One Meal a Day Diet: Week 1

by David

in Health & Fitness

Having lost 20 lbs eating one meal a day, and proving to myself firstly that it’s possible and secondly that I can do it, I want to share the next stage with you.

I think it will be a fun thing to do and having already built up some momentum I’m backing myself to reach the goal.

I’m going to start a new post each week and add my daily updates.

Check back regularly, because I’ll probably update it as a live journal.

Starting Stats
Male
43 years
6ft
182 lbs

Target:
172 lbs (a 10 lb weight reduction)

Progress:
Monday December 12 2011 – 182 lbs
Tuesday December 13 2011 – 180.6 lbs
Wednesday December 14 2011 – 179 lbs
Thursday December 15 2011 – 179.2 lbs
Friday December 16 2011 – 178.6 lbs
Saturday December 17 2011 – 178.6 lbs
Sunday December 18 2011 – 179.8 lbs

Summary:

Monday - 182 lbs

Monday is usually the best today of the week for sticking rigidly to my eating plan. I’ve maintained 182ish lbs for a short while because I wanted to document the loss of the next 10 pounds of fat, so it’s good to get back to business.
As usual I ate a good meal at 5pm – Chicken Kiev, mashed potatoes, broccoli, asparagus. Followed by Jam Roly-Poly and custard!

Tuesday - Down from 182 to 180.6

3pm: I’ve made it past 2pm without sabotaging my eating plan. 2pm seems to be a good watershed for me, I know that if I’ve made it this far that it bodes well for the rest of the day.

I took photographs of the meal I ate yesterday on my phone to give you an idea of the portion size but I’ve lost my phone. Actually, I haven’t lost it so much as chucked it in with the paper recycling – which has been collected!! (I’m laughing about it now… kind of.)

5pm: Dinner – Sausages, boiled potatoes, greens and gravy. To follow, I had a homemade gingerbreadman covered in white icing to look like a snowman (my son made it!).

10pm: I think I under-ate at dinner because I’m hungry now and that usually doesn’t happen.

Wednesday - Down from 180.6 to 179

Noon: Lunchtime has been and gone. I feel a little hungry but that will pass. I’ve also developed a sore throat, which in times gone by would have been a good excuse to abandon the diet, but not this time. Over the last few months I’ve been able to work through feeling ill and other discomforts to make sure I stick to the eating plan.

5pm: Dinner – Steak pie, mashed potatoes, babycorn, broccoli, gravy. Followed by apple pie and ice cream.

8pm: I still feel full after dinner, which tells me I got it right today. Yesterday around this time I felt hungry and that’s bad news. If you wait all day to eat your one meal and it doesn’t satisfy you enough so that you don’t feel the need to eat for the rest of the evening, then thoughts of quitting can easily flash through your mind. One of the reasons I really like the 1 meal approach is because I know that at least once in the day I get to feel full and the feeling lasts for hours – and that’s something I didn’t get with other diets.

 Thursday - Up from 179 to 179.2

10am: I’m glad this happened (slight weight gain) because it shows how crazy relying on the scale weight as a measure of progress can be. There was a time when seeing I had gained weight, even .2 of a pound, would have set me back. Suffering a pang of hunger would have seen me racing to the fridge to drink double cream straight from the container.

Now though, it doesn’t bother me. The real measure of my progress is whether I stuck to my eating plan, because I know that over a period of time the fat will continue to drop off. And I know that yesterday I put in the hard yards, worked through the temptations and made it to the end of the day feeling proud of my achievement.

5pm: Dinner – Fish, chips and mushy peas, followed by vanilla ice cream, toffee sauce and wafers.

10pm: Another good day today and I’m actually looking forward to weighing in tomorrow. It’s been a long time since I weighed myself everyday, so it’s fun to see what number comes up. Long term I have no plans to weigh myself regularly, I’m doing it it here because it fits with what I’m trying to do on the site, but after I’ve lost the final 10lbs I’ll put the scale away again. If you’re trying to lose weight too, I hope your day went well and you stuck to your diet!

 Friday - Down from 179.2 to 178.6

10am: I’m delighted that I stuck rigidly to my eating plan yesterday. That’s the real success. Yes, the scale tells me I’ve lost weight and I’m pleased about that because it’s nice to see a lower figure on the digital display, but the real satisfaction comes from knowing that I’ve done what I said I would do despite the difficulties. Have a good day with your own diets today!

