How I Lost Weight Eating One Meal A Day: I lost 30lbs over 5 months eating 1 meal in the evening. This is my experience…

by David

in Featured 2, Health & Fitness

30 lb weight loss one meal a dayThis is my account of how I lost a significant amount of weight when I adopted the idea of eating one main meal a day.

I’ve written this for those who have heard about eating one meal a day and want to seek out the experience of someone doing it. If you decide to do something similar it’s my hope that you can benefit from my experience. I write this as if a friend had asked me to describe the diet.

Be advised: The effectiveness of diets vary from person to person and I cannot guarantee that taking this approach will work for you. Please see my disclaimer at the foot of this post.

UPDATE Aug 2014: After you’ve finished reading this article you should head over to my other site called 1 Mad Diet

– I can answer any questions you have over there. When it comes to this site Hubbys Home, it turns out I’m possibly the world’s worst blogger and I don’t tend to respond to the comments here. I do feel bad about that, because when people take the time to reach out, it’s a bit of a slap in the face to get ignored. I’m sorry about that and I’ll try to make amends, but in the meantime come on over to 1MADdiet.com and we can talk there.

Thanks. Please continue reading…

One meal a day!

It sounds brutal I know, but it really isn’t.

The idea of adopting a one meal a day diet first came to me when I read an article about an American General, Stanley McChrystal.

The article was about his capability as a leader, not about dieting or weight loss, but as an aside it was mentioned that he ate only one meal a day.

Judging by the pictures I saw, the man looks in great shape and clearly manages to find enough energy to go running every day AND command the day to day operations of the military in a war zone.

And if it’s good enough for a 4 star General, it’s good enough for me!

At the time I read it I was busy eating six small meals a day, going to the gym and running almost every day. I was taking the ‘optimal’ approach and it was hurting me. I was spending a lot of time reading about dieting and weight loss – getting into the minute detail – listening to people who insisted that you had to cut out certain types of food and eat specific foods, in specific ratios, at specific times.

It was good for a while and I made some progress but it wasn’t sustainable for me with everything else that was going on in my life. I spent more time researching the best way to lose weight than I invested in actually doing something about it.

I had a full time career and when I wasn’t working I was looking after the children while my wife worked. I was exhausted, I hated the 6 small meals diet because I never felt full – I got injured running –  and I quit, regaining the weight soon after.

It doesn’t have to be this way

For a long time I suspected that it was possible to lose weight eating a normal balanced(ish) diet. I called it the sub-optimal diet because it involves eating things that traditional diet wisdom says you shouldn’t eat.

I’m talking about normal foods that families eat for lunch and dinner. The staples – bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, dairy, and all the rest.

The sorts of things an army officer, like the General, might get served up in the mess tent. Ordinary, regular food served up in decent portions that fills your belly and keeps you feeling satisfied for hours afterwards.

But I’m also talking about the good stuff (IN MODERATION!!), like cake, chocolate, sweets, candies, pastries and other things that normal people eat – what would life be like without these delights?

Life is already complicated enough, so make it simple

I’ve always believed that for most people there’s no need to weigh and measure food. No need to get the supposed optimal balance between protein, carbohydrate and fat. Following a balanced diet as outlined by the NHS is good enough.

Sure, if you’re going for Olympic gold, then get freaky about your diet, but for the majority of people looking to lose a bit of weight in order to feel better about themselves and extend their lifespan, there’s no need to have a finely tuned and detailed diet plan.

Similarly, I’ve always believed that there’s no need to kill yourself exercising.

Exercise because you want to, because it’s fun, because it’s a challenge – but other than taking a brisk walk every day, you stand to do your diet more harm than good by flogging yourself at the gym on a daily basis – especially if, like me, you’re no longer in the prime of life.

Build up fitness and exercise regimes slowly and deliberately to get the most enjoyment and benefit.

Let’s get this straight… I’m not saying don’t exercise, I’m just saying you might not need to exercise as intensely as you think you do.

Which is good news because  if you want to lose more than 30 lbs, you don’t have to embarrass yourself by getting dressed head to foot in lycra and pounding the pavement to the amusement of the jackasses who yell out insults as you go by. Even if you can get past the ridicule or at least the fear of it, you’re going to encounter other problems like injury and lack of motivation.

By all means aim to get fit and put on a little muscle, but don’t feel compelled to try to make two major changes to your lifestyle at the same time. My own experience has taught me to master the mindset of the diet first and then progress to the strenuous  exercise in the final stages of a diet (if that’s what you want to do).

Diet as part of a lifestyle

I needed a diet that suited me and my existing lifestyle. I needed it to be simple and inexpensive. I needed it to be something I could sustain over a long period of time and something I could adapt to a permanent lifestyle when I lost the weight.

My life is based around being at home with the children – cooking, cleaning , doing housework and building a home based business.

I’m 43 years old and I have the full time responsibility for looking after our four young children. I’m on duty all day long and I haven’t time to do any of the nonsense that many other diets require.

Nor do I want to pay the ridiculous price tags for the pills, potions and superfoods currently being touted as the answer to everyone’s problems. Superfoods are super but they are also expensive and they are not the miraculous missing link in a successful diet.

I needed a diet that limited my choices and left me to make only good decisions.

Being a work at home mom or dad means that you’re near the fridge all day, it means you’re preparing and cooking food for other people, it means your schedule is crazy, it means you have stressful moments when the business or the family life get a little bent out of shape. And as you doubtless know, comfort eating often seems like a way to relieve the stress.

Comfort or convenience eating is mostly eradicated by the simple fact that I try to eat just once a day, so the proximity of the fridge isn’t a problem. (Note: since I wrote this I’ve learnt to graze, which is perhaps a little better – but in the beginning I ate just once!)

It was also important to me (for reasons I’ll explain elsewhere) that nobody knew I was on a diet, so it needed to appear to everyone else that nothing had changed. Even now at 30 lbs down, my family has no idea I’m eating only one meal.

And just because you’re on a diet it shouldn’t mean the rest of your family have to go on a diet too. My lifestyle choices shouldn’t inconvenience them. I don’t want to turn down the chance to go for a family meal in a restaurant or a some other social function just because I’m on a diet.

How does the diet work?

  • Monday to Friday – One main meal in the evening, with a dessert.
  • Saturday – Two meals – lunch and dinner, with more freedom to snack in between. In other words, a cheat day.
  • Sunday – Two meals – lunch and dinner, with a dessert.

Throughout the day I drink water and tea. The tea is made with whole milk and one sugar and typically I’ll drink about six cups a day.

Snacking isn’t something that I schedule in but there are occasionally times during the day when I’ll eat a snack.

(I would point out that I think it’s probably better to snack throughout the day (and also advisable), but I have some specific reasons why I don’t tend to – besides, the tea with the whole milk and one sugar is pretty close to being a snack with the fat, carbohydrate and protein. Even if it’s not ‘optimal’!)

How I do it

The basic plan is that on weekdays I’ll eat just one main meal everyday around 5pm with my family.

The meal will be big enough to fill my stomach and even make me feel slightly too full.

The point is that I want to feel satisfied that I’ve had a good meal and not feel hungry during the rest of the evening.

Such is the beauty of this diet, fasting during the day means my stomach feels fuller quicker at meal times and stops me over eating.

I eat what the family eats. Meals based around meat, chicken, fish, rice, potatoes, pasta, bread, vegetables, fruit, milk, cream, cheese, eggs – and usually followed by something sweet.

I often try not to eat during the day at all, but if I feel weak or very hungry I’ll eat something that has about 100 to 150 calories.

This is not about starving myself this is about controlling when I eat so that I can be assured of creating a moderate caloric deficit every day.

But it’s important to realise that these snacks are not mini meals, they’re not designed to satisfy my hunger, they’re purely functional.

One of the reasons this works for me, as I’ve already mentioned (but it bears repeating), is I drink tea with full fat milk and sugar throughout the day which tends to keep me going. I guess if you could classify it as snacking.

On Saturday I’ll eat two meals, lunch and dinner but I pretty much eat what I want and when I want. This is my day off, some people call it a cheat day, but I don’t consider it cheating as it will be part of the lifestyle I adopt after the weightloss phase is complete.

On Sunday I have 2 meals, lunch and dinner, but I’m strict about how much I eat and I use the day to prepare me to get back on the diet on Monday.

Exercise during the diet

I made a conscious decison not to take on any additional exercise other than walking once or twice a day with the dogs.

Taking on exercise as part of your diet may seem like a good idea, but my own experience is that exercise hampers my efforts.

From time to time I do some body-weight exercises mainly for fun or for the challenge but it’s not central to creating weight loss.

If there are days when I don’t get out for a walk it doesn’t have any significant impact on my progress.

The right mindset for successful dieting

I believe that most diets will work if you develop the right mindset, and most will fail if you don’t.

This approach to dieting may not suit you and that’s fine, go find something else, but you’re still going to need to develop the right mindset.

When you have a lot of weight to lose it can be hard to buy into the idea that you’ll need to stick to a diet for months. The results you want to see won’t be evident for a long time so you need to get invested in the process as much as the outcome.

It’s so important to get a reward from your efforts on a daily basis. Understand that the real result is not what the scale says but whether you stuck to your eating plan.

Get it into your head that if you repeatedly do the same thing day after day and stick to the plan, the occasional failures will be absorbed by the successes and you’ll reach your goal.

You are going to feel hungry on a diet, learn to get comfortable with it. Hunger is a signal and not a command. Again this is not an exercise in starvation, that’s a stupid and potentially dangerous way to lose weight, it’s about learning to control your intake to ensure that your body gets enough nutrition whilst producing enough of a deficit to lose fat over a period of time.

Set limits. The evening meal is not an open ended thing. There’s a tempation to drag the evening meal out for an hour or two but resist it and set an end time after which you will not eat. For me that time is 6pm which gives me an hour to eat and limits my opportunity to damage my diet.

What you tell yourself is important.

So much of your success on a diet comes from what you tell yourself. So make sure you tell yourself things that will benefit you.

  • Tell yourself that you’re easily eating enough food every day to meet your needs (but you actually do need to do this!)
  • Tell yourself that what you’re doing is amazing and life changing.
  • Tell yourself you have what it takes to get the job done.
  • Tell yourself how proud you are that you’re sticking to the diet.

Should you weigh yourself daily?

I weighed myself at the start so that I have  a marker to work from… but daily?

Well, that depends on whether you can handle it.

Unfortunately your weight is not an accurate indicator of fat loss. Your weight at any given moment is determined by how much fluid you’re retaining, how much glycogen reserves you’re holding, how much undigested food is in your stomach etc.

I don’t weigh myself often because I know that scale weight can vary wildly on any given day. Instead I take my reward from having stuck to the eating plan.

Motivation

My failure to lose weight has bothered me for years and eventually I came to associate it with failures in other areas of my life.

I’ve been doing the stay at home / work at home thing for a few years now and it’s been the toughest period of my life.

Getting control of my weight has made a huge difference to the way I feel and the way I think, so naturally it’s had a positive impact with other aspects of my life.

My initial motivation to get going with the diet came from negative emotions. I was unhappy about something in my life and this was my way of pushing back. It’s perhaps not the healthiest of motivations but it was effective to get me started.

The same motivation also got me back on the diet after I fell off the wagon a couple of times. Again, not ‘optimal’, but what in life is?

As time has gone by I’ve been able to replace many of the negative motivators with positive ones.

I mention this because the process has to be meaningful to you or you won’t get emotionally invested in it.

The way we feel determines what we do, so make sure you feel strongly about it.

Of course, I’m still motivated by all the usual reasons to lose weight:

  • Look good in swimmers
  • Set a good example to my children
  • Present a good image to others
  • Conquer my own thoughts and actions
  • Do something worthwhile
  • Extend my lifespan
  • Feel good

I also want the freedom to pig out for a week or two (like at Christmas) knowing that I’ll be able to take the weight off again. The prospect of always being within 5 or 6 pounds of my ideal weight instead of 35 or 36 pounds is exciting.

Research

One problem with the weight loss industry is that there seems to be a counter argument for almost everything.

You can read conflicting arguments both of which seem very credible and you become paralyzed by confusion and uncertainty. Instead of getting on with doing something positive you end up in a perpetual state of inaction and unable to commit.

I didn’t do any research before I started on the diet, I just did it. (But to be fair, I did have some knowledge from my previous weight loss attempts.)

NOTE: I’m not advocating being reckless, you should seek to educate yourself about health and nutrition. I was happy that I knew enough and was willing to adjust along the way.

This diet isn’t optimal

This diet certainly isn’t optimal but then life isn’t ‘optimal’ either, but we adapt and cope very well.

Optimal diets have their place, but that’s largley with athletes who need peak physical performance for competition. But I’m not an athlete, I’m a busy work at home parent trying to lose the majority of the excess weight I’ve accumulated though middle age and a fair amount of comfort eating brought on by the stresses of raising small children and trying to build a business.

There may come a time when I’m looking to achieve a very specific fitness goal when I explore optimal diets but for now I don’t believe it’s necessary.

Losing weight quickly or slowly

My belief is that slowly is the best option and that’s what I’ve been doing.

If I were to tweak what I’m doing just a little bit I could get faster results, but it might not benefit me to do so.

As I’ve said, for me, this is a lifestyle diet, I’m not trying to lose weight fast because the trade off isn’t worth it to me.

Fortunately, because the early stages of my diet were largely trial and error I got a chance to experience the quick way and the slow way.

Mixing the two approaches helped me (albeit unwittingly) to keep my interest and helped me to accommodate whatever was going on in my life at the time. I’ve put in a few extremely strict weeks as well as some slightly more flexible and relaxed weeks and it seems to work well.

 

The benefits

Simple
It needs to be simple because as a work at home parent with full time responsibility for the childcare, my life is already complicated enough. I haven’t got time to work out when I next need to eat and how many calories I can take in, and whether I’ve got the perfect balance between, protein, fat and carbohydrate.

Eating one (roughly) balanced meal at the same time every day is about as simple as it can get.

Fits with family life
My family don’t even know I’m on a diet. All they see is me sitting at the dinner table in the evening eating what they eat, enjoying my food and feeling full and happy afterwards.

During the weekdays my wife is at work and the children are at school, so it’s easy to skip lunch. At the weekend I eat lunch with the family and on Saturday I’ll eat whatever I please (within reason).

No lethargy
Feeling lethargic mid afternoon is a productivity killer for me. Working through lunch and into the early afternoon is a bonus. There’s a lot to do every day and I get it done because I don’t feel sluggish as I would following a post meal slump.

Sustainable
I can see myself adapting this diet to keep me at my desired body weight after I’ve got to my target weight and or body composition.

I’ll move to eating two meals a day (with the inclusion of a light lunch or breakfast) and revert to one meal whenever I want to drop a pound or two.

As I haven’t changed what I eat, there doesn’t seem to be much danger of falling back into old eating habits.

Flexible

It was all trial and error in the beginning and I made a lot of errors.

I found I was able to make up for it by making slight alterations to the quantities of food I ate. If I wanted a really good day, I’d miss out on dessert. If I ate a few too many snacks one day, I’d cut them out completely the next. If I hadn’t eaten enough, I’d eat some more.

I also found that putting in two good days at the start of the week where I ate a small meal in the evening, would allow me to be less stringent for the rest of the week. That’s tough to do though, but it suited me.

Not faddy
There’s no weighing, no obsessing, no superfoods, no supplements, nothing to add in and no meticulous decision making. You just get on and do it, there’s no wasted time.

Not too many moving parts to break
You’re only doing one thing – dieting. And because the success of your weight loss regimen doesn’t rely on you developing an exercise habit at the same time – there’s less chance of falling off the wagon through lack of motivation or physical injury.

If it’s too cold, too rainy, too windy, too dark to go for a run you’ll write off the day as a failure and reason that you may as well abandon the eating plan too.

Plateau busting
There is point at which the body will slow the metabolic rate in order to survive on fewer calories, I believe they call it ‘starvation mode’. I’ve read numerous conflicting reports about this phenomenon and even those who believe it to be correct, can’t seem to agree when it occurs.

I get around this by having a cheat day every Saturday. I suspect it tells my body and unconscious brain that there’s an abundance of food so there’s no need to close down. Not particularly scientific, but if nothing else it gives me a nice reward every 7 days.

What to watch out for

Broken routines
If the family are about for extended periods, like school holidays, it can be difficult around lunch time – firstly if the family see you’re not eating they’ll ask questions. It was important to me to keep my diet a secret, hut you might want to tell people (it might be easier!!). Secondly, with all the food around it’s tough not to take a bite, which leads to another and another etc.

Days when it doesn’t go well
I don’t get it right every time. In fact I got it wrong a lot in the beginning. I under-eat or over-eat and it’s difficult to know which you’re doing if you’re not counting calories (which I’m not). It pays to have a rough idea of how many calories your food has but if you start to micro manage your food intake it starts to get tedious and adds an extra pressure.

Beyond that, I let experience be my guide. See what works over a couple of weeks.

Opening the flood gates
I mentioned at the top that I have a specific reason why I don’t eat breakfast and I don’t tend to snack, and this is it…

Snacking is sometimes a good idea, especially if I feel weak, but I have to be careful because one small morsel of food can easily lead to another, and before I know it I’ve spent two hours grazing and eaten more than I would if I’d just had a small meal.

If you’re prone to this you might be better off eating two meals a day and transitioning gradually to one meal.

Sneaking in early
By about 430pm I’m ready to eat, but dinner isn’t until 5pm and I’m still preparing it. The problem is I end up not just tasting the food, but actually eating it. A few spoons of bolognese sauce, or a bite or two of bread can do quite a bit of damage to your diet because you don’t know you’re doing it and even if you do, you’ve waited so long to eat there’s no way you’re going to adjust your portion size at dinner.

Besides, starting early stretches your stomach out so you eat more to feel full.

Wait. Wait until you’re seated at the table before you let any food past your lips

When you don’t enjoy your dinner
The event itself:
The last thing you want having waited all day to eat, is to sit at a table with your family and referee fights and arguments between the kids. Children are children and sometimes they’ll misbehave requiring you to interject frequently. If you get to the end of your meal without really tasting and savoring it, you might not feel inclined to go through it all again tomorrow.

In these circumstances sometimes it’s better to eat after your children have finished. So wait ten or fifteen minutes and then eat your dinner in peace.

The food:
Make sure you eat meals you enjoy. If I sat down at the table to liver and bacon casserole I would not be a happy bunny.

When you don’t enjoy the diet
This is not for everyone, and even if does work for you there’ll be times when you don’t enjoy it. You’ll have days or even weeks when you can’t face it. Rather than give up and quit, tread water for a while. Go for maintenance rather than weight loss. Eat two meals a day and gradually work back to having one when you feel like it.

Scale weight and Monday morning bloat
On Monday morning you’ll still be bloated from the free and easy eating on Saturday and the two meals you at on Sunday. Even if you get in two good days at the start of the week it won’t be reflected in your weight until later on in the week.

This is one of the reasons I didn’t bother to weigh myself, I just stuck to the eating plan.

If you insist on weighing yourself, don’t freak out if the scale says you’ve gained weight and over-compensate by eating even less. If you keep doing it you’ll get discouraged or ill, and quit.

Missing breakfast

It seems to be universally accepted that eating breakfast is a must and I’m not going to dispute that. I certainly wouldn’t be happy if my children wanted to skip this meal. I don’t eat breakfast because for my entire adult life I have rarely eaten breakfast and I haven’t felt that there’s been any detriment to my health or wellbeing.

I’m open to the idea that eating first thing in the day boosts the metabolism and helps in the fat burning process, but I choose not to. That’s a personal preference. As I continue my own fat loss journey I may well decide to experiment to discover for myself whether the conventional fat loss wisdom holds true.

(Update: Now that I’ve been doing this for a while, I still don’t eat breakfast, but I do eat an apple a day and I eat it around breakfast!)

Common Sense
You need to apply common sense to this diet.

It stands to reason that if your one meal a day contains more calories than you need then you’re going to get fatter not thinner. It relies on the fact that you’re not going to absolutely pig out every day on junk food and use it as an excuse to binge. The beauty of the diet is that I can eat anything – ANYTHING – but to get results it has to be in moderation.

Low blood sugar and feeling faint

Extended periods of fasting can lead to feeling faint or dizzy. I know this because sometimes I’ve pushed this diet too far. I haven’t yet fainted, but on one occasion I came close to it. Luckily I wasn’t doing anything that put me at risk. But if I’d been driving, operating machinery or cooking at a hot stove the outcome could have been disastrous.

Be sensible. Eat small snacks if you need to. It’s only a diet, it’s not worth risking your life or your safety over a few calories!

Disclaimer

I’m not recommending this diet to you, instead I’m just sharing with you why it worked for me – the pros and the cons of taking this approach drawn from my own personal experience.

The opinions stated here are my own, I am not medically trained nor am I a qualified nutritionist. You must do your own research and you should consult a medical professional before embarking on a diet.

I’m relatively fit and healthy. I don’t have any medical conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes. I don’t take regular medication and I’m not in any risk category. I didn’t seek medical advice before embarking on this diet, I just did it. But if you have any doubts at all you should see a doctor.

Don’t do this if you’re young and still growing. Don’t do it if you’re pregnant (or think you might be). Don’t do it if you drive or operate machinery. If you have even one single doubt, don’t do it.

Conclusion

How much weight have I lost?

I’ve lost 30lbs and it’s taken me five months. I could have done it quicker but the price for the quick result was more than I was willing to pay.

Here’s me at 205lbs and 176lbs.

205 lbs 176 lbs

Keep in mind that the pictures don’t show the fat on my back, chest and rear end!

I’ve been documenting my progress over the last few weeks:

Week 1 : Week 2 : Week 3 : Week 4

For me, this has been the most successful diet ever

I’ve just quietly got on with it. I haven’t let anything else stop me from doing it and I feel very proud of what I’ve achieved.

The most important thing is to do something.

Wishing you were thinner and spending hours reading up on it won’t do a thing for you.

Taking action and finding a way to eat to a moderate calorie deficit is your best bet, whether it’s something like this or through a structured program like weight watchers.

Good luck with your own diet, let me know how you’re doing in the comments over at my new site 1MADdiet.com and I’ll cheer you on.


I am getting a six pack Some of my progress pictures from earlier in the year

{ 491 comments… read them below or add one }

smittenbybritain January 6, 2012 at 1:34 am

Oh and about the General. As a former U.S. serviceman myself, I can tell you that if you had to eat MREs every day, you’d only eat one meal a day too. ;0P

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David January 6, 2012 at 9:04 am

I had to look up MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) but I can imagine it’s not high-end cuisine! :)

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Scott July 20, 2012 at 7:27 am

They constipate you so badly that you get stomach pains after eating them for two days. During the First Gulf War they apparently had to airlift a couple soldiers to Germany because of critical digestion issues caused by them.
Not to mention the Dairy Milkshake has salmonella (and the DoD, in all its wisdom, merely sent out a do not eat warning and didn’t recall them), MRE’s are just all around bad, hence why they are only eaten when absolutely necessary.

Anyways on the one meal a day diet: I used to do that in High School along with running every day and dropped from 203 lbs to about 158 to get in shape for AROTC (although I was really skinny runner type, and after a couple months of PT was up to about 170 from putting on muscle). I’ve packed on a few pounds recently (up to 180, and purely from fat) so I’m going back on it, it has always worked for me and I felt better when I was on it.
Though if you work out in the morning it is a good idea to eat something very small, so that your metabolism kicks in and you can actually burn more fat and so you don’t feel light-headed throughout the day (personally I get a little light-headed from hard workouts), but very small is the key.

The way I always saw it, one meal a day is more natural from an evolutionary standpoint. Pre-agriculture and domestication, man would get up in the morning (whenever he felt like), maybe do a little “work”, get hungry, hunt in the afternoon, stuff his face in the evening or night and then go to sleep, rinse and repeat till he’s dead. Mankind was made to eat big meals rather than munch all day like the 6 meals a day has you think. Plus I personally don’t have the willpower to eat six small meals, I always eat 6 regular meals and end up eating way, way more. A human being is far more flexible with eating adaptability than most nutritionists or health experts are willing to admit. Hence why so many studies contradict each other in dietary research.

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David July 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Hi Scott! a muscled 170 sounds ideal. It’s good to hear that you were so successful with a 1 meal a day approach and it;s also good to hear you taking such a common sense approach to it. Just because the diet revolves around one meal, doesn’t mean we should be limited to eating just once a day. I like your flexible approach… I can’t wait to hear that you’re back at 170! :-)

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Krystal January 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm

LOVED YOUR POST :)
I am on my 3rd day of this. I am in my early 40s. I last did this way of eating in my 20s and it worked fabulously for me. Now I am overweight and trying it again. My reasoning is:-
* I don’t really care about breakfast anyway
* I don’t have time or desire to eat cooked breakfasts
* I like cereal and toasts but they do NOTHING to fill me up whatsoever – in fact I am less hungry if I eat nothing
* Eating in the evening only suits me. It’s generally the most “social” meal of the day (I mean, how many people meet friends for breakfast esp through the week?!) and it’s the hardest in which to control calories. As this is my only meal, I don’t worry about the calories. There’s only so much I can eat in one sitting.
* Eating out (which again is generally and evening thing) becomes beautifully simple. It’s very hard to stick to a diet eating out. I live in a small place and we don’t have the kind of restaurants which are full of diet-type foods. They tend to be normal hearty meals. I can just order normal meals and eat them without drawing attention to myself
* No-one seems to care if you eat breakfast or miss lunch, but eating like a bird and picking at a salad all evening seems to draw comments and makes me feel too different to enjoy my diet
* I love the feeling of looking forward to eating nice food at the end of a hard day’s work. Instead of dividing up my calorie intake between a breakfast that I never really wanted in the first place, and a so-so diet lunch and then making do with the few calories I have left to eat a weird meal different to everyone else in the household or at at the restaurant

My stats are 5ft 11″ and 217lbs. Will keep this site posted with my progress :)

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David January 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Fantastic!!

Hi Krystal, I think you summed it up very nicely. That’s pretty much how I feel about it. Like you, eating breakfast makes me feel hungrier, so I don’t miss it. Besides, I’m extremely busy at that time of day.

Being able to eat a full meal in the evening without counting calories feels amazing.

“[...] but eating like a bird and picking at a salad all evening seems to draw comments and makes me feel too different to enjoy my diet.” Absolutely!

Thanks so much for leaving such a great comment – I look forward to hearing how you get on!! :D

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Faith September 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Hey there!

Around mid july, i can’t exactly remember how but someway i stumbled upon your article about eating one meal a day. At that point i was frustrated at my efforts at weight loss. Excersing was not for me and eating salads put me into a bad temper. I was begining to think maybe i would never loose weight but then i read this wonderful article and realized may be i should give it a try… Eating one meal a day.

It’s been 1 and a 1/2 months and i’ve lost 15 Ibs!!!!

All i want to say is THANKYOU!! I look great and am never hungry!!! I feel amazing ;)) i’m really grateful if i hadn’t read this article i might still be wallowing in self pity ;P

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sharon January 11, 2013 at 1:58 am

It’s an inspiration! I need to lose `15 and keep up the healthy lifestyle!

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Elizabeth March 24, 2014 at 12:52 am

Hello all,
I have just started this diet and it’s not really hard to do. I am on day 5.
Just one thing, what does it mean when you wake up still really full from the night before? Did I eat too much?
For example,last night I had salad, oven cooked fresh salmon with soy and ginger, brown rice (a lot) and broccoli and 3 glasses of red wine. Maybe its the carbs that did it.
If I get hungry during the day, I eat some natural almonds or a spoon full of yoghurt or have some coffee and that seems to work.
I am 74 kilos and need to get down to 57 by end June 2014.I hope this is possible with this diet. I am so tired of counting calories and points and watching what I eat.
I really hope this one works.
Anyone have any tips?
Love elizabeth
p.s. this blog is absolutely wonderful and I love how you answer everyone David with so much kindness and courtesy.

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David February 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I’ve made some changes to this post to reflect that this is my experience of this diet and emphasize that I am not recommending it. It’s for your information and entertainment.

I’ve swapped to ‘you’s for I’s and added more obvious disclaimers.

