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Top 4 Benefits of Eating One Meal a Day

Updated on October 27, 2016

One Meal A Day

Eating one meal a day can really help you achieve your weight loss goals and maintain your ideal weight. It’s not a starvation diet (you still eat your recommended calories for weight loss), you just eat during one time a day instead of throughout the day. While weight loss is one of the main benefits of this way of eating, there are many more. Here are the top four benefits you can receive from eating only one meal a day.

Benefit #1 – Weight Loss

The first benefit from choosing to eat one meal a day is weight loss. It’s easier to lose weight this way because when you do eat you feel full faster. Your stomach naturally shrinks when food is not being consumed, so if you don’t eat during the day and eat only at night, the size of your stomach is reduced so eating less becomes less of a challenge. You are also eating a large amount at one time, so you don’t feel deprived and you feel full. If your goal is to lose weight, monitoring your calories is easier when eating one meal, than when counting calories for six. Some may not even need to count calories. You will naturally feel full off of less food for the reasons above.

Benefit #2 – Increase Productivity and Energy

Another benefit from eating one meal a day is increased productivity and energy. When you are not focusing on when and what to eat all day long, you have more time to get things done. You may even feel compelled to become more productive especially in the beginning because it takes your mind off of food and eating. You will have more energy to get things done and more mental clarity. If you’ve ever been on a fast before or couldn’t eat for part of a day you might have noticed that you had more energy, and your mind was sharp. There are a lot of things in food such as sugar and carbs that can make people feel sluggish. Fasting for part of the day eliminates a lot of substances that slow the mind and body. Your energy also becomes freed up when it’s not being to constantly digest food.

Benefit #3 – More Satisfying Meals (Without the Weight Gain)

Eating more satisfying meals is also another benefit to the one meal a day lifestyle. It’s satisfying because you virtually get to eat whatever you want (within reason), and you get to feel full. On most diets what you can eat is limited. This is because you have to focus on eating smaller calorie meals, which means eating mostly low-calorie foods. This is to prevent overeating and to keep the calories down. You also have to watch the amount, as it’s easier to overeat when you are having multiple meals a day than with one. When you eat one meal a day, you get to eat a lot of calories at once so type of food is not as big of a problem, and because you will feel full faster, neither is the amount.

Benefit #4 – You Have More Control Over Your Weight

One of the last main benefits is that you have more control over your weight because it's easier to control how many calories you eat in a day. It’s easier to stick with a calorie amount because you only have one meal to work with, and being able to eat a lot of calories at once will prevent hunger from coercing you to eat more. Whether you want to lose or maintain weight, making adjustments to your calorie amount is a lot easier when you have more calories to work with, while still keeping nighttime hunger at bay.

There are plenty of other benefits from choosing to eat only one meal a day. Personally I’ve noticed that I sleep better, my skin is better, and I feel a lot happier. Any other benefits you’ve noticed? Comments are welcome!

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!

What Benefit Would You Consider Trying One Meal a Day For?

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© 2013 Michelle Barnes


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    • muj 3 years ago

      i have been doing the 1 meal a day diet courtesy of ramadan and i have already lost 6 kilos in around 2 weeks

      happy days

    • ric 3 years ago

      I have been doing it for several days and I love it...

      adventage numer 5: you rediscover what being hungry really means ;)

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      Thanks ric! I think after changing to one meal a day you realize that before you were eating out of habit, and not off of hunger.

    • Veronica 3 years ago

      I started eating only one meal a day in January 2012. I weighed 305 pounds. I have lost 127 pounds so far. The best part is I feel no deprivation at all. Love it!

    • grndzro 3 years ago

      The human body is not supposed to eat 3 square meals a day...that's why americans are in general overweight.

      It's all that processed crap food that triggers hunger pains.

      I do not eat anything GMO/gluten/yellow corn/HFCS/ and I only eat about 1K calories a day(if that).

      The 2000 calorie a day RDA was designed as a guideline for nutrition. As long as you take a very good multivitamin all you need to really concentrate on is getting enough sodium/potassium, and eating lots of complex carbohydrates(veggies/salads). Eat before bedtime and have some protein.

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      Congrats Veronica!

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      Good point grndzro. I think the 2000 calorie diet is more for nutritional needs than caloric needs. Many people need way less calories than that. I think people should focus on what their personal body needs, and not just what a generic guideline says you need.

    • Tamica 3 years ago

      I have began eating like this . Lost 22 lbs but still have about fifty to go as I am obese . I feel great and in control instead of being controlled by my old food addiction . I do have more clarity and as a result of this I also have better b/m also . Thanks for Sharing !

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      Michelle Barnes 3 years ago from USA

      That's great progress Tamica! Glad it has helped you!

    • Ree 2 years ago

      I am going to try this.

    • UltimateLife profile image

      Michelle Barnes 2 years ago from USA

      Great, let us know how it works for you!

    • Aneeta L 2 years ago

      hi i have done this befre nd it works!!i hd sme isses, unrelated and hd to quit, but im jumpin back onboard!

