One Meal a Day: A Simple Diet That Works

by David

in Featured 2, Health & Fitness

Post image for One Meal a Day: A Simple Diet That Works

It works for me.

I lost 30 lbs when I tried it. I got down from 205 lbs to 175 lbs.

And then I set myself another challenge to lose the rest of the fat and get a flat stomach.

My lowest weight has been 170.4 lbs – but just before I took a break over summer (because of a change in my circumstances), I was steady at 174 lbs.

Over the 8 week break I regained 4 lbs and now I want to get back to the diet and continue towards my goal.

Much of the conventional diet wisdom would advise against it, but I’ve been dipping in and out of this diet for nearly a year and I am yet to see any ill effects. This is not a scientific study, it’s my personal experiment.

I want to prove to myself that it’s more important to get on with doing something than to spend days, weeks and months deliberating over the best, quickest and easiest method to lose weight.

I’ve kept it simple:

  • Create a calorie deficit by eating fewer calories than my body needs – which I do by skipping two meals.
  • Supplement that with moderate daily exercise – which I do by walking twice a day and doing push-ups.

This diet works for me, but it might not work for you.

We’re all different and without a doubt, genetics plays a part.

It’s crude. It’s unscientific. It’s sometimes slow. But it lets me eat the food I enjoy and fits nicely into family life.

Every evening at some time between 5 and 6pm we sit down at the dinner table as a family and eat a good meal together.

We eat meals based around the usual staples:  beef, pork, lamb, chicken, fish, pies, casseroles, pasta, potatoes, rice, pizza, bread, vegetables and fruit. We also eat cake, sweets, ice cream, chocolate, meringues, pastries or whatever happens to be for dessert.

I eat enough to feel full (sometimes too full) and then I don’t feel the urge to cheat later in the evening.

It’s usually a balanced meal so it’s nutritious and as such I don’t take any supplements at all.

I get through the day by drinking water, tea, coffee and if I feel very hungry or weak I’ll eat something, like an apple, a carrot or even a chocolate chip cookie.

My best results come from the days where I don’t snack at all, but sometimes it’s either not possible or not desirable to go without food so I just go with the flow.

I’m fond of the idea that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, so somewhere in the day I’ll usually eat an apple.

Yes it’s a guessing game and I could tweak it to count calories if I really wanted, but this is an experiment to see whether I can reach my goals in an unorthodox and frankly sub-optimal way. I believe I can.

Like I said, this is an experiment and it took a while to work out what works for me and what doesn’t.

What I discovered was that by far the biggest factor determining success is mindset and attitude.

The diet works if you work the diet, but if you give in to temptations and desires you won’t lose the weight…. and that goes for whatever diet you follow.

And if, when you fall off the wagon, you allow the dominant voice in your head the be the weak, defeatist voice, or the loud unsupportive and undermining voice, you’ll fail – unless you find a voice that better suits your needs.

For me the battle every day is the battle with my mind. Being able to see past the stresses, hassles and anguishes of daily life and stick to the eating plan. Some days I don’t manage it, but I keep trying.

It’s a game of averages. Some days you win and some days you lose, but if you win slightly more than you lose, then over time, you will lose the weight.

So whilst I have had success with this diet, I have also had failures and generally I can attribute the failures to the times when I’ve lost the battle in my mind, when I’ve been weak, stressed, sick, tired, harrassed.

I’m ready to try again!

After my long summer break I feel rejuvenated, and ready to tackle the next stage of my weight loss and finally achieve my goal of getting a flat stomach.

I’ll use this post to document my efforts and I’ll post some progress pictures too.

I’m male, 43 years old, 6ft tall.

This was me at my heaviest: 205lbs

205 lbs and overweight

This was me at my lightest: 170.4 lbs

 

1st to 4th Sept (178 lbs)

I’ve spent the last four days easing myself back into the eating plan. I’ve cut back the amount of food I eat and stopped eating some of the junkier junk food. I’ve been eating two meals a day on 1st, 2nd and 3rd and reverted back to one meal on the 4th.

 

Wednesday 5th September – 177.6 lbs

Yesterday was my first ‘official’ day sticking to the eating plan and I’m glad to say I stuck to it rigidly. That tends to be typical of my first day back and comes from finding the drive and energy from the deep intent I’ve been forming in the days leading up to it.

Today though I’ve been very hungry during the morning but I’ve managed to hold out by drinking more and eating an apple around lunchtime.

Chili for dinner with a big lump of bread. Fantastic! Two scoops of vanilla ice cream for pudding.

 

Thursday 6th September – 177.2 lbs

I was hungry yesterday morning but I don’t feel that way today. I do find myself wandering over to the cupboards and reaching for snacks before snapping out of the trance and retreating quickly. It’s habit!

We had pizza for dinner. I love pizza but it causes me a few problems with the diet. I’m not a good judge of the calorie content of pizza so I either eat too little and feel hungry, or eat too much and don’t create a calorie deficit for the day.

I finished with apple pie and cream for dessert.

 

Friday 7th September – 176.8

Now that the children are back at school it is so much easier to stick to the eating plan. And I mean by a wide margin.

My children are good kids. They’re mostly well behaved but when they’re around all day it’s tiring – and when I get tired or agitated by bad behaviour I have to fight hard not to comfort eat and it’s tough sometimes to find the strength to stick to the plan.

Pork casserole with potatoes and carrots. Raspberries, meringue and cream.

Saturday 8th September – 176.4 lbs

Today should have been a day off for me – a cheat day, but I ended up eating just one meal and getting by throughout the day eating an apple, a peach and a pear.

The children were home from school today and they were a handful but I didn’t rush to get a fix of chocolate or eat half a loaf of buttered bread.

Chicken pie, mashed potatoes and sweetcorn. Homemade chocolate cake (a gift from our lovely neighbour).

 

Sunday 9th September – 176.2 lbs

Today was not so good with the eating plan. I tried to stick to it but found myself snacking. Our plans for the day were altered and we visited friends. It’s hard to turn down other people’s hospitality, so I’m glad that I had a day in the bank from Saturday.

Meatballs in tomato sauce with spaghetti and soda bread. Ice cream for dessert.

 

Monday 10th September – 176.4 lbs

The kids are at school and it’s amazing how being in a routine helps with sticking to the eating plan.

Over the summer I got out of the habit of doing 100 push ups a day, so today I started that practice again now that I have a routine to work around.

Leftovers for dinner today. I had the chicken pie but I could also have had the meatballs. In fact I very nearly did, but I stopped myself because I knew I would be eating dessert (that’s definitely one of the benefits of this diet).

And what was the dessert? Fairy cakes with buttercream icing <— I’ll pay for that!