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Shelly April 4, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Thanks for this affirmation. I am currently doing something similar. I have 2 sisters who are ‘naturally’ skinny and they both confess that they are “naturally’ basically 1 meal (dinner at nite) eaters with snacks now and then when they get ‘really’ hungry.
I started doing this myself when about 8 weeks ago I was in a panic since I injured my foot and couldn’t do my hour a day walking. I thought “Wow, I couldn’t lose weight walking an hour a day-I’m going to get even bigger weight wise.” I googled “One meal a day for weight loss” and found several articles that affirmed this might work. I’m pleased to say that I’ve lost 8 lbs in 5 weeks and plan to do this permanently since I have lotsa weight to lose and really feel better on this. I do have a mid morning snack (boiled egg or celery or apple) and mid afternoon snack (like the mid morning one) then eat my meal after 5 sometime. I drink lotsa water, coffee (no sugar or cream) or tea (plain) all day long.

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David April 4, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Hi Shelly, that’s fantastic! Losing 8lbs in 5 weeks is a great result.

Snacking a few times a day is no bad thing. In fact I think it’s a good thing.

It’s a little something just to take the edge off the hunger and keep at bay any issues with low blood sugar.

I’ve had periods of time on this diet when I ate ONLY once a day (no snacks), I did it for a specific reason but I believe that it’s better to take in light snacks throughout the day.

I hope it continues to work well for you, and thanks for taking the time to leave a message.

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Shelly May 6, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Just wanted to give you an update. There have been some days when I am really hungry either mid morning or early afternoon. Then I find myself obsessing about food. So then I just have my Big meal then. At first I was worried that it would hurt the weight loss, but not at all- I continue to lose steadily. So on days where I am REALLY hungry, and decide to make an early big meal, then at night right before bed, I will have a small bowl of fiber cereal (with a little milk) and an apple- so that I go to bed with food in my stomach and can sleep. The weight loss continues as before. And that early meal holds me for the day!
Now that I’m eating only one main meal and 2 snacks (a boiled egg, or chopped veggies or an apple) I realize that inspite of thoroughly enjoying a large meal, I eat a lot less in the day than I did before.

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David May 6, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Hi Shelly, I love the way you’ve adapted to make this work for you.
The small snacks are a brilliant idea because they keep you on track. It’s great that you don’t feel you need to eat only once a day. That can put on far too much pressure. The point is, you’re eating only one main meal a day – and as you point out, that’s why you’re eating less than you used to.

What a great update. Thank you for letting me know!

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tony April 22, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Thanks for the blog. It’s hard to find anyone who has actually stuck to this
Diet. I would rather eat 1 meal it’s satisfying than 6 meals that aren’t. I met herschel walker yesterday. he eats just 1 meal a day. he is 50 and looks like he’s 20. if this is good enough for him then it is good enough for me. today is my first day. I am 43 years old. and 65 pounds overweight.

thanks again

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David April 22, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Hi Tony,
I know what you mean. Lots of people start this diet and then seem to abandon it – not so many follow through with it.
I expect you’ll see some good results and fairly quickly too.
But I want you to know that I fell off the wagon A LOT to begin with and had quite a few false starts. It takes time to get used to this diet, so if it you’re finding it tough, rather than give up, try transitioning from 2 meals a day.
I’d love to know how you get on, so please do let me know.

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tony April 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Today is day 10. According to the scale I’ve lost 7.2 lbs in 9 days, but that’s not really possible. 3 lbs of the initial weight loss was water. I’m saying that I have a 1 lb swing on any given day from water. So, I’ve actually lost 3.2 lbs in 9 days. This is about a 1250 calorie deficit per day. I’m 43, 6′ 2″ and started at 253 lbs. My Basal Metabolic Rate (from a website) is about 2500 calories.

It really hasn’t been that hard to not eat until dinner. I don’t deprive myself anything I want. I simply eat it at dinner time. Sometimes that makes for an interesting meal. I don’t really scarf food down like I thought I would. I’m less hungry during the day then I was when I ate all day long. The chemical sugar swings are gone.

My goal is 60 lbs of weight loss. I’ve accomplished 5% in 9 days. Can I do 100% in 180 days? I doubt it. As I lose weight my BMR will drop. So it will go slower as I go forward. If I get down to 189 by Christmas I’ll be happy. I’ll update again at 30 days.

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David April 30, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Hi Tony, I just popped across to your site to leave a comment but was unable to do so (as I don’t have any of the profiles it requires). Not to worry, I’ll say it here instead…

I think you’ve had a fantastic start and your mindset is spot on! It took me a while before I was able to where you are. I really admire the way you’re realistic and positive at the same time.

Great start Tony! (And thanks for coming back to share your progress)

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Tony May 7, 2012 at 3:03 pm

(long post, but I thought you would like it)
DAY 17
7:00 am 243.6 (I’ve lost 10 lbs in 17 days – give or take some water weight)

How does one go all day without eating? By simply doing it. However, I have found a few techniques that seem to help.

First, stay busy. Sloth, boredom, idle time; these all make me hungry. If I work all day and am focused then food becomes secondary. Generally I’m working with dogs on Fri, Sat, Sun (and sometimes Mon). These days I typically don’t eat dinner until after 8 pm, and that’s OK. During the middle of the week when I’m off, I tend to get really hungry at about 3:00 and have to struggle to wait until 5:00 or a little later to eat.

Second, drink plenty of anything. I keep a case of water in my car. I keep a case of water in a small fridge in my workshop on the farm. I keep a pitcher of splenda sweetened tea in the fridge in the house.

Third, don’t nibble. At least for me I have found that the more I eat, the more I want to eat. This is especially true of sugar and carbs. If I take a bite here and a bite there, then I’ll go all day with an attitude of both cheating and hunger. It’s best to just skip the nibbling.

Fourth, have a 5 Hour Energy. If I feel like I can’t make then then the best thing to have is a 5 Hour Energy. It’s loaded with B vitamins and other energy producing compounds.

Fifth, if I have to eat something then I go ahead and eat enough to get me to dinner. The one time so far that I really felt like I had to eat something – or go crazy – I ate two ounces of ham. I ate enough that I could mentally say, “OK, that will get me to dinner.” I think this is better than just having a bite and not feeling like I’ve eaten enough.

Sixth, Mentality! There are a few different mental attitudes that really help.

Hunger is relative. There are millions of people in the world who survive on a lot less food than I do. I’m not really “hungry”, I just want to eat.
The feeling in my stomach is not a problem, it’s progress. There is no way to lose weight without feeling that feeling (whatever that feels like to you). It IS the feeling of LOSING WEIGHT. So the more I feel it, the more progress I am making.
It’s just a couple more hours. By the time I start to really get hungry it’s normally not too long until I’ll eat. Anyone can go a couple hours. I can go a couple more hours.
I can eat whatever I want! If I want M&M’s at 2:00 in the afternoon then I can have M&M’s with my dinner! I can buy them. I can hold them. I can eat them TODAY, just not right now. My dinner can consist of a taco, M&M’s, a piece of pizza and mashed potatoes and gravy if I want. Whatever I want to eat I can eat, and should eat… for dinner!

The key to mental strength is to tap into areas of your life where you are ALREADY STRONG. For instance: If I’m big on self-discipline, then I focus on how disciplined I am being. If I like to plan things, then I make detailed plans of what I will eat and when. If I love being spontaneous then I’ll promise that I will give myself the best surprise and decide at the very last minute what or when I will eat. If I’m social then I will plan a great meal with a friend as my reward. Etc. Don’t try to force yourself to do what’s UNCOMFORTABLE emotionally and mentally. Instead tap into areas of your mentality where you have a track record of success and power. Project your eating plan through that powerful part of your psyche.

These are things that have helped me through 17 days. (Also, don’t focus on the scale. My weight can fluctuate up to FIVE POUNDS in a given day. So, the scale is always wrong in some way or another. Just focus on the process. The results will take care of themselves.

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David May 7, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Tony, I don’t just like it, I love it!
I can wholeheartedly endorse everything you’ve said.
That is a fantastic summary and reflects my own experience and thinking. It’s true that being hungry sometimes hurts, but it does pass and while it’s happening I can derive a bizarre satisfaction from it, knowing that I’m sticking to the plan and sticking to the plan leads to results.
Mindset is crucial. You are so right about that. In fact for me that has been the toughest part but ultimately very rewarding. In fact I’d go as far as to say that changing my mind-set has been more rewarding than the weight loss because of the positive impact on other areas of my life.
Thanks for this Tony, it’s an inspiring read!

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Tony May 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I don’t know if you’ve posted any articles regarding the “many small meals” myth. But here is a pretty good one.
http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2011/10/snacking-metabolism/

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David May 9, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Tony, that’s a great find, thank you!
This might sound odd, but I’ve done virtually no research into this diet. I just reasoned that most of what we see regarding diet and weight loss is either wrong or designed to get us to part with our money.
I have long suspected that starvation mode (in the context of dieting) was a myth and I also suspected that the metabolism thing was just rubbish too.
I’m going to start writing about this stuff more as soon as I’ve lost the last of my fat because I want to be able to speak from a position of having debunked the myths.
Glad you sent this my way though. I’ll definitely be using it for another blog post. Thanks again!

Tony May 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Day 30 Status 241.3 lbs
Not much else to say. I wanted to do push ups and sit ups every day. That hasn’t happened. Maybe I’ll get into the exercise at some point, but it’s really not my thing. I think the biggest issue with making a change like this is when people try to change their basic nature. In the past I’ve tried blasting the gym like I’m an athlete. But I’m not an athlete. I don’t enjoy exercising. I never have. Sometime I enjoy going for a run, but I’m not into the grunting, painful workouts. But I can control when I eat. That’s natural for me. So, my suggestion for anyone wanting to get to day 30… don’t let not exercising (or any other non-eating goal) undo your eating plan. Just be Yourself.

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David May 20, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Tony! Well done!!
Down from 253.8 to 241.3 in 30 days. Way to go!
That is a tremendous result. Having the discipline to keep going and make the progress you have made is well worth celebrating.
I think you are nicely placed for anotheer good month (one day at a time, of course).
I think you’re right to take that approach to exercise. Too many people throw themselves into it. They get injured and disillusioned and let the eating plan slide. I wrote about it here (in case you hadn’t seen it) http://hubbyshome.com/540/lose-weight-no-exercise/
Great job, Tony. I think you have the balance exactly right. Your weight loss is stready and not too extreme. You’re under eating enough but not too much. Here’s to your next 30 days! :)

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Lisa January 10, 2014 at 2:11 am

I exercise and eat pretty good but I don’t always, feel like I really eat what I want. And exercise seems to make me hungry, I am going to start this one whole meal a day, mashed potatoes, pasta salad and yes something sweet but small. An apple or egg in the morning then this is doable.And walking instead of killing myself at the gym and small amount of weights Here I go………………….

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David January 10, 2014 at 8:06 am

Hi Lisa, sounds like a good plan! And and as it’s a plan that incorporates the food you enjoy eating, chances are good that you’ll stick to it.

The benefits of walking are greatly underestimated!

Good luck Lisa! Let us know how it works out for you.

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Tony May 30, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Here’s an update for me. I’m down 15 lbs at this point.

7:00 am 238.4 That’s 15 lbs, .375 lbs per day, 1321 kcal per day deficit. Again this weight fluctuates even throughout the day. If I go out and work on my farm weeding crops, building, moving dirt, etc then I could easily weight 236 by 2:00 pm. If I have a big breakfast and some chocolate milk then I could weigh 240. The exact weight is less important than the trend. Look at this past week. I went from 238 to 244 and back in 7 days. That’s the effect of being ill. However, the trend is certainly undeniable, and I’m eating pizza, burgers, steak, shakes and candy to do it.

Regarding my energy levels. A lot of people would think that if you only eat once a day that you would be lethargic, tired or unproductive. I own a farm, dog boarding facility and I train dogs on the weekends in people’s homes. When I’m training dogs (Fri, Sat, Sun and sometimes Mon), I work from 9:00 am until 8:00 pm most day. That’s why I don’t eat dinner until late in the evening on those days. When I’m not training dogs I’m doing stuff on my farm. If you want to get an idea of what, here’s my blog for the farm – http://tonybluegoat.blogspot.com/.

Basically, on the farm I get up at 7:00 am and do all the hot sweaty work like hand harvesting food, hand weeding, moving dirt (with a shovel), construction, etc. before 1:00 pm when it gets too hot. After that I do things out of the heat – work in my shop repairing things, pressure can or process foods, shop, etc. All the while I am also tending to chickens, goats, dogs, meat rabbits, and my daughter. I typically will go to sleep at about 11:00 pm after I have put all the dogs to bed. So, from an energy standpoint I’m doing more physical work than a lot of people do – especially people who are 60 lbs (now 45 lbs) overweight.

Regarding exercise. I wanted to do push-ups and sit-ups every day. I haven’t done that. I enjoy running sometimes. I would have done some exercise last week but I got a wicked sunburn on my lower back and then I got sick. From time to time I have no doubt I will run 2-3 miles, again without eating before doing it. So, your body uses the energy that it gets from the food that you eat. It doesn’t matter if you eat it 3 times, 5 times or just ONCE a day. The energy is there. I have found that most of the time when I’m feeling tired it is just because I’m lazy. The more I do the more energy I have. If I feel I need a burst of energy then I drink a 5 Hour Energy drink.

Today is my free day. I’ll have some bacon and eggs for breakfast.

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David May 31, 2012 at 1:58 am

Hi Tony, that’s good going.

15lbs is a significant amount of weight to lose. No doubt you feel great for having made such progress.

I’ll drop by the farm blog and take a look at what you do – but it sounds like you’re pretty much always on the go.

Thanks for the update – I’m looking forward to the next one.

Keep up the good work, you’re doing a fantastic job!

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David June 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Hey Tony, I’ve just seen your progress over at your blog. Great work! 237 down from 254 in 54 days is fantastic! I still can’t comment on your blog, so I thought I’d say it here… well done!

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Tony June 19, 2012 at 2:22 pm

8:00 am 235 This is what I was waiting for. It happens so often… no change… no change… up a little… no change and then Bingo, Big Change. I did notice yesterday when I weighed myself in the middle of the day I weighed 235, so I knew it was just a matter of time until I weighed that in the morning. Again, you weight fluctuates throughout the day – especially after working outside or working out, because sweating drops water weight.

ONE THIRD OF THE WAY THROUGH AT DAY 60. Does that mean 180 days will be enough? Who cares? If it takes 300 days, it’s really not that hard to just eat once a day.

Also, and more telling, I had to buy new jeans this week. The 38’s were starting to look ridiculous and it was getting really hard for the belt to hold them up. I bought 3 pairs of 36’s. I don’t want to over-commit to 36 because in another 8 weeks I’ll be down to 34’s.

60 days is two months, but it is not 8 weeks. It’s actually 8.57 weeks. I’m right on track at 2 lbs per week. This was my high estimate of weight loss. My expectation was to lose 1.5 lbs. I want to stress that I am not paying attention to WHAT I eat or HOW MUCH I eat. I know I’m not recording amounts of food. But I’m eating enough that I generally feel bloated after I eat. Plus I’m having lots of sweets – pies, cakes, candies. And I do drink scotch and beer. Since my 3.5 mile run over a month ago I haven’t exercised a bit.

I’ll say something else. A lot of people want to get really picky about “how long” the meal lasts. I don’t worry about it. A meal is the food I want plus the dessert I want. Sometimes I’ll eat the food I want when I’m leaving Dallas at 7 pm but not eat the dessert until I get home at close to 10 pm. The easy thing here is that you don’t have to worry. Once you get the hang of skipping breakfast then you have that meal out of the day. Also if you have SOME cut-off when your meal is OVER then you don’t eat or snack late. That just leaves the middle of the day. If I eat at 3 pm then I’m still not hungry until the next day. If I wait until 8 pm to eat then that’s OK too. Generally I eat early if I’m not super busy and I eat later if I am.

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David June 19, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Tony, great job.

I find that business with the weight happens to me too. It’s cycles around a bit and there’s a sudden drop. I find it works the other way around too, and WHAMMO a sudden gain.

I caught this on your blog and it made me laugh:

“…you know food sucks when you only eat once a day and still don’t finish eating the food…”

That is so true!

Keep up the good work, it’s really happenning for you!

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Arzoo April 26, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Hey,

Congratulations!! Great job.

I would like to start this as well.I am overweight by 25 kgs (55lbs) and have been struggling with for the last ten years. What is your one meal like?

Thanks,
A

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David April 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Thank you!

The great thing about this is I eat what the familiy eats. Mostly meals based around meat, chicken or fish, with either potatoes or rice, and vegetables.

Nothing fancy, nothing out of the ordinary – just regular food. Nothing is off limits.

I think that’s one of the reasons it took me so long to lose the weight – I wasn’t counting calories and I ate what I liked.

The key is that I ate one meal a day that I really enjoyed and I didn’t care that it wasn’t “optimal”. It would have killed me to wait a whole day just to tuck into a bowl of salad and mung beans.

If I were to do it all again the only thing I’d change is to pay slightly more attention to portion size. There were some days I got greedy and that slowed my progress. Can’t complain too much because I still reached my goal in the end.

Good luck with your own weight loss! Let me know how it’s going.

Dave

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Kimberly April 29, 2012 at 4:04 am

Hi guys, there is a very nice forum for us one meal eaters, it is (Edit: link removed – sorry, it links out to some spam sites), I think it needs more people to share their experiences. I started this diet few days ago and I feel great! I really recommend it :)

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David April 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Hi Kimberly, thanks for letting us know about the forum. :)

EDIT: Kimberly, I’ve just checked out the forum and you probably didn’t know this, but it has lots of spam comments on it already linking out to all sorts of rubbish.

I’ll wait to see if it gets cleaned up and then I’ll reinstate the link. But thanks for sharing, I’m sure it’s just a temporary glitch. Dave.

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Kimberly April 30, 2012 at 11:23 am

Hi David,
I’m sorry, it was never my intention to post a spammed website on your blog. I’ve been accessing the site for almost a week and I didn’t have any issues with spams, maybe my computer blocks them? I guess other people were having the same issue, that’s why the site is so low on members :( I wish there was a nice forum where people can share their experiences and give support to dieters. David if you know of any or if you can start one please post it here on your blog ( I check your blog regularly :). Thanks for clarifying about the forum I posted and not just deleting my post or ignoring my comment, it was very nice of you!

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David April 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Hi Kimberly, you weren’t to know, so don’t worry about it. :)

Actually, I think the spam is limited to the General Discussion board. I’m sure that the site owner will get around to moderating it soon.

It looks like a promising forum with some nice people! It’s good to have some support from people who understand. I’m not sure I have the time to create a forum (they’re notoriously time consuming to manage) but I’ll keep it in mind.

I hope you have a fantastic day! :)

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David May 9, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Thanks for the great blog. I tried something similar, though a bit more drastic as I only ate one meal–but also a very light meal–a few years ago with great, fast results. I am now married, 34 yrs. old, 5ft10 220lbs and the goal is 175. I just re-started this diet–this time not drastic like before–with the one free meal in the evening, and I know it will work for me. I think the obvious key to this diet is that you can eat whatever you want once a day to the point of being pretty full, and as long as you don’t seriously overdo it and gorge yourself with your one meal, you will lose weight. You are rewarded by eating your favorite meals every single evening, and because of that, unlike other diets, this diet is sustainable. I don’t agree that its critical to eat breakfast or to eat six light meals all day long. I think that is likely something promulgated by people who freak out when they feel one bit of hunger and cannot deal with it. Or perhaps it does work to keep your metabolism going, but the fact is that severe deficits also work, and the one meal a day (without a drastic deficit, works great too. To me, a calorie is a calorie, and so long as you have a deficit, you will lose. It’s that simple–don’t make it more complicated than it is. And besides, I find it easy to eat one meal a day without getting hungry. But I also found it way too hard to eat rabbit food multiple times a day for six days a week with only one or two cheat meals on the weekend. Even if I ate something fairly decent like pasta with light sauce, it still reminded me of how it didn’t taste as good as the full fat version, and constantly made me think that I was missing out. And that is frankly IMO a sad way to live given the social emphasis placed on food, the environment we live in which encourages eating, and all the temptations out there. I sure as heck don’t want to watch my wife eat fettucine alfredo on Wednesday night while I eat a lean turkey sandwich with only mustard, or go out for a beer with friends on Friday night and watch them eat fried chicken wings or nachos while I eat a baked piece of fish and veggies. Its mental torture to watch this and a diet killer. So this one meal a day diet is the best of both worlds. Eat what you want once a day and still lose weight. Simple, tried, true, and much easier than “mainstream” diets. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!

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David May 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Hi David, thanks for stopping by!

I’m with you on this one. I’ve found this way of dieting to be by far the best for me because, as you say, you get to eat a decent meal without having to make huge compromises.

It’s a simple way to start. You just keep eating what you’ve been eating, but you just have less. And over time, for those who feel inclined to do so, we can make changes to the types of food we eat.

Maybe you feel the same way, but for me it was more important to do something about my weight, see some results and feel good about what I was achieving.

The key thing that comes out of this for me is that you have found a way to make it work for you and I think that’s so important.

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

Thanks again!

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David May 9, 2012 at 7:42 pm

That’s a good point about adjusting to more healthy food at some point. I may do that at some point, but for now, I find that my priority is to lose the weight first, however I can do that, and this kind of diet has allowed me to finally stick to weight loss plan. I am sure the health benefits realized by losing several pounds will be good. On the previous “drastic” diet I mentioned, I would literally come home and eat a couple of tacos (taco bell or homemade) or a small McDonalds hamburger for dinner everyday and nothing else. Not exactly health food, but I lost a bunch of weight and the doctor actually shook my hand because my blood pressure and cholesterol had also improved dramatically, even with tacos and burgers! Go figure. I think its important to realize that not every diet is for everyone. For me, this is what works. The only problem now is deciding how I can incorporate a few beers every weekend into it… :)

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David May 9, 2012 at 8:07 pm

“I think its important to realize that not every diet is for everyone.”

Definitely. For me I wanted something close enough to my normal diet. I keep seeing stories about people who change what they eat radically in order to lose weight only to go back to their old diet and put the weight back on. I know that when I finish the weight loss phase of the diet I’ll still be eating what I normally eat… only more of it!

I think that if the beer is ice cold it has fewer calories. I’m sure I read that somewhere. Or maybe it was just a dream. Haha!

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Jennifer May 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm

I’my glad I found this site because I started the 2-meal a day diet this week and wanted to know about other people’s experiences. I know this is once a day, but I decided to do breakfast and then dinner. Perhaps later I will move to once a day, but I’ll have to see.

I used to be so skinny and then my 30s hit and my weight has crept up and up. Daily walks with my dog of 3-4 miles have done nothing to help me lose, lifting weights at the gym did zero. A vegan diet (sugar free, no less) made me GAIN weight if you can believe it, and the whole high-protein/low-carb diet made me literally sick to my stomach. Sigh…

The idea that I’m supposed to eat every 3 hours has created even more disordered eating patterns than I had before! I would break down 1600 calories into little chunks thru the day — 250 calories here, 100 there, and then I would be so hungry at dinner I overate every time. Breaking down 1600 between 2 meals though is definitely easier, and I like that I am letting my stomach have a rest. How can it be natural for people to eat every 3 hours? Do we really believe that back in ancient Rome or Egypt people were carrying around food to nosh on thru the day? I doubt it.

I am 5’7″ and weigh 152. I have an app called myfitnesspal on my iPhone and I use it to track my food and exercise. What a treat it is to have a (for me) big breakfast of eggs, turkey bacon, english muffin, and even a smoothie I make from scratch with protein powder, spinach, almond milk and some fruit and I still have 1200 calories “in the bank.” I can finally eat dinner until I feel done and not feel bad that I went over my count. I wish I had thought of doing this sooner.

FYI, I just finished reading “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, and I now know that my eating habits were just that – habits. I trained myself to want food at certain intervals, get hungry, etc. This book gave me the insight I needed to see this thing through and re-train myself.

Cheers!

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David May 31, 2012 at 2:06 am

Hi Jennifer! That’s exactly how I started out… eating two meals a day. Eventually I was able to transition to one meal.

But as you point out, it doesn’t really matter how you do it, as long as you can sustain whatever it is you’re doing. If two meals works best for you, you should definitely stick with that.

Most of dieting is mindset, breaking old habits and forming new ones. I haven’t read the book you mentioned but clearly it’s got you in the right frame of mind.

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

I’m glad you dropped by and left a comment!

Jennifer May 31, 2012 at 4:14 pm

Well, I would like to report that since I started the 2-meal-only plan on Monday (05/28) I am under 150 pounds for the 1st time in years — 149.4 to be exact. A week ago I was 152. According to myfitnesspal log I have had a calorie deficit of 150-200 calories below my 1600-calorie limit every day.

The idea to treat lunch as a small snack instead of a meal is a good one. When I wake up I am never hungry and the idea that I should eat b’fast because it’s super important or my head will explode or something never made sense to me. I had to force myself to eat and felt even worse. Now I’m eating my 1st meal no earlier than 10 and it suits me just fine.

Next week I am going to Virginia on vacation and it will be interesting to see how this works in a new setting I’m not used to.

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David June 1, 2012 at 12:12 am

That’s a great start Jennifer! The vacation may be an interesting challenge for you but you can definitely come out the other side better off.

You have it right about the snacks. They’re not mini meals. They’re just snacks, food to take the edge off the hunger – purely functional food. Snacking is dangerous for me, I have to be so careful or the flood gates open.

Keep at it, you’re doing a great job! :)

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David March 22, 2013 at 4:02 am

Hey guys. Its David from May 2012 in the post up above. What I wanted to say was congratulations on the successful weight loss. Even eating one good meal per day is not as easy a diet as I thought it would be! I thought it was going to be easy for me to stick to the diet, but I deviated from it when family came to town. All we seem to do when they come to town is go out to eat, constantly! So I am back to say I have started the diet once again, about 3 weeks ago, and have stuck to it to a tee this time with no issues and thus far have lost 11 pounds. 25 more lbs to go. I seriously hope to remain on it for many more months, and may then ease up on it only slightly and maybe have two meals a day. I think this is something I can stick to long term. Congrats again to everyone who is successfully trying this and good luck!

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David March 24, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Hi David, it’s great to hear from you again.

Well done of dropping the 11 pounds and good luck on getting to your 25lb target. As I’ve said before, it’s a simple diet but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

I don’t think any diet is easy and that’s why so few people are successful. I know from my own experience that it takes persistence and it takes time.

Those of us who continue to get up after we fall will surely reach our goals.

I think there’s definitely a benefit in trying two meals a day as a way to maintain (or lose slowly) and then having shorter intense burts of one meal a day to shift some of the fat.

Keep at it and let us know how you do.

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100 plus June 1, 2012 at 7:38 pm

j ust came across your blog and it is a gem.I am trying to lose over a 100 lbs and so far this one meal a day diet is working for me.I have been doing it for 2 weeks and ive lost about 6 lbs.I also incorporate a small snack during the day (here are some of my choices) fruit,a chunk of great cheese w crackers or a bagel w a little butter n jam.I look foward every evening to a well thought out delicious dinner and sometimes i have dessert,maybe 3-4x a week.only difference from you is that i do this 7 days a week .I also drink alot of water and do some light walking about 10 minutes most days.My only ? to you dave do you think i can reach goal doing it this way ?this is the longest ive stuck with any sort of diet so thats already a big win 4 me right there.And my love and obsession with food is now geared towards that 1 meal which now seems alot more satisfying then 2or 3 mediocre meals .sorry for such a long comment just excited with this blog…..

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David June 1, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Hi 100 plus! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment :)

Firstly… well done on losing some weight. I think early success is important because it helps you to believe that the goal you’ve set for yourself is possible. And as you’re proving… it is possible!

Sticking to any diet for a long period of time is going to be challenging, so you have to do it in a way that feels least like a diet.

The beauty of eating one meal a day is I ate what I wanted and I ate with the family. It was all very normal.

During the day I’m always super busy anyway, so missing a couple of meals wasn’t too difficult. The great thing is that it’s flexible. As long as you base your eating plan broadly around one main meal, eating the odd snack here and there just to take the edge off the hunger doesn’t hurt the diet.

Some days will be better than others – that’s just the way it is, so it’s best not to beat yourself up about it when that happens.

Without a doubt my own progress was slowed down because I refused to count calories. Had I done so I think I would have lost the weight a lot quicker.

I admire your resolve to stick to the plan 7 days a week. Relaxed eating on the weekend also caused my progress to be painfully slow, but I accepted that was the price I’d pay for keeping it as close to my usual eating patterns as possible.

I think you can definitely do it. You sound very positive. Just keep trying different approaches until you find what suits you.