    • 2 years ago

      I LOVE one meal a day!! My SO has been doing it for about 18 years now and I have been off and on for years. Back at it again and now I do one meal a day but allow myself beer and wine freely on the weekends. I eat healthy and eliminated junk food/processed sugar, but did not eliminate any food groups (sugar, fat, carbs etc. all allowed as long as they come from wholesome/homemade sources). Into day 6 of a 30-day challenge to get me back on track and I have already lost a few pounds! Also, I love being able to eat a full meal with family/friends and don't have to worry about counting calories or limiting a food group. I plan to make this a permanent way of life.

    • Jibran Khan 2 years ago

      Is it okay to exercise (running) when eating one meal a day?

    • Tania 2 years ago

      I jog and never have any problems. Start out slowly and just read what you body is telling you.

    • Emylee 2 years ago

      I've been doing the one meal a day plan for a while. It sort of started out as me only eating twice a day, because I started not to like breakfast food as much. I started to drop weight. Then I started only eating once a day. I was eating a very big meal around 5 or 6 in the afternoon and nothing past 7. Now I have little of an appetite. But I do not feel deprived. I've went from 260 lbs. to 150 lbs. the people around me think I'm starving myself of course. But I believe that starvation is when you feel starved. I feel perfectly fine with my eating routine. And the people around me overeat, so compared to them it will look like I'm starving myself. I have tried many diets in the past, and always gained the weight back. But as of now I am maintaining my weight and I feel healthy, and don't feel like I'm on a diet. I can have whatever I want. I even have days I decide to have a little snack after my meal, and I'll wake up and will have lost a pound. I'd recommend this to anyone who can make it work.

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      Michelle Barnes 2 years ago from USA

      Yes Jibran Khan, you can workout on one meal a day. It's actually more beneficial to workout on an empty stomach, and then eat afterwards!

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      Michelle Barnes 2 years ago from USA

      Congrats Emylee and J!!

    • Charity 2 years ago

      I'm going to try the one meal per day starting 9/15/2014 and I currently weight 246 pound!

    • Charity 2 years ago

      I'm planning on starting the one meal per day starting on 9/15/2014 and I currently weight 246 pounds and a workout program also!

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      Michelle Barnes 2 years ago from USA

      Great Charity! Just be careful to stay within a health calorie amount.

    • Sid 2 years ago

      I'll tell you another benefit. You become acutely aware that you aren't getting your necessary nutrition eating several times a day because you see exactly what you are taking in for the day. I'm adding multivitamin and an Apple and vegetable snack around 6. Just for nutrition

    • amanda 22 months ago

      I lost nearly one and half stone. Doing one meal a day diet xxx

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      seigfried23 19 months ago

      I really think people should incorporate exercise into their daily life; it does much more for you than just burn calories. The problem is, you'd probably have to eat more than a meal a day to sustain a workout...

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      Michelle Barnes 18 months ago from USA

      That's awesome Amanda!

    • bradythome 16 months ago

      I am 19 years old as of right now. I've always been very athletic but as I got into 7th and 8th grade year I started to gain weight. Eventually, I was 225 as a sophomore. I went on this diet plan, and lost 50 pounds. I became the quarterback for my team my junior year and senior year and was all-state both years, but more importantly won the championship my senior year.

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      Michelle Barnes 16 months ago from USA

      That's awesome bradythome! It's so unfortunate how people do all these complicated things to lose weight, when it's really simple.

    • faith 12 months ago

      would this still work if I ate two small snacks during the day and a big meal at night? for example a sachet of porridge in the morning, apple in the afternoon and then my meal?

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      Bommakanti Madhurima 10 months ago from Eluru, Andhra Pradesh, India


      I am a diabetic patient, can I try this one meal a day.

    • Rahul kr singh 9 months ago

      I M going to start one meal a day from Tom . it will be definitely beneficial.

    • Donnalee 8 months ago

      I don't know if anyone is posting here anymore but I want to commit in writing. I'm starting tomorrow, 5-1-2016. The only thing I might do differently is allow myself some raw vegetables during the day...cucumbers, etc just for nutrition. But I'll have to see how that affects my appetite. It might be better to eat nothing at all. What happens oTo me on a regular diet is that eventually I want a slice of pizza or a hamburger or something good like that & then I break the diet. This way of eating should eliminate that problem. Good luck to anyone else who is in this time frame also!

    • Letsgoski2006 8 months ago

      I read about this diet a couple of months ago. They call it intermittent fasting. I started doing it and started losing but I was cheating on weekends and when I went on vacation I didn't do it. I started back two weeks ago. I will weigh again Friday and I can tell I lost. I work out at least three days a week with weights and mix cardio in. I'm working hard not to cheat on weekends now. I only drink coffee in the morning with a little half and half. I get a Starbucks skinny latte around 2pm. I have been eating a 100 calorie Greek Yogurt before working out, but do I really need to do that? I was thinking I need something in my body before working out. I'd rather just wait until I eat my one meal at dinner. I count my calories on My Fitness Pal and use a Jawbone fit bracelet which shows me approximately the amount of calories I've burned during the day. I try to eat less calories than I burn. We will see the results Friday since I stopped cheating during the day on weekends the last two weekends!