Noon: This evening grandma will be baby sitting while my wife and I go out to a social function. It’s a Christmas dinner at a restaurant, so there’ll be three courses and various appetizers and despite the fact I’m on a diet, I’m really looking forward to it because I don’t feel I have to watch what I eat (as long as I’m not a glutton). The thing is, I feel like that every day while I’m doing the one meal per day thing. It simply feels like I’m holding off and saving myself for later on when I can claim my reward – which seems to help me tolerate the odd pang of hunger I feel around this time of day.

5pm: Plans changed. No longer eating out so I had dinner at home. Dinner: Spaghetti Bolognese, Ciabatta, Parmesan cheese. Followed by spotted dick and custard (<–good winter comfort eating!)

11pm: I have to laugh when I see that custard of all things seems to have played a major part in this week’s eating. Some of it stems from the fact that I want to fill my belly in the evening and feel full and satisfied, and part of it comes from the fact I hope to demonstrate that eating just one meal a day doesn’t have to mean a huge departure from normal family life. I also hope to demonstrate that you don’t need to give up everything you enjoy. There are some people who would point out that my diet is carb heavy with too many sugars and not at all optimal, and they’re probably right (at least this week they are), but I don’t care. I’ve spent ages with other weight loss attempts faffing around juggling different nutrients and it’s boring, it’s a diet killer. This is my most successful attempt to lose weight ever and what’s more, it’s something I can dip in and out of to maintain my weight after I reach my target . This is the lightest I’ve been in 20 years and I LOVE IT!!

Saturday - No change 178.6

10am: That’s 5 days eating one meal a day and I’m pleased with the result. I started the week at 182lbs and ended on 178.6 lbs. Saturday is usually a day off for me where I eat what I want, when I want, but this week I might stick to my Sunday plan of eating two meals – lunch and dinner. Right at the start it was important to me to have one day a week when I was free deviate from the weekday routine, mostly for my sanity and to keep me motivated. I was also conscious that I didn’t want to shut down my metabolism by continuously under eating. But now that I’m so close to my target weight I feel inclined to push through this week and set myself up for a good week next week and hopefully I’ll be able to start 2010 exactly where I want to be.

Noon: Lunch – Cheese on toast x 2, a big handful of Doritos, 6 chocolates. 2 more chocolates.

4pm: Snack – A breadroll with hazelnut chocolate spread.

6pm: Dinner – Roast chcicken with sage and onion stuffing, roast postatoes 4, carrots, brocolli, mangetout and gravy. Followed by Tarte au citron with double cream (whipped).

8pm: Snack – 8 chocolates. another 2 chocolates!

Sunday - Up from 178.6 to 179.8

8am: Yesterday was fun. It was the first day the kids were off school so we decorated the Christmas tree and got into the spirit of the season. Which included eating chocolate. I know that yesterday I was going to push through and eat only two meals with no snacks but two things were at play. The first is that in the same way that on weekdays I’m in the habit sticking to a rigid eating pattern, on Saturday I’m in the habit of deviating from the diet. The second thing is that if I had pushed through and restricted my food intake, I wouldn’t be providing an accurate reflection of what I’ve been doing on this diet.

So I’m glad I relented. The scale shows that I’m over a pound heavier than I was yesterday and obviously I am, but I know it’s not a pound of fat. To have put on a pound of fat in one day I would have to have over-eaten by around 3500 calories above my maintenance intake of around 2500 calories and there’s NO WAY I ate 6000 calories yesterday. I’ll talk about how this happens at some other point. But this is why I usually don’t weigh myself… the scale lies and if you’re not careful you end up believing it, it knocks your confidence, encourages you to under-eat, which leads you to eventually break your diet and binge, which leads to guilt, which leads to quitting a diet that would eventually have given you the results you wanted.

Noon: Lunch – Tuna mayo sandwich.

5pm: Dinner – Chicken Korma curry, basmati rice, naan bread, onion bhaji. Followed by Sticky toffee brownie and ice cream.

6pm: Today I considered missing out the sweet stuff after dinner but went with it anyway. Very little about this diet is an exact science and I deliberately chose it to be that way. I don’t calorie count because calorie counting is a pain. That of course leaves me open to misjudgement. To be honest, that doesn’t me. Over the weeks I’ve seen my fat reserves drop and felt my waitband loosen, so I know it’s working.