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

Dave :)

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100 plus June 2, 2012 at 12:46 am

Thank u for the encouragement ,i will post often and let u know how this one meal a day diet is working for me.Here is some stats on me ,I am 40 years old w a 20 year old daughter in college and im married.Currently unemployed but looking for work in a bad economy.Thankfully my husband has a good job.I did think about having a cheating day or eating 2 meals at least on the weekends but as i went along the idea of a really good dinner everynite seemed enough so far.The first week was HELL ,had to get my body adjusted to eating one main meal a day but with some light snacking here and there like i mentioned on my previous post got me thru it.If dessert is available then i have it to but that’s not always the case everyday.forthe most part this diet is free,is very doable and most importantly is showing me results.Sometimes i get a little cranky but then remind myself of my delicious dinner awaiting and then i feel better,this is why i think u were right when u said weight loss is 90%psychological at least for me it is.Once again thank u for this blog its been so helpful and i also like your house cleaning tips

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David June 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm

“The first week was HELL…” LOL I’m pretty sure I felt the same way.

I enjoyed the flexibility because if I deviated from the eating plan I didn’t feel like I’d failed. If I got it 80% right on a daily or weekly basis I could end the day or the week feeling good about my achievement.

I still get cranky from time to time because I’m hungry, but that’s much better than feeling cranky because I’ve pigged out and ruined my diet. A small snack can cure the first in minutes, but to cure the second I have to wait a whole day!

Glad you liked the house cleaning tips! It reminds me that I want to write on the broader topics I promised I’d cover on the site.

I made mistakes as I went along but

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100 plus June 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Hi david
Just wanted to share that i slipped off plan by eating leftovers and snacking over the last few days.I know the one meal a day plan does work because i did lose some weight when adhering to it.But found myself struggling a bit of late and would gladly appreciate any advice or tips on how to get back on track and succeed like you did.
Just trying to regroup and sharing my experience thus far honestly………

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David June 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Hi 100 plus!

The most encouraging thing is that you still want to do something about it and that’s definitely something to feel good about. You have a desire to change and with that as your starting point, really good things can happen!

I have a main point to make, but I’ll come back to that at the end, but first…

Whatever you do, don’t feel bad or dejected, you just have to find a way that works for you – and the truth is… that takes a little trial and error.

The trouble is, the trial and error feels more like failure than what it really is… an exploration of what does and doesn’t work.

It’s early days for you so maybe it’s worth taking the pressure off just long enough to experiment a little.

It might be that eating just one main meal a day is not the way for you to go, especially if you’re going to be doing this for a while.

Two meal with one of them eaten late evening, like suppertime, also works very well for me and I sometimes slip into that routine when I get bored with just one meal.

I don’t know quiet how you’re working your diet, but if it’s as unstructured as mine is… I don’t count calories and I’m not selective or careful about what I eat – it might benefit you to add some structure.

It took me far too long to lose the weight and I could have done it much quicker had I created a tighter structure.

But here’s the main point I wanted to make… it’s something that I’ve only just learnt myself…

You need to develop a burning desire… not just a desire, but a red hot burning desire.

I wanted to lose weight for years and I had a desire to do it, but until I started this diet I didn’t ever have a burning desire. I didn’t have any truly compelling reasons. It was more of a casual desire – and sadly that;s not enough to carry you through the tough times!

When I started out on this I had some very powerful reasons to want to achieve my goal. There were times when the reasons and the feelings associated with them faded, but I always found I was able to tap back into them.

And that’s why, having lost the 30lbs, I then failed a couple of times to make any progress towards my latest goal to lose the remaining fat in order to get a flat stomach.

The fact was I just didn’t have a burning desire. I’d hit my goal and frankly I didn’t feel very strongly about losing more weight – because I was happy with the way I looked and with what I’d achieved.

Well, I appear to be on a successful streak again with my diet and I’m losing fat. And that’s because I’ve found a reason that fires me up. I’m back to a stage where I want to the results more than I want the leftovers (and I still do want them – it’s always a battle).

So while you’re experimenting with the physical process of your diet, maybe you could takes some time to explore your motivations and see whether there’s anything there you could tap into to fire you up?

I don’t know if that helped at all, it feels like maybe I’ve just glossed over it. Let me know if it makes sense… maybe I could clarify a few bits?

Just know that what you want to do is possible and that you can do it. If it takes you a little longer than most, so what? Who cares? You just do it your way and in your own time.

Dave :)

Michael June 11, 2012 at 9:13 am

Don’t forget, intermittent fasting or calorie restriction can help you live longer too! This had worked for me too. generally, eating let’s calories is gonna make you lose weight. Don’t listen to those 6+ meal a day drones who think that your body puts on more fat when you go hungry. Have they never seen people in famine? Eating one meal a day isn’t famine either. I’ve also found that I can better control what I eat when it’s just once a day. People in the old days used to eat twice a day. And in Theravada Buddhism, monks may only have one meal a day before noon, and that was considered the middle path (half way between 2 and 0).

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David June 11, 2012 at 10:54 am

Hi Michael, it’s been an interesting experiment, that’s for sure!

I kept quiet about what I was doing in the beginning exactly because of those who say it can’t be done.

It can be done! I did it to lose 30 lbs and I’m doing it again to lose the last of the fat.

I’ll concede that my method isn’t optimal and I could easily make it more effective and improve my results – but the point is I wanted to prove that it was possible to lose a significant amount of weight without adopting a meticulous regimen.

That was certainly true of rhe first stage of my weight loss, although I’m finding I need to pay a little more attention to what I’m doing to lose this last bit of fat and get a flat stomach.

Thanks for the supportive words! It’s much appreciated.

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100 plus June 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Hi david
I read your reply very carefully and i reread your original post on the one meal a day plan that worked for you.Like you im not counting calories and all foods are allowed when having my one meal usually i have it in the evening.
The one trick that was working for me was that i would make sure that 1-meal was really tasty or something i really looked fowrard to eating (for example) a nice cut of steak w a baked potato and veggies and a nice dessert like a slice of chocalate cake.
Very yummy indeed and when having hunger pangs during the day from not eating knowing what my evening meal would be sustained me.
After thinking about your reply especially the comments that im in the early stages of my weight loss plan im taking your advice on fine tuning what can work best for me.
I agree with you on trying to make this diet not feel like its a diet ,and to m ake it as close to my normal and still giving me results.
looking back on some of my mistakes i see now that patience is key i will probably lose slower doing it this way .
No weight loss plan is perfect and to lose weight there always will have to be some calorie deficiency to =weight loss.
I just need to figure out some ways during the day until dinnertime how to cope when i do get hungry and if i do allow myself a snack,how to keep tasty yet damage free…. I strongly love this one meal a day plan just need to find the best way to make it sustainable for me looooong term.
If any readers of your blog also can share tips ,ideas or light snack suggestions that get them thru the day that would be appreciated big time on my part.
I saw you drank tea alot during the day but i am not a tea or coffee drinker..
Again thank you for this blog ,hope you get alot of sponsers because it is very informativ for people like me…..

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David June 12, 2012 at 10:23 pm

100 plus, everything you’ve written is positive… and I love that!

I know I said I didn’t do well with the six small meals diet, but I’m pretty sure I could (now) do well eating 4 or 5 snacks with only one main meal. I think maybe you have something like that in mind for yourself?

I think it’s a good idea and well worth a try. As for the snacks, I tend to go for bland tasting snacks so that I’m less tempted to continue eating.

And for me their purpose isn’t to enjoy them, but more to stop me feeling weak or faint.

I accepted that there would be times when I felt hungry and decided that unless I felt weak I’d just put up with it. I tell myself that the hunger is a good signal and that if my body really needs energy it can get it from my fat stores.

I also found it useful to think of others who don’t eat simply because they have no choice. When I feel hungry it reminds me that there are others much worse off and if they can go without food for days, then I can certainly manage it for a few hours.

As you suggest, I think you’ll be doing this for a while so it’s worthwhile working out what variation of the diet will work for you.

It’s very flexible and you can change it as you change. At the moment it suits me to have one main meal (slightly smaller than I would usually eat) and then a good sized snack of something awesomely tasty just before I go to bed.

The thought of doing that keeps me going all day, and means that I can put up with small bland snacks for the rest of the day.

And absolutely!!! If anyone has some snack ideas, I too would love to hear them.

Keep at it, I love the way you’re taking a problem solving approach to this. You’ll work it out and all will be well in the end.

:-)

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Jennifer June 13, 2012 at 7:05 am

I like how you say the snack is to fight off hunger pangs and not to have a pleasurable experience. I am back from vacation and ate waaaaaaay more than once a day. We were by a Ben and Jerry’s and our hotel gave us coupons that were BOGO for B&J ice cream and I actually ate 2 scoops of ice cream every day for 6 days. God help me.

But as soon as I got back home I went right back into the small breakfast smoothie (1/2 c of almond milk, 1/2 scoop of protein power, handful of spinach, small amt of blueberries) and then nothing except tea until dinner. I plan to wean myself off the morning smoothie (perhaps save it for dinner, since I love it so) and replace it with an apple. I hate every kind of apple, but they are very nutritious and have lots of fiber. That will fill up my stomach and I can get on with my day and not worry about food until dinnertime.

We’ll see.

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David June 13, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Good stuff! Yeah, this holds true for me too. When I’m on vacation I want to relax and eat what everyone else does. This diet gave me (and still does give me, because I’m back on it again) the ability to stick closely to my normal eating pattern. So if I want ice cream, I’ll have ice cream! (Rum & Raisin, please!)

On the days between the high-days and holidays I tend to work a bit harder to put in a calorie deficit. the trade off, of course, is that progress is slower – it was a price I was willing to pay.

Having the apple a day works well for me, but if you like your smoothies, maybe you should stick to having them?

It’s too easy to get hung up on the idea that this diet is about eating only once a day, whne in fact it’s about eating only one main meal a day. Snacking at other times in the day is fine, but of course the trick is not to continue eating.

The snacks are definitely functional. They don’t fill you up and the chances are they don’t even satisfy your hunger, but from a psychological point of view, they help to take the edge off and I’m sure even a small snack has a physiological benefit too.

I don’t know, to me it sounds like you have a great plan there. Something that you can do until you’ve reached your goal.

Jennifer, it was good to see an update from you. Thank you :)

livvie June 19, 2012 at 9:00 pm

i just thought this crazy idea up myself in the bath and googled it to see if any other crazy nuts have done the same and voila! inspiring!! my problem is i am at work and they all ‘do lunch’ so i have to be antisocial in order to do what I want for lunch…my partner is Italian and well that should say it in a nut shell. As of tomorrow I am going to do it and keep my own little blog. I like what you did with the belt, I have a pair of jeans (very sexy ones) that i want to get on and done up!! so think im gonna marker myself each week actually see my progress and throw out the nasty scales! Well done and love your site x

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David June 19, 2012 at 9:27 pm

You have a computer in the bath?! I like your style! LOL

Sorry, I’m being silly.

The one meal a day thing is a bit of a mad idea, but it can be adapted to suit your own needs and modified as you go along.

The lunch crowd… the Italian food… but on the other hand, those oh-so-sexy jeans! It’ll be worth it!!

Thanks for leaving a comment (and a compliment). I can’t wait to hear how you get on! :)

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David Also June 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm

David,

Like you, I am a 43 year-old father, and I had/still have a pretty alarming weight from what it was just two years ago. Being a dad does that to a man. Gone were my days as a single guy who ate a light lunch, ran 4-5 miles at night, and then gorged on a pound of beef (with no carbs) at around 11 pm with a beer, resulting in a reasonably fit physique for me.

With a wife (who cooks good meals) and a baby and a lack of time to exercise, I gained a LOT of weight. Add to that the fact that a heavy lunch made me sluggish at work, and then I decided I had to go to extreme measures.

I already had decided to do the one-meal-a-day diet, but after reading your blog, I realized I wasn’t alone. Thank you for that. So two weeks ago, I decided to begin.

I immediately lost weight by the second day of doing this. That first week was good. As of the second week, I “cheated” here and there with a piece of fruit or bread for lunch or a Sweet Iced Tea from McDonald’s (think about all that sugar!). This resulted in me making a slight gain in weight. I’m still below the weight I was before I began this diet, but it’s not getting much better now. Dunno if my body is getting used to this diet (which would be bad for me) or if my “cheating” by nibbling a piece of fruit or bread is the cause, but yes, I have plateau-ed.

To make this diet really work, I realize that for ME specifically (because people’s make-up is different from each other’s) I will have to consume only water and coffee (with Equal as a sweetener) with NO nibbling and NO MORE SWEET ICED TEA during the day prior to dinner to get back to the point of actually losing weight.

But my question at this point is this: Is it really the nibbling that’s prohibiting me from losing more weight? or is it the fact that my body has gotten used to this one-meal-a-day regimen? If it’s the former problem, the solution is easy; stop nibbling! If it’s the latter, then perhaps I should re-think this diet.

I appreciate your sharing your experience on this blog. Keep up the good work!

David

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David June 23, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Hi David, thanks for taking the time to make a comment.

I think it’s great that you’ve decided to do something about your circumstances. Not only that… but you’ve also taken action, which is awesome!

I decided to do the one meal thing because I’d tried to the six small meals approach and failed. I found that once I ate it tended to open the flood gates and I wouldn’t stop, so I needed a way to make sure I couldn’t do that.

I’m having this exact problem right now. Cheating is creeping into my day and the small cheats are really starting to add up.

The amount of calories contained in some drinks is horrendous, maybe that’s an issue with the iced-tea?

I’m no expert but I doubt you’re hitting any kind of plateau after just two weeks, but as you say, we’re all different.

The approach I’m taking to this diet is deliberately casual, and so I get results that match.

I have a specific reason for taking this approach (I’m experimenting to prove that you can take a sub-optimal approach to dieting and still make it work) but if I were you I’d be sorely tempted to take a more structured approach and count calories, then you’ll have a better idea where you’re going wrong (or right).

I’m not sure I’d recommend the one meal diet to anyone – especially the way I’m doing it! But… if you got some early results with it, it might benefit you to return to the way you were doing it when you got the results, i.e., you were strict!

(And right now, I promise you you’re not alone… because I need to listen to my own advice!)

I don’t know if that helps at all?

Or maybe I’ve just talked around in circles. LOL!

Thanks again… and let me know if I can help!

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David Also July 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm

David,

Down from 177 several weeks ago to 171 as of today. The “cheat” days on the weekends result in a temporary mild gain, but then the re-starting of the one-meal-a-day diet on Monday results in a net loss of one pound a week. Not as fast as I would like, but how can one complain about losing a pound a week after so many weeks?

Two concerns: 1) My latest check up at the doctor’s office showed that I have a) high cholesterol (the bad kind) and b) have a blood sugar level that while not yet diabetic, shows I have to keep a watch on it in years to come. And 2) I am worried about what will happen when I re-introduce lunch to my diet. Will I regain all this weight?

What I do now is drink coffee (with Equal) for breakfast and another for lunch. For dinner, I take buckets of vitamins as well as my cholesterol medicine, then I feast. I also eat incredibly fast due to the fact that I’m so hungry. (Yeah, yeah, I know it’s not good and that ideally I should eat slower but ideally, I should also eat six small snacks a day, pray every day, run a marathon, and be a perfect person.) Now doing this HAS resulted in a much-needed weight loss. But am I wrecking havoc on my body?

Regarding the second issue, I will be the first to admit that I am mentally addicted to the idea of lunch. I don’t really need it. But I sure as heck would like to have it! Once I’m down to 160 and start eating lunch again (like six sushi rolls or something like that), will all the benefits I’ve gained from this one-meal-a-day be for naught? I mean dinner on a two-meal-a-day diet will still be big like it is now.

But for now, I’m happy with the short-term results, which is the loss of poundage. Nothing else was working, not eating three healthy meals a day and not running long distance several times a week.

Thanks for all your input! This site is great.

David Also

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David July 19, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Hi David! :)

Well done on the weight loss! That is great news.

I think whatever we do, it has to be sustainable, whether it’s our eating plans, our exercise regimens or any other aspect of our lives we’re trying to develop.

If two meals a day is shouting out to you as the way to keep it sustainable, it has to be worth experimenting with for a while. I definitely liked two meals a day and I did lose some weight doing that. I think if I’d persisted in making a go of it I could have improved the results I got.

Even if you just maintained your current weight (five pounds down) for a few weeks it would at least give you the confidence that you wouldn’t regain all the weight.

You could adapt and tweak what you’re doing, making a few compromises with your main meal, but knowing that you’re building something you can stick with for the long run.

The alternative is you drive yourself insane by constantly feeling deprived of lunch… which in turn will make you over compensate at dinner time (because that’s sometimes how I feel).

Just throwing a few ideas about… :-)

I am so impressed that you’re sticking with the weight loss despite the issues you’re facing at the moment – and I love the thought process and problem solving that you’re adopting.

Keep going, you’re doing well, and thanks for the update, I really appreciate it.

Dave

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Brooke June 24, 2012 at 3:17 am

I really really need to lose at a minimum about 60 pounds. I am going to try it, I haven’t eaten more than one mean a day for the last two weeks, but not as a diet but simply just because I wasn’t hungry and it is the easiest thing ever. If I do get hungry, I would pop in a few grapes, or two or three crackers. Its been months and months since I weighed myself because I didn’t want to know. I am going to now track weight loss and see if I cant get a little slimmer with one meal a day and some excersize. For instance, I just did a Jillian Micheals workout and I can hardly walk…I cant do this for thirty days……id die. But, if I can take a nice walk a day and get some other excersize in that doesn’t kill me I bet I can lose the weight. It might not fall off like some of the other fad diets like the atkins diet, (no carbs what-so-ever) but it may come off. And, like you I would prefer people I know, not to know I am on another weight loss kick. It will be interesting to see if it works for me as well as it has worked for you. :) Thanks for the tips, pros, and cons.

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David June 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Hi Brooke! :-)
Tracking is a good idea because it shows you the trend. The individual weigh-ins are not so important because they can fluctuate massively and give a false impression of how you’re doing. On a day to day basis tracking weight can be tough but you just have to have faith that as long as you stick to your eating plan the weight will come off.
I can really relate to you wanting to keep it to yourself. When people find out you’re on a diet they offer so much contradictory advice and it can be disheartening.
Adopting this as mid to long term lifestyle change helps. It’s slower but it does produce results so I can see why that would appeal to you.
Once you take off the first 20lbs you’ll feel fantastic, so it’s worth trying.
Please let me know how you get on! :-)

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Travis June 27, 2012 at 1:12 am

Hi David,

You have a great motivational site here and it’s great to see your own results posted. I’m attempting one meal a day to lose 30lbs. I’ve been doing it for almost two weeks now and it looks like I’m down 6 – 7 lbs. On week one, I was seeing a daily loss result on the scales but annoyingly it seems to have stalled for the last five days. It was encouraging to read that the scales aren’t a true indication of fat loss since many factors influence the reading at any given time.

I’m doing it a little differently to you in that I don’t have any snacks or tea during the day but allow myself a three hour window between 7 and 10 pm. I don’t gorge myself during this time. I will usually have something light like fruit or soup or beans on toast at 7 and then a “normal” dinner at around 9 with a dessert (does that count as two meals or two courses? ;)).

I haven’t had a cheat day at the weekend and I’m wondering if it would help my stall if I did. I’m enjoying the feeling of being satisfied and not overfull in the evenings to be tempted to eat more on Saturdays or Sundays.

I lost about two stone over the course of a couple of months doing a low carb diet but have since put it all back on. I would gorge myself on a weekly cheat day but as I am not denied anything now, I don’t feel the need.

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David June 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Hi Travis!
You are doing so well! Great job on the weight loss so far :)
Oh yeah, those scales lie! They lie big time! I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could spit them. LOL

It sounds like you have a good thing going on there. Having a wider window during which to eat sounds like a great way to do it.

It’s hard to know whether a cheat day would help or hinder. On the one hand it’s indulging in the previous bad eating habits that got us (by which I mean, me) into trouble in the first place. On the other hand I treated it as a way to tell my body (and mind) that there was an abundance of food and that it didn’t need to panic and start slowing my metabolism. (Not that I’ve researched any of this yet!!)
On the third hand (wouldn’t a third hand be, er… handy?!) I found it so beneficial in that it gave me something to look forward to. I knew I was in it for the long haul so it was motivation for me to be strict throughout the week.

If you’re wondering whether you’ve plateaued because, so called, ‘starvation mode’ has set in… I’d say ignore the notion and just continue and see what happens. (There are conflicting arguments about starvation mode and plateauing.) I held onto certain weights for days before I’d drop in weight. Which is largely why I stopped weighing myself and trusted the feel of my waistband and the view in the mirror (and later, the tape measure).

I’ve often been in denial about it throughout my own weightloss journey, but the main cause of me failing to lose weight was simply eating too much. It’s exactly what I’ve been doing over the last week as I push to reach my new goal. (But I’m not saying that’s what happening with you :-) )

Thanks for telling me about your experience, I hope you continue to get results! :)

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Travis June 27, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Hi David,

Thank you for the reply. The scales showed a difference of 3 lbs in two weigh-ins within 10 seconds of each other today. Time to ignore it! I FEEL a bit slimmer and my jeans started to slip last week when I was running some errands, so I’ll use that as an indication of progress.

I looked into “starvation mode” and discovered that the body doesn’t begin to get suspicious until it has gone 36 hours without food. I refuel at 20, so I should be fine. Saying that, it doesn’t seem to do any harm to surprise your body with an abundance of calories every so often. I’m going to continue as I am for another two weeks and if there’s no change after that, I’ll re-evaluate things.

There may be the thing that I’m eating more calories than I think at a sitting. I don’t count them exactly but I keep a rough estimate, especially with sweets/dessert. I’m going for something around the 100 – 200 mark for that. (e.g. a Curly Wurly and a packet of Rancheros).

I know you don’t religiously count calories yourself but do you have a general idea of what you’d consume at your main meal? Would it be between 800-1000 or lower?

Thanks!
Travis.

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David June 28, 2012 at 12:18 am

Hi Travis,

One of the biggest favours I did for myself with this diet was to ignore all the conventional wisdom about starvation modes and the like and I just got on with it.

I got to a point where I started to doubt almost everything I read and wanted to see for myself. That said, it’s good to be conscious of these things.

When I finally achieve my latest goal I’m going to reverse engineer it and find out why it worked or didn’t work. Until then I’m going to carry on in blissful ignorance (and hopefully I won’t fall flat on my face!)

I do have a rough idea of the calories I’m eating. Generally I’m aiming for around 1800 calories a day, including snacks, a main meal and a pudding. I go for about 1000 calories on my dinner plate and the other 800 comes from the dessert and any snacks I eat during the day.

I don’t give it too much thought though. I use a small dinner plate and fill it to the edges. Some days I over eat, some days I under eat.

There’s a Curly Wurly in my fridge right now. I think I can hear it calling my name.

Anyway, your plan to leave it for two weeks feels like a good one. It really depends how much of a hurry you’re in. I think counting calories is a better way to do it, but I just didn’t want the hassle and was I prepared to put up with the slow progress.

I swear the Curly Wurly knows I’ve just finished my run… but I’m going to ignore it.

Thanks for getting back to me!! :-)

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Travis June 28, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Good going, David! All these conflicting reports about carbohydrates, good fats/bad fats, etc. just makes my head spin.

Thank you for the calorie estimate. I’m hoping to drop two stone by the end of September which is about 2 lbs a week, so it seems reasonable to achieve.

I’m going to shorten the eating window too. I managed to sneak in a bag of chocolate popcorn yesterday and justified it.

Enjoy your Curly Wurly!

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David June 29, 2012 at 12:11 am

Travis, good news! I won the battle with the Curly Wurly. I gave the wretched thing to my wife and she ate it. Problem solved! LOL

2lbs a week is a great aiming point. Not too fast and not too slow but still allows you some room to manoeuvre.

Good move on the smaller window, and even if it doesn;t work for you, it’s worth a try. I find that I often learn more from my failures than my successes.

BTW, you’ll feel brilliant when you lose the 2 stone!

Calypso July 2, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Hi David

Fantastic read and just want I was looking for. I took part in the fasting period of Lent earlier this year and gave up eating two meals, so just had the one in the evening. I made sure my evening meal was small to medium size and as I stopped feeling hungry, my meals got smaller. I would also drink green tea with some vinegar and honey in it which helped suppress my appetite after dinner. I did not weigh myself, but I knew I was losing weight because my clothes were getting much looser. I also worked out 4-5 times a week. I enjoyed eating once because I could have small meals and still have my favourite biscuits or even some chocolate after my meals.

I felt good about myself and had so much energy. Due to developing a chest infection second time around, I stopped eating once a day and started eating 2-3 times and even started eating bread which is like kryptonite to me…….I love it, but it bloats me terribly. Needless to say my clothes have gotten tighter.

I want to start back because eating once a day is liberating for me. I don’t have to think about breakfast or lunch. I can enjoy dinner and can even have a little of the ‘naughty foods’. I do need to ask, is it ok to drink 2-3 cups if coffee with sugar, no milk or cream? Also, with your six pack challenge, what did you eat because I can see the definition of your six pack as it develops and one if the guys at my gym said I couldn’t develop muscles while burning fat on a eat once a day routine.

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David July 3, 2012 at 12:13 am

Calypso,

Hi! and thanks for leaving me a message. :-)

That’s fantastic! What you’re doing sounds great.

You mentioned a lot of great things there, but the key for me was how you said it made you feel.

I think it’s crucial to feel good about ourselves because it helps us to stick to the plan.

I also love that you’re realistic about it and accept that you’re going to be eating a few treats – it’s called being honest with yourself and so many of us on diets are not honest with ourselves. Good for you!

Regarding the coffee, I think one of the best things about this diet is that you can adapt it to suit yourelf.

For me, the tea with whole milk and one sugar got me through the day. It gave me something to look forward to and kept me from raiding the larder. You can always try it and if it doesn’t work for you, you can cut it out or down. :)

And as for the guy at the gym, personally I think he’s wrong, but I’m no expert. I set out on this diet partly as an experiment to see if I could prove the conventional wisdom wrong – and all that I can tell you is that I have indeed gained some muscle. There are some pictures here from my 10,000 push up challenge.

He might be right to suggest that your results might be better if you chose a more optimal approach to dieting, i.e. 3 meals or 6 meals (tightly controlled for calorie count and nutrition) but to say you can’t build muscle is just plain wrong. Third world body builders put on massive muscle on dreadful diets. But everyone has their own opinion… and to be fair, we’re all different.

I look forward to hearing how you’re doing! Mostly because I love your attitude and I think you’ll do well because of it :-)

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Calypso July 4, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Hello David

I was thrilled to receive a reply from you. Still going strong eating once a day, but having some difficulty establishing a cut off time for not eating. Want to have my dinner between 6pm and 8pm and never let anything pass my lips after that. This seems to be an ongoing battle. Any words of advice??

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David July 5, 2012 at 12:14 am

Calypso, so glad to hear it’s going well. :-)

It is indeed a battle and one I still have to fight.
At the moment I’m doing really well. There’s a few of things I’m using at the moment…
1. I’m eating my meal in a very short window (30 mins!!)
2. I’m eating enough to feel full.
3. I finish with something sweet, like a piece of chocolate.
4. I drink a coffee like I would at the end of a meal at a restaurant (it signals the end of the meal).
5. I get straight out of the kitchen and do something else.
6. I tap into some negative ot positive thoughts (whichever has more pull at the time (emotions drive actions)).

Keep up the good work! :)

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Calypso July 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Thanks for the tips, David. Will shorten the window for eating to an hour and then find something to occupy my mind and time.

Take care

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Calypso July 8, 2012 at 11:06 am

Good morning David

Things still going well and I am finding it easier to stick to this and the hunger pangs are becoming more easier to manage and ignore. I re-read your blog and have only just seen that you had two meals on the weekend.

I’ve been wondering about this. Did you find eating two meals on Sunday make eating one meal on Monday more difficult? I’m afraid to eat anything in the day in case it sets me off on an eating spree and also because it might increase the intensity of the hunger pangs during the daytime for the rest of the week.

I plan to weight myself tomorrow and will use that and the benchmark to start.

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David July 8, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Good morning Calypso :-)

Sounds like you’re doing a great job! Yeah, I eat two meals on the weekend.
1. Because the weekend is about family, so I like to sit down with them at lunch and eat with them.
2. Because two meals will pretty much be my lifestyle when I reach my fat loss goal.
3. Because eating one meal througout the week tends to TMI WARNING …bung me up/slow me down (if you know what I mean?) and the extra food gets things going.
4. I need my mind and my body to understand that there’s an abundance of food and that we’re not to worry about starvation.
5. It makes it easier to put in the hard yards during the weekdays and this keeps me ‘honest’ with my eating.
6. Eating is a joy… why deny it? I might be on a diet, but life continues… I’m willing to make sacrifices but I’m not going to live the life of a monk.

It’s tough to do. It requires practice and practice often brings failure. I failed a lot to begin with, and I fail less often now. I just kept the long term view that I would eventually learn to deal with it… and mostly, I have.

I’m still not perfect but usually I can get close enough to count it as a win.

When I get it badly wrong, I start over again the next day. It’s really all you can do. Trial and error, refine as you go along.

Does that help at all?

Have a great day!! :-)

carla July 5, 2012 at 10:07 pm

This was one of the most intersting post i have read up on about one meal a day diets.I have read them all,but this one really caught my attention.I have always tryed this way of eating but never made it past friday after starting monday.i love the concept of the 2 meal weekends.Every thing you wrote about really made since to me. i am a 41 year old women just so tired of being overweight and i have tryed everything .I like what you said about eating one morsel extra would just send you off to eat more and for me im better off not to eat often like most diets require because id just over eat.I need to do this for me and my marriage my husband never says anything but i know my weight holds us back from going out and doing activities because im so self consious, im gonna try this concept and let you know how im doing.I believe your post will inspire many people.

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David July 5, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Hi Carla! Thanks for leaving a message. :-)

I love what you said here:

I need to do this for me

Yes! Yes! Yes! Do this for yourself. Do it for how it will make you feel to have achieved a small step towards your goal every single day.

Difficult for me to know for sure, but I suspect that your husband is much less concerned for your size/weight and much more keyed into your self-esteem and self-confidence. After a week or two of sticking to the eating plan (that you set for yourself – experiment, see what works for you), you’ll start to feel a whole lot better about yourself. You’ll show yourself and the rest of the people in your life exactly what you’re capable of.

Make yourself happy first and that happiness has a way of spreading. Your husband will start to see you differently – more because of your state of mind than anything else. It’s exciting to think about!

Don’t be too tough on yourself to achieve perfection early on. If you get to within 80% of sticking to your eating plan then you will do just fine over time. See it as a long term thing but also something where you get to win or succeed every day.

I think you’ll do very well because you have an excellent reason to do this and you’re emotionally driven to achieve it.

Please let me know how you get on, and let me know if I can help. :)

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The Dude July 7, 2012 at 4:20 am

I’ve been on almost the exact same diet since the end of April, but this is the first time I’ve seen your writings. I’ve had similar results (I started at ~210 in April and I’m down to the lower 190’s as of 6 July). I too have kids, so eating dinner is a must (how can I expect them to eat it if I don’t).

I think that the bottom line is that in order to loose weight, you have to eat less calories than you burn. Unless you want to exercise A LOT, you have to decrease the amount of food you eat. I like eating good food (pizza, fried rice, bacon, etc) and I like feeling full, but I can deal with hunger, so one meal a day was the obvious diet for me.

By the way, I once lived on nothing but MREs for 2 months and lost 20 pounds as a result. I’m a *very* picky eater and MREs don’t have a lot of tasty food in them, so I didn’t eat enough. On the upside, I could do way more pull-ups than I used to (because I didn’t have to pull up so much weight).

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David July 7, 2012 at 8:14 pm

The Dude, thanks for dropping by and sharing your success. From 210s to low 190s is fantastic!

As you say, it’s a matter of creating a calorie deficit. If you can do that, then mostly you’ll lose weight.

The MREs interest me because I have a vague awareness that there are companies out there that produce ‘diet’ versions of these things. They’ve got all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals but they don’t contain nearly so many calories… nor do they contain much in the way of taste. Hahaha.

I’m not going to go down that route, but for those who can’t deal with the hunger – or don’t want to take ‘risks’ with their metabolism, I guess this could be a good option.

I’d love to hear how you get on – and thanks again!

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Lucy July 9, 2012 at 2:00 pm

hi David,

this is a fab site, ive been coming back to it and having a read every so often for a while, so thought i’d comment :)

funny that the last reply is about meal replacement diets as i am currently on one (one of the few with rather tasty options). i have 3 packs a day to eat plus one meal of mainly protein.

i love the one meal approach though, so i have a shake around mid day, then i combine one the meal dinners (such as a macaroni cheese- actually very yummy) with a chicken breast and veg for example at around 8pm, and then i still have a meal bar (chocolate yum) to have with a cup of tea.

this is a very satisfying and filling way of eating for me, and yet very low calorie. once i reach my goal i will be eating normal meals, but incorporating the idea of eating one decent meal a day alongside a snack (or just tea) throughout the day. i have been looking at websites about eating once a day and it makes sense, and is a way of eating that i could completely get on board with (my boyfriend also eats this way- he says it is natural to him, he isnt hungry during the day and enjoys a lovely big meal in the evening- something i used to find very strange when younger).

eating this way on a very low calorie diet has been very effective for me, i have currently lost over a stone and a half in 4 weeks, and have complete confidence in reaching my goal :)

(i should point out that i have recently had a baby, and informed my doctor at a routine appointment of the low calorie diet i was enbarking on, and she had no problems with it)

good luck to everyone :) x

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David July 9, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Hi Lucy, thanks for sharing your experience. I love to hear that people are doing well with their weight loss goals regardless of the diet they’re on.

Your own results are fantastic! I’m pleased that you’ve been able to find a way to make the one meal thing work for you.

It’s even better that your doctor has endorsed the method you’re using.

For anyone who really struggles with hunger, then I guess meal replacements would be a good option! :-)

Congratulations on your new arrival btw. My youngest is now 5, so the baby days are long gone.

Thanks again for dropping by!

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AM July 11, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Hi.

I found your site because I just started this diet and went looking for others trying it. Like you say, the type of diet working for every individual probably varies. I know it works for me because I did this ten years ago and lost 20 kg in 4 months, from 105 to 85. I was unhappy with my weight and then I read about the old big lunch/soup in the evening idea. This suited me at the time as I could eat at a restaurant next to my workplace and as I then lived alone I could have soup in the evening.
This worked so well because I promised myself I could have three courses everyday if I wanted: Soup, main course and dessert. After the first week I started skipping dessert, I wasn’t that hungry, but it was psychologically important to be able to think in the evenings: “Well, I won’t eat anything but a cup of soup tonight and then I have a big bowl of ice cream tomorrow”. Which I almost never did but I could if I wanted to.
If I was going out to dinner, I just had a bowl of soup at lunch.
I think this is an ideal diet for me as there is only one rule. Just eat what you want once a day and then a small bowl/cup of soup. No counting, remembering when to eat next etc.
Anyway, I got overweight again so I want to use this method. I started out yesterday at 102.5 kg. It will be interesting to see how this works out now.

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David July 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Hi AM! Thanks for stopping by.

You did very well indeed dropping 20 kilo’s, that is a significant amount of weight to lose.

I’ve toyed with eating a bigger lunch and then having a snack or small meal at dinnertime, I think that could work very well. I could easily see myself eating a chicken salad for my evening meal (during the summer at least).

As you point out, there’s a good degree of flexibility eating one main meal and it’s so simple.

I hope you’ll share your progress with us now that you’re trying the diet again.

The great thing is that you’ve done it once, so you can do it again and that has to make you feel good about doing it. Great stuff. Go for it! :-)

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Di July 21, 2012 at 3:03 am

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to say that this is a fantastic blog!

I have been toying with the IF lifestyle and doing loads of research for a while now. On Thursday I started the 1 meal a day approach and you know what, I lived! Granted I have only done 2 days with 1 meal per day as, like you I plan to eat lunch on the weekends. The main reason for this is that I don’t want my husband to know that I’m doing this until I have a couple of weeks under my belt.

I don’t have too much to lose, probably about 8kg. Sorry, I’m from Australia and we use metric.

I lie to eat big meals, my husband is a fantastic cook. I love wine as well! I’ve toyed with low carb (makes me obsessed and miserable), calorie counting (too tedious and I’m too busy). I used to exercise hours and hours a day just to maintain my weight. I just can’t be bothered with that anymore being a full time working mum.

So one meal a day for me it is. I turn 40 in September and I want to be on my way to my ideal weight then.

I started drinking spirulina powder with water this morning. It’s supposed to be a superfood and also a hunger surpressant. I can understand why because it’s bloody awful. It tastes like pond water which I guess it is actually. However I’ll perservere.

Anyhoo, I will drop back during the week and let you know my progress and check up on yours.

Good luck everyone!

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David July 22, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Di, thank you for leaving a message! :-)

A lot of people are happy to tell their friends and family they’re on a diet, but just like you, I wanted to keep it to myself. It works better for me this way. Any time I tell anybody what I’m doing it always seems to get more difficult, so I don’t blame you for wanting to keep it to yourself.

Kgs are fine by me. I used to do Judo (when I was younger and less broken) and the weight categories were in Kgs.

“pond water” LOL – Well, if it helps, it helps!! :-)

You have realistic expectations and that’s fantastic. You have an amount you want to lose and a time frame for losing it, but you accept that you’ll be happy to be most of the way there by September. There’s enough pressure there to give you a sense of a deadline, but not so much pressure that you feel overwhelemed – which seems like a great balance.

Please do come back and let us know how you get on. Thanks again for stopping by!

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Nancy July 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm

OMG!!!!

I’ve been Reading through this whole blog not really looking at the date! And now at the end I realise that the Last reply is from yesterday!! I once did this kind of diet, but unknowingly. It just happened. I lost 15 kg in only 3 months. I have always wanted to do this diet again, but Friends say it’s unhealthy, but after so many diets that have failed, i think it’s Time to go back to my roots and Loose weight like the First time in my life. Well, today was my First day. I plan on taking a Cup of tea with milk and sugar, If i feel weak. I’m so tired of being overweight. I weigh 70 kg and i’m 162cm toll. Sorry about the kg and cm, German influence

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David July 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Hi Nancy! :-)

Yeah, this is a great thread. There are lots of great comments and perspective from others who are trying to make this diet work. Some are definitely doing it!

It’s wonderful that you’ve already tried this and got some great results.

Don’t worry about using Kgs. I’m from the UK so I work in Lbs and Kgs.

I would love to hear how you get on, so please do come back and let us know.

:-)

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sonam August 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm

are you leaving in germany.

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AlexisLove July 24, 2012 at 7:38 am

Hey everyone! I am 19 years old going on 20 soon..not very fat but I do have this gut that ive been trying to get rid of since I was About 14 years old ! Smh yeai know almost 6 years. I would say that I need to lose a GoOd 15-20 pounds. Ive been on manyyyy “FAD diets” such as the lemonade diet and more. Which just resulted me losing Muscle and not fat.Because when I stepped on the scale I would weigh lighter than before ….but still look the same. Soooo that being said I’m ready to try this “One meal a day” diet. I just have one question …. Are you sure you can eat whatever you want when you have that. One meal a.day??

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David July 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm

Hi Alexis! :-)

One meal a day was a means to an end for me. It was simply a way to create a calorie deficit that fitted in with my lifestyle – keep in mind that I’m 43 year old man staying at home to look after my children so I’m around food (and varying degrees of stress) all day long.

I wanted to limit the times between which I could eat a meal because it took away any other choice.

For what it’s worth… I don’t think that one meal a day is the best way to lose weight… it’s just a way that has worked well for me.

I pretty much ate anything I wanted, but to be fair I already had a reasonably balanced diet with fruit and vegetables featuring strongly in many of my meals. but yes, if I really wanted to eat something I would.

:-)

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AlexisLove July 24, 2012 at 7:48 am

So your sayin i can get down on sum Chicken, ribs, Macaroni and cheese, Cornbread, pizza, burger’s, fries, Fast food places etc which is very good lol but also very fatty…let that be my One Meal A day and lose weight?And also how big should your portion size be? ? … how long until you start seeing noticeable results? ? I’m srry for so many questions I’m just very curious! Thanks!x :)

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David July 24, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Good questions!

It would be great if you could eat absolutely anything and still lose weight, but it doesn’t quiet work that way. :(

I did eat some of the things you mentioned but not all the time. The ‘good stuff’ you mention has to be eaten in moderation.

Somewhere along the line I think we have to learn to make better choices about our nutrition and this diet has been a great way for me to do that. I still eat so called ‘junk food’ but not as often.

Portion size is difficult. A plate full of lard is obviously different to a plate full of lettuce. Usually I’ll fill a small dinner plate and then I’ll eat a dessert too. It’s not an exact science and that’s why it took me so long to lose the weight (some days I get portion size right, some days I get it wrong) but in the long term it’s not such a problem as the good days outweigh the bad.

The results can be seen pretty quickly certainly within a week.

Hope that helps? :-)

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AlexisLove July 24, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Thanks for answeing my questions! …. Alright so ill take it into consideration that certain foods have to be eatin in moderation. And ill make sure that my One meal a day consist of mostly healthy foods majority of the time. I’m also gonna try and keep my meal size a reasonable medium portion. Umm… do u think it would be ok for me to drink Diet Coke Zero calories thrum the day? It keeps me energized and since it doesn’t have calories it should be ok right? Ofcourse ill drink lots of water also. Reading some of the other comments and your story I am Super excited to start this. I am more than ready to shed these extra pounds! :) Im starting 2morrow and ill be weighing myself every 2 weeks. Wish me luck! :)

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David July 25, 2012 at 7:19 am

Fantastic! Making a commitment to your goal, having a plan to make it happen and then actually following through with action (all of which you’ve done) puts you ahead of most people.

You can adjust as you go along. you can clean up your diet a little at a time. You can drink the Coke Zero until you finally realize you don’t need it anymore.

All you’re doing is creating a daily calorie defecit (whilst also eating a reasonably balanced diet i.e. not totally devoid of nutritional value).

You’ll make better choices as you start to get the sort of results you’re looking for because you’ll start to feel good about what you’re doing and you’ll feel good about yourself.

I’m conscious that you’re 20 and as such you haven’t finished growing/developing (I think the process stops around 25 years old for most people) so maybe if one meal a day proves difficult, you could try two meals a day and include breakfast? And don’t forget the daily moderate exercise! :-)

Good luck, Alexis!!

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Calypso July 26, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Hi David

Sort of need a bit of encouragement here. I’ve been eating one meal for nearly three and a half weeks now, but I can’t really see any differences in the way my body looks. Yes, around my waist, clothes are looser, but my stomach looks arwful, much more bloated looking. I look at your pictures and I can see such a difference in your body.
I know I do have a lot of body fat around my middle, but I thought with eating once a day , cutting down on carbs and killing myself at the gym would show good results. I am really disheartened and I’m thinking of just living on protein shakes for while. Maybe I need to shock my body into letting go of fat as it seems to be holding on for dear life.

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Martin July 26, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Sometimes we get a bad body image of ourselves, and maybe even if YOU can’t see differences, I’m sure others can. If you’re feeling bloated, what I do is sweat it out. Limit your salt intake, because you will retain water on a high salt diet. It’s amazing what a half hour session of cardio or visit to the sauna will do to make you feel better. Don’t give up. How I look at it, you have to break down a wall. Break down the wall and get to the other side, it’s worth it. :)

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David July 27, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Calypso, if your clothes feel looser I’d say you’re making progress. Fat loss is deceptive. You can lose several pounds and see no real difference in the way you look.. Part of the problem here is we look only where we can see i.e. we don’t tend to look at our rear end or our backs.

The last place we tend to lose it is where we most want to see it gone.

Here’s something else to think about… some of us carry a lot of fat internally around our organs so it’s possible you’ve lost some from there too.

Maybe in August try a different approach? Weigh and measure yourself and track your progress that way… which doesn’t mean you get to freak out about daily fluctuations – but you get to see a trend emerging (hopefully and downward trend).

Keep in mind that this can be a long process and try to get your feelings of success from sticking to your plan rather than the apparent lack of physical results. It sounds like you’re doing better than you think!! :-)

Also keep in mind that doing it the way I did it… guessing about calorie content and paying little attention to nutrition is far from optimal – so results are bound to be slower.

Keep at it. Don’t quit (just yet anyway). :-)

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Martin July 26, 2012 at 9:29 pm

I was just surfing the web and found your blog. I myself do a similar diet. I work out twice a day and eat one substantial meal for lunch. This is a routine I follow during the weekday and I have my cheat days on the weekend as well. I feel fuller doing this vs eating six times a day. I have always found that eating that many times a day to stay full just seemed too tedious. I’m down 80 lbs.

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Calypso July 26, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Hello Martin

Thank you for your words of encouragement. You are right about others saying that I look slimmer. My sister says it, but I always think to myself..’she’s my sis, she’s meant to say that’ lol! I can’t and won’t stop trying to get over that wall. Could you tell me what you eat on your cheat days? Also, do you think that very overweight people trying to lose weight, should have a cheat day at all?

I am at the moment, fantasising being down by 80lbs.

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David July 27, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Hi Martin! :-)

80lbs… that’s awesome! I’m so pleased to hear you have had such a fantastic result. You must feel amazing and look fantastic?!

How long did it take you lose the weight?

Thanks for joining the conversation!

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Nancy July 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Hi guys!! I unfortunately have to change my plan as from today:( i’m taking Part in a 5km running Race for Charity purposes in October and I have to Jog/train in the evening, before Dinner. I can’t do this if I don’t have lunch. On the other hand, i hate sleeping hungry! I just don’t know how to do it! Skip breakfast, have lunch with enough carbohydrates, Then Dinner with Low carbs or with carbs? I plan on Jogging 7km for two days and Then One day rest! I really want to Take Part in the race, and i want to lose weight too. Having one meal a day the last werk has really motivated me. …….Anyone have an advice for me? David?

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FATUMA July 28, 2012 at 3:11 am

hello david, thanx for your motivation about oneday meal i was surfing about weight loss and found this one day meal and i dicided to give it a try but guess what? for the 3 days i have started it i feel ma clothes are lose now even though i have not checked ma scale.david i wanted to ask that can i eat chicken,beef, whiterice on ma evening meal wont i put on more weight.thanx

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David September 13, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Hi Fatuma,
I hope the diet is still working for you.
I eat all of the things you mention and haven’t had any problems.
The most important thing for me is that I eat fewer calories than my body needs each day.
The way I do the diet is pretty crude, the truth is I have no idea how many calories I eat, if you’re worried you might benefit from taking a more structured approach like Weight Watchers.
Sorry for the delay in reply :)

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Karen July 28, 2012 at 3:26 am

Hi David,

Wonderful post! I love it! I’m currently doing the same thing to see if it works for me, however my one meal is lunch not dinner. I find that I’ll eat less at lunch because I have an infant to take care of and usually that helps me stop after lunch. If my one meal is dinner, I’d probably eat after the baby fall asleep and my dinner time can last till 12am, which is really bad for me. I love only eating 1 lunch a day as I feel I sleep better at night without needing to digest food in my stomach. I’m 5’1 and current weigh 119 pds, and lost 7 pounds since I started this diet about 1 month ago. I’d love to lose more to go back to my lowest weight before the baby but since I’m not overweight in the first place, not sure if it’ll be hard for me to lose more weight. I’ve been 119 pds for over 2 weeks now so I’m a little frustrated.

I have a question for you: After you lost the first 20 pounds and waited a while to lose the last 10 pounds, how long did you wait and did you continue with the 1 meal a day? Or did you go back to 3 meals a day during this period of time?

Right now I’m on maternity leave and I’m afraid that after I return to work and resume my normal diet (maybe 2 meals a day since I never had the habit of eating breakfast), I’ll gain all my weight back. Any advice?

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David September 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Hi Karen,
Well done on losing the 7lbs in a month. I think that’s a good figure to aim for.
I think there are definitely some benefits to eating the one meal at lunchtime and as you point out, one benefit is that you’re not digesting food late into the evening.
After I lost the first 20lbs I was pretty much straight into the next 10lbs. The first twenty took me five months and the last ten took me just one month. It seems I got much better results when I set a deadline/timeframe.
As for putting the weight back on when you return to your normal diet… it depends… I’ve just had a two month break from the diet and I put on 6lbs but to be fair I haven’t yet fixed the underlying issues surrounding my eating. I still like eating calorie dense food like chocolate, cakes, ice cream, fast food and I’m not sure I’ll ever want to totally ween myself off of those foods.
During the eight weeks I over-ate, sometimes consciously, sometimes unconsciously, but I believe the reason I didn;t put on more weight is that my I didn’t cut any food groups or food stuffs from my diet – the only thing that changed was the quantity of food.
Hope you’re still doing well. Sorry that it took me so long to reply. :-)

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Aelie August 2, 2012 at 5:30 am

I’ve been doing the one meal a day/dinner for almost 3 weeks now as well. Last time I weighed (a week ago) I was down 16lbs! I’m trying to stay off the scales until I make it to the 30 day mark. I want to look at this as something I can adapt to for the rest of my life. I am 5’6 and started at 182 now 164? I think? I used to be on a prescription drug a few years back that seriously suppressed my appetite and it just occurred to me that this was exactly how I ate! I couldn’t eat anything during the day because the drug was in full effect but at night as it wore off I could eat dinner. I was also drinking almost every night back then too. Not a good thing. I try to eat healthy but it doesn’t really happen haha and my calories vary wildly everyday. For example this week was 700, 900, 1200 then 3000 today ughh but I’m going to fast for a full 48 hours from my last meal and skip eating tomorrow because I feel like 3000 calories is enough to make it through 2 days and I like to pretend I’m back in caveman days and like I found a lot of food and then had a famine for a day or so lol I’m weird! I don’t eat anything during the day except coffee. It’s usually just black coffee but sometimes I’ll add some cream and if by the end of the day I’m feeling very peckish I’ll eat a couple handfuls of sunflower seeds to make it all the way till 6pm when I eat.
I like your blog David so thank you for sharing! I will let you know how I get on! I want to lose another 58lb by Christmas and I figure I can if I lose around 2.5pm per week! I’ll update you on my weight in 2 weeks when I hit my 30 day mark!
Until then…

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David September 13, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Aelie,
You have done a fantastic job with the weight loss! I think 2.5 lbs per week is a good target.
You mentioned the wild variation in your calories and although I have nothing to back it up, I think that can be a good thing. It keeps your body guessing. Certainly from the point of view of mindset, the days where I over-eat help me to remind me that there’s an abundance of food. Somehow that sinks into my subconscious mind and helps me on the days when I under-eat.
I’ve never done a 48 hour fast. I hope it went well.
Sorry for the delay in reply :)
Keep at it and good luck with the Christmas target!

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Trina RN August 4, 2012 at 1:06 am

@David,
I’m a nurse in a highly stressful position at work. I’ve been working there for 9 months. I am so busy that I can count on both hands how many times I’ve eaten since I started. I get up at 4:30am & got off work @ 5:00.pm; ate no breakfast or lunch. I basically eat dinner only. Every now and then I may squeeze in a small snack. On the weekends I eat lunch and dinner & maybe dessert. On Monday I feel bloated because I eat more on the weekend. The weight has fallen off. At least 20lbs. I’m scared to weigh myself. Prior to working here I was in LA fitness with a personal trainer 3 times a week, eating 2 meals a day & could barely lose 5lbs. When I did lose it I’d gain it right back. What do you think about my situation?

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David September 13, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Hi Trina,
What you’ve described is pretty much my lifestyle at the moment – except for the nursing :)
It doesn’t surprise me that you’ve lost all that weight. Of course the other big difference is that you’re not eating dessert with your midweek meals and that’s probably why my progress has been quiet slow.
Maybe the work you’ve done with the personal trainer increased you muscle mass and that accounts for the difference?
Anyway, hope you’re still doing well and I’m sorry for the delay in replying to you. :)

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Calypso August 5, 2012 at 9:15 am

Hi David

I have to thank you and everyone who has kept me motivated. I finally saw the scales move. Not much, but it did cheer me up. I weighed in at 227lbs 3 weeks ago and now weigh 221lbs, though I feel I am losing inches more than pounds and I didn’t do the protein shake thing. I have fallen off the wagon for a couple of days, but back on today. I have finally realised that I can’t take anything in the day, not even coffee or tea, because I drink my coffee with sugar and no milk and tea with honey, no milk and I think this just spikes up my blood sugar and I want to eat. So basically I will be fasting till dinner time, but I will be drinking water through out the day.

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David September 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm

Calypso,
I appreciate that you left this comment over month ago and I’m sorry not to get back to you sooner.
I just wanted to say well done on the continued weight loss, and encourage you not to worry about falling off the wagon… I’ve done it frequently and yet I’ve still made progress. All that matters is that you get back on and keep trying.
For a while I tried drinking tea and coffee without sugar, but it didn’t seem to make much difference to me. although I have found that waiting until lunchtime before drinking tea (or coffee) is not so bad.
I hope all is well for you. Sorry again for the late reply. :)

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Tolu August 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Hello David
l’ve been following your blog for more than 1 month now. I started this diet exactly a month ago now simply bcos I was tried from carrying excess weight around.
I am not so much into food and as long as I can remember I have always eaten twice a day, but over the past year I’ve been gaining weight.
When I started I didn’t use a scale, so I can’t tell you what I weigh then, I used the tape measurements to measure myself, am happy to tell you that a month after I have lose average of an inch all over my body including my face. I should add that this was not visible to me in the mirror, am just glad I was not discourage.
For the first time in months I weigh myself and am 75kg(165lbs), my waist is 32″, hip 41″, and arm 13″ I plan to measure and weigh myself every two week interval I will keep you posted.
Thank you again for this blog.

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David September 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Hi Tolu,
I’m glad that you’re having some success with this. The tape measure is a great way to monitor your progress and an inch is a fantastic achievement.
I think you will eventually see the difference in the mirror but if not maybe taking photos will help you.
Maybe one day you could describe your food to me, I would love to hear about your diet.
My apologies for the delay in replying :-)

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Tolu August 7, 2012 at 10:10 pm

I should tell you how am following this diet, I drink a cup of coffee in the morning before going to work and another cup around midday with lot of water throughout the day. I snack/nibble sometime but not always.
I eat my one meal around 6:30 and 7:30 everyday. Its a little difficult on weekend sometime my free day is Saturday, sometimes it’s Sunday.
I just discover I need to stick to my one hour window by reading some of the comment.
I would described my dinner but am African, our food is different.
Thank you again.

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David September 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Tolu, I’ve experimented with snacking and I find that on the days I don’t snack, I do a lot better. I too find it difficult on the weekend but I’m deliberately less strict on Saturday and Sunday.
There are just some days when I have to snack. Life isn’t always easy and sometimes it’s just better to eat something that to go hungry.
It’s only a diet – there are sometimes more important things. :-)
I hope the one hour window helps! Keep up the good work!! :)

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Angela A August 9, 2012 at 11:16 am

I found you in a Google search three days after I started a one meal a day lifestyle on my own and am truly inspired by what you’ve accomplished! Today is day 8 for me and although I’ve only list 4 lbs (with 50 to go) I can see a difference in the way my clothes fit already! Thanks for writing this! The few people I’ve told what I’m doing think I’m crazy and now I have you to quote!! They don’t know yours is a personal rather than scientific experiment so now I get disapproving looks as opposed to hour long lectures!! I’ll check back with an update at the end of week two! Thank you!!

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Nancy August 19, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Hi David,

Its been quite a while. I hope that you are doing fine.

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sonam August 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm

hi david
iam very thankfull to you.even i have started with one meal a day .Iam sure i will be able to contineue.i will you know my result.

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sonam August 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

sorry for my weak english iam from germany my english is so so :-)

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David September 13, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Hi Sonam, sorry for the delay in replying to you. I’m catching up with all the comments today :-)

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David September 13, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Hi Angela,
4 lbs is a good result for the 1st eight days! It’s amazing how just a few pounds makes such a lot of difference.
Almost everyone I’ve spoken to tells me this diet doesn’t work – and I guess it might not work for everyone – but I’ve had some great results.
The funny thing is that I still haven’t told anyone close to me (family and friends) that I’ve lost the weight eating one meal. They know I’ve been on a diet but I’ve never given them any specific detail.
I hope you’re still enjoying the diet and making great progress.
I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply :)

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Cyber August 17, 2012 at 12:20 am

i have been doing this diet for 3 weeks and lost a total of 12 pounds. the first week was so hard because you feel so tired and whatnot, but after the second week i got used to and the third week i love it! i’m losing weight by eating whatever the hell i want too!

24 years old…

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David September 13, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Hi Cyber,
It’s fantastic that you’re doing so well. 12 pounds in 3 weeks is amazing :)
There have been times when I felt tired too, but they were short lived and as with your own experience I found that over time I became less tired and infact I had more energy throughout the day.

Sorry for the delay in reply. I hope it’s still goig well for you!

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Jose August 21, 2012 at 4:51 am

HI!
I DID THE ONE MEAL DIET LAST YEAR AND I LOST 85 LBS IN 6 MONTHS, WITHOUT STARVING AND EATING A DELICIOUS MEAL EVERY DAY. SADLY, DUE TO PERSONAL ISSUES I GOT DISCOURAGED AND I GAINED ALMOST ALL THE WEIGHT BACK. I RETURNED DIETING 10 WEEKS AGO, AND I’VE ALREADY LOST 38 LBS. MANY PEOPLE TELL ME THAT MY DIET IS CRAZY AND UNHEALTHY, BUT I DON’T PAY ATTENTION TO THEM. I’M LOSING WEIGHT FAST, I FEEL WITH A LOT OF ENERGY AND I’M HAPPY AN MOTIVATED, BECAUSE I’M STILL ENJOYING DELICIOUS MEALS EVERY DAY. THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN YOUR DIET AND MINE, IS I HAVE ONLY ONE MEAL DAILY, NO SNACKS. WISH ME LUCK AND KEEP WRITING. SORRY FOR MY ENGLISH, I’M FROM SOUTH AMERICA.

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David September 13, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Hi Jose,
85lbs in six months is an incredible achievement!
I know that you put the weight back on again but sometimes when life hits you hard you just have to find a way to survive.
The key thing here is that you started again and have lost another totally amazing 38 lbs.
Good luck as you continue towards your goal.
Sorry that it’s taken me so long to reply to you.
By the way, your English is superb!!

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Sisa August 25, 2012 at 4:53 am

I’ve been on this type of diet for 7 days now
and I wanted to try it 1st without doing any exercises.
I’m proud to say that I have lost 2.5lbs in 7days.

Midmorning(around 11:00) I eat fruit with low fat plain yogurt
(Around 15:00) I eat another fruit, different from the 1 I had in the morning an I drink lots of water throughout the day.
And the I eat my main meal @ 19:00.

Actually I have been losing weight with the 6meal plan but all of a suden I just stoped losing for the past 2 months.
So my main goal is to lose the last bit of fat (15lbs)
This type of diet suits my lifestyle perfectly and I wish I had found out a long time ago.
It feels great to know that 4rm now on I’ll be exercising when I feel like it.
And I won’t kill myself with 1hour and 5 days of exercise anymore, I will do just 30 min 3days of exercise.

My husband is so happy now that I eat a normal adult portion size, because with the 6 small meals
I was eating a “child like” portion an became comfortable with it cause I thought that was the only healthy way
of eating in order to mantain my weight.
I even felt embarrased by month small portions when eating with friends,
Now it feels great to finally eat like a “normal” person and still achieve your weight goals.

Thank you so much for your post!!!!

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David September 13, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Hi Sisa,
2.5lbs in seven days is great. It’s a decent target to set because you see progress quiet quickly but you don’t have to totally starve yourself or kill yourself with unsustainable exercise routines.

It’s a great feeling to have an adult sized meal at dinner time especially if we eat out. I don;t feel I have to worry too much what I order or how much of it I eat (within reason).

I’m sorry about the dealy in replying to your comment.

I’m glad you found the post helpful and I hope it’s still working out for you. :)

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Sisa August 25, 2012 at 10:27 am

Hi guyz

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renee August 28, 2012 at 10:22 am

hi i strtd d same last mnth i ws 200pounds n hv managd to lose only 6.6 pounds in two mnths..i dnt knw if am nt doing the right exercises i skip 1000-2000jumps 3X a week…bt i tend to eat alot in my one meal..i really wanna raise the loss alili bit to atlst 5 pounds a mnth instead of in two mnths..i lov ths diet and ts really d frst thng to wrk fr mi fr real

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renee August 28, 2012 at 10:30 am

hi david..
am renee i am 23 5’11 n weighd 200 pounds until i strtd ths,d frst mnth was woow..i lost 7pounds..bt thn ths mnth is endng n i hv gained 2pounds..yes i over ate in the weeknds bt damn thts a lrge dissapointmnt
i dnt knw if ts d exercise tht i do…cz i ws skippng 1000 a day n i added 2000 fr ths week(snc i weighd in the gain)… any tips on hw to maintain the 7pounds loss a mnth.??
thanks

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David September 13, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Hi Renee,
I’ll be the first to admit that this diet might not work for everyone.
It’s not very structured and can easily lead to over eating.
If it really isn’t working for you, you might be better off following something like Weight Watchers.
Perhaps what you need to do is give it some more time? The scale weight isn’t always an accurate reflection of your true progress.
Give it another week or two and experiment to see what works for you – that’s what I did and it took me a while to find the right balance.
Good luck and sorry for the delay in replying to you. :)

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David August 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Hi! :-)

I’m still here! I’ll explain my absense in a while, but first I wanted to let you know I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth.

I need to catch up on a few things around here, including replying to those of you kind enough to leave comments. Sorry for the delay in approving some of the comments, and apologies for appearing to ignore you.

There’s been a change in my personal circumstances, so I needed to take some time to get to grips with the changes.

All will become clear soon enough.

Dave

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sonam August 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm

HI DAVE
YOUR NAME IS DAVE ARE YOU A INDIAN ?ONCE MORE I WILL SAY THANKS DAVE.IT IS A BIG FOR THE PEOPLE WHO REALLY WANT TO REDUCE WEIGHT.
SONAM

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sonam August 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm

how to speed up my metabolism ?Please replay.

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renee August 30, 2012 at 11:32 am

GREEN TEA ts duing miracles for me

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sonam August 30, 2012 at 6:51 pm

green tea ? HOW MANY CUPS IN DAY.

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renee August 31, 2012 at 7:40 am

4 times a day

David September 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Hi Sonam

Is Dave and Indian name? No, I’m British, I live in England. :)

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sonam September 13, 2012 at 10:24 pm

yes dave is a indian name.anyways nice to see u back.thanks for your reply.really it is great how can you reply all in one day.it is thired week iam sure i will continue with one meal ,it is the best way to do.bye and take care

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David September 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Thanks Sonam, that’s good to know! :)
I’m glad to hear the diet is still going well for you!

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Christopher September 3, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Is it possible to lose the weight and then go back to eating a more normal/optimal diet without gaining all of the weight back?

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sonam September 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm

good question.i did it for 7 days and i lost about 2pounds,let see how far it is possible.

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David September 13, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Hi Christopher,
I think as long as we make some changes to our diet, i.e. we deal with the underlying issues that lead to the weight gain in the first place, then I see no reason why we’d regain the weight.
Over the summer I took two months off and put on six pounds but that’s because I allowed myself to revert back to old habits. ~for the most part I made a conscious decision to do that because I wanted to enjoy the summer – but considering all that I ate I’m surprised I didn’t put on more weight.
I think it helps that I didn’t exclude groups during the diet, so what I ate didn’t change, only the quantity changed (and I simply ate too much!).
Hope that helps and sorry for the delay in replying :)

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Bubbles September 7, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Wow!
I’ve been doing a similar diet as you. But I have a few more rules. I don’t have sugar in the tea and I don’t eat traditional sweets for dessert (rather cottage cheese and berries for example). My food is usually ‘optimal’ and I keep it high protein and low carb but I also have wine when I want it.
I only have cheat days when I really crave them or if I fall off the wagon, I say ‘oops, a cheat day! Great for the metabolism’. Yesterday I ate a small chocolate bar :)

I don’t eat breakfast either but I do have a very good (small) double shot latte with full cream milk first thing.

I have lost 9kgs (which is around 20 pounds) in about five months.
The beauty of this diet is that it prevents the one mouthful leading to another effect, which was my downfall and the only reason I ever got fat in the first place. I am in fantastic health as well. Good skin, hair, nails. Trim waistline and flat tummy. This is the diet for me.
Thank you for having the courage to write about it despite the prevailing diet wisdom, which clearly isn’t working for most.

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sonam September 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm

hi Bubbles
NICE TO HAVE FEEDBACK FROM YOU.iam very thankfull to david for sharing his experince of one meal a day.even i have started from last week and i am feeling really good iam sure i will do it for long long time.morning breakfast i have coffee at about 11 an apple than again when i come back home apple or tea with whole milk at 5pm i have my lunch and dinner.that is all some time i feel hungery late night about 10 than i have glass of milk,iam not sure about milk if it is ok but i do drink.Saturday is my cheat day and sunday two meals from monday to freiday again the same plan.iam feeling super .so please u people also write u experince i think it is the best way to stay for long time.

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Nancy September 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Hello Sonam,

Where in Germany do you live? I live in Bavaria, maybe we could share more of our experince about the One meal a day:-)

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Nancy September 8, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hello Sonam,

Where in Germany do you live? I live in Bavaria, maybe we could share more of our experince :-)

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Nancy September 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Does anyone of you have the one meal at lunch? Thanks for sharing.

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sonam September 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm

hi nancy
i live in germany in dortmund .yes i take my one meal between lunch and dinner time it is about 5PM.i would like to share my experince about one meal a day.my email sonam1000de@yahoo.com .Bavaria i dont really know where it is?waiting for your reply.

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David September 13, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Soman, there are no rules to this diet, you just make them up to suit yourself. I found the best way for myself by experimenting and I still do experiment. For example I’ve recetnly discovered that eating nuts as a snack is a bad idea for me, biut only because I then crave more nuts and those things are packed with calories. :)
I don’t see that drinking milk at bedtime would be an issue. See how it works out for you. If you don’t feel you’re making much progress after a couple of weeks, then maybe cut back on the milk. :-)

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David September 13, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Hi Bubbles, I love the way you do it.
Once I’ve finished with my experiment I’m looking forward to trying a more optimal route.
I love your attitude to falling off the wagon. It really helps to pick the positive angle and just get back to it.
20lbs is a great result and I can see why you’re so pleased. I hadn’t even thought to mention the other benefits like the good hair, nails and skin, but now you come to mention it… it’s all there! :)
I’m looking forward to hearing how you get on… and I’m sorry for the delay in replying to you :-)

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dj September 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I was wondering what types of food you would eat when you did eat.
I’m trying to do the same as you did with one meal a day. Thx

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sonam September 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm

i eat whatever i cook no special food for my one meal.i can eat anything.

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Nancy September 11, 2012 at 5:40 am

Thanks Sonam, send you an Email…………@ dj i always say, If its going to be just One meal a day, then ist has to count, i Would otherwise Start craving for stuff that i deprive myself………..

@ David, i Hope that Things are working Out for you:-)

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sonam September 11, 2012 at 10:08 am

hi nancy
i am not able to remove can u tell me how to do.thank a lot

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Nancy September 12, 2012 at 6:15 am

Sorry I also don’t know:(

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sonam September 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Hi Nancy
hope all is well,how are you doing with your one meal,myself in thired week and i have lost only 4 pounds but this time iam not going to give it up.write me ur expeince.bye and take care.

David September 13, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Nancy, thanks – I’m back now and all is well :)

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David September 13, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Hi dj,
I pretty much eat anything and everything that takes my fancy. There are certain things I avoid like sodas, but from time to time I still enjoy a glass of cola.
I eat all the regular foods like pasta, pizza, potatoes, bread, rice, chciken, fish, beef, pork, pies, pastries, cakes, ice cream and lots of fruit and vegetables.
I try to eat an apple a day… because apparently it keeps the doctor away :)
Hope that helps :)

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David September 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Just a quick update…

I’ve written a post to explain my absense here, but in short, I took the summer off to spend it with the children before I go back to work in October. I needed to the time to arrange my return and I wanted to make sure I rememebered my summer for something other than my diet.

Over the last 8 weeks I put on four pounds but I’ve been back on the one meal diet for a week and I’m well on my way to losing it again.

I’ve written a new post to document my progress and I’ll publish it tomorrow. (Now published – click here)

I’m pretty sure I’ve replied to everyone that left a comment, but if I’ve missed you, please let me know.

Thanks for your patience. :-)

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polly September 14, 2012 at 11:53 pm

Hi
just come accross this, i wasnt looking for a diet, was looking for cheap ways to eat. Anyway decided to read and the more i read the more i got it. and know i can do it, because it slowly dawned on me back when i was a size 6/8 thats what i did one meal a day with the odd snacks. ok i was in my late teens early twenties but i did it. Now in my 40s i dont want to be a 6 or an 8 but i want to be a darn lot smaller then i am, so tomorrow will be my first day trying it out, how much i weigh isnt the issue so i am not going to weigh myself i am going to go off my clothes size. they say 10lbs loss is a dress size smaller, and i want to be 4 dress sizes smaller so watch this space as Arnie once said I WILL BE BACK..

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David September 15, 2012 at 8:34 am

Hi Polly,
I think you have a good way of looking at it. Eating the odd snack throughout the day and then eating one main meal will work wonderfully well… especially if you’ve done it before! As you say the weight isn’t the issue, it’s just a crude measure of progress.
I look forward to hearing how you get on. (Wish I could think of a suitable Arnie quote in response. :-) )

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Kay September 15, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Hi Guys,

Ive been reading this website for quite a few days as i googled One Meal a Day diet as this is the only type of diet that has ever worked.
First of all i just want to say HI to David and im totally inspired by how much weight youve lost and how youve managed to keep it a secret from your family (ie eating normally with them)…have they not noticed your fantastic weight loss?
I like doing this diet as i enjoy socialising and i do not want it to affect my life going out for meals with friends etc.

A couple of years ago i slimmed down ALOT like 3 stone….since then i enjoyed life met my partner ate the same portion sizes and im back to where i was chubby my whole life.

I have planned to change this and decided that today would be the day id finally post on here as i think we could all deffinitely spur eachother on to lose weight.
So far i have gone from 11 stone to 10st 4 but i has taken me a couple of months and i dont know whether my metabolism has slowed down or im not drinking enough water but i cant get the rest off.Ive been at the same weight for a while now.
I go to the gym and workout but i dont do enough weights to bulk up.
I am doing 1 meal a day and fruit but recently the last week ive not had any fruit.
Today i got a bit fed up and had 2 meals (non fattening) and im scared to weigh myself im going to leave it another 2 weeks before i do!
I really love this website and read it everyday for updates and stuff best of luck with all your diets guys would be great if we all spur eachother on and start losing weight!!!

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David September 16, 2012 at 10:13 am

Hi Kay,
Firstly, well done on getting from 11 stone to 10’4″ – that’s a great start. Secondly, what a fantastic job you did in losing 3 stone a few years ago!

The thing about eating one meal a day (at least the way I do it) is that the process of losing weight isn’t necessarily as quick as other methods. For me it’s total guesswork – and quiet a bit of trial and error. That’s OK though because that was the price I was willing to pay for leading a more or less normal lifestyle.

I wouldn’t worry about second guessing about a slowed metabolism, I’d just stick to your plan for a while longer and see what happens. If the lack of apparent results is driving you nuts, maybe you could take a slightly more scientific approach and count calories for a while?

Also, the scale can be a liar so I wouldn’t trust it. If you haven’t already, you might want to measure yourself too, but again, the tape doesn’t always tell the truth (bloat). But both together might reveal a trend and give you more confidence that you’re making progress.

As for me, my family know I’m on a diet, they just have no idea it involves eating only one meal.Tthey know I don’t eat breakfast because I’ve hardly ever eaten breakfast, and when they’re around I eat a light(ish) lunch (which is why weekends and school holidays are a little tougher).

Give it another little while and you may discover that your scale weight drops by a pound or two overnight.

I’d love to know how you get on… and thanks for taking the time to leave a message. :)

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Eliane September 17, 2012 at 9:39 am

Just want to ask a question .. Is it good to have my one meal at 5 pm or its better to have it at night?

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David September 17, 2012 at 9:56 am

Hi Eliane,
I would say it’s personal preference. The thing is, you have to learn to live with this. It’s a kind of lifestyle choice.
I choose to eat aroiund 5 or 6pm because it fits in with family life. I also enjoy the fact that I feel satisfied during the evening so I get the psychological boost from spending a few hours with food in my belly. It makes me believe I’m not on a diet and that there’s an abundance of food.

For me the issues over whether it’s better for digestion or nutrient absorbtion are secondary. A big part of why this works for me is how I feel about it. If I hated it, it wouldn’t work for me.

I’d say do what makes you feel good, or at least fits in best with the kind of lifestyle you want to lead.

Hope that helps :)

Eliane September 19, 2012 at 9:08 am

Thank u david Thank u david

Eliane September 19, 2012 at 9:16 am

Just another question , i cant always have my meal at the same time for some reasons but always between 6-8 pm so can i have my meal for ex: the first day at 6 the second at 8 the third and 6:30? And is it better to not drink anything during the day or its normal to drink for ex: 4 cups of green tean?

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David September 19, 2012 at 9:55 am

Hi Eliane :)

It’s a great question because I think it highlights one of the big problems dieters face. I’ve seen so many diets that are very prescriptive about what can be eaten and exactly when it can be eaten. The diets sometimes claim that the timing of meals is crucial for optimum fat loss.

The problem is that many people just can’t live their lives this way – and even if they could… do they really want to?

It’s been my belief right from the start that timing isn’t crucial and I’ve pretty much proven it (to myself at least).

The simple idea behind one meal a day is that your task is simply to eat fewer calories than your body needs. The timing doesn’t matter. If you consume fewer calories than your body needs (we’re talking a moderate deficit) then fat will get used for fuel.

Sure, if you want to be an elite athlete, then yes, maybe timing is crucial, but for ordinary people like me who just want to lose a few pounds, it’s not something I worry about.

My job is just to create that calorie deficit, exercise just enough to convince my body it shouldn’t use my muscle for fuel and then play it out over a long enough period of time to get the job done.

As for the drinks, it’s the same deal. I drink tea or coffee with one sugar and milk (full fat… because I like the taste) throughout the day. Maybe upto six a day. Sometimes less, sometimes more. I also drink water.

BTW If you didn’t already pick up on it, I’m back on the diet, so you can follow my own progress here.

Maybe I’m just lucky that I have the right kind of genetic make-up for this to work, or maybe losing weight is far simpler than many would have us believe?

Does that help at all? Let me know what you’re stuck on and I’ll try my best to help :)

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Elle September 20, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Thank you (!!!) for this post.

I started following a similar eating plan about a year ago. Over the following months, I lost about 20 pounds and am now happily in the maintenance phase. I intend to stick with the one meal a day plan pretty much forever, because it lets me have the body I want without obsessing over calories. However, I’m sick of hearing “oh, that’s really bad for your body” every time I tell someone.

So glad to read your story and know there are others out there who are experiencing the benefits of this lifestyle.

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David September 20, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Hi Elle,

That’s fantastic to hear! I’m pleased that you’ve had success with it. And even better… you sound so happy!

…it lets me have the body I want without obsessing over calories

I love that!

Thanks for taking the time to share your own experience, it’s motivating to know that someone else has done it and changed their life for the better.

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tong2sam September 25, 2012 at 9:55 am

Dear David,
I am very glad to come across your article. It really explains, “Why One DINNER meal”.
I’m 42 and proudly a full-time housewife with 2 kids. I have been asked most by women how to stay slim while I still eat dinner as most of them skip dinner just to stay in shape. I couldn’t answer the question as I eat very normal food, not to dry, not to fiber, and NEVER skip dinner which I cook myself. I consider dinner time is the happiest family time, sitting together, enjoying the meal while chatting what’s going on in our lifes during the day time apart.
I eat very light breakfast and drink coffee, just to accompany my husband and my kids like most of normal people do. Then, I hardly eat any thing after that until dinner as I never enjoy eatting alone during the day, unless I have a lunch appointment with my girl friends. I do excercise 2-3 times a week, 2 hour session, but not Saturday-Sunday.
Recently, I did gain a few kgs. as my gym friends said the older we are, the less calories burnt. (I was 165cm, 57 kgs.) They suggested to skip dinner. I was so struggled and never lost any grams. So, I was doing some reseach about age and gain weight. Then, I found your post got me thinking. For the past months, after we moved to new neighborhood, I was trying so hard to blend in. I would have many lunch appointment with many new moms around here. Until, I guess, I got used to eatting the real lunch.
After I have my mind set to loose some weight. I come back to eat very light during the day. My very light is to feel a little hungry but not until gassy. I would drink lots of water or coffee with no sugar. By 4 o’clock, I’m preparing dinner with excitment. 6 or 6.30pm is our dinner. Horay…!! That’s the reward…!!
I agree with you that whatever diet, it’s best to do as a lifestyle.

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David September 25, 2012 at 11:14 am

tong2sam,
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.
I too have heard that the older we get the fewer calories we need. I confess I haven’t taken the time to look into it. I may do one day.

I’m working on the assumption that as long as I keep using my body and my muscles (and maybe even growing my muscle a little the drop in calorie requirements won’t be too much.

I still eat really well, and lose weight and build (a little muscle) all at the same time. I’ve found a way that works well for me and it;s something I can sustain during the years ahead. As you say, it’s a lifestyle thing.

Thanks again! It’s always great to hear how other people do it. :)

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Jake Beron September 25, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Hey David im 17 years old and i wanted to start this diet. While on this diet i wanted to go jogging or walking everyday to speed up the weight loss process. I will only be eating 1 meal a day, nothing crazy. How much weight can i lose? Also is it OK to exercise to speed up the weight loss? Will exercising even speed it up?

Thanks

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David September 26, 2012 at 6:57 am

Hi Jake,
You could certainly lose weight fast eating just one meal a day, but I’d encourage you to lose weight slowly, maybe at a rate of 2 lbs per week.

Here’s why:
If you create the sort of calorie deficit to lose 3lbs of fat a week you’re looking at eating only 1100 – 1200 (approx) calories a day (depending on how much exercise you’re doing (so if you’re doing lots you’d have to compensate by eating more!)).
1100 calories a day is pretty restrictive. You could probably do it for a short period of time and see some good results but eventually your body will adapt and slow up your metabolism to cope with the restriction – so, to lose more weight you’d have to eat less and that cycle continues until it gets to a very bad place.

The slow process teaches you something about yourself and helps you to change the eating habits that got you overweight in the first place. You start to make better choices (not always but often enough to make a difference).

And one last thing… I have no idea of your personal circumstances, how much weight you need to lose, what kind of lifestyle you lead, what you’ve already tried in order to lose weight, etc., but I do know you’re 17 and still growing (we don’t stop growing until around 25). I’d advise you to speak to a doctor or an otherwise qualified person before embarking on one meal a day. I’m not a doctor and I’m not a qualified nutritionist, I only speak from my own experience.

Here’s the truth of the matter… if my own 17 year old son or daughter decided to skip two meals a day I’d be very uncomfortable with it and strongly advise against it. (And I’m aware of just how hypocritical that must seem). I’ve said right from the start that this diet (as I’ve described it) is a very crude way to lose weight and I feel there are better options out there for most people. I had some very specific reasons for choosing this approach and I had tried other methods first.

Give it some thought. I’d like to offer you encouragement and support and I would certainly encourage to you re-read what I’ve written above because I suspect you missed a couple of key points. :-)

Let me know if I can help.

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sarah September 26, 2012 at 11:06 am

Hi, congrats….
I am trying on this to lose weight… glad reading ur post

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sarah September 26, 2012 at 11:14 am

Hi,
Today is my 3rd day of this diet. I will eat night and next day morning Ill motivate myself that I can eat in abt 8 hours time…. so that makes me happy. I have not check my weight but I feel very light. Thank u for sharing

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David September 26, 2012 at 11:53 am

Hi Sarah,
Well done for making it to day 3! That’s brilliant.
Most of the feelings of success from this diet come from sticking to the plan more than what the scale says – because, as we know, the scale readings are often misleading.
Keep at it and please let us know about your porgress.

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renee September 26, 2012 at 1:07 pm

HI evryone today i intend to share this good news to those who have been discouraged in anyway..
i have tried evrythng until i embarkd on ths journey
have lost 13pounds in 3mnths,…may seem little but mins heaven lots to me…watchng the scale go down monthly
thanks DAVID for evrythng ..i owe u my success

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David September 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Well done Renee!!
That is a fantastic encouragement for me and for others. 13 lbs in three months isn’t slow, it’s close to being ideal. I can imagine you feel very happy, and so you should, because you did all the hard work, you made the sacrifices and you showed the discipline to stick to the plan. You deserve all the credit.
Thank you for being a fantastic example for others to follow. :)

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walid October 6, 2012 at 11:21 am

this is nothing but Islam lifestyle!
we know this 1400 years ago

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David October 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Walid, thanks. :-)

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Jake Beron October 8, 2012 at 10:28 am

David, About how much calories did you eat per day since you were only eating 1 meal and a snack?

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David October 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Hi Jake, I aim to eat around 1500 to 1800 calories. It’s pure guesswork. Some days I’ll eat more and some days I’ll eat less. I try not to worry about it too much. Counting calories is pretty boring but it can be a quicker way to lose the weight. :)

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Wassim October 15, 2012 at 6:11 am

Hello David, seems like a great post. This is the third time I read this post within a month and have been thinking about what you’ve written for quite some time.

I have literally tried every single diet/exercise but none have worked for me, so I think this is the last option that’s left which I gonna try. I have started this diet today. I need to cut out around 30-35 lbs too, so I hope to have the same experience you had within 5-6 months from now.

I am just wondering though, did you ever have trembles at some stages? I so often feel this and giddy too when I am dieting especially when I tried the one meal a day diet the first time like a year ago and did quit for that reason back in the days.

I think when you tremble then you’re doing a good job right? Is it because of the low level of sugar in our blood or what? How can we bypass this feeling? Because when it occurs it makes you feel so weak… I can bypass the hunger, but I really hate the trembles… What do you recommend?

Thanks a lot dear.

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David January 3, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Wassim, thanks!

Yes, there were times when I felt weak. I didn’t get the shakes or the trembles but I came close a couple of times.

To me this was a signal that I’d got it wrong. It would be the worst thing in the world to faint while at the wheel of a car or operating machinery. When I felt I was heading towards this state I’d eat something.

It’s worth mentioning again that I transitioned to one meal a day over a period of time so I gave my body a chance to get used to the lack of food during the day.

And I would also say that I think it’s better to eat snacks throughout the day. Small snacks designed to fuel not fill. I didn’t simply because it would lead to me cheating.

Sorry for the delay, hope that helps :)

Tracy October 12, 2012 at 10:44 am

Hi! Thanks so much for sharing. I did do this diet just after I finished school and lost 25kg like this, but was too strict…this caused some bad bowel problems. I am now again after having two children 30kg overweight, I’m going to try this again, but this time I’m going to take a more relaxed approach, eat a proper meal in the evening. Thanks so much for all your advice, great post. I remember this being quite difficult in the beginning, but after a while you dont even think about food anymore…I hope I get to that point quickly. ;-)

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David January 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Hi Tracy,

Thanks for sharing the important point of being too strict and highlighting that there can be medical implications and complications.

The relaxed approach worked very well for me for the first 30lbs. It then becomes much more of a lifestyle than a diet which helps to keep the weight off.

:)

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susan October 14, 2012 at 12:45 am

I started the 1 meal a day a couple weeks ago (with a snack too) and have lost 6 pounds! And I have kept it off! I am totally amazed at how little food I really need. The meal and snack I eat are nutritious and nutrient dense. (Except for yesterday – which was pretty much a disaster as far what I ate – and I must say – I was miserable! ) Planning to try to stick to the 1 meal/day. Love your blog – keep the info coming.

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David January 3, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Hi Susan,
It’s great to hear that you’re making nutritious choices. I often worry that some people think diets like this are a license to eat 1500 calories of chocolate every day and end up effectively starving themselves.

I hope you’re still doing well. Sorry for the delay. :)

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Paloma October 14, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Hi! I love your post.

I just wanted to know if you eat pizza, mcdonalds… And what is the amount that u have when you eat those types of food.

Paloma

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David January 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Hi Paloma, :-)

I do eat all of those things. But I try to eat them infrequently. I prefer to eat them only after I’ve put in a good week on the diet and then I feel I’ve put in the work so I don’t feel guilty.

I also try to make sure it’s on a cheat / free day.

Sorry for the delay in reply.