    • Jeremy 7 months ago

      This is a well written article Michelle. It's straight to the point with great information. You convinced me to get back on my OMAD plan.


    • ColtenI 7 months ago

      I have been eating one HUGE meal a day at dinner time only, right before bed. I have excelled at my job, have more energy, enhanced memory, and overall well being. I have been doing this for over a year now and am still in great health! I recommend to everybody. It does make eating a lot more enjoyable and tastey!

    • abby 7 months ago

      yeah i love this diet.

      i usually eat throughout the day, without a schedule but the other day i went out and only had time to eat supper, and i hadn't any breakfast

      . the one meal i had made me feel a lot more satisfied for less and i didn't feel the urge to snack because it was so easy not to eat anything during the day.

      the next day i tried it and didn't eat a thing until dinner. i felt great!

      i've been doing it ever since but am careful to eat a fruit before dinner and it reduces my meal and feel free to snack on some dark chocolate after dinner and just before

      i am now my ideal weight, healthier and feeling great!

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      Michelle Barnes 6 months ago from USA

      Thanks for your comments everyone! I'm glad it's working for you all!

      Faith - yes! A lot of times I will have something small in the morning, and have my big meal later on.

      Jeremy - thank-you!

    • Napa29 5 months ago

      Hi - I've stared one meal a day just yesterday and hope to commit for at least two months to give it a fair trial. I run every other morning, burning approx 600-900 Cals per run. I've chosen to make my meal window 430 to 730pm. I wake up at 0430am daily. I'm thinking of eating a small protein rich meal on the days I run right after I run. And then not eat till my eating window. Any thoughts on this plan?

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      Michelle Barnes 5 months ago from USA

      Napa29, I think your plan is great! If I do eat outside of my one meal, I try to make it something that is not processed with lots of protein. Not only will it ward off hunger, it will also not spark cravings.

    • B.D. Tom 2 months ago

      I have a nerve disorder which is caused by the nerve being inflamed. Doctors had me on drugs with bad side effects. Eating once a day has cured the problem and I am no longer using any medication.

    • Abe93304 2 months ago

      I'd like to do this program. I have LOTS of issues with food, unfortunately. I am trying this program today (08 November 2016). After reading this article this morning I just had a late lunch (3PM) of whatever I wanted, but made sure there were fresh and cooked vegetables involved. Unfortunately, I didn't watch my protein intake--but I'll be more careful tomorrow.

      I'm also giving up all sweets and desserts (my biggest food challenge). The single meal today was so filling (I did have quite a bit of bread with my salad and soup) I don't feel the typical urge to have dessert. My challenge will be skipping dinner and then just going to bed, but it's a bit easier for me than not eating ALL day until dinner.

      Anyway, I don't know if this is the right forum to find a virtual health partner, but would anyone like to commit to this with me through New Year's? I'd be a lot more motivated to stick to it if I knew someone I emailed periodically was also sticking to it--we could keep each other motivated.

    • Nick185 2 months ago

      Hey Abe93304, Lets do this! Started last week and feel great. started at 240 down to 232.. goal is 185. Im 5'11" and feel that would be a great target for me, let me know if you still are interested in keeping track with me so we can reach our goals and stay accountable!

    • Menen 8 weeks ago

      Started this yesterday 21 nov2016 tell u guys how it goes in a week after weighing

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      Adriana Gibson 6 weeks ago

      Hello! Today is my second day! will eat at 4pm every day. I'm doing this to lose weight. Should I count calories, carbs? Yesterday I had 1 1/2 cup brown rice, 2 chicken franks, 2 cups of only variety of lettuce, 1/2 cup of bran flakes mixed with 2 tablespoon of whipped cream and 1/4 cup of Atking vanilla drink. How did I do? Thanks you for your comments! I need s forum like this for support.

    • Natalie 6 weeks ago

      Hi. So I've been on this for two days now and I feel so good and really full at the moment cause I just had my meal of he day. The funny thing is this is usually a quarter of my meal pre-diet. Started from 140 down to 138, aiming for 120. Whoo hoo! I'm actually excited.

    • Jorge 5 weeks ago

      Great article!! Eating one meal a day is for smart people only.

    • Savi 3 weeks ago

      I've been doing this one meal thingy since last week but had to scrap it since it was Christmas and started back on it as of today. I feel great already, hopefully I can lose some 9 kg soon. I was 60 kg last year and now 69, can't stand the way I fit into skirts and pants, dresses look awful on me now. Imma gonna make this my 2017 new year's resolution :)

      Wish me luck ya'll!

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      Michelle Barnes 3 weeks ago from USA

      Good luck Savi! I think you'll be just fine. Once you get past the adapting period it will be so easy!

    • Guy 2 weeks ago

      Michelle, I just want to say you are beautiful.

    • 2 days ago

      You forgot that it lowers blood sugar for diabetics.

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