 

Tuesday 11th september – 176.6 lbs

I told you I’d pay for the fairy cakes! In truth though I have no idea how much of a part the cakes played in the scale weight. There are far too many factors to consider. Again though it’s a good reminder that the scale weight is only an indicator. I’m not going to worry about the increase in weight I’m just going to stick to the plan.

Chicken curry and white rice with pappadums. More of the neighbour’s chocolate cake!

 

Wednesday Sept 12th – 175.6lbs

That’s a great result. Having completed a full week on the eating plan I’m down 2lbs.

2 lbs is my target for weight loss each week.

Battered cod, mashed potatoes, mushy peas for dinner with blackberry and apple crumble with cream to finish.

 

Thursday 13th September – 175.8 lbs

My chest is tight and sore today. It’s amazing how taking only eight weeks off from the push ups has undone the earlier work. I’ve definitely lost some of the muscle too. Keep in mind that during June I did 10,000 push ups which often meant I was doing 300 to 500 push ups a day, and now I’m struggling to do 100 a day!

For dinner I had shepherds pie with carrots, peas, and couscous stuffed peppers. Followed by the last of the blackberry and apple crumble with a scoop of ice cream.

 

Friday 14th September – 175.8 lbs

I looked back over some of the photo’s I’ve been taking to chart my progress and when I look at the photo (above) of me at 170.4 lbs I start to feel excited at the prospect of moving into the 160 lb range and that’s my next goal: to see 169 lbs on the scale.

I took another progress picture today but my phone camera seems to be getting worse.

I’m going to take my weekly progress pictures on Saturday from now on because taking them on Friday m0rning seems to flip a switch to say that I’m done for the week and I can relax a little.

I did a great job today with the eating plan until around 2pm when inexplicably I ate some cake – it wasn’t even good cake! Since then I have to be honest and say I’ve been a little bit greedy. I ate more than I needed to for dinner and had two desserts! That’s just silly. A rookie mistake. But all you can do it get back to the eating plan and let it wash over you.

Dinner today, chicken and mushroom casserole with potatoes and broccoli. Followed by a choux bun (half of which was stolen by my children) and a Magnum ice cream lolly.

 

Saturday 15th September – 174.4 lbs

This is the first real test of my day off / cheat day. Saturday is usually the day where I eat what I want, when I want.

Having spent all week denying myself it’s good to have a day when nothing is out of the question.

I accept that this day sets me back and slows down my diet, but it’s also the thing that kept me going in the very early stages when I first started dieting using this approach.

These days Saturday is not quite the all-in-binge that it used to be. I’ve developed better habits over the last year and tend to treat this as a 2 meal day.

I’m still susceptible to overdoing it. Depends what’s going on in my life and how stressed I feel – and that can change on any given day.

So having had hot dogs, french fries and a chocolate bar for lunch I just need to be careful that I stop eating until my main meal.

I’m going to do that by throwing myself into work. There’s a mountain of ironing in my kitchen and I’m going to conquer it!

Dinner: Chilli, rice, bread. Followed by apple sponge and cream.

 

Sunday 16th September – 175 lbs

It was a tough day today. It was very busy on the family front with lots of car journeys to ferry various children to various activities. To cap it all, for some reason, all four children have been particularly challenging today and it’s left me feeling drained. Right now it would be so easy to forget the diet and eat the stress away, but I know all too well that whatever satisfaction I got from it would be short lived and I’d be filled with regret and anger that I’d busted my diet.

So I’m going to have a large mug of milky sweet coffee. It’s a compromise, but it’s the best I’m willing to do today.

Lunch: Home made pizza (made by me and it was horrible!).

Dinner: Chicken pie made with the left-overs from the chicken casserole. Baked potato, peas and sweetcorn. Apple sponge and cream for dessert.

They were two pretty big meals and maybe I ate too much, but that’s part of deal at the weekend.

I’m now looking forward to Monday – always my favourite diet day!

 

Monday 17 September 2012 – 177.2 lbs

177.2!! Wow!

Actually that’s mock shock. The high number kind of goes with the territory. If you have a free day on Saturday and two meals on Sunday, it’s to be expected that you won’t see a flattering number on Monday.

It can be terrifying to see that you’ve gained over 2 pounds in two days, which in turn can lead to you taking drastic action and seriously under-eating to compensate, but that’s a bad move.

It’s better to get back to the eating plan and put in a good week.

So how do I account for the extra weight? Bloat. Processed and partly processed food in the intestines, along with an element of water retention. In other words, I’m full of it.

Of course, if I managed to eat an additional 3500 calories over the weekend, on top of the 2000-2500 calories per day that my body needs just to maintain my weight, then maybe I’ve put on a pound of fat.

We’ll see!!

Snacks: 2 Apples and half a pear.

Dinner: Toad in the hole, mashed potatoes, broccoli. Bread. Ice cream cone.

 

Tuesday 18th September 2012 – 174.4

It’s about 2pm here in the UK and I am particularly hungry. Temptation is all around, but I’m going to hold out. I know from previous experience that if I can hold out until 2.30 I can make it to 5pm.

Here’s the thing: I already ate an apple around midday so I know I’ve had at least something to keep me going. I don’t feel weak, I don’t feel faint, I just feel hungry and need to overcome the temptation to eat more.

I need to keep in mind that I’ll be eating a great meal in just a few hours and that I’ll feel full for the rest of the evening.

If I can get to 2.30, there’s a great chance I can put in another great day on the diet, lose more weight and continue to feel good about what I’m achieving – and that’s a big deal because it positively benefits so many other aspects of my life.

If I can get to 2.30, I’ll make it until 5 and I can chalk it up as another success.

Made it! Dinner: Chicken Kiev, potatoes, green beans, broccoli. Deesert: Apple pie and ice cream.

 

Wednesday 19th September – 173.6 lbs

It’s good to see 173 on the readout again. It’s been a while. I know my weight jumps around a bit but I’ve been back on the diet long enough to see the trend developing, and it’s encouraging. Seeing 173 makes me believe that I can start to close in on the 160lb range in maybe only a week or two. That’s an exciting prospect because I don’t remember ever being there.

Another hungry day today, but I’ve made it past 2.30 pm with only a mug of tea and a couple of glasses of water. No apple so far today, but I will eat one as part of my main meal.

I think one reason I’ve been able to hold out today is I know what I’m having for dinner. Curry! That’s a meal worth holding out for.

Dinner: Chicken Korma, Basmati rice, papadums. Ice cream and raisins.

I didn’t get it right today. I was too stubborn about holding out. I should have eaten a snack (probably the apple that I never got around to eating). Some of the signs were there but I ignored them. By time it got to 3.30 I started to feel grotty and had a headache developing but by that time I was collecting one son early from school and then rushing on to collect the other 3 from their school to get to a dentist appointment in the neighboring town. I didn’t feel weak or faint, just sub-par.