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rachel October 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm

i’m 19, i also eat 1 meal per day for 4 months .people says that you look like slim then before.i’m now 114 pounds but i think i m losing weight on slow pace and need to exercise but i can’t because all my energy is gone during work.thanks for info and letting me know i not only one to believe in our-self then criticising articles, everyone’s body is different so do diets.thanks.:)

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Cindy October 17, 2012 at 11:15 am

Hi David,

Sorry for this long comment but I have to get this out!

I have been reading your blog for a while now and was so inspired by your weight loss success with one meal a day! I decided to try this, after all, like most other overweight people, I had tried absolutely everything over the last 10 or more years with zero success.

For years I struggled with sticking with a diet, I just couldn’t cope with the restriction and felt I was destined to be fat forever. I tried eating healthy all the time with the often recommended 6 small meals a day and found myself heavier and heavier and hungrier and hungrier until I caved and ate everything in sight!

Until your blog.

Can I tell you that I have been eating this way for around 3 months now and I have effortlessly dropped 15 kilos! I have another 20 kilos to lose (yes I really stacked it on over the years!). But I feel so much better already, not to mention how much better I look! I have honestly never been successful with losing weight, never been able to lose more than a few kilos and thanks to you I know I have finally found what works! On weekends I still eat pizza, pasta, ice cream and chocolate, not as much as I used to but enough to make me happy and ready to start the week again eating one meal a day, this meal is usually very healthy but sometimes not but I still lose weight despite this.

What has amazed me the most is that it is like my hunger has been switched off, I used to be starving hungry an hour after breakfast each morning, then hungry again after lunch and in the evening I could easily put away another big meal and desert and was ALWAYS craving things. I just don’t anymore, and if I do want something, I can now wait until my next meal and this gets me through every time.

I think half the battle is believing you can do it, seeing your success has motivated and inspired me so much! The best thing, besides the weight loss of course, is the absolutely blissful feeling of freedom from being consumed by food – no calorie counting, no packing healthy snacks, no planning out every single thing I need to eat, no stress with what to order if I am going out for dinner, no one even knows how I am doing this (except for my husband who has adopted this too and loves it!). HOORAY!

So David thank you for your advice and tips on this method of weight loss and for sharing your heart. I really believe everyone is different so everyone will respond differently to diets, something you have clearly shown and I am grateful to you for sharing.

You are awesome and I wish you and your family success, peace, love and happiness!
Cindy
xx

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Michael October 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm

The one meal a day diet, has been working great for me. I started it in January of this year and my progress is a 70 pounds of weight loss. So I guess that much weight in 10 months isn’t to abnormal. I still ate the things that I loved everyday, from it being burgers to pizza etc etc etc, didn’t work out at all except the little exercise I got from work. I even went to the docs office last week to see how my health was, so got my blood work done and got called few days later saying everything was good, thou my doc recommended for me to take supplements since I probably wasn’t getting full nutrition, and of course eating once a day is bad and yada yada yada.

23 year old . 6’ft 206 lbs

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Jackson October 24, 2012 at 3:30 am

i am a firm believer in fasting as well, with some variance to your formula. in fact i have gone from 168.4 on October 1 to 157.2 today (October 23). thats 11.2 lbs in 22 days. i usually weigh each day at midnight, and if i am satisfied with the scale, i eat a big meal right then. sometimes i wait an hour or two to see if the scale drops 0.2 or more, and sometimes it does. and then i eat. the thing i hate the most about the scale is the fact it is in 0.2 increments, how come they do not make scales that go in 0.1 increments it would be far easier for everyone! :)

i also lost 10 lbs from february 1st to march 1st, so 10 lb loss in a month was great for me, but ive beaten that time frame now as of this month.

my biggest secrets i have discovered is:

a) eat beans regularly. bile is often returned to the gall bladder from the intestine, and re-used, but some things like beans, absorb the bile and take it out of the body, forcing the liver to make new bile, and to do that, it has to pull cholesterol from other areas of the body, thus lowering the total cholesterol from the body. from my research, all beans are equal to each other, with the exception of lentils, which are the “super” bean, due to its highest concentration of fiber.

b) hot peppers. they speed up the metabolism, and make any bland food spicy and enjoyable. also loaded with vitamin c, which boosts the immune system.

c) cut out ice cream, pizza, candy bars — they are a guarantee of weight gain. i will eat them only rarely, being aware of the consequences the next day the scale will probably not be cooperative. i usually choose sour candies instead, because they are basically zero fat (like sweettarts, nerds, willy wonka shockers, warheads, spree, etc).

d) i half the soda. i grew up on soda, so its natural for me to consume it. what i do is fill a glass halfway with water, and the other half with soda or cola or dr pepper or whatever it is. it does obviously dilute the product, and does take some time getting used to. but that way i can have my soda without overdoing it.

if you would like me to post my diet journal that shows me losing the 11+ pounds this october, let me know and i will post for everyone to read.

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Coco-Chanel October 24, 2012 at 8:32 am

Hi,

This is really great work by the way can’t believe this! Just out of curiosity i am 57kg and want to drop down to 50kg in preferably a month or two maximum. Do you know any way and i can do this? And what is the quick way you are talking about?

:)

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addie October 24, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Hi David,

I wanted to say thank you for this article I have two children under two and Im a stay at home mom.. I just got done with a three day fast Im now Im starting this diet today. I love that the weekends I could eat I also don’t want people knowing Im doing this. I just feel so unhappy and mad at myself for the baby fat that won’t come off. I feel as if I was ment to find ur article thank you again.

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Jake Beron November 1, 2012 at 10:00 am

Hey, i wanted to start this diet and i had a question. On this diet can i eat the foods i normally eat? Like rice, chicken, spaghetti , eggs, etc. I also eat fruits. Or do i have to follow a strict diet eating only veggies and fruits. I’m not a big fan of veggies so can i eat normal home cooked meals on this diet and still see results?

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Jake Beron November 1, 2012 at 10:01 am

Also, what type of snacks were you eating? Healthy or things like cookies, cake, etc

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Kay November 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Hi Guys/David :)

I started this diet on Friday again after having some time off and loads of socialising events….
First weigh in is this friday so its exciting the fact that every friday im going to post my weight loss for the week.
This is the ONLY diet that works for me :)

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Brandi November 7, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Is there a forum where everyone is hanging out?

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sheree November 24, 2012 at 11:11 am

You can eat whatever you want since its once a day

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Cody November 8, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Beautiful job. Thanks for opening our minds.
I started this lifestyle in August. In 2 months, I got to my goal. For dinner, I ate whatever I wanted plus dessert. Had two cheat days a week (weekends). Obviously, I had to watch the plate size, because I wanted to lose those saddlebags, but now while maintaining, I have my huge dinner, my dessert on weekdays,and indulge profusely on weekends.
This lifestyle is for me! counting carbs/cal stresses me, tired of working out (p90x/insanity) 60-90min daily and still keep gaining weight(yes muscle yes fat).
The only different thing is : no calories in for at least 18hours (just coffee/tea and water, no sweetener added).
Fasting suits me especially on weekdays (working days). I do not mind keeping this lifestyle at all. I dont miss breakfast or lunch. I still enjoy a nice brunch on weekends.
I am done with all that pressure thanks to your website. Such an inspiration. Thank you for everything.

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nicole November 11, 2012 at 8:38 pm

k so ive had alil girl just bk in march. and now aparently i went from 145lbs so 176 (after i had my daughter) i want to be back at 145lbs
as u said u could do it quicker but obviously u nor i have the money to do it. so can it take less then 5 months on this diet too? or exactly 5months? id love to not look fatter in my jeans wen i wear a belt too and love to wear shirts that i like in a smaller size i used to be a medium shirt and size 9 jeans but now im l/xl shirt and 11jeans i wanna beback to 140-45 will it take less then 5months

i also walk to the post office 10mins away and bk total 20mins and spending about 2hrs everyday cleaning the house. doing that everyday will it help the time go faster too?

also like u i have looked up and researched weight loss more then ive tried to getup off my butt to do it

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Bonnie November 21, 2012 at 8:45 am

Hi David,

I came across your post and I see you haven’t responded in a couple of months. Are you still around?

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Bianca Turalija November 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Hello David, I googled “one meal a day diet” after learning about a Japanese doctor who recently published a book claiming that this is the healthiest lifestyle. I’ve been overweight most of my life, and I have tried every diet I ever learned of: the T-factor diet (high carb low fat); Atkins: Hollywood pineapple diet, cabbage soup diet… I can go on and on. I also tried the healthy approach, not really dieting, but watching what I eat and doing heaps of exercise. EAch time I tried to lose weight I was successful. Where I am not successful is keeping it off. If I put together all the kgs I lost and found again, it’d be easily around 100 kg or more. The reason I can’t keep the weight off is that the moment I go off any ‘regime’ I’d gain immediately and quickly which would totally discourage me. I’m at the end of my rope now, and I’m giving your diet a try. Actually, I was on a so-called “Carbohydrates addict’s diet” which is also a one meal a day diet but I wasn’t really successful. This is the 2nd day and I’m feeling more or less okay. I have hunger waves that pass. I drink herbal tea all day with a small amount of maple syrup and lemon throughout the day. My problem is that I suffer from acid n reflux syndrome, so when my stomach is empty I get these awful burps. In the past I beleived tha losing weight is all about skill not will, but now I realize that I just have to accept the fact that I am a fat person who will have to ‘struggle’ in one way or another all her life to lose weight and keep it off. One meal a day seems like the least suffering, so I’m giving it a try. I love reading your posts and also other people’s posts. Wish me luck!

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Lilac November 21, 2012 at 5:00 am

Thank you for this post. I am actually at DAY 1 of this diet since having stumbled upon your blog yesterday. It’s already mid-day and I don’t feel as hungry as I thought I would. :) I also don’t eat breakfast as my stomach doesn’t like any solid food intake in the morning. I do drink a cup of coffee and then another one or tea three hours later, with a light snack, maybe a piece of bread or fruit. Today, I tried drinking a liter of water an hour before noon. I don’t plan on weighing myself, until maybe I see some slight physical transformation. I weigh about 150lbs at 5’5” but still it would be nice to lose the love handles. LOL! I walk for half an hour about 4 times a week and usually have my dinner between 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. I will keep you guys updated on my progress and thank you all for sharing yours. You are inspiring! :)

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sheree November 24, 2012 at 11:09 am

I did this before i ever read this and i lost 5lbs in one week i wasnt hungry during the days so i would eat 1 time a day closerto the evening but would eat chips and cakes to snack on and drink water it worked but next week i am going to do this diet really since i realize you did it too and seen your results

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faith December 3, 2012 at 9:51 am

Thank you all for motivating me,I have been doing the one meal a day plan for about one week and I’m off to my second..but I have a problem of over eating during the weekend and I think that jeopardizes my weight loss..help!!!

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Kalsey December 17, 2012 at 3:53 am

Mine is the same problem , I am able to follow one meal a day during weekdays but on weekends I end up eating a lot which is not helping me in losing the weight :-(

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Purushottamsing S. Pawar December 31, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Sir i do ur efforts and congratulate that you are doing this. I am also doing such thing by taking a meal in morning every other day. Not only this i take only home-cooked food and no packet food, no oily food for the last 2 moth. What do you thing will it work?

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David January 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Hi Purushottamsing S. Pawar, I’m not sure I understand. It looks like you’re only eating one meal every two days (or did I misunderstand?).

And I guess it depends what you mean by oily food. If you mean deep-fried food, I guess that would make sense. If you’re talking about certain types of oily fish, then you could be missing on some good sources of fat.

I think the best way to make the one meal a day diet to work is not to go too low on calorie intake, and to keep the diet as close to balanced as you can. Does that make sense? :-)

I should remind you that I’m not an expert, just a guy on a diet sharing what I’m learning and doing. You should take advice from a qualified practitioner of you’re in any doubt.

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Dan Cummings January 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I just found this but wanted to share that I followed a similar regimine about 3 years ago and lost 110 lbs. I have manage to keep 90% of it off for the last 3 years (tho I have cheated a bit for the holidays and Disney World!!! lol) The only difference is I count calories and exercise every other day. This is a great weigh for me to lose weight compared to other diets I have used in the past!

Thank you for this article! I hope it helps others like us!

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David January 3, 2013 at 9:02 am

Dan, that’s great. I think that counting calories is the better way to go with this diet. It takes all the guess work out of it.

110lbs represents a lot of discipline and determination, you can be rightly proud of your achievement.

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Sipna January 7, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Just wanted to say thank you for writing a very informative and relevant article. I’ve tried hard to do the six meals a day thing coupled with mind numbing exercise then ending up quitting after a week or two as it just doesnt end up feasible to sustain for long. Eating one main meal at dinner time of what you actually WANT to eat rather than what your told is healthy makes this way of eating easier to sustain for life. I’ve been doing this for a couple of days and feel great! Im also doing 30 minutes on a step machine with free weights every 2 or 3 days just to feel strong in my body but i realise that its not central to my weight loss as you rightly said, its more a bonus or add on. Thank you again!

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Dana January 8, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Hi David and all. I enjoyed reading the posts here and have just embarked myself on a similar quest. Reading Body, Mind, and Sport inspired me to try Douillard’s one meal a day diet, based on 5,000 year old Aruveda studies from India.

My big meal will be at lunch time and I’m supposed to take my time eating until I am very satisfied. My food should include all six tastes – salty, sour, astringent, sweet, pungent, and bitter.

I thought this would be a place where I can post my results along the way. I love that you guys are doing the same basic thing, only with varying rules, and it’s working.

I am a mom of four, age 48, 175 pounds, looking to get to about 125. I’ve been a yo-yo dieter (was 150 earlier this year) because I can’t seem to stick to the super-healty-all-the-time diets.

I’m on day three of only eating lunch, with a very small breakfast if any, and no dinner but herb tea. I really think I’ve found my answer and I’m super excited because it’s not hard for me. My big lunch makes me feel satisfied all day. I do go to bed early, as suggested, though.

Here’s to all your health!

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David January 8, 2013 at 10:51 pm

Hi Dana, that’s brilliant! I’m so pleased this is working out for you. I think that having the main meal at lunch time is better in several ways. On the days I’ve tried it myself, I’ve found it works really well.

I hadn’t heard of Douillard’s diet, so thanks for brining that to my attention.

Wishing you well, and thanks for stopping by. :-)

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David January 8, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Sipna, it sounds like you’re doing a great job. Keep going!

You’re right that it’s so important to make sure that whatever we do is sustainable. We can always build upon it as we go. Your approach to the exercise sounds great.

:-)

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Daniela January 9, 2013 at 2:52 am

I went to see a dr on 10/1/12 he is from India, this is the diet he game me’ at 11:00am breakfast/lunch brunch control your portion’ then at five not later my dinner I have lost 30 pounds and I broke my diet for 2weeks, I am 41′ I was size 16′ now I am 10/11′ everybody at work are in shock at my weighloss, now I want to do I meal a day, the dr told me no snacks at all, stomach needs to rest from digesting food constantly, when you don’t eat, for long long hours stomach rests from constantly working and it consentrates on healing other organs, I will see my dr again because he wants to talk to me about becoming vegan, but he said he will not push me to doit, he took me of some asthma meds that a dr game who saw me for about 5 min, and I feel wonderful, I look very skinny and I want to loose more, the dr did a X-ray and he said that I never had asthma, good that I took those meds for only 3 weeks,, I am very happy with my dr with his tip I lost 30 pounds, he also fasts so he will approve me doing a 1 meal a day.

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sharon January 11, 2013 at 1:49 am

Hi David;

I saw this site last year and started for a while. It worked but….since I worked with someone who is at least 100 pounds more than me (all day long), there is no way I could diet! She keeps munching or eating every hour and keep offering me. If I say I don’t want, she will TEASE me of being on diet and how I am doing it wrong and blah blah when I show this site to her.
Then, I moved to a new city, live alone and changed everything. Yet, did not diet….and I never lost any weight. GOOD news was that I never gained either. Until last month, holidays started and I started putting on more. I realised that I was eating more and during the school year, I only had time for 1 or 1.5 meals a day. I was never that hungry. I used to go to class at 8am, with back to back classes, I did not any time for lunch. I only have some brunch, but not heavy. Then I eat dinner around five after I come home. Then I realized that this is exactly or close to the 1-meal a day plan.

I started this about few days ago — to be on 1-meal a day strictly. Within 3 or 4 days, i lost about 3 pounds. Yet, I believe they are fluid retention. So, I have decided not to weigh me every day. Right now, I am planning to make sure that my body gets adjusted to this meal plan, I will not worry about weight lost and then, I will worry about losing weight. If I do not lose any more weight by end of January, then I know that this meal plan is not for me.

My weight fluctuates easily. I will put on 3 pounds overnight if I had full meal. AND it will take me at least a week of starving to shed them. That is why I gave up on diets! But now, I really need to lose at least another 15 pounds. I am at 130 pounds today. Last week I was 134…that is overweight for me and I was depressed. I used to be under 115 pounds all my life. I am not greedy to get back to 110 pounds. EVEN if I get to 115, I will feel healthy and fit into all of my clothes.

David, just like you, I do not have breakfast. I hear lectures all the time how bad it is for me. I am 40, still healthy and alive…so, I don’t think eating breakfast will change anything. In fact, when I eat in the morning, especially heavy breakfast, I get stomach ache. That is why I do not eat breakfast. Sometimes, I just go out with Protein-Shake with low fat milk or coffee or simply drink water! I am used to eat. Now, I am used not having lunch.
Good news, I haven’t had chicken since after Christmas and I am fine. I am not a meaty person. I eat eggs, rice (1 -2 times a week ) and one meal.

Let’s see what happens to me. I will update you next week.
Thank you for the lovely message

ALL the best to you too and all on this thread.
Sharon

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Deedee January 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Thank you so much for this honest- no bullsh*t article. I started doing this out of a huff with myself because no diets were working and I feel wonderful.

The tea trick sounds good!! I’ve been treating myself with Diet Coke, sound depressing I know lol but Diet Coke is like Cocaine to me hahaa

Wish me luck!!!!!

Deedee

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Judith Hall January 13, 2013 at 10:00 pm

Hiya, I agree completely with all that you say. I decided on New Years Eve that I didnt want to be fat anymore and if I didnt start the year right I never would. I have over 3 stone to lose and normal diets dont work as they all revolve round food too much, so you are constantly handling food throughout the day, fatal! I have given myself rules about what I can eat each day and I dont deviate. I can have a normal dinner at tea time, healthy eating, meat,fish with veg., as much as I want. Also any time during the day I can have a yoghurt and banana. Also if I get bored I can have an apple as a treat. I am not hungry and feel great. I drink tea or coffee (both decaf) and fresh juice and 1 smoothie, again anytime during the day. Its great not to have to think about food all the time, which is what I always did, I was always hungry. If I want fish and chips occasionally I dont feel guilty, but I prefer to eat proper food. In the future I will gradually add to treats if I want to, but I need to know what I can eat each day, it works better for me and I dont pick. I have never felt better.

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Kay January 14, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Hi Guys/David,

As my new years resolution i decided to do the one meal a day diet as it worked so well for me before (previously i lost 3 stone doing this a few years back).
Just a quick update my 1st weeks weightloss is 2 lbs but hey im still pleased because if i lose 2 lbs a week for 10 weeks thats a 20lbs loss.
Im really looking forward to getting slim for the summer, i am currently at 10st7 my starting weight was 10st9 and i would like to get down to 8 stone.
I workout 3 times a week zumba/spinning/gym cardio so lets hope i lose again this week.
My weigh in days are saturdays so if i want to have a relaxed day and eat a little more when i go out with friends then i can.

Will keep you guys updated with my weekly weigh ins xx

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Mark January 17, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Hey,

I am currently at a weight of 163 lbs at a height of 5 ft 10/11.

Wanting to get to a weight of 127 lbs I had done this a year back loosing 60/70 lbs.

Being overweight, it was needed, now I have just ‘saggy’ skin, I exercise regularly (Press-Up’s and Sit-Up’s – 70 to 80 a day, plus leg workout’s, and walking 3 days out of a week, to and from College).

Wanting to get a good weight to look slim/skinny, as that is my ideal weight, but the ‘saggy’ skin after loosing 70 lbs is something I’d like to know how to get rid of, as now it’s stretchy… A guess my skin should shrink and shape to my body shape right?

Anyway, thanks. :)

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Dan January 18, 2013 at 2:22 pm

I’ve been eating one meal a day for about 15 years. I’ve become so use to it, I usually don’t get hungry during the day. Like you, on weekends I will eat twice, with snacks. Snacks for me are usually nuts – I find them more satisfying. The biggest benefit I get from eating once is that I can prepare a healthier, more rounded meal.

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Justin January 28, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Hey,

I am 5’10 and currently 165 pounds. Two years ago I was 226 pounds and I have this diet to thank for that. I was 150 in high school, and after starting a desk job ballooned up to 226, when I decided it was time for a change. The first thing I did was substitute Diet Mountain Dew for my normal Mountain Dew. I then began going throughout the day without eating, and in the evenings when I got off would actually go through a drive thru such as Taco Bell or whatever I wanted. I could order what I would normally order and get up the next morning and do the same thing. On the weekends when I didn’t work it was a little harder so I would have a late lunch(1 or 2 in the afternoon) and that would get me through until the evening when I would eat something smaller. This got me down to 172 in less than 5 months. 54 pounds in 5 months was an amazing feeling. I ended up getting all the way down to 157 before stopping. I was all the way back up to 176 when a weight loss contest began at work. I am back down to 165 within 2 weeks but struggling to keep it going. While I work out now twice a week( intense 2 on 2 basketball for an hour and a half), I am having problems not snacking at work again. I am hoping to get under 150 within the next 2 months, and hopefully stay there with the right exercise and diet.

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Dawn January 29, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Great post. I have been ‘one-mealing’ on and off for years (initially due to having a job where it was impossible to relax and eat during the shift). I have been ‘off’ for a few months but am now back ‘on’-I have about 10lbs to lose. What I would like to know is whether you ever drink alcohol and if so beer, wine or spirits? Also whether you save it for Saturdays only?
Thanks,
Dawn.

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David February 28, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Hi Dawn,
To be honest I rarely drink alcohol. Every now and then I’ll have a glass of beer or a glass of wine with a Sunday roast, but mostly I don’t.

I’m not overly concerned about the calories contained in the drink but I’m aware that alcohol can impede fat loss. I wish I could remember where I read it.

Anyway, if I wanted to drink it I would, but more than likely only at the weekend. My view is that if I’ve put in a great week, I deserve a glass of something (or in my case it’s more likely to be a piece of cake!) Plus, if it’s going to be part of your lifestyle after the diet I’ve found it better not to deny myself during the diet, but instead to have it in moderation.

In other words… I wouldn’t feel bad about have a drink! :-)

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Justin Ryan January 31, 2013 at 11:54 am

Well done on the article, I am 57 years old and weighed 295lbs on 7/1/13.

I decided to eat one meal a day with only an apple or piece of fruit during the day. I also have lots of meat and little carb.

I weighed 281lbs on 31/1/13 and have started to feel much more energetic.

Its easy and it fits working lifestyle. I am a confirmed believer and want to get down to 250lbs in the next three months.

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Nats February 9, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Excellent and inspiring blog, thanks.

I too googled ‘one meal a day diet’ to see if there was such a thing as I had found myself slipping into this way of eating following a couple of weeks on Slim Fast shakes twice a day and a 600Kcal meal.

My logic was that I could save the calories I was drinking (and not enjoying) from the shakes and add them to my evening meal so I could enjoy a good sized meal with my family.

I started this with a 23 hour fast each day (only drinking clear low calorie liquids) three weeks ago and have went from 108.5kg to 102kg (6.5kg loss/1 Stone/14.3lb)!

It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever been able to loose weight and with ease too. I now feeling hopeful that I will be able to loose more weight.

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Cynthia February 25, 2013 at 11:15 pm

Hey everyone !!!! I’ve decided to try this. I’m 56 years old. So you can imagine that I’ve tried every diet possible. I really need to lose 50 lbs. From listening to David, losing slowly is definitely the best option. TODAY is my beginning. Wish me luck !!!!

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David February 25, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Good luck, Cynthia! :-)

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b3rn4d3tt3 March 1, 2013 at 9:35 am

Best of luck Cynthia! let us know how you are progressing!

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David February 28, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Hi Nats, that is a terrific result! Well done.

It’s funny how so many people just drift into this way of eating and find that it works for them. Keep up the good work :-)

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David February 28, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Hi Justin, I’m really pleased to hear that this is working for you. A piece of fruit here and there is a great way to get through the day. I too find that I have more energy when I’m on this. And I find I have a huge loss of energy when I’m not.

Keep going. I wish you all the best in reaching your goal.

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Shannon February 26, 2013 at 3:13 pm

I stumbled across this site and it looks like the perfect plan for me. I’m going to give it a shot. I have recently been reading the Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet, and this is basically the idea behind that as well. I am 33, 5’7″ and around 227 lbs. I really would like to be back to 170 or less. I wake up around 5:30 am M to F, and I would go through the motions of eating breakfast because I thought it was the right thing to do. I would occassionally eat healthy breakfasts, but more often than not it was sugary things that I’d have been better off without. And I am always hungrier when I eat breakfast than when I don’t. I do get some light to moderate exercise, but I don’t have time for anything more. I’m so busy during the day that I think I would hardly miss breakfast & lunch. I live alone so it won’t be hard to hide from anyone. Occasionally I’ll have lunch or dinner with my family on the weekends, but this plan makes that possible. I’ll try to keep everyone here updated on progress!

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Clair February 27, 2013 at 4:21 am

I just started this diet yesterday after crossing my fingers and google searching “one meal a day diet.” And look what I’ve found!

Since I just started yesterday, I have no results to post yet. I am proud that I’ve gone my second full day with only eating dinner. I’ve always been pretty bad and drinking water like I should, though, so I have to try and get into a better habit of that. I’m a 21 year old college student, so one meal a day works with my schedule (and budget) pretty perfectly! I’ve been so unhappy with my body for years now, but this year I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been. I’m 5’6″ and 168 lbs. When I stepped on the scale a week ago and saw my weight, I was mortified. I vowed right then and there that I would not let myself hit 170. My ideal weight is aroun 120, but I would be super incredibly happy to be back at 140, so I’m making that my goal, then I’ll go from there.

This seems to be the only diet that I’ll be able to completely follow through with! And it’s really not much of a diet, but a lifestyle.

I do need to work on being more physically active though. As a student, I walk around campus all day, but I don’t think that’s enough physical activity. I was thinking about trying yoga, as that’s something I can do in my own room and it helps to destress and relax the mind. I’ll try to check back here in about a week! (Maybe making entries on here will help motivate me, like a weight loss diary.) :-)

Thanks, everyone, for the inspiration! I’ve read through every post and comment. Sending so much respect and luck to you all!

-Clair

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Clair February 27, 2013 at 11:53 pm

My third day. Just weighed myself. I’ve gone from 168 to 162! I know it’s probably just water weight and everything, but it’s just so encouraging!

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David February 28, 2013 at 12:50 am

Clair, 168 to 162 is great. Maybe some of it is water weight, and maybe some of it is fat. The fact is, you’ve made some progress, so well done!

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Mary March 12, 2013 at 3:55 am

Claire, I’m struggling with motivation too. In a short period of time I went from 140 to 176! Most of it due to depression. I’d been the same weight for 13 yrs. .now I realize the last six months I’ve really let myself go and I’m tired of this extra weight. It seems like so much to lose because my body just wants to hang onto this weight. I’m 38 and people around name tell me to just accept that I’m too old to lose it. It’s very discouraging. But I’ve found this website and people on here as well as Dave have struggled to lose weight. It’s an uphill battle but Its worth it in the long run. Keep up the good work and never give up. I’m just starting my new lifestyle of one meal a day and I’m gonna force myself to exercise regularly so I feel better and fit back in my clothes again. Keep us posted :)

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David February 28, 2013 at 12:48 am

Hi Clair, well done on the early progress. I know how hard it can be to get into this diet (or lifestyle as you quite rightly point out :-) ). I like that you’ve set a goal but you have some margin between your goal and what is acceptable to you. I wish you luck.

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David February 28, 2013 at 12:43 am

Hi Shannon, it sounds like this might suit you quite well. Of course you can tweak it to suit your needs, but as a general framework, it works quite well. I don’t miss breakfast at all but I do miss lunch from time to time. Staying busy helps though. :-)

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Shannon February 28, 2013 at 12:51 am

Today was the first full day I tried this approach. I had a cup of tea when I got to the office, and I was fine until mid morning when I started to get hungry. I was able to stave it off with a handful of almonds. I had to have another small snack and cup of tea in the mid afternoon because my stomach was growling so loudly! I have been trying to drink more water to fill up. I don’t think I overdid it too terribly once dinner rolled around. We will see how I feel tomorrow! I’m sure it will take a few days to get accustomed to. This really seems do able for me and I want to be sure to give it a decent try. I usually give up on traditional diets very quickly but this approach seems very easy to conform to.

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David February 28, 2013 at 1:01 am

Just a quick hello to everyone.

I’ve been rubbish at replying to the comments and I’m sorry about that.

I promise that I have read every single one of them and that I’m grateful that each of you has taken the time to leave a message.

I’ll start catching up with the replies over the next couple of days.

Thanks again for all the encouraging and enthusiastic remarks. I hope you’re all doing well and getting the kind of results you’re looking for.

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b3rn4d3tt3 February 28, 2013 at 8:52 am

Hi Dave,
Congratulations on your new job. Also, your website is very interesting to say the least. Thank you, I have some similarities with you:
Yes, ‘one small morsel of food can easily lead to another’
My biggest achievements were the result of negative motivations I felt.
I work from home while my husband works in the city.
I am over 40, no children and I need to lose 30 pounds.
Over the years I have associated my failure in dieting with failure in other areas of my life.

Now, this is the interesting part: until 30 of age I was eating (generally speaking) once a day (at dinner). This was not due to a conscious efford, basically I was studying, working and then did my degree etc and I only had time for the evening meal, or my body seemed to be happy, perfectly tuned, I did not put on weight and I did not lose weight, I was in perfect weight. My blood sugar, cholesterol level etc were all optimum. I never felt craving just a healthy hunger before dinner times. The food I was eating was homely, traditional, stews with vegetables, a bit of meat and carb and fat. An excellent combination. Then I met my husband (I know it sounds tragic, we started going out more, one thing lead after another and my diet habits began to change. I began eating a small sandwich at a lunch time and a fruit and snack etc. Over the years that snak turned into many snacks, one packet of sandwich turned in to a 2 sandwiches+crisps+desert and I started eating more and more in every meals. While I hardly ate chocolate or cream cakes in the past I began eating the food items that I did not used to eat. So bit by bit I piled the kilos. Your diet is actually is THE MOST HEALTHY DIET FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME! Because I know that this is the only way I can maintain a healthy weight. Besides who says that eating once a day is less healthier than eating 6 times a day? Where are the studies about this? NONE!
I am going back to my roots! I will start my once a day TODAY :) I will let you know how it goes.. Will I be able to get back to the same eating pattern, let’s see..
Keep up the good work, Best wishes to you :)

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David February 28, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Hi Bernadette, thank you!

It looks like we do have some similarities. What you’re describing is not a million miles away from my own experience.

I love the fact that you’re starting right away and not putting it off. That’s something to feel good about and that’s a great way to start.

I wish you well, and I look forward to hearing about your progress.

:-)

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b3rn4d3tt3 March 1, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Hi David,

Thank you for your encouraging comments.
Let me share with you all, my first experience with this diet:

As you know yesterday was my first day of trying this diet. I weighed myself first thing in the morning. I was 89.9 kg. I than skipped the usual breakfast and began drinking coffee/tea (decaff. with semi-skimmed milk) with BETTER STAVIA- CERTIFIED ORGANIC, instead of sugar. I will explain what Stavia is at the end of this post but now let me go back to the morning.

All morning until 11:30am I was perfectly fine but around 11:30am (which is my danger zone. I generally get hungry around 11.30am) I began heaving terrible cravings. I ended up having a few bites of chicken kebab (a handful) which ended the cravings.

I then continued drinking tea, but the cravings began hitting me again and again, every damn hour: 1:30pm, then 3:30pm, then 4:30pm. It was so bad that around 5pm I was seeing everything around me as food. I said to my self: ‘look, these are simply withdrawal symptoms, hang on!’. So, I decided to have my dinner early(despite I generally eat my dinner around 6:30pm-7:00pm). But instead of stuffing myself with any food that I can put my hands on , this time I decided to stuff myself healthily.

I quickly shallow fried 400gr of leeks, added hand full of chicken, 2 stock cubes, 3 large spoon of low fat pasta sauce with handful of easy cooking pasta shells, half a glass of water. 15 minutes of preparation+cooking time, the result was a delicious, huge pan of food!

With 4 low fat crackers I had the half of the pan. It worked until 10 pm (another dangerous time for me, because I am also a night eater!). When I began having the cravings around 10pm I finished of the rest of the food in the pan.

It somehow worked. Today, I weighed myself and WOOOW I lost 1 kilo (2.2.lb) since yesterday. Well, I know some of this is water weight but it is still encouraging!

However I am not entirely happy! I want more structure more control. Today’s challenge for me will be eating only ONCE A DAY (not eating at all until the dinner time and not snacking etc around 10pm).

I will let you know how it goes David. Have a nice day,
Bernadette

By the way: STAVIA is a natural plant that looks a bit like sage or mint. It is also called ‘sugar plant’. I had this plant in my garden. I was so impressed by it, I decided to investigate it more. Every leaf of this plant tastes incredibly (I mean: ‘each small leaf is equivalent to a cube of sugar’!) sweet. It is generally used in Japanese and Latin American cooking. I have bought it as a powder form (called ‘NOW Better Stavia Certified Organic Extract Powder’ ) from Amazon.com. It is more than enough to use ‘a tip’ of a teaspoon to get an incredible sweet taste for your foods and drinks. Why better than any refined or unrefined sugar? Because it has ZERO calories and it has NO IMPACT on the insulin level in the body, it does not affect the blood sugar, so you are not getting up-down feeling of a ‘sugar high’. There are many companies sell Stavia but I prefer this label because it is organic and the others seem to taste bitter.

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Markus March 1, 2013 at 12:37 am

I admit I did not read the entire thing, But I have been eating 1 meal per day for 4 years because I am poor and I have gained 20 kilos from doing so.

I have also developed digestion problems, such as diarrhea and bad stomach pain after a meal.

After a while everything I ate turns to runny bowel movement,

I was told the reason for this was because I was eating too seldom, the body and brain assume food is scarce so it will store more. I was also told that because I ate so seldom the digestive system was weak, unresponsive , like a machine that requires lubricant but wasn’t getting it.

I am no nutrition expert nor am I a doctor, but in my own personal experience of 4 years of eating 1 meal per day it does more harm than good in the long run.

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David March 1, 2013 at 7:28 am

Hi Markus, thanks for this. I think it’s useful to have the other side of the story.

I’m sorry to hear you’re having these issues with your digestion.

This way of eating isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure, and as with every diet if you grossly undereat every day your body will indeed believe it’s being starved and react accordingly.

I deal with this by eating only a moderate calorie reduction every day. I also eat a balanced diet so that I get the nutrients I need.

And whilst I do eat one meal a day, quite often I eat more than once a day, I just try to eat one main meal.

I’m glad you posted this though because people need to understand there is potentially a downside.

I hope you start to feel better. Thanks.

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Mary March 11, 2013 at 4:02 am

Hi Dave, I’m so glad I found this website. 13 yrs ago I lost 70 lbs in about a years time. I ate one meal a day like you. I kept it off all those years. I am now 38 yrs old and six months ago my sister passed away and a few weeks later my 17 yr old dog passed away too. I pretty much went into a state of depression. I ate all the time, any kind of food I wanted. I just stopped caring I guess. I went from my normal weight of 140 lbs to 176 lbs within 3 months. I am struggling to figure out what diet to follow that will work. After reading yours and everybody’s messages on here I am going to try what worked for me 13 yrs ago. One meal a day. Everyone around me says its unhealthy and I’m getting older so its natural to gain weight. I know it was only because I stopped caring about taking care of myself during the last six months tho. I looked better but more importantly i felt great at that weight . I never want to go anywhere or do anything anymore because o this weight. I hope this lifestyle change will get me back to my normal self. No matter how long it takes me I will lose this weight. Thank you for inspiring me.

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David March 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Hi Mary, I’m sorry to hear of the pain you’ve gone through recently. I hope you have plenty of support and that you’re taking some time for yourself and the healing process.

I admire the sense of determination that comes through in your writing and have no doubt that you’ll be able to make good progress toward your goal.

The great thing is that you’ve lived this lifestyle before, so you know that it works.

I wish you luck. Stay strong. :-)

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Mary March 12, 2013 at 3:59 am

Dave,thanks for the encouraging words that I truly need right now. It feels almost overwhelming trying to lose the 35 lbs I’ve gained. . But I’d rather try than to do nothing and feel terrible. Thanks again:)

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David March 12, 2013 at 9:47 am

Mary, keep at it… one hour at a time… one day at a time… and soon you’ll start to see the results you want to see. Celebrate every little victory and feel good about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.

You will prevail! :-)

b3rn4d3tt3 March 1, 2013 at 11:07 am

Hi Marcus,
I am very sorry to hear that you have gastrological issues and (worse!) you cannot afford eating better foods. I have gastritis and ulcer and also suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) so I know how terrible it can be having gastrological issues.

Having said this, I honestly think that your issue is due to WHAT YOU EAT, RATHER THAN HOW SELDOM YOU EAT. Because, naturally when one cannot afford food, there will be a tendency to choose the cheapest food items on offer. But these foods are generally very HIGH carbs foods such as breads, sugary cakes, pastas with added preservatives and treatment agents which are all very bad for the digestive system.

I have been eating like you for some years, not because I could not afford it but because of ‘laziness’ (yes, I am ashamed to admit that I don’t have any accuse!). I hardly drink and I do not smoke, but still, I am not surprised when I ended up having gastritis and ulcer. I perfectly know that my gastrological issues is nothing to do with how seldom/often I ate, but they are the direct result of the bad comfort foods that I have been eating for many years.

My honest suggestion to you is that you learn to cook healthily. Even if you can afford once a day, you really try hard to have that single meal as nutritious and healthier as possible for your body. You really try to get more vegetables, protein (any meat and eggs) with fat (olive oil) and a little bit of carbs (rice, potatoes, beans, pasta) in to your plate each day. You then try to have a piece of fruit as desert. Believe me there is a way of doing this, it will not be costly, you just need to search a bit more. When you start eating like this, you will see that there is hardly any difference in terms of cost but it will be better for you even if you can eat only once a day.
Best wishes, Bernadette

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Dante DiCamillo March 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm

But I appreciate your story of success in weight control during highschool……

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Louie-Joe Thomas April 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Hi Markus,

I think you added a great point to the discussion in that you touched upon the impact of budgetary restraints on your eating habits. I’ve gone through many periods where I skipped meals or opted for fast food dollar menus, junk food snacks, and cheap frozen dinners because that was all I felt I could afford at the time.

When my health started to suffer, I realized it was going to cost me a lot more in the long run to continue my poor eating choices than to find a way to eat healthier.

After some careful shopping and studying, I discovered that for the same amount of money or less than what I was spending on junk food, there were some much more nutritious foods I could eat.

When I started preparing the bulk of my meals at home, I realized that I could have scrambled eggs and toast or a peanut butter sandwich for breakfast instead of donuts or cold cereals loaded with sugar.

Then I found a 10 lb. bag of chicken quarters at Walmart for about 6 dollars (American), lots of frozen veggies on sale for pennies a serving, and some fresh fruit that comes in large bags much cheaper than buying loose fruits by the pound.

Eventually, by shopping and planning carefully and taking advantage of coupons, sales, and free items offered with a minimum purchase, I found it was actually costing less than eating out or loading up on junk.

My beverage of choice is plain old tap water. I do love coffee, and I can buy a whole pound of coffee and make it myself at home for less money than a single cup of one of those fancy coffee shop concoctions i use to buy several times a day.

If there’s a will there’s a way, and nothing’s more important than my health. If things get really tough, there are many local food pantries, churches, and charities that can help. I’ve spent my life helping people, so I won’t be too proud to accept help if I need it myself.

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Dante DiCamillo March 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Hey Scott, I wouldnt base my diet plan ( or anything else for that matter) on the faulty “science” of evolution and “ancient man”. We now know today that nothing on the face of the earth gets more complex with time (ie evolution), but rather all things after being Made tend towards the simple or breakdown in complexity. Wether it is a piece of fruit sitting on the table…. Slowly De-volving,rotting, becoming simple, or a chicken casserole, or the speed of light getting slower or us.we were always complex from creation…so our diets should reflect that

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Sam March 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Hey Dave…

I was doing this for some time and as you said, it is working good for me. only difference is that i was drinking milk all over the day and full meal in the evening. I have been discussing this with my friends and you know the same old age formulas are there every where. Also i was thinking that i am the only guy doing this way, but really got impressed and motivated seeing that there are many people in the world who are thinking in similar lines.

Thanks
Sam

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David March 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Hi Sam, thanks for dropping by. It’s great to hear that you’ve tried a variation of this diet and that it’s worked for you.

I must admit that I too am surprised at the number of people trying this diet. We must all be crazy!

Thanks again, Sam. :)

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Carol March 13, 2013 at 4:50 pm

David, I am excited about doing this, but I have type 2diabetes,can I still do this one meal a day. My readings in the am are around 120, I am not on any insulin. I really want to try this. My husband showed me your blog, he started doing this a few days ago and he said he loves it. LMK if I can do this
Carol in Wisconsin

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David March 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Hi Carol, that’s a great question and I wish I knew the answer. Sadly I’m not in a postion to advise you. I would feel terrible if you tried this and it made you poorly. If you go to your own doctor for advice I would love to know what they say and at least then we’ll have point at which to start some research.

Anyone else want to weigh in about diabtetes and eating one meal a day?

If I discover anything useful I’ll be sure to give you a shout. :-)

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David September 23, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Carol and David,

I am what they call “pre-diabetic.” In other words, I have to keep watch over my blood sugar as it is still in the “safe” area but could become a problem.

So what I do is take Bragg’s Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar before I eat. You mix it with water (you have to, all you will burn your throat), and slug it. Tastes worse than p*ss. But it’s worth it. Your blood sugar will remain stable after you eat, and eventually it’s the next best thing to a cure for Type 2 Diabetes.

Then eat. I’m returning to the one-meal-a-day diet, so the Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar is an absolute must for a guy like me who has to be careful of his blood sugar.

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GARY March 14, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Hello my name is Gary i am 51 years of age single and have just had the worst 18 months of my life following a loss of job and a relationship beak up. I came across this site whilst researching calorie restriction and the effect on mood. This is because i am currently suffering from depression/low mood, which affects things like motivation, energy and mental clarity.
I am now on a journey which i hope will be a positive and life encompassing one.
I started 1 meal a day 3 days ago with the following aims:-
1 To find a cure for my depression
2 To restore hormone inbalance ( i believe i have low seratonin/dophamine lervels
3 To get my life back into some sort of order
4 more mental clarity
5 make better choices
6 have more energy
7 raise self esteem
8 to lose 1.5 stones in weight
9 to feel good about myself more
10 life extension
11 To create meaning and purpose in my life
12 to be happy

I also want to shift emphasis from always reading about cures for depression to something more positive like health

Please note i have tried antidepressants which make my condition worse and have experimented with foods to raise my mood like omega 3’s, nuts, b vitamins etc.
I am currently having cognitive behavoural therapy
i am constantly experimenting with different things to improve my mood like exercise etc. So far i have had some improvement but until monday this week was still struggling. i monitor my mood using a scale of 1 to 10 were 1 is practically suicidal and 10 is elation. When i first got depression i scored myself a one. I was in a bad place. From this monday
i was about a 4. Not great but just keeping my head above water.

Anyway thats the negative stuff out of the way. Here is were i am now day 4.
1 Lost 4lbs in weight
2 depression has just about disappeared
3. loads of energy
4 quicker response times in brain functioning – less fog
5 clearer skin
6 Knee pain which i developed around same time as depression (dont ask me why) subsided considerably
So far i feel wonderfull and the old Gary is returning
I will keep updating everyone how things are going and would like to correspond with others to share ideas /goals etc

Note To the author – A very well written blog, simple, encouraging and to the point

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David March 14, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Hi Gary, I love the honesty in your writing. You acknowledge where you’ve come from, where you are right now and you also write positively about the future. I’m so pleased that things are turning out better for you after going through 18 months of pain.

Your list, 1-12, fantastic!

Good luck Gary, I hope to read more about your progress. :-)

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GARY March 15, 2013 at 8:41 am

Thank you David for your kind words. Let us all inspire each other. Life is so short and we get bogged down with all sorts of Sh*t. This diet is making me feel wonderful, walked into work today with a spring in my step. Ok its a dress down day at work. But i dressed
immaculately my stomach is significant flatter and my mind is wonderfully clear and sharp i feel like a new man. I see opportunities every were before there was sadness and despair.

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David March 15, 2013 at 9:44 pm

Gary, that’s so great to see you writing so positively about your experiences. Life is indeed short and we do indeed get bogged down in the sh*t. It feels good to cut free of the trivialities and see the future for what it could be if we make just a few small changes in the present moment. Thanks for getting back to me. So glad it’s having such a positive effect for you. :-)

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GARY EDE March 17, 2013 at 11:29 am

Thank you David your comments are very kind and positive. Today is Sunday and i am down to 14 stone. My target weight is stone 12 stone 10 and i continue to feel amazing. Still no sign of depression coming back and i love being on this journey of self discovery. Yesterday i went for a run, only about 2 or three miles, no food, and it was a piece of cake! Its funny that eating less gives you more energy! In the evening i went out for a meal with some friends and i went to a steakhouse. I chose a 14 oz steak with french fries and salad and alittle alcohol. I still lost weight. I took my time eating the meal. When it is the only one of the day i wanted to take my time tasting the textures were normally i would just gulp without hardly chewing. I even refused a dessert which is highly unusual for me! Now my mind which previously craved sugars and carbohydrate seems to know what is good and what isnt. I realised i had lost that signal which said Gary your eating far too much. I sort of new before that i was overeating to cover up negative emotions but didnt have the power to stop myself. Then the depression kicked in. That internal clock has now been reset and its great being in control. Its so empowering creating meaning and purpose in my life because i feel in control. The diet has improved my sense of mastery so that i feel that i can shape my life rather than be a victim of circumstances. Being In control of your destiny is a great feeling.
Let me know David how you are getting on with your diet i am very interested in the concept of fasting and mood so would be interested on other folks experiences. I read more of your blogs the other day and you write very intuitively.

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David March 17, 2013 at 8:48 pm

Gary, you paint a great picture. It’s very motivating to read about your progress and the clear delight that comes through in your writing.

I particularly like the way you no longer feel like a victim of circumstance. Taking responsibility for our own situation in life is tough to do, but it’s essential… and you’re reaping the benefits of that subtle change in mindset. Fantastic!

Keep at it, you’re doing amazingly well!

As for me… I’ll let you know how I’m getting on at the start of April. :-)

GARY March 19, 2013 at 10:24 am

Its now day 8 and i continue to feel wonderful. Lost between
5 and 6 lbs, depression is a thing of the past, my knee pain gone and i am in love with life again. Here is a quote which i found the other day which i feel is bang on the money.

I often observe in the fasting participants that by four days of fasting, concentration seems to improve, creative thinking expands, depression lifts, insomnia stops, anxieties fade, the mind becomes more tranquil and a natural joy begins to appear. It is my hypothesis that when the physical toxins are cleared from the brain cells, mind-brain function automatically and significantly improves and spiritual capacities expands.”

Gabriel Cousins, M.D. (psychiatry)

David March 19, 2013 at 11:27 pm

Gary, great progress! The quote rings true for me too.

There are more benefits to weight loss than the weight loss itself and I think your own experiences are showing that quite nicely! :)

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GARY March 26, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Update day 15 and weight down to 13 stone 12 target is 12 stone 10. Body
went in to starvation mode so had 2 meals on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. So its a case of experimentation and finding out what works for me. Funny enough i feel more hungry eating 3 meals than 1!

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David March 26, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Keep at it Gary. Twist the diet however you need to. Have two meals for a few days if that helps, but set yourself an acceptable pattern of eating to use whilst you’re not actively ‘dieting’. That way you still get to feel that you’re ‘on it’ enough not to be doing any damage. You can still feel good about flying in the holding pattern until you’re ready to go back to a calorie deficit.

I know what you mean though…eating more often, often makes me feel hungrier too. Good luck. Stick at it. You can do it.

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Renier March 27, 2013 at 7:28 am

Hi David!

I enjoyed this article and all the comments! It is very motivational and inspirational to read about all the success that others have experienced who are also eating one meal a day like myself. I’m currently doing the Fast-5 Diet by Dr. Bert Herring (http://www.fast-5.com/) where you basically eat one meal a day within a 5 hour period of your choice (my eating hours are between 5pm and 10pm). Dr. Herring’s book can be downloaded for free from his website and the 60 pages can easily be read through in one hour. I’m also following a bodyweight-exercise program from Stew Smith’s website (http://www.stewsmith.com) that consists basically of pull-ups, push-ups, abs, and various leg-exercises. I love to exercise, first thing in the morning, for about 1 hour a day 6 days a week in addition to eating only one meal a day. I don’t have a problem with a lack of energy so combining one meal a day with a strenuous workout-plan CAN BE DONE! I’m having GREAT success with these diet-and exercise-plans and plan to keep it up for life.

Kind regards,

~ Renier

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David March 27, 2013 at 10:56 pm

Hi Renier,

Thanks for the links to the sites. It’s fantastic to hear that you’re doing this. I’ll check out the links properly over the weekend – it’s always great to see what works for others.

You sound very enthusiastic and totally invested in this so I suspect you’re seeing great results. Love the enthusiasm!

Thank you!

David

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GARY EDE March 28, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Good stuff Renier I downloaded and read last night. Lots of good stuff in there. You sound very motivated and disciplined which is a great inspiration to us all.

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GARY EDE March 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Yes good advice David i shall do that. I think i have only been eating about 1000 calories per day which is not enough. I think the trick is to always keep the body 2nd guessing, as in changing the amount of calories and meals every day. In that way the body never goes into starvation mode as it never knows from one day to the next how many calories its going to get. Any how i lost another one pound today so weight is now 13 stone 13. Only 15 LBS to go.

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David March 27, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Gary, the great thing is that you’re monitoring what you’re doing and you’re prepared to tweak it. Being adaptable is an amazing characteristic to have, it will serve you well.

I tend to agree with you…1000 calories is on the low side, particularly if you’re exercising too. I typically aimed for between 1500-1800 calories a day. It was difficult to tell because for me it was mostly guesswork. I didn;t want to go too low though because I want to body to start consuming lean tissue instead of fat, so I ate at a moderate deficit and did moderate exercise (to convince my body that hanging on to the muscle was essential (not sure if that has any basis in fact but it seems failry logical)).

But try not to over think it, or it’ll drive you nuts! :-)

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GARY EDE March 28, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Yes i can have a tendency to overthink so good advice. I am confident i will hit my target as i am at least half way there. I am exercising as well so i am seeing positive results quickly. However. i am aware not to be too obsessive so am prepared to have some neutral days.

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David March 28, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Gary, overthinking is also an affliction of mine. That’s how I know it drives you nuts. :-)

It’s great that you see yourself closing in on your target. It’s a great mindset to have.

In just the few short comments you’ve made on this post you have me absolutely convinced that you’ll do it. That belief in yourself is crucial and very inspiring!

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Kate March 27, 2013 at 10:30 pm

I have been doing one meal a day for 6 weeks and it is working well. I am way thinner but not food obsessed and actually find organising only one meal a day quite liberating. My only quibble is although thinner according to my scales I do not appear to have lost any actual weight, any ideas as to why?

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David March 27, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Hi Kate, I’m glad you’re seeing some success with this.

I understand what you mean about the weight – it can be tricky to gauge your progress when your mirror and loose fitting clothes tell you one thing and the scale tells you another.

The truth is, there are so many variables it’s difficult to tell.

It could be the time of day you weigh yourself. It could be the frequency with which you weigh yourself (ie the quality and quantity of your data). It could be water retention, muscle growth, used food retention (if you get my drift?).

When I had a similar problem I started measuring myself with a tape measure and it showed that I was losing fat whilst not losing weight. Might be worth a try?

Good luck and thanks for leaving a message.

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David April 2, 2013 at 10:01 am

Hi, I just wanted to let you know I’ve started a new site dedicated to One Meal a Day. It’s called “1 MAD diet” http://1maddiet.com

My plan is to get a forum or message board going for those who want to write about their own progress or simply get some encouragement when times get testing.

For now though I’m documenting another month of the diet to see how far I can get. Hope to see you there.

David.

1MAD block 500

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GARY EDE April 2, 2013 at 10:25 am

Good idea count me in.

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David April 2, 2013 at 11:18 am

Fantastic Gary, see you there! :)

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Dawn Canning April 2, 2013 at 10:04 am

Good idea-I’ll be visiting.

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David April 2, 2013 at 10:06 am

Thanks Dawn! See you there. :-)

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David April 3, 2013 at 10:17 pm

It’s day 3 of the diet and I’m down to 172.2 lbs.

http://1maddiet.com/april-diet-challenge-day-3/

one meal day 3

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Julie April 18, 2013 at 10:59 am

This article and all the comments are great!!! I am on day 3…Monday was hard, Tuesday was harder, today is a bit easier…..I’m pretty sure it will get easier still as time goes on….I woke up this morning and my stomach was alot flatter and my trousers aren’t so tight :)

My start weight is 11st 10lb (164lb) I’m hoping to get down to 10st (140lb). Although I would be just as happy to get into my smaller sized clothes!!
Thanks for this article its very motivational :)

Good luck to all xx

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David April 18, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Hi Julie, you sound very upbeat and excited about this. That’s a great way to start! I’m glad you’re already feeling better for it.

You’ve set yourself a nice challenge and from the way you’ve written here, I suspect you’ll make it! :D

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Anna April 20, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Hi David,

BIG thank you for your website and info. I’ve been on your diet for four months and and have lost 45 pounds now. I have 23 pounds to go which I think I’ll lose in about another three months. As I’m getting closer to my goal weight I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel. My question is once I get to my goal weight how do I maintain it? I’ve seen many work colleges in the past lose loads of weight and then 6 months later they are the same weight as before they started dieting. I don’t want to be one of them when I have worked so hard to lose the weight. Your advise would be much appreciated. :-)

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David April 20, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Hi Anna, what an amazing result. That’s really terrific! You lost 45 lbs in four months!! I think I should be asking YOU for advice! :D

Seriously though, you should be very proud of yourself.

I’m not sure you need to be concerned about putting the weight back on. The thing is, I know just how hard you’ve had to work to lose the weight so I can’t see you letting it slip once you get to your goal weight.

Since I lost the 30 lbs I made a couple of attempts to get a flat stomach without success – I know it’s an excuse but there were other things going on in my life and the weight loss took a back seat. The pattern over the year was I’d lose a few pounds, then put them back on. I’d check the scale periodically and see I needed to cut back for a while so I hopped back on the diet for a week or two and lost the few pounds again.

I think in summary, the trick is to have a new eating plan to take over from the one meal diet and then to monitor your weight periodically. So maybe 2 meals a day would work well for you? Or perhaps eating one meal a day on two or three days in the week?

If you put on a few pounds, so what?! You’ll just take them off again. I don’t think maintaining weight is not about holding static at a particular number, I think it’s accepting that you’ll enter into short cycles of gaining and losing weight.

Throughout this process I set numbers that would trigger me to do something about my weight if I hit them. My current weight that I’m not prepared to go above is 173 lbs.

I’m aware that I;ve started to ramble now, and I’m not sure I’m making sense anymore. Does this help at all? Let me know if you need me to clarify anything. :)

I am so pleased for you and delighted that you shared your success with us. Thank you!

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Anna April 20, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Hi David,

Thank you for your comments and advice. I am very proud of my achievement but its all thanks to you. Thing is I’ve been on every single diet out there and this is the only one that’s worked for me. Mainly cos I can’t stick to any diet longer than a week and with this one I get to eat my favourite foods on the cheat day which is perfect for me cos it only feels like I’m on a diet for five days at a time. Your advice for maintaining the weight makes perfect sense and is much appreciated. I’ve been fat most of my adult life and since losing 45 Ibs I’ve noticed a dramatic difference in my health. Recently I’ve actually been taking the stairs at work instead of the lift which I’ve never been able to do before – feels really good. Will keep you posted and thank you again :-)

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David April 20, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Anna, this is music to my ears. In so many ways the weight is a secondary issue. what;s really pleasing to hear is that your health has improved and that in turn has allowed you to make better choices. Best of all you feel good about the whole thing. It’s very inspirational and certainly helps me to continue doing what I’m doing.

BTW, I don’t know if you caught it… but I have a new site dedicated to this diet: http://1maddiet.com – I’d love to see you there if you get the chance to pop across.

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Louie-Joe Thomas April 23, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Hi David,

Thank you for your marvelous sharing! You look fit and wonderful both before and after, but I’m sure you feel a lot better after losing almost 30 pounds.

I’ve been looking for something simplistic and sensible like this for a very long time, as I have not been impressed with all the commercial diets, supplements, and especially the constant conflicting information from all the health care professionals and diet gurus.

I have argued to exhaustion with people about this ridiculous concept of eating small meals a day every few hours. It may be critical for people with diabetes or hypoglycemia and other conditions to eat regularly throughout the day, but for a plain old food addict like myself it just perpetuates the obsession and preoccupation with food by all the shopping, planning and preparing of meals and snacks for each feeding.

I generally find that I do enjoy eating a small breakfast within an hour of waking after having fasted since 7PM or so the previous evening. I find a small sugar free Greek yogurt or hard bolied egg with a fresh fruit is fine, then maybe a handful of almonds and another fruit mid afternoon if I need it. This allows me more freedom to eat the foods I really enjoy in moderation at the one larger evening meal.

Thank you for the affirmation I needed to stick to what my instincts have told me for many years is best for me.

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David April 23, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Hi Louie-Joe,

I couldn’t have said it better myself. This is pretty much how I feel about the whole deal.

For those that get along with the six small meals it’s probably a good thing and I wouldn’t try to dissuade them, but for me, all it taught me to do was eat all day long and it’s a habit that’s hard to break. And it’s worse if you have little control over portion size.

I love the way you’re doing it. The small intake of food for breakfast and then the small snack later in the day if you feel you need it works really well.

Thank you for taking the time to let us know your approach to this diet. :)

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Sar May 2, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Hi. Your story really spoke to me, especially since I am a stay-at-home mom with a preschooler. I I have been on a ever-evolving diet since Oct. 2012, (at 199 lbs) initially starting with the Eat to Live approach, lost some weight, went off track again and watched “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” and started juicing in January, and am now either juicing or NutriBlasting (smoothies) and having a “solid” dinner with my family. I’ve lost 27 lbs, and am hoping that by eating one meal a day, I can progress further. To be honest, it was tough for me to handle food and NOT indulge. Since I eat the one solid meal, it’s gotten easier to say to myself: “I don’t have to have that now, I can always have a small portion to try at dinner” if I REALLY have to sample something I crave. I’ve also found that I can “pass” tempting things up easier than before. The only thing that I have to fine-tune is limiting my coffee, since I’ve started to drink more of it lately. I find that it intensifies my irritability, so I think I may have to limit my coffee to a twice weekly (during weekends) indulgence. Overall, I really enjoy being able to eat pretty much what I feed the rest of my family, without feeling like I’m “messing up” my diet. I also have progressed in my exercise and now walk for a bit over an hour, 3 days a week. Im going to check out your new site and see how can I adapt it for me. Thanks for sharing your story and keep up the great work!

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David May 2, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Hi Sar, I started out by calling this a diet, but I’ve actually started to think about it more as a strategy. Being able to eat the things the family eats makes it all so much easier. I don’t ever feel like I’m deprived and as you say… if I want something badly enough, I can have it… I just have to wait until dinner.

Being at home with the little ones is tough. It’s the hardest job I’ve ever done, and as you know yourself, it takes a big emotional toll. And that’s the trouble – we’re all lead by our emotions and it’s very difficult to overcome that kind of programming. I’m still prone to emotional eating, I don’t think I’ll every eradicate it but sticking to this eating plan helped beat it most of the time – at least enough times to make a difference.

And your attitude to this is brilliant. I love the idea that you’ll adapt it to suit your needs. That’s exactly what we should all do, because we’re all different and what works for me might not work for you. I think it’s great that you’ve stuck with it and tried different things. That’s the sort of determination that will bring you success.

Thanks for dropping by. Please let me know how you’re doing.

BTW I’ve started writing about this over here: http://1MADdiet.com

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Dimitri May 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm

Hi David
what do you think if some one takes the one meal at lunch time, instead in the evening.
I am sleeping much better with my empty stomach than with full one.
I will appreciate your opinion
Dimitri

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Carolyn June 3, 2013 at 2:24 am

David,
Love this site! A little will power during the day goes a long way. I was just wondering how many calories you would recommend eating for a 5’7″ 42 year old woman who exercises 5x/week playing VERY competitive racquetball? I have about 25 lbs to lose. I don’t want to limit calories too much, but I don’t want to over eat either. I know it’s a pretty specific question, but just looking for basic guidelines.
Thanks again for the blog and a place to share info on this life-altering way approach to eating. (I too heard General McChrystal’s eating regiment years back and was intrigued.)

Thanks-
Carolyn

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Christopher June 3, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Great post. I have been eating one meal a day for years like my father has done his whole life. I feel great doing so. Eating during the day just makes me tired and bloated. People constantly tell me I’m nuts and hurting myself, but honestly I feel the best doing this so that is what I do. I should probably also mention I lost about 100 pounds doing so. One meal a day, plus quality food, organic, farm raised etc. Never felt better.

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David June 4, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Hello! I wrote earlier and just thought I would check in! I have been doing one meal a day for about 2.5 months now and have gone from 220 pounds to 199.6 today. I have not weighed under 200 for many years so its very encouraging. I’ve been hitting it a little hard core–I have been having one good cheat meal per week, perhaps a big juicy steak or even a Brazilian steakhouse buffet, but other than that one cheat meal I have been having one meal per day, and no more than 600-700 calories in that one meal per day. Sandwiches, chicken burritos, fish tacos, soup, fish and rice, lean hamburgers, etc. I have never felt deprived. Its more of a mental challenge to stick with this in my opinion, but the further you go, the more encouraged you are. I have not been exercising but have promised myself that once I got under 200 I would start. I hate exercise :( Good luck to all.

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Tanya June 11, 2013 at 2:19 am

Hi David

I have been dieting now for a year off and on. Last year i lost 20 lbs. I did a few months of low carb, and a few months of one meal per day and took lots of time off between diets. My current weight is 151 lbs. I want loss 25 lbs.more , I’m only 5’1 tall. so that would put me at a good BMI. Ive decided to do one meal a day again, because it is the easiest for me follow. this year i will shed that last 25 lbs…..

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Tanya June 11, 2013 at 2:22 am

Hoping to have some summer support for one meal a day

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mike demunbrun June 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm

i have been using a modified version of the 5-2 fast diet, basically 5 days week i eat 2 meals/day about 1800 cal.total and the other 2 days a week i eat two meals about 700-800 cal./day —NO B-FST accept cold water 1st thing before my coffee/green tea combination with 1 tsp artificial sweetner –I am losing about 1-1.5 lbs per week and actually enjoying it—(i walk 4-5x week 1 hr. 3-3.5 mph depending how i feel)

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Travis July 14, 2013 at 11:43 am

I had been doing this for almost a year before I came across this site, was curious out of no where if this diet was healthy, and came acracross this and all the sucess rates! to sum it up, in August of 2012 Idecided I wawanted to drop a couple pounds, I was 280 when I started, and today I weighed in at 217! I keep loosing too! power bars actually worked wonders for me. I would eat one and have plenty of energy and feel active like I ate a full meal. great way to loose weight!

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David July 14, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Great job Travis! Glad to hear it’s working for you. From 280 to 217 is awesome!

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GARY EDE July 19, 2013 at 10:56 am

Hello David i have got a question for you and anyone else who is interested. What is the best way of shifting the final bit of belly flat around my stomach. If i am eating one meal a day which i am will that do it on its own or do i need to refine my strategy. I do some running although not consistently maybe 4 times a week.
Do you cut out carbs or just eat a regular meat and 2 veg? This is my diet, no breakfast, lunch 12.00am 1 apple. Evening meal meat and 2 veg, dessert fruit and yoghurt. I generally do this at least 5 times per week and the weekend 2 meals per day.

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David July 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm

Hi Gary, I’ve struggled with the same issue. Eating one meal a day got me from 205lbs to 175lbs over a reasonable time. Losing the last of the fat has been more difficult.

The law of diminishing returns certainly seems to kick in.

One thing I had to remember to do was to recalculate my maintenance calories for my new weight. It makes sense that I need fewer calories to maintain 175 lbs than 205 lbs.

Of course, if we drop calories too much or increase the energy output too much, the body will adapt to slow the rate of fat loss and preserve energy thinking that food is obviously in short supply. Some people call this starvation mode but I think it’s more of a metabolic adaptation to the circumstances.

At the moment I’m working on the theory that changing the circumstances will alter the rate of adaptation. To that end I’ve been eating at less of a deficit and concentrating more on keeping or building muscle through exercise rather than using exercise to bun calories and the early signs are good.

My guess is (and it is a guess because I’m no expert) that reducing the carbs for a period will prompt further weight loss, but the flip side of that course of action is the necessity to reintroduce carbs slowly after you’ve reached your goal.

In addition the temptation is to replace carbs with fat which is double the calorie density of carbs or protein.

I think the running is OK. I run because I like to run a couple of times a week, but I go for higher intensity over shorter distances which also seems to help.

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GARY EDE July 19, 2013 at 10:59 am

Oh and i forgot to mention my weight today stands at 12 stone 8 a drop of 30 pounds.

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David July 19, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Congratulations on a 30 lb loss. That’s a lot of fat!

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jason August 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm

I am on day 5 and I am loving it. I actually enjoy food more and look forward to dinner with my family more as well. I eat an Atkins bar for lunch and drink tons of water through the day. I normally eat at 630 pm. I don’t need as much sleep as well used to wake up droggy now I wake up at 430 ready to start day.

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Emily August 19, 2013 at 2:48 am

David,

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I have been doing this for 2 months with great success (32 lbs lost). No exercise whatsoever. I’m still very heavy (220 lbs), so exercise is painful. But I intend to start walking more once I get under 200 lbs.

I LOVE the fact that I don’t think about what to eat or what not to eat or how much to eat anymore. I just don’t think about food constantly like I used to which in itself is already a big reward.

What I love the most about this, though, is that I sleep so well when I go to bed with an empty stomach. It’s been years — 2 decades maybe — since I slept deeply through the night like this. It can be hard to fall asleep when hungry, especially in the beginning when I was still adjusting to not grazing from the time I wake up till the time I go to bed. But once I’ve fallen asleep, it’s a deep, peaceful sleep until the alarm goes off. This may sound like a minor thing for those who don’t have sleep problems, but for me, this is HUGE.

Thank you again, David.

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Anne August 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm

So glad to find other people who agree this is a great way to lose weight!!

The first time I started eating one meal a day, it was totally accidental. I was 18, and had gone from being a skinny child to weighing 180lbs by the time I finished college. I started work and found that as I was so busy, I was only eating dinner with my family (I lived at home with my parents at the time). Soon I realised I was losing weight, and decided to stick with it! In about 8 months I lost 55 pounds, bringing me down to 125. At 5 foot 7.5 this was a great weight for me.

I maintained this weight for 3 years, even after I stopped being so strict on the diet. During this time I met my fiance, and got pregnant with my son. This caused my weight to go up to 148 after the birth. Being an at-home-parent hasn’t worked so well for me so far. Instead of trying to lose weight after having my son, being at home and just being so happy and not paying attention to how much I weigh has brought me up to my current weight of 175!

Anyway the reason I am posting is this is currently day one of the diet for me. I’m quite strict as I stick to one meal a day all seven days of the week. During the day I do however drink cups of tea (with two sugars) as I find that helps. I’m starting university in a years time, so want to get all the extra weight off before I start. Very excited to hopefully see the same results as I did last time!

Thanks to everyone who posts their stories, it’s very motivating!

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Ivy August 28, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Hi David
I have to say Thank you for your honesty and sharing your experience. Today is my first day and I am so ready to do this. I can’t measure food it stresses me out which leads me to eat more and I found when I excercised a lot I was starving(just my experience) I will check in and reread your story for motivation.

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tracy September 1, 2013 at 10:16 am

I am starting one-meal-a-day diet again tomorrow. I work in adverstising industry and my co-wokers graze all days. The food is all over the place in my office. Therefore, it is extremely hard for me not to eat anything. Only working there for 1 month but I gain up to 5 kg. However, as I decide to follow this life style, I believe I will stick it it. Today I weight 61kg (I m very short) and I will let you guys know how much I loose next weekend.

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Wanda September 3, 2013 at 4:38 am

Well today I just typed into google, “Is eating one meal a day Healthy”, and your page was the one I was drawn too.
I am excited because most of what everyone has said on here, comments about not liking to eat breakfast because you tend to eat more, is simply my experience, so I relate to what everyone has said.
I did do one meal a day at the age of 19 and I lost 50 pounds. I have tried so many things and I had honestly forgotten the one meal a day diet.
I too will keep this quiet as I feel the more I announce im on a diet the more I fail. Same thing because of work etc no one knew I was on a one meal a day plan. I must admit I ate normal hearty meals, the only thing I scrapped was bread.
I am currently at 116kg and mt goals are small my first being to get to 110kg and so on.
Thankyou so much for this amazing insight into your Journey, and a double thankyou for confirming to me and reminding me what I have to do. All the best
Wanda from Australia

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Rose October 3, 2013 at 3:20 am

How long did it take you to lose that much weight? Thanks for answering.

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Rachel September 5, 2013 at 6:18 am

Hello David! First of all good job :) That must feel amazing! I have a friend who did that a lost a lot of weight, it’s amazing to see as well. I am about to start, I only have 4 kilos to lose, nonetheless, i have a couple of questions that maybe you could help me answer. I just want to know if you ate anything you want? (bread, rice, pasta, buns, oil?) what was the range of calories you’d consume a day. Thank you very much and good luck

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Rita September 5, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Hey there!

I’ve been doing this diet for about a week ( cheating a little bit sometimes) but i wanted to ask you, do you think it’s okay for a 17 yrs old girl to eat only one meal a day?
I actually feel healthy while doing this diet, And this one meal i have is lunch not dinner.
Thank you for your article, it is very nicely written!

Best Regards

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Dustin September 9, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Ahoy there.

I just started doing this about 15 days ago, and came across your site while checking to see how it works for other people. I’m in the Navy, 12 years and counting, and I was just getting too heavy. With force reductions and the government looking for ways to cut back, Sailors are being let go for not being within body composition standards.

I’m 5’11 and 245, but its not as bad as it sounds, I carry it very well. When I tell people what I weigh, no one can believe its that high. Guess I’m just really dense.

I work out three times a week, usually a 2-3 mile run and assorted calisthenics, so I knew a lack of exercise wasn’t the issue, I simply had to be eating too much, which turned out to be the case.

I too only eat dinner, with no snacks to speak of during the day, MAYBE a piece of fruit if I stumble across some. For dinner, I’ll eat whatever I feel like, no gigantic meals, just what I would usually eat. As the diet goes on, I’ve seen that what I would usually eat now fills me up far beyond what it used to.

The results have been shocking, to say the least. As of this morning, I weigh 232 pounds. That’s THIRTEEN pounds in 15 days, changing nothing about what I eat, except that I only eat dinner.

I really don’t get hunger attacks or anything like that, and I really look forward to dinner, and its even better knowing that I’m not restricted to certain types of foods. My uniforms fit better, and I’ll have to buy new ones when I get down to what I call my fighting weight, about 205.

My only guess as to why my weight loss has been so rapid is that I was simply eating far too much food, and had a large surplus of calories. I’m definitely active, so cutting back on food was just what I needed. Great site, keep up the good work!

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Doreen Tembo September 9, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Hi David,
congratulations on your weight loss. I am a lady aged 32 and I have been having trouble losing weight. I am 35kg overweight. for five weeks now, I have been eating one evening meal a day and having fruits for breakfast and lunch. The problem is that physically there is a big difference. My stomach is smaller and my thighs are getting smaller. The thing that keeps discouraging me is my weight on the scale which is still the same at 93kg. Kindly advise

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Abi September 12, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hi David

I’ve done some posting on this site before went away with your advice and the support of you and others on here. After alot of false starts, I managed to stick to it and lost 20lbs. Unfortunately, I went through some major tough times and and everything went out the window. I put it all back on. Things are still tough, but I want control of my life again, so I decided to start with my weight.

I started eating only meal last week and lost half a stone, but i did it by not eating or drinking anything at all until 6pm. The problem is that even though I am over the moon for losing the weight, i am uneasy with the notion of not drinking water. Drinking water seems to cause hunger pangs, whilst not drinking anything, including water, I can go the whole day without feeling hunger.

I started drinking water this week, and things are not going well. I have strong hunger pangs and i seem to have increased my eating window from one hour to three or even four hours. So instead of just eating from 6-7pm, I eat from 6-9pm.

I have decided to stop drinking water and and do a complete dry fast till 6pm. It’s the only thing that seems to work. I have to try and drink at least 2lts of water from 6pm. What do you think, David?

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Abi September 12, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Hi David

I posted a few comments on here, last year and started the one meal a day lifestyle with your advice and support and the support of many on here. I finally got into it after quite a few false starts and managed to lose 2olbs. I then went through a very trying time and no longer felt in control of my life and as a result, I put everything back and because I stopped working out, I look and feel flabby.

Though things are still tough, I am taking back control of my life, starting with my weight. Last week, I started back on eating one meal a day and I actually lost half a stone ( 7lbs). For one week I did not eat or drink anything, even water, until 6pm.

I am happy to have lost weight, but I am uneasy about not drinking water because I know I should. The thing is, taking anything, including water, starts the hunger pangs and they don’t seem to be the type I can ignore. This week, I decided to start drinkin g water and things have not been going well. I am constantly hungry and I have increased my window of eating from one hour to three hours. Last week, I ate between 6 and 7pm, but this week, I eat between 6 and 9pm.

Last week I could feel the difference in my body, but this week, not so much, so I’m going back to doing a complete fast and will eat and drink at 6pm. I do plan to drink at least 2-3 lts of water. I felt the difference doing it this way. I had more energy, slept better and felt good in myself. I don’t feel that way this week.

I’m just wondering what your opinion is on this

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Colin September 20, 2013 at 9:27 am

Eating one meal a day is WAAAYYYYY easier for me than eating many small meals. I don’t like nibbling throughout the day. It’s annoying and it usually leads to unneccessary overeating.

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Ceebo September 20, 2013 at 9:31 am

Hi guys , I really am struggling for over 10 yrs now . I think it’s true when Dave say it also abt ur personality bcoz I tend to be so impatient abt everything . I once tried this diet plan , but instead of snacking inbetween I had lemonade (as in lemonade diet ) & it worked I lost up to 8kg . But my impatience soon kicked in . If anyone can give advice on how to hold on to anything I’m so bad at that . Anx guys.

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Syed September 26, 2013 at 12:13 pm

I applying almost same thing from last 3 months and this is working for me as well :)

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Amit September 24, 2013 at 10:30 pm

I am not necessarily on a strict one meal diet but it is very close, I have two Biscuit and tea(whole milk and sugar) first thing in morning followed by a smoke. Then in office will pick up a sub (6 inch) and veggi preferably(I am not vegeterian). My reason for trying to stick to Veggie stuff here is to control my carb/protien/fat intake..dont know if it makes scientific sense but works wonder for me. I keep on sipping iced tea through out the afternoon..not that I am hungry but as a habit. Please note that never during the day i feel like starved. The Tea has sugar (no milk) and might be complimenting the energy from lunch. The first thing after reaching home I try to hit the Gym, 5/7 is my conversion rate for a week. I keep it very simple, walk or run for till I burn 1000 Calories. I do not feel any pain and I do nothing stupid and after finishing running/walking i walk straight back home. Point here is I go to gym to get those negative 1000 Calories. Many of my friends have found this 1000 cal. difficult, but it is your body and you need to figure out the correct stuff/exercise machine/activity. I am not a runner mind you and I do elliptical/brisk walking more often.

Any ways coming back from Gym I get to the dinner table (after shower :)) and have a normal dinner with my family. eat what is served.all of them. This is the best meal of the day, i over eat /sweets/dessert ..no restriction. The check here is eating done before 7 PM. And when its bad 8 PM. Then I am awake upto midnight for work.This gives me enough time to get the heavy dinner worked out from my system, everyday when I feel just a wee bit hungry before sleeping I know that I am on right track. Thats the key. Sleeping full has been a disaster for me. I take tea/coffee with whole milk before sleeping..preferably cold. Yes I need coffee/tea to get up and to go back to sleep as well..so weird :):)

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susan farrell September 26, 2013 at 9:20 am

Started the one meal a day diet four months ago, and at the start I did think this carnt work its to simple, but it does. As David said it does take some will power at the start but after the second week + it becomes normality. Have lost three stone in four months and I will continue at the same pace until Im at my ideal weight. I was very overweight and I can honestly say this diet has saved my life and give me a life. After losing three members of my family recently I knew it was now or never. Thankyou David..

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Lily September 28, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Hello David !

Your post is very interesting and taught me many things !
I was doing research about “one meal a day diet” because of this: It’s been two weeks since I started college, and I am fond of my classes, yet there is a lot of work to do. I do work during the mid day pause, as well as in the evening, sometimes until very late. And therefore I sleep as much as I can in the morning. The result is I have no time to eat in the morning, neither in the mid day (and I don’t like to eat at this moment because a full stomach doesn’t feel food to go to classes again after, you can’t concentrate while digesting. And my clothes would smell food as well, would hate that). For two weeks I went like that, just eating in the evening, and the week end I was also eating a little meal when waking up (3:00 PM or so). And yesterday I thought that my body seemed a bit better. Which is not bad because during summer holidays, I put on so much weight. Therefore I thought I would like to keep on going like that and loose the extra weight, but I was scared for my health. Now, knowing that you did the same and actually survived, I feel reassured :)
Now, I don’t walk out (hatetheoutside…) but I practice ballet, chinese dance, japanese dance and zumba. Something like 6 hours a week. I love to dance, and it will help me get muscles in addition to being fit.
So, sorry for the long post, and again thank you for giving me the confidence to keep this lifestyle :)

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Paul September 29, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Good article! A few years ago I heard about the 5 to 9 diet and decided it wasn’t for me but now 3-1/2 years after a foot injury I was desperate having gained an average of 14 lbs a year since the injury and being 5’10” and 251 lbs at 53 doesn’t bode well. My foot has not healed so the 3 x 10km runs a week are long past and in my history.

So a week ago Friday I found your web site and gave it a whirl. As of yesterday morning after just seven days 10.5 lbs have disappeared. Days one and two were a challenge but the balance of the week was manageable. Since day three I haven’t been able to eat more than 1100 calories a day and have lost the addiction to evening snacking. I know once I’m close to my target weight I’ll have to eat more to stay healthy. The light headedness is considerably less (hardly noticeable) as compared to when I tried the Atkins. The Atkins diet did work for me but I felt lousy the whole three months I was on it with constant headaches. lightheaded and muscle cramps plus other than salads there aren’t a lot of choices when you aren’t at home for meals. The problem with Atkins is the change in metabolism. After I returned to eating normally, and I don’t mean excessive eating at all, the weight came back very fast and the missing lbs found a few extra lbs to bring along that I didn’t have before I went on that diet. Reducing calories but eating three or four meals a day left me feeling starved within an hour of eating.

So for now the one meal provides me the most convenient method of reducing caloric intake and I’m not feeling as deprived as with other attempts.

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Irina October 3, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Hi David,

Your diet makes sense to me and it’s great to see that it has worked so well for you. I will try it with my variation of it…Eating small breakfast and normal lunch and skipping dinner. And on days when I have to go out to dinner, I will skip lunch and breakfast and just eat small healthy snacks (probably fruits). What are your thoughts about having a cocktail here and there with your meal? I heard alcohol delays the breakdown of your meal and fitness people tend to stay away from it. What do you think?

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Tim October 12, 2013 at 10:47 am

Hi,
I have been doing this for about 2-3 months and have lost about 10 pounds
The only thing is that I do eat breakfast and then I eat my one meal right away so that I have energy for the day. So i guess its like a 2 meal a day though my breakfast is quite small. This works well for me so far! Plus you can always cheat here and there and know what you need to do to get back on track .

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Cindy October 14, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Hi, David. I really enjoyed reading your blog and all the comments.

I’m a 50 year old registered nurse. I work 12-hour (7p-7a) night shifts at a hospital. Two of my kids still live at home. When I started working nights 6 years ago, I weighed around 145 pounds. In the past 6 years I have ballooned to 200 pounds. I have struggled so much with trying to eat right while working this crazy schedule. Doctors and nurses bring us all sorts of sugary, fatty goodies that are nearly impossible to resist at 3am when you’re stressed out and fighting to stay alert. Our unit orders take out a lot, and I nearly always join in. The managers buy huge amounts of meat pizzas for us to graze on during hectic shifts because they know we won’t be able to sit down and eat. We take our lunch breaks when it’s convenient for the unit, not when we’re hungry. I have read many books and articles and tried many diets. None have lasted for more than one torturous week.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how I ate when I was slim in my 20s and 30s. I didn’t graze. I felt some hunger every day. I ate only a couple of light snacks throughout the day if I needed it, and I saved my main food intake for the evening meal with my family. I ate pretty much anything I wanted, but I ate it during that one sitting. That one meal was a highlight of my day and I looked forward to it. My energy level was high. I felt good. My eating habits have changed so drastically over the years as I’ve learned to graze on whatever is available and to eat when I’m not hungry because I may not get a chance later. I rarely experience hunger now, as I accepted the 6 small meals/day attitude. Sure, it keeps me from feeling hungry, but it is not satisfying at all, and I recognize that I’m now conditioned to munch all day (and night) on anything within my grasp. I feel completely out of control eating this way. I’ve put on 55 pounds. I have very little energy. I don’t feel good. And I’m done with feeling like this.

What I’ve read on your blog resonates with me. It takes me back to healthier times. I know it’s going to take getting used to, but I want to eat this way again , and I know it’s right for me.

Thanks for this.

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Sam October 16, 2013 at 11:09 pm

Hi,

I am glad I found your article. I started doing this a few weeks ago after considering some kind of meal replacement diet. I tried a “Shake” one day, not only did it taste vile it made no difference to how hungry I felt so I decided to do it without the meal replacement and have one meal per day. Like you I have Saturday “off” and eat slightly more than in the week on a Sunday, for pretty much the same reasons as you “family being around etc”.

Like you say in your article, I have found that I can’t eat as much as before anyway as my stomach has adjusted. I really feel better physically and mentally – I am doing something positive!

I really relate to what you have written and can’t believe how similar our experience has been (except I have only lost about half a stone so far).

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Christina October 24, 2013 at 1:02 pm

I do something similar to this (2 cups of coffee with cream and sugar instead of teas throughout the day, plus a light bedtime snack if desired) and it works for me, but so far I’ve been unable to stick with it for more than a couple weeks at a time. I always lose weight on the diet (usually about 5 pounds in 2 weeks), but when I quit I always return to my starting weight. It’s a shame because I only need to lose 10-15 pounds to fit back into my beautiful custom-made wardrobe, so I feel like a failure for not being able to lose and keep off that small amount of weight. It’s also a shame because while at work all day I feel more energized and more productive without the grogginess of digestion. I think the diet is more sustainable with taking the weekends “off” (they’re for relaxing a recharging, anyway) and I’m trying again that way (I started Monday). I also think taking the weekends off will make it easier to stick with it because I’m also not telling my family about my efforts to lose the weight. In fact, since I enjoy the added productivity and convenience of not having to prepare meals during workdays, and the freedom to enjoy desserts and/or drinks during weekends, I wouldn’t mind staying on the “diet” permanently if that’s what it takes to maintain a lower weight. Anyway, I just commented because I’d like some support and accountibility this time. Taking weekends off will definitely make the weightloss slower, but simple chemistry guarantees the weight will come off because I’m still eating about 5000 fewer calories per week!

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David November 1, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Hi Christina!

It sounds like you’d benefit more from a flexible approach to this diet, i.e. eating predominantly one meal a day but having the flexibility to enjoy the occasional lunch.

When I first started getting into this I did very well eating two meals a day – but my curiosity drew me to trying just one meal – plus eating one meal gave me a little more flexibility… but… and here’s the point: whatever you do, it has to be sustainable.

The only trick to dieting successes is consistently eating fewer calories than your body needs to maintain it’s weight. And it;s perfectly possible to do that eating two meals a day.

I know you feel that your progress would be slower, because your weightloss wