. By the time your diet is over, you will have a different relationship with food and just won't want / need to eat as much. So long as you keep off lots of artificially sweet food, you should not feel cravings and want to eat too much / too often, which is a recipe for life. Learn to keep donuts and chocolate as treats, ideally earned through exercise. It really is as simple as that. Don't listen to people who try to complicate it and scare us into thinking it isn't. Jeeeez! 'nuff said.

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      Your right Bill. I think some people are so worried about starving themselves that they force feed themselves because they think it's necessary! All it's doing is making people gain weight and become less productive in their lives.

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks for your input Mike! It really does work, and is not that hard to adapt to as some might think!

    • bill 3 years ago

      i have eaten 1 meal a day for the last 13 years, started when i was in the army, i also go regularly around 36 hours without food due to work schedule(i don't like food in my belly if i am expected to be productive)

      i run, and do other excercises, have never experienced low energy(unless i eat in the middle of the day) labs are great, and i am a healthy's surprising to read that this is a novel idea, or people find this strange; the human body is designed to go up to 3 days without food and not suffer any major harm................

    • Mike 3 years ago

      I have been eating 1 meal/day since January. Agree with all the benefits!

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      Foyjur Razzak 3 years ago from Dhaka

      Yogurt as well as other cultured dairy food which are great additions to your diet. These foods contain healthy bacteria which help to prevent candidiasis. Consuming meals like these increase your calcium intake and decrease bad bacteria in the body.

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      That's awesome! You definitely should do what works for you, but if you get stuck give the one meal a day plan a try!

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      Sarah11 3 years ago

      I'm intrigued by this idea. Tempted to try it out after reading what you said. However, I do stand by the many, small meals a day plan as well. I have been following that plan and have been able to successfully lose and keep off more than 30 pounds! So the 6 meals a day plan definitely does work as well!

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks for your comment! I agree, six meals is way too much!

    • cbarbar 3 years ago

      I think this is a good idea, especially if the meal you eat is a full course meal. Eating 6 meals seems a lot of me--I usually will eat 2 full meals and snack in between. This hub is great for rethinking how we should eat. Voted up!

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      Yes, it's definitely not for everyone but it has worked for me and a lot of others. Your body gets used to habits, so yes the first time you do it you will feel hungry. Just like a person who goes on a diet and reduces their calories will initially feel hungry because they're changing their habits. If your body is used to eating six times a day, that's what it'll expect. Just like a person who eats only one meal a day (or at one period a day) will eventually adapt. For a person who wants to try the one meal a day lifestyle, I would definitely suggest gradual changes. Thanks for your comment!

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      Erin Nichols 3 years ago from Montana

      To be honest, I think this is a crazy idea. We have been taught all our lives to eat at least three times per day, and for some people up to six. I personally do eat six times a day and if I don't I'm starving and all I can think about is food. When I finally eat, I will overindulge to the point of nausea. I think for some people this could be very helpful, and there are other people, like myself, who this would never work for. Very informative article.

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