Doing it this way leads to slow progress, but I believe there are benefits to going slowly. That said, I am sorely tempted to see what happens if I go for a week (Mon-Fri) without eating desert after my main meal.

I stuck to my eating plan today by eating two meals and tomorrow I’ll be back to one main meal in the evening.

Weightloss pictures:

This is me at 205 lbs:

205 lbs

This is me at 189 lbs

189 lbs

This is me at 179 lbs

179 lbs

Go to week 2 of my weight loss


{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

smittenbybritain December 13, 2011 at 6:17 pm

David, are you changing anything about your exercise routine, if you have one?

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David December 13, 2011 at 6:36 pm

I’ve exercised with diets before, but this time I don’t do anything other than walking once or twice a day for half an hour each time.

Every now and then I’ll do some push ups or pull ups just for the fun of it, but nothing too taxing and not with enough regularity to make it count.

Thanks for taking an interest Melissa!

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Danny C December 14, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Good luck David!

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David December 14, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Thanks Danny, I really appreciate it!!

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Midlife Singlemum December 17, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I found you through your comment on Making It Up. My most successful diet ever was the ‘one thing a day diet’. Some days it was a bag of chips in town – because I just had to. Other days it was a big healthy salad. Anyway, that was 10 years ago and I’m back to being desperate to lose weight again. I like the look of this one – it’s more realistic for me now that I’m a mother.

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David December 17, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Hi, I think that’s it for me… it’s the variety. I wanted to do something that I could modify easily to suit whatever I was doing. When I’ve finished losing the weight I’ll move to eating two meals a day as the norm, but I’ll feel free to do what I want most of the time. If I want to eat a bag of chips covered in salt and vinegar, I’ll do it. The next day I’ll compensate by doing something else, but what I really wanted was something sustainable during the weightloss process and something that’s sustainable afterwards.

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Midlife Singlemum December 21, 2011 at 11:26 am

Nice belly button. Seriously, good job! I’m on day four of the adapted Two-smaller-than-Dave’s-dinner-meals-a-day Diet. So far I’ve lost 2lbs. And I’m finding it very doable so thanks for the idea.

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David December 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Thanks. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s at the bottom of it. Hopefully a crock of gold, but more likely it’s just fluff!

Good job on the 2 meal a day thing. The best thing is you feel good about it, which means you’ll keep doing it until you get the results you want. Good for you!! :)

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aglassmn36 April 8, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Good job!
I am at the end of month 1 of 1 meal a day diet with light exercise. ive lost 16 pounds mostly belly fat and feel great! Keep up the good work!

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David April 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm

16 pounds! That is FANTASTIC! Well done to you.
It’s great to hear that you’ve enjoyed success with this approach. It’s not for everyone but clearly it’s working well for you.
Keep at it. I bet you feel amazing? :)

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karel June 16, 2012 at 5:36 pm

Hi dave I have started with thus.one day.meal thing, I must say I dnt fee l I will ever loos wagit it like I work as a manager in a rezturant and the temtations are everywhere I am only 24 about 1,74 tall and is about 75 kg, I just wanna loos this belly I have but kts a strugel, to do it for I normaly eat at work and I dont have any food at home meaning its forcing me to eat only one meal, I stick to hot vegies and drinking alot of lemon water without any gas prezent, or sugar present, so what can you sugest I can do more? Running a block or so but if I would attempt it, I only will do it the firsg day and forget about all… Well let me know what you sugest, for you havent told us what job you do that would not let you get tempted like me…

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David June 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Hi Karel, trust me I’m tempted. I’m tempted all the time, just like everyone else. :)

I’m at home all day about 10 feet from the fridge and panty.

OK, before I say any more, you need to know that I’m not qualified to advise you about diet or nutirition. I’m just a guy who lost a little weight and I’m sharing the experience.

I’m afriad the bottom line is, you won’t lose weight until you want to lose weight more than you want to eat to excess.

As with almost everything else in life it’s a question of mastering your own mind. People setting out on diets don’t want to hear that. Instead they want to hear that there’s a magic formula. There isn’t.

Our circumstances are changing with every minute that passes. What worked for us yesterday may not work for us tomorrow. We must learn to adapt.

There’s trial and error. There’s failure and frustration. And sometimes there’s success. But the trick for us imperfect and conflicted humans is to win on more days than we lose – and that really is how I did it. It’s how I’m doing it now.