But that’s just the way it is sometimes. Trial and error.

It was still a good day though. I stuck the eating plan and didn;t waste the opportunity to make the day count.

 

Thursday 20th September – 173.8 lbs

Today was a good day, even though I didn’t stick rigidly to the plan. As I was making the kid’s lunches this morning I grated cheese for the sandwiches and had a small lump left over… so I ate it.

I ate an apple around 10.30 and then another around 1.30.

I think the hunger I’m feeling earlier in the day is as a result of the push-ups I’ve been doing. I’m back to doing 100 a day (because I enjoy it and the it makes me feel good) and I do them mid-morning. I’ve also started throwing in 10 chin-ups. It’s not a massive burden but maybe it’s enough to ramp up the hunger?

Dinner: Left-over curry (from yesterday’s meal) and chips (fries). Ice cream.

Ouch! Dinner was definitely NOT balanced today. Yesterday’s curry included lots of vegetables, but I didn’t include any today.

Not to worry, it evens itself out over time.

If you freak out over every element of your diet every day you’ll go insane.

My task for the day was to eat fewer calories than my body needs and I’m confident I did that. It was perhaps an ugly way to do it – but boy was it tasty! Tomorrow I’ll make better choices.

 

Friday 21st September – 173 lbs

For the briefest of moments the scale read 172.8 before flashing 173. That was a nice moment!

I’m heading in the right direction and I’m hopeful that I may get to see 169 on the scale in maybe ten days time.

I’ve been thinking about why I’ve recently been feeling hungrier in the mornings than I have done during earlier phases of the diet. A question asked by regular reader and contributor, 100 plus, helped me find the likely answer.

As part of my response I mentioned that started getting up at 5am every day… and then it hit me that I’d added an extra 2 waking hours to the start of the day. The hunger pangs I’d usually feel around lunch time have been hitting me from 10am onwards!

Dinner: Pork casserole (with lots of vegetsbles), potatoes. A bowl of ice cream with chocolate grated on top.

 

Saturday 22nd September – 173.4 lbs

Lunch: Ham sandwich with crisps. (Stuff the children left after their lunch)

Dinner: Sweet and sour chicken, chicken and cashew nuts, egg fried rice, spring rolls, prawn crackers. After: Ice cream (again!).

 

Sunday 23rd September – 175.4 lbs

Today was the day that some fool brought chocolate covered doughnuts (donuts) into the house. Sadly that fool was me!

Lunch: french bread, butter and cheese. Chocolate.

Snack: Doughnut.

Dinner: Steak and onion pie, buttered potatoes, carrots, peas, gravy, bread. Dessert (I’m scared to reveal it, but here goes… ) another doughnut AND… and Ice cream.

I blew it today! Completely busted the eating plan.

 

Monday 24th September – 174.4 lbs

Yesterday was far from ideal because I was nowhere near to sticking to my eating plan. Sunday is supposed to be lunch and dinner only. No snacking.

I can honestly tell you that I’m not bothered by it. I don’t feel I’ve undone the work of the previous week and I don’t see it as a failure or a setback.

It was a minor deviation from the plan and a very tasty one too. I did it consciously and deliberately. I smiled and enjoyed the moment.

Last week was a great week for the diet and this week will also be a good one. Weekdays are work days, days to achieve things and make sacrifices. By the time Friday rolls around I’m aiming to have lost another 2 lbs.

Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese (made with chunky veg), crusty bread. Dessert: Banana sponge with custard.

Wishing you all a good week on your own diets!

 

Tuesday 25th September – 172.4

Snack: a giant tangerine (2pm)

Dinner: Slow cooked chicken chasseur, carrots, courgettes, mashed potatoes. Dessert: Tapioca pudding.

 

Wednesday 26th September – 171.4

Yesterday was busy. I’m preparing to return to work next week so there’s a lot to arrange and I’ve got a great deal on my mind.

I’m sure that in the not too distant past I would have coped by eating, but not this time. This time I’d prepared the evening meal in advance and all I needed to do was to throw it in the oven and let slow cook all day.

I didn’t have to make any decisions about what to eat and when. I didn’t have to bargain with myself over portion sizes and worry that maybe I’d eaten too much.

At 2pm I felt that I needed to eat something, and as this diet isn’t about starving or being reckless, I ate a great big juicy giant tangerine.

The scale weight today 171.4 puts me within 1lb of my lowest weight on this diet, 170.4 lbs, so I’m looking forward to seeing 169lbs towards the end of next week. Of course there are no guarantees, but it gives me something to aim for and it motivates me to stick to the eating plan.

Dinner: Beef stew and dumplings, carrots, courgettes, butternut squash, peas, sweetcorn with mashed potatoes. Dessert: Blackberry and Apple crumble with cream.

And an apple (I haven’t eaten one for a couple of days!)

I think blackberries are going to feature quite a lot in my diet. My mother-in-law picked 16 pounds of them last week and now they’re all in my freezer. Delicious (and free – gotta love that).

 

Thursday 27th September – 140.8  170.8 lbs

Edit: For almost the entire day I weighed 140.8 lbs. But late evening as I sit down to write this I’m back to 170.8.

Typing is not my strong suit!

I was offered a bacon sandwich today for lunch but I turned it down. I had to wrestle with the decision for a few seconds but I reminded myself it’s a weekday and the sandwich didn’t fit with the plan. I told myself that if I really wanted one I could have one at the weekend.

Knowing that I can eat that sort of food (but not all the time) makes a big difference. I don’t feel I’m missing out and it tends to keep me honest during the week.

Snack: Apple (11.30)

Dinner: Beef and onion pie with potatoes, broccoli, roasted onions, roasted butternut squash, roasted sweet potato. Dessert: blackberry and apple crumble with cream.

 

Friday 28th September – 170.4 lbs

I know that the scale is a dirty rotten liar, but all the same, it’s nice to see 170.4 on the readout this morning. The lightest I’ve been on this diet is 170.4 and I got there just before the summer… and then I took a break.

I got back up to 178 lbs and I’ve spent September undoing my two months of relaxed eating.

With October just days away, I have the opportunity to put in another good month and see how close that takes me to my goal of a flat stomach.

The coming weekend is a weekend of celebrations and social commitments so I need to be careful and avoid being reckless.

Have a great weekend!  (I’ll be back later to update my meal)

Dinner: Fish cakes with stilton and leak sauce, chips, peas. Dessert: Birthday cake and a few chocolates.

 

Saturday 29th September – 170.4

This is what I love about this diet… if you’d seen me today you wouldn’t believe I’m on a diet and you’d be scratching your head wondering how I’ve lost weight.

And if  you’d spent months busting your hump on some very restrictive diet that also requires you to hit the gym five times a week, you might even be a little mad at me.