You can read all the dieting tips, tricks and hacks you like, but the battle is first won in your head before it even plays out for real.

Find your motivation, good or bad, and let it drive you to take action.

Decide what pisses you off about being overweight and fight against it.

Decide what it is about being the ideal you and run towards it.

You have to feel something. You have to be motivated. And the only person who can do it is you.

Find a way, Karel. You can do it!

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Sharon July 3, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Wow… I am impressedd. I am now 20 pounds overweight….tried calorie counting, exercising and eating under 1100 calories and nothing helped.

I am going to do with 1-meal a day, i do not have problem with this, so I hope I will succeed!

Thanks for the tips

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David July 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Hi Sharon, I think that’s one of the keys to this weight loss lark… to try different things and see what works for you.

Eating one meal a day is pretty flexible so you should be able to adapt it to suit your needs.

I hope you’re able to make this work for you. If I can help… just let me know!

Thanks for stopping by :-)

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Sharon July 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm

David;

When you say One-Meal a day… do you mean that you eat nothing AT ALL all day except that one meal. I know this is not a nutritionist advise, but do you skip breakfast and lunch and go without food until 5pm? I am able to do that until 1pm or 2pm. Then, I crave.

What about Coffee or Milk in the morning or in between 50-100 calories snacks (or fruits)?

I read your week long diet, and I am curious to see if you are eating or munching anything in between.

I work 8am – 5 or 6pm daily. I have easy access to healthy food/snacks in my drawer. I drink about 1 to 2 liters of water daily. Sometimes, I drink a cup of coffee in the morning. I don’t do sodas or pizzas or any fast food. I cook at home.

I will be starting this plan tomorrow (my boss gave me sandwich for lunch today, so no diet) and will try to hang on and if I see some weight loss, I will know I will hold on to it until I get what I want and watch how and what I eat. Because, once I lose weight, it usually remains at a consistent weight.

Thanks again.

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David July 3, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Sharon, you may have missed the link (it’s not too easy to pick out in the text above) to the post I wrote about the pros and cons of the diet.

HERE’S THE LINK

It’s a long read but it might answer a few questions. You’ll also see there are lots of good stuff from other readers in the comments.

I’ve experimented a lot with this and tried many variations.

But yes, at the moment while I’m trying to lose the last bit of fat around my belly in an attempt to reveal my abdominal muscles, I am eating only once a day between 5 and 6pm.

Throughout the day I’ll drink maybe 6 to 8 cups of tea made with whole milk and one sugar.

I’m ignoring the hunger but if I feel weak or faint I’ll eat something that has about 100-150 calories. Usually it’s an apple, but sometimes it could be a biscuit (cookie).

I get the best results doing it this way, but I accept that it’s not easy.

But even with a few snacks throughout the day (which is better if it doesn’t lead to eating more) the diet should work.

Obviously it requires a little common sense. If eat nothing all day and then use dinner as an excuse to over-eat I won’t make any progress.

The bottom line is: I’ll eat during the day if I really want to or I really need to but I try to avoid it.

You’ll also see that I eat two meals on a Saturday and Sunday and that my diet is well balanced – I eat plenty of vegetables and fruit as part of my main meal.

Hope that helps a little :)

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Sharon July 3, 2012 at 11:52 pm

Thanks alot!

I will keep update after a week.

Sharon

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Nicole August 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I just wanted to thank you for sharing this! I’m starting today! I actually ate one meal a day throughout my late teen to early twenties. It worked for me. I never weighed more than 122 lbs. I am now in my mid-thirties and I weigh A LOT more. I have tried every plan out there – low cal, low carb, etc., etc. One meal a day was the ONLY thing that worked for me. I don’t know why I have bought into the diet hype for so long; all it has gotten me is fatter!!

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Mark DuPont October 1, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I’m 50 yrs old back 33yrs ago I was in high school and built myself up lifting weights . When I stopped playing ball I wanted to downsize . so I started eating dinner only . I went from 190Lbs 165 Lbs . Stayed on the diet for about 6 or 7 yrs it was the only way for me to lose weight.I started the diet again.will keep you updated.Mark

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David October 1, 2012 at 7:11 pm

Hi Mark,
I would love to hear how the diet works for you 33 years later.
Thanks for joining in. It’s good to hear from someone else who’s had success with this approach.

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Joseph October 14, 2012 at 11:03 pm

Today, I am starting a 1-meal-a-day diet. I’m very much counting on water/liquids to do it. I just find myself not being hungry prior to my formerly 2-meals-per-day. I’m always bloated; and my body doesn’t get a chance to digest. It’s 3 PM now, and I feel fine; having only had 4 cups of water and 2 coffees. I have water before coffee.

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Kifah November 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm

I’m inn starting today

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Pati November 12, 2012 at 3:33 am

Hi David,
I ate one meal a day for 10 years and i was my thinist 110. Now after two kids and eating mostly 3 meals, I’m a suffering at 180 lbs. Your blog has helped me to remember how nice it was to succeed at weight loss. I’m going to start tomorrow monday and plan to eat one meal a day at around 1pm this is about half way into the day. I think the two meals on saturday sound like a good idea. Wish me luck my husband said he will do it with me:)

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Y Jo September 11, 2013 at 12:11 am

It’s ok just try to get tough just do… I’m tired of 200lbs I have to get to 165.00

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shr November 16, 2012 at 6:59 am

hey david
its really nice to read about how u are losing weight in with one meal a day
i am also flowing the same routing but the problem with my routine is that i am a bachelor living alone and i have to cook for my self because i don’t like dining out with out a companion and unfortunately my gf just went nuts over my weight and become my X for the time being .you motivated me beyond my farthest expectation man . my only issue is the belly blubber and the excess fat along the love handles i am looking forward to lose it .good luck man see you on the other side

God bless & regards
shr

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Jamie November 29, 2012 at 4:31 pm

How do you make your tea?

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stuart December 7, 2012 at 5:25 am

I have been eating one meal a day for the last ten years, and stay healthy and fit at a reasonable weight, however some times circumstances have caused to stop my regime and eat more often and every time I do I put on weight fast, If you are contemplating doing this for weight loss and then resume to normal patterns it won’t work, if you are thinking of a life change it is a great way to stay slim and slow down aging.

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David April 2, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Hi Stuart, sorry I missed this one. I think the point you raise is important. I’ve tried hard not to cut too many calories from my day when I’m actively dieting so that my body doesn’t get used to coping with a reduced intake. I think that’s why it took me so long to lose the weight.

I’ve been interested to read about people on a permanent calorie restriction – there does seem to be slowing down of the aging process.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

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Shelly April 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm

hi there. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience! I am going to start this today! There was 1 paragraph in your opening information that really stuck with me. In fact it’s stuck so hard it made me cryca little. You talked of there being so much information out there it’s confusing. You are so right! That is what has been holding me back all these years!! All the conflicting information!!Pardon my language but ….screw em! I’m going to do what you do as it will fit very nicely into my life. I take care of 2 boys with developmental disabilities and I’m by myself during most days until they return from their day programs and hubby comes home. I will keep you up to date
as to my progress. Thank you so so much. For the first time in a long time I have hope!
I am 35lbs overweight….here we go……
Xoox Shelly

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David April 2, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Hi Shelly! It sounds like you have a lot to cope with, I’m not surprised your head is spinning when it comes to making sense of the weight loss world. I think there’s a lot of great material out there, but distinguishing it from the bad advice is next to impossible.

Where you find yourself right now saying ‘screw it’ is exactly what got me started. I just didn’t feel I could read anymore before starting to do something about my weight.

You have a determined attitude about you and I think that will serve you very well. I look forward to hearing how you get on. BTW I’ve started another month on the diet and I’m writing about it at http://1maddiet.com – you’re welcome to follow along or join in. :-)

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SandyL. June 19, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Today is day one for me.

Starting wt. 130

I will re-post in 40 days.

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Y Jo September 11, 2013 at 12:01 am

Ok never too late not to be fat! I’m starting today sep 9 2013

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Dan March 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm

I have coffee with sugar in morning; water, ice tea during day, one regular meal at 5:30 each day, afterwards a granola bar and glass of milk. Lost 8 lbs first week. I you can overcome a few hunger urges during the day, you should lose the weight quickly and no, my metabolism has not been effected to any degree. I plan to stay with program till I lose all my over weight which is about 40 lbs. I most likely will stay with this one meal a day as a new way to eating. Who cares if the popular poles say you need to eat many meals per day. I’ve always thought for myself.

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