Today, being a Saturday, is a free day (or cheat day) so I can eat anything I want.

I don’t usually use it as an excuse to be glutton, or to indulge poor choices, I just go with the flow.

Snack: 5 marshmallows.

Lunch: Toasted wrap bread with cheese, crisps, a chocolate bar.

Dinner: Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, carrots, peas, broccoli. Dessert: 2 birthday cupcakes.

Snack: A generous bowl of ice cream.

Snack: Cherry flavoured laces (I stole the children’s sweeties!)

Snack: Apple

I know it seems crazy for me to do this when I’m so close to reaching my goal, but somehow it seems to help.

Even so, I still had to argue with myself to make sure I ate lunch today. And I did think twice about eating the bowl of ice cream.

 

Sunday 30th September – 171.6

My weight is up today but that’s the way it works. It’s easy to be freaked out by this but after a couple of days it drops back down again (once the bloat is gone).

Lunch: chicken nuggets and fries

Dinner: Roast pork, potatoes, carrots. Dessert: Birthday cake.

 

Monday 1st October – 171 lbs

I got it wrong today.

Today was my first day back at work. I was up early, as I usually am these days, and got the children ready for school. I prepared the evening meal and threw it into the oven to slow cook… then went off the work.

I thought it would be easy to last out until 5pm, as it’s something I’ve managed time and time again, so I didn’t even take a snack in with me. I wish I had.

I wasn’t nervous or anxious about my first day but I hadn’t taken any account of how mentally draining it would be. I’ve been out of the workplace for nearly five years, so fo course, it was a steep learning curve.

As calm and collected as I was, meeting lots of new people and learning lots of new things is bound to create a certain amount of pressure.

By the time 4pm came I had a bad headache (bad enough to give me toothache), I was dehydrated (I forgot to drink… if you can believe that) and I felt very hungry but too unwell to eat.

I got home, took some painkillers and went out to walk the dogs. By the time I got back my headache was gone, but I knew I’d got it wrong today.

I should have taken some fruit to snack on and I should have taken some bottled water.

I won’t make the same mistake tomorrow!

Dinner: Chili-con-carne, rice, bread. Dessert: Apple pie and cream.

 

Tuesday 2nd October – 170.4

Today I went to work armed with apples and water. I wasn’t even aware of being hungry today until around 430pm when I got home from work. I went straight back out the door to walk the dogs and eventually sat down to eat at 5.30.

Dinner: Sausage casserole, crushed buttered potatoes, carrots, broccoli. Dessert: Rice pudding.

Here’s the thing though… I might have taken the water to work, but I didn’t drink it. Neither did I drink any tea or coffee.

I mention this because I had a strong desire to over-eat at dinner. I wonder whether thirst was driving that desire?

 

Wednesday 3rd October – 170.8 lbs

Dinner: Pizza with salad. Dessert: Apple pie and cream.

 

Thursday 4th October – 169.4 lbs

I cannot tell you how pleased I am to see 169.4.

I don’t ever recall being in the 160lb range. Obviously I must have been there at some point in my life but not as an adult.

This is new territory for me.

Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese, grated Parmesan, freshly baked bread. Followed by: Trifle (I could easily have done without this and this evening, I wish I had).

 

Friday 5th October – 169 lbs

Dinner: Beef stew, carrots, peas, dumplings, potatoes. Soda bread. Dessert: Lemon mousse.

Today marks the end of my first week back in full time employment after nearly 5 years at home with the children.

The changes to my routine haven’t prevented me from sticking to my eating plan.

In fact, being able to work through my lunch break has been a benefit.

I’m so pleased that for 2 days in a row the scale has shown 169, because psychologically I feel that I’ve broken through a barrier and now I’m really starting to believe I can achieve my goal.

 

Saturday 6th October – 169 lbs

What a great week! Even though my I returned to full-time employment this week after nearly five years at home with the children, I still managed to lose some fat.

The return has gone smoothly, but even so, it’s still a stressful experience and sometimes it was tempting to forget about the diet and concentrate on the job. That would have been so easy to do, but I’m glad I didn’t.

Although I’ve been aiming to lose around lbs per week, I only managed 1.4 this week, and that’s probably because I only walked once a day instead of twice, and… I ate more for my evening meals.

And when I say only 1.4 lbs, that’s still a good result. After all, I made a conscious decision to eat more in the evening so slower progress is to be expected.

Lunch: Pea and ham soup with bread.

Dinner: Roast chicken, sage and onion stuffing, boiled potatoes, carrots, peas. Followed by: Home-made cheesecake.

Snack: Chocolate.

Snack: Popcorn.

Sunday 7th October – Didn’t weigh

Lunch: Hot Dogs and cheesecake

Dinner: Chicken and vegetable curry, white rice, pappadums, freshly baked bread. Dessert: Cheesecake (It was too good to waste!)

Monday 8th October – 171.4 lbs

One problem I’m finding with being back at work is that I don’t drink nearly as much fluid as I’d like. While I was home with the kids I’d drink a hot tea or coffee (or just plain old water) to take the edge off my hunger. I can’t do that so easily now and that’s partly because filling up with fluid requires that at some point you need to empty and my job is such it’s not always convenient to make regular trips to the loo.

Dinner: Spaghetti bolognese, grated cheese, bread.

I know I had this meal recently but sometimes convenience wins out. Spag bol is easy and quick to make and we had all the right ingredients, so we had it again. I didn’t have a dessert today and that’s to compensate for the quantity of cheesecake I ate over the weekend.

 

Tuesday 9th October – Did not weigh

Snack: Apple

Dinner: Quiche, mashed potatoes, broccoli. Dessert Cupcake

 

UPDATE: What happened next?

I went missing in action again.

Going back to work took a bigger toll on me than I had imagined it would.

Work and home-life had to come first and I drifted away from the diet. That’s not to say I stopped completely but I went back to maintenance mode (which is pretty boring to write about, so I didn’t).

I’m at it again and I’m down to 169.2 lbs, which is where I left off here.

I’ve moved the whole one meal a day thing over to a site dedicated to it.

The site is called 1MADdiet.com

and my latest diet challenge starts on this page.

See you there.


{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Midlife Singlemum September 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm

I’m thinking that this plan could be a good way to get through the next three weeks for me as it is Jewish Holidays time. Every festival day involves a holiday meal with friends or family. It’s a dieting nightmare but if I just eat the one meal and nothing else it could be ok. Looking forward to seeing your results each week.

Reply

David September 14, 2012 at 9:47 pm

Sounds like a very tricky time for dieters! Or a fantastic time for food lovers?! 🙂
Good luck getting through it.

Reply

bri September 19, 2012 at 9:28 am

if i weigh 146 pounds how long do you think it would take roughly to lose 11 pounds ??

Reply

David September 19, 2012 at 10:07 am

Bri, there are too many factors to give you an accurate answer, but I can tell you that I lost 9lbs in 4 weeks and I wrote about it here. The four weeks I chose was over Christmas, so I might have lost more had I stuck more rigidly to my eating plan. Aiming for a 2lb loss per week seems like a sensible target, so maybe you could do it in 5 weeks?
Hope that helps! 🙂

Reply

Bubbles September 19, 2012 at 9:55 am

David
I came to you because I was already on one meal a day. I needed someone to help justify this strange lifestyle and support LOL!
But I have had a look at your other posts.
Great site. Thank you and well done.

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David September 19, 2012 at 10:18 am

Bubbles, definitely it helps to talk to someone else who’s brave (or stupid 🙂 ) enough to try it themselves, because so many people want to shout it down, and after a while it starts to undermine your confidence. Which is pretty much why I didn’t tell a single soul I was doing it, I just did it. Since I went public with it, quite a few people have written to tell me that the diet will never work, that I can’t eat bread and lose weight, that I’ll break my metabolism, that I’ll get diabetes, that my children will hate me. I don’t know, maybe all those things are true, but the evidence of my own experience is telling me a different story. Maybe I’m just weird, or maybe I’m just the same as everyone else? Who knows! LOL.

Thanks for the kind words. The site is a long term project for me so it will take a while for me to build it out to meet the potential and the promise, but I’ll keep plugging away! 🙂

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Bubbles September 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I think there are many many dieting lies out there. Remember when we were all supposed to give up fats and sugar and carbs became the foundation of our diets, contrary to the dieting advice of 50’s n(give up bread and potatoes)

Mmmm…something strange about that. I don’t believe anything I read any more. The metabolism thing cracks me up. Eat constantly so your body has to keep working – yes, working at metabolising the many calories of food, not your fat!

I firmly believe this is the way we were meant to eat to keep lean. Science will catch up eventually.

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Bubbles September 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I mean starchy grain carbs.

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David September 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I think you’re right. I think the body is amazing that it can use such a wide variety of foods from which to take energy. I’m absolutely certain that there’s an optimal diet but I also suspect that a sub-optimal intake isn’t nearly as detrimental as some would suggest.

Better a slightly sub-optimal diet that I can stick to than a highly tweaked diet that I can’t wait to ditch.

This time last year I was not in good shape. I felt lethargic and didn’t feel great about myself. One year on I feel fantastic, full of energy and I’m enjoying life. People I haven’t seen for a while notice immediately – it’s great and it benefits me in many other ways too. 🙂

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alison September 20, 2012 at 6:52 pm

I was curious about one meal a day too. Fast-5 Life diet free book by Beri W. Herring, M.D. lets you fast 19 hours and you eat every day in a five-hour window, say 3-8 or 1-6 or 5-10. It does work and you lose inches. It is also very healthy because this way of eating is getting your glucose very low. You can fit two meals a day into this five hour period if you like.

I also heard of the general that eats one meal a day too and he looks good and in very good shape.

Americans, let’s face it eat too much.

On this diet it doesn’t matter if you exercise or not.

Also you have to read Michael Aziz, M.D. book too. He teaches you to eat whole foods and no low carb or low fat foods. Eggs, butter, poultry, oatmeal, oranges, cruciferous vegetables, olive oil, salmon, and milk are all good for you. Throw away the 1% milk and tub butter and eat organic fruits and vegetables. Sugar is not good for you. Your meal should consist of 40% fat (avocados, butter, nuts, olive oil, macadamia oil and palm oil), 40% carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables) 20% protein (fish, poultry, eggs and red meat twice a month).

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David September 20, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Hi Alison, thanks for the info 🙂

I haven’t read much at all about fasting. I’ve heard bits and bobs from various sources, but reasoned that if I took the time to fully research I might never have started. One problem that I found from previous attempts to lose fat is that there are a lot of contradictory reports and studies, and it’s easy to get lost in ever decreasing circles.

I have no doubt at all that other diets work splendidly well, but I really wanted to try this method.

I know it sounds odd, but I’ll research the diet after I’ve finished and find out why it worked (or maybe why it didn’t).

If you haven’t already, then maybe have a look at this post I wrote a few months ago, it explains my rationale a lot better.

Thanks for letting me know about the books 🙂

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100 plus September 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Hi david
Glad my question / your answer helped you figure out why youve been
getting hungry earlier because youve been waking up earlier:).Anyway
i havent mentioned my progress because there hasnt been any.Im preety
much in limbo not gaining and not losing,Imtaking your advice and reflecting on what worked for me and what didnt when i was doing the one meal a day diet.

Iam trying to put together what i call my survival list of acceptable snacks/liquids i can have during the day until my one and only main meal
which will take up the bulk of my calories with a dessert included,not everynite but most nights.I also plan to follow this 7 days a week.
I do like what a prior reader said she did in the mornings was to make a
smoothie for breakfast ,have some tea thru out the day then a nice dinner in the evening and perhaps some dessert…
With the holidays fast approching for me is not a good time to start my plan once again so i am gearing up for after the new year’s to start.It will also be interesting to see what results i get from january -december im hoping to drop at least 50 lbs:) Which me luck i know i will need it and of course like u always say i will let you know how im getting on(must be a british quote as compared to us americans)ha ha …………….

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David September 22, 2012 at 10:14 am

Hi 100 plus,

You’re absolutely right! Reflecting on what works and what doesn’t is a great thing to do. And creating a list of acceptable snacks is a fantastic idea!

I have an example that hits both of those. Over the summer I experimented with various snacks. For a few weeks I tried eating nuts and raisins. Very tasty, but DISASTROUS for my diet.

I’m sure nuts are great for nutrition but they contain lots quite a few calories too. My problem is that they’re moreish. One handful sends me straight back to get another handful. Far better for me to eat an apple – it’s rare that I make a second trip to the fruit bowl for another apple.

I too liked the idea of a smoothie! I’m all for doing whatever works.

The one meal a day thing tends to suggest to people that you can only eat once a day, but that’s really not the case. I think it’s better to eat just one main meal BUT eat small snacks two or three times a day instead of meals… which unless I’ve misunderstood you is pretty much what you’re planning to do. And it sounds like a good lifestyle. 🙂

Just checking… are you saying you’re not going to start until January? Did I read that wrong?

Oh, and well done on maintaining – that’s a big deal because it means you’re eating at or around your maintenance calories! Great stuff!! 🙂

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100 plus September 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm

HI david
Thanks for your reply and feedback as always.
I plan on eating one main meal a day (much like your menu )nothing off limits just well rounded containing a starch a protein and vegetables/salads.Perhaps a dessert if available at least most evenings.
And during the day i might start my mornings with a smoothie made from fresh blueberries.skim milk,ice and tsp of sugar and vanilla xtract.
If i get bored w the smoothie i might change on other days and have some fruit w a good chunk of cheese maybe a few crackers.
I plan on doing this from january-december w a goal of losing 50lbs ,walking everyday for exercise.
When i did the plan in june i lost about 12lbs in that month .That is when i found your blog and ive been getting encouragement from it since.THIS IS THE ONLY PLAN THAT HAS EVER WORKED FOR ME…..
Its a dieters dream if you ask me.

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David September 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm

That sounds really good. I like a nice piece of cheese with some fruit.

It sounds like a really good way to go because you’ll be eating just enough to take the hunger off and see you through until dinner.

Great stuff! 🙂

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Michael September 27, 2012 at 10:46 am

Thanks for the encouraging information. I am embarking on your strategy of losing weight and hope to have some good results in six weeks. At least, in six weeks I should see a nice difference on the scales!! haha A positive difference that will keep me determined to lose the excess weight then treat myself to a new wardrobe!! Thanks

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David September 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Hi Michael, six weeks is a good period of time over which you will doubtless see some changes. Every small success you have will accumulate and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to achieving your goal and feeling fantastic.

A new wardrobe is a great motivator.

Looking forward to hearing how you do!

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Beverly September 29, 2012 at 11:31 am

I just started the one meal a day plan actually on my own but just saw your blog. So far it has worked great for me! I still work full time at 66 so during the week I have a lattee or cappuccino when I get up; mid morning I have another coffee with creamer. I usually eat a yo plait Greek yogurt for lunch and sometimes a string cheese. Sometimes just one or both. Mid afternoon I might have a hot tea and then regular meal in the early evening. Is working great for me. I’ve been doing it for 4 weeks and I’m down 4 pounds. On the weekends I splurge and have two meals. A late breakfast with my husband around 11:00 to 12:00 and then dinner. I started doing this after I remembered when I was younger and thinner I never ate breakfast and very little for lunch and regular meal at night. I only have about 10 more pounds to go but this will help me get there. I was happy to see it was working for others as well!!

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David September 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Hi Beverly,
It sounds very much like you’ve taken this on as a lifestyle. You certainly paint a great picture.

4lbs in 4 weeks is great. And with only another 10 to go, you’ll be there before you know it.

As you say, it’s always great to hear that other people are making this work, so thanks for joining in the conversation and letting us know. Please keep us posted about your progress! 🙂

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Total Foodie October 3, 2012 at 12:14 am

Hi David,
I find your blog very inspiring and having done a lot of research myself, I can never seem to shift any weight no matter what I do. The whole eat 6 meals and exercising constantly does not work! I was so desperate that I went and had a couple of personal training sessions only to be told that I’m already super fit and that THE ONLY WAY to lose a couple of kilos would be to eat like a rabbit. Not possible and that would never work in the long run. I’m not an overweight person but I consider myself a a little chubby for an Asian girl and have always found in amazingly difficult to shift kilos no matter how much exercise I do. The only time I recall I could shift kilos was when I had broken up with my ex bf. I found that I could lose weight very easily as I couldn’t eat much(due to feeling emotionally depressed etc) and was only eating a snack in the afternoon and a meal at night – which is what you are doing (it makes total sense).

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David October 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Hi Total Foodie,
I felt the same kind of frustrations with the six meal diet. It wasn’t so much that the diet wouldn’t work for me but more that I couldn’t work the diet.

I’m glad that you’ve made the connection to another time in your life when you were able to lose a few kilos. It helps you to feel confident that you’ve done it before, so you can do it again.

Please let us know how it works out for you.

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sonam October 5, 2012 at 6:03 am

very happy for u.keep it up.

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David October 5, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Hi sonam! Thank you! 🙂

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Jack October 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I started this last monday but yesterday I tried to eat normally but it’s like if my stomach was small now. I was full after eating a tuna sandwich. Which is good… I guess. Anyway, it seems to be working for me too. I lost about 3 pounds in 5 days which is good but I just hope I do it the right way. I try to eat vegetables on dinner but I can’t always do it so I’m taking multi-vitamins supplements.

Some people may think I’m crazy but it is working. And I feel great. I shape. I’m still hungry sometimes but I drink a bottle of water and then I’m fine. Water is really, really important.

That’s a great blog. Keep up the good work and thanks a lot! You gave me motivation.

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Jack October 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Damn there’s a lot of mistakes. Sorry. Keyboard’s fault.

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David October 5, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Hi Jack, you’re not alone… my keyboard tries to sabotage me every time I use it.

That is a strange feeling, isn’t it? When you’re stomach has shrunk and then you try to go back to eating like you did before. I think that’s why I find it difficult to over eat at dinnertime… it just gets too uncomfortable.

I’m so pleased that you’ve been encouraged by your early success. That feeling is so powerful and will set you up to put in another good week on the eating plan.

In a month from now, just imagine how amazing you’ll feel when you’ve lost another 6, 8, 10, (??) pounds! Keep up the great work and please let us know how it goes.

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Jack October 5, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Thanks!

By the way, a month ago there was a BBC Horizon episode about Fasting. You can watch it here. It has LOTS of benefits for the body.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AwvLN_HiLY

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David October 6, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Jack, that was a great show! I saw it at the time, but thanks for the link.

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Jack October 9, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Weight log:
02 oct. 168.2
03 oct. 167.4
04 oct. 166.8
05 oct. 166.0
06 oct. 165.8
07 oct. 164.2
09 oct. 162.2

Today I had 125g of smoked salmon for snack. I tried to have a big breakfast last saturday morning at the restaurant with friends and I only ate half. I was so full. Which is a good thing obviously.

David October 9, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Jack! That’s fantastic!! I’m so pleased this is working out for you. You’ve put in an amazing effort and set yourself up nicely for another successful week ahead. Well done! 🙂

Jack October 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

Thanks Dave! It’s mostly because of you and your blog!

David October 9, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Jack, that’s so kind of you to say, but the credit is entirely yours… and that’s what’s so fantastic about this. You did it. Instead of watching other people do it and wishing that you could do the same, you just did it. Instead of giving in to temptation like other people do, you stayed strong and stuck to your eating plan. The only person who got you to where you are today, is YOU and you should feel very proud of yourself. You created a better story for your life and now you’re living it. All the credit is yours and yours alone! 🙂

Jack October 17, 2012 at 10:03 pm

A little update. 158.4 this morning. Since a few days I only eat at lunch time because it’s easier with my schedule but also I’m less hungry at night as my eating windows is between 11AM and 3PM.

Liz October 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I just did one day of fasting (500kc) as the first part of my attempt at the 5/2 intermittent fasting diet as profiled on the Michael Mosley Horizon programme. The day went well, and I found it easier than I thought to eat such a small amount for one day, so I was feeling hopeful. However, today I feel terrible! I have no energy at all, and I’m aching all over as if I have ‘flu. I really don’t want to put myself through this again, so I tried to think of how I might do this in a less extreme way, and one meal a day occured to me as a reasonable idea. I Googled ‘one meal a day’ and found your blog. It was very encouraging to read about your success with this way of eating, and I’ll definitely be giving it a go. I was wondering if you experienced any ill-effects from eating less frequently?

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David October 9, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Hi Liz, I think I should point out that I eased myself into eating one meal a day. I started out by eating a light lunch and then a light dinner. Eventually it became more important to me to eat a bigger meal in the evening so I dropped lunch.

Sometimes if I feel a little weak during the day I’ll eat something. It’s better to eat and compromise the diet than to faint. It takes a little while to get used to but I barely think about it now.

On and off I’ve been eating this way for over a year and I haven’t encountered any ill effects. I’m still fit and healthy and I don’t take any supplements.

Hope that helps. 🙂

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Jack October 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Just like David said, don’t start too roughly. Are you doing this to lose weight or only to get all the other benefits?

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Liz October 9, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Thanks David and Jack. Yes I think I need to ease myself into it much more gently. I have tried fasting before and suffered similar effects, so I don’t know why I thought it might be different this time! It does seem to switch off my constantly nagging appetite though, so I think eating less frequently is something which would be helpful. I want to lose weight and gain any potential health benefits. Both are equally important to me – I’m in my fifties and very conscious of the implications for health of being overweight. I do remember that in my twenties and early thirties, I used to eat very little during the day, would have one main meal in the evening – and I was stick thin. I didn’t think about my weight or eating habits at the time. I wish it was as easy now!

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anya October 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm

hey dave, i also eat 1 meal per day for 4 months without exercise drinking tea throughout the day. yah similar diet.i’m seeing it’s good results but very slowly.do i need to do any exercise or if i do exercise will i get hungry and will crave to eat large amount of calories? plz help.thanks:)

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anya October 17, 2012 at 8:29 pm

and really thanks again for writing this article.it has inspired me alot. God bless u. (i’m 5’0 and nearby 114 pounds.)

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Alexandra Timmins November 28, 2012 at 9:14 am

I accidentally got in the habit of eating once a day, as I do 12 hour shifts. Since slimming down for the first time in my life I’ve read up on this concept and discovered through many sources that our anscestors would gather in evenings to eat, that intermittent fasting is beneficial to extending life expectancy. We are genetically designed to run at optimal health with this lifestyle. Hitting the gym for hours and hours a week actually damages and makes our bodies weaker. Taking a steady approach with social activities is more beneficial to our physical health.

I’ve lost70 pounds in a year doing this. I drink tea or coffee or milk during the day as a snack, occasionally fruit or nuts/seeds. I also take the weekend off which allows my body to up its metabolism furnace. I usually have a full English for breakfast and an evening meal.

They really need to get some comprehensive evidence to back this lifestyle, stop telling everyone to force down breakfast and do intensive high impact exercise which damages our joints.
We were more active 40,000 years ago and able to sustain ourself by gathering the goods in the evening.

My life has changed, I feel sick listening to all the mainstream bull crap which is giving people false information. I argued with so many people when I first decided to eat once and now they are envious that I turned my life around!

Good luck all who are just starting to engage this. Read Mark Sisson website re: Paleo diet it correlates the same ideas and benefits x

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Vincenza Salvo November 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Awesome! 🙂

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David January 1, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Alexandra, thanks for you contribution.

Your weight loss is impressive and serves as proof that it can be done.

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Vincenza Salvo November 28, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Hi ,
I just read your article and I just started yesterday, Iwant to lose 40lbs and I already lost one pound, but my schedule is eat at lunch but not dinner or not after 5pm. Plus I am exercising at night, and if I do get crazy hungry I’ll just have a stick of celery or carrot. I’ll keep you posted with my results 🙂

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David January 1, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Vincenza, thanks, I hope it’s still working out for you 🙂

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Total Foodie November 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Hi guys,

Was wondering if someone could give me advice on how to stop and hunger pangs ? I started doing this 2 months ago and find that even if i do snack on a fruit, i’m still starving. Since starting the one meal a day, I’ve lost about 4kgs which is fantastic but I’m literally starving throughout the whole day even if i have a fruit or drink coffee etc and i can barely with stand the hunger. As a result, I’ve been doing a lot of jogging so that I can have a small meal in the afternoon and a proper meal at night.

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David January 1, 2013 at 10:12 pm

Total Foodie, I too get hungry during the day and it can be very distracting. Just like you, even if I do snack it’s often not enough to stop the pangs. It just becomes a mind game and I’ve taught myself to think about the hunger in a different way.

Now I welcome it. As bizarre as that sounds, it’s true, it’s become something of a companion. But I should also say that if the hunger gets too much I do feed it… this is definitely not about starvation and total deprivation.

If you haven’t already tried it, try gulping the tea and coffee (or other fluid) rather than sipping it. That sometimes works well to quell my hunger.

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TonittaM January 8, 2013 at 6:24 am

Hello David, I just wanted to say ” thank You ” for this wonderful blog. My weight is awful (100 kg, that is about 220 lbs), but I hope, with the help of this diet, to reduse them. I am just a little desperate, because for four days I did not lose anything. But I hope that just my body needs some time to relax of all the diets.
Thank You again and have a great year!
P.S. please excuse my English, as it is not my native language.

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David January 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Hi TonittaM, don’t lose heart, there are numerous reasons why you might not have lost weight. Keep at it and see how you do in another few days.

If you’re still struggling after that, I suggest you do some calorie counting. It’s boring but it works. 🙂

Your English is great! Thanks for stopping by my website 🙂

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Esther February 2, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Hey David It’s been 3 days since I dnt eat all I drink is water I dnt feel hungry at all n I lost 5pounds I was 205 now IM 200 I’m going to try the one day meal I hope I can keep it UP I’m trying to get to 127 pounds

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David March 26, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Hi Esther, sorry to leave you hanging there!

I hope you’ve continued to see success with your weight loss goals. Regardless of whether you’re still trying 1 meal a day I wish you luck and hope you succeed.

David

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Rick March 25, 2013 at 4:04 pm

Hi David! I am enjoying your website and think it is extremely valuable. Reading this has motivated me and given me some guidance in my one meal a day plan. I have played around with Intermittent Fasting and studied this for about 3 years now. When I took a serious look at one meal a day, your site popped up and I’m so glad. 3 years ago, I lost from 188 lbs to 175. I have held this weight ever since. Then on January 1, 2013, I decided to get down to 160 and let go of some more mid section fat. I did the HCG diet which was very successful and am down to 160. For some good wiggle room, I need to get to 155 which is just about right for my 62in. small frame. Eating one meal a day is the easiest way to do this. I will have to add a small second meal at some point so I don’t get below 155. I have been eating one meal a day for about 3 weeks Monday-Friday. I eat what and when I want on the weekend. This has actually been very easy. If I feel real hungry or weak which is almost never, I’ll eat an apple. So… if you don’t mind, I’d like to jump on the bandwagon and join the club. I’ll share my progress and experience. This site and your story is so helpful.

Thanks David,

Rick

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David March 26, 2013 at 7:59 pm

Hi Rick, thanks for leaving a message.

I’m glad to hear that it’s going well for you. You’ve done very well with your weight loss and it’s fantastic that you’re just 5lbs from your goal.

I’d love to hear how you get on, so please do let me know.

Dave

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David April 5, 2013 at 12:05 am

Day 4 of my April Weightloss Challenge has been posted at my new site : http://1maddiet.com/april-diet-challenge-day-4/

You didn’t think I was going to give up, did you?

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David April 12, 2013 at 8:52 pm

Day 12. I’m down to 169.2 lbs which is pretty much where I left off above.

http://1maddiet.com/april-diet-challenge-day-12/

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Julie May 1, 2013 at 9:03 pm

I started this last week and lost 6 pounds so far.. Im 5’3 and 154 as of today. My goal is to be in the normal range of 115-120, I would like to know even though i drink 130 ounces of water easily a day, could I have ONE diet pepsi during lunch time? I dont get cravings since the soda seems to eliminate this.

Just wondering if this is ok?

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David May 1, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Hi Julie, I don’t see why not. As long as you create a calorie deficit, even with the pepsi, you should still lose weight.

Well done for dropping 6 pounds, that’s a great result.

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Julie May 1, 2013 at 10:24 pm

Thank you David…. I just wasnt sure if it would stall the process or not.

Thanks again.

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David May 1, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Julie, I’ve often wondered if my progress would have been quicker had I not been drinking tea a coffee during the day and I suspect I would, however, had I not done so I don’t think I would have stuck to the diet. If drinking one diet pepsi helps you stick to the diet then I’d say it’s a small price to pay. I’m sure you’ll be fine. 😀

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Julie May 2, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Thanks David… I appreciate it… I do have one question though and hope you know. Is it normal to be at the same number on the scale for 4 days in a row?

Im sure someone has posted about this before but too much reading to find my answer, so I will just ask.

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David May 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm

My pleasure Julie. The weight rises and falls all the time. So many factors are at play. Weight is quite a poor measure of progress and whenever I start to weigh myself every day as I have been doing recently, it drive me up the wall. There have been plenty of times when I’ve seen the same weight day after day and then suddenly it drops by a pound or two. It can be a real roller coaster ride.

If weighing yourself is driving you bananas, you might want to give it a week before you next weigh in and see how you’re doing then. You might even want to break the tape measure out and see whether there’s any movement there.

If you are really concerned then you could try calorie counting for a while. It’s a real chore but at least you’ll have an idea of whether you’re sabotaging your efforts by over-eating or under-eating.

I think it’s too early to tell for sure but you probably just need to give it a little more time. 😀

JoAnn May 2, 2013 at 4:45 pm

David, I’ve decided to try 2 meals/day to begin with. I also count my calories and noticed that even though I’m not eating breakfast, I’m still packing on the calories at dinner time. I notice in your logs that you do not drink any wine or alcohol. What’s your opinion on having a glass of wine with a meal? I don’t eat desserts that much, so wine seems like an ok substitute. I’m only on my 4th day of fewer meals, but notice my weight fluctuating up and down. No real weight loss yet. More exercise, less alcohol?

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David May 2, 2013 at 8:46 pm

Hi JoAnn, 2 meals a day is a really good way to start. In fact it’s a good way to do the whole thing if you have the self control to limit your eating. I didn’t when I started out so I moved to one meal.

Weight is the standard measure of progress and I love to see the number on the scale go down too. But quite often it doesn’t. Recently I’ve been seeing the number rise when I’m expecting it to be dropping. So weight might be the standard measure of progress but it’s not necessarily the best and thankfully it’s not the only measure.

Sometimes the weight sticks around because the food we eat takes 24 to 48 hours to transit through our bodies. Sometimes the weight sticks around because the food we eat causes us to absorb water. Sometimes the weight sticks around because our glycogen reserves are being replenished. And hydration or dehydration play a part too.

Weight is a very crude measure and very inaccurate over a very short period. Really, you’re looking to plot a trend over an extended period of time, weeks rather than days.

You may find that tomorrow or the day after the weight just drops by a couple of pounds. It’s something that happens all the time to me.

Truth be told, I haven’t delved much into the science behind this but I am aware that alcohol does have an impact on slowing the fat burning process. I still have a beer or a wine from time to time because life is for living, life is not about depriving ourselves of every last pleasure.

I don’t see why you couldn’t lose weight, even drinking a glass with every meal, because you’ll still be spending a considerable number of hours every day in a fasted state and as long as you’re counting your calories and you’re not overshooting your target intake, I think you’ll be fine.

It would certainly be a good experiment for you to see if it works and I’d love to know how it works out! 🙂

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Julie May 10, 2013 at 5:11 pm

Hi David,
Hope things are going well for you…

So I wanted to know if my dinners might be delaying the loss….

I dont eat ANYTHING all day, drink 140-160 ounces of water, one diet pepsi and small coffee in the morning.. BUT for dinner, lately we have gone to Taco Bell, McDonalds, etc.. and wondering if those 900-1100 calories are causing my weight to just maintain???

Should I cut out the Carbs and see if thats the issue?? Or just keep going and let me body get past the stall??

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David May 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Hi Julie, it could be any number of things. 900 calories a day over a sustained period of time might cause your body to adjust your metabolism to ensure you can function on reduced calories. Of course it could also be that your food being highly processed (and I promise I’m not being preachy here) is deficient in nutrients.

If I were you I’d be tempted to try a slightly different approach. One that I like a lot is the 5:2 diet. Eat 500 calories for two days a week and eat normally the other 5.

I wish I could offer better advice but beyond my own experience I’m not qualified to do anything other than guess at what might be the issue.

If you’re super keen to make this diet work for you I’d be more than happy to email you and we could talk it through. 🙂

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Julie May 13, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Thanks David,
I think i will try a little Low Carb on some nights and do the 500 cals a few days here and there…

I should see some changes after this week hopefully… 🙂

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lazaro September 17, 2013 at 11:24 pm

sounds like your doing a somewhat intermittent fasting eating cycle which explains he amazing results. i did low carb for about 2 months and lost 50lbs. but now hitting a plateau and what to start IF’in. great job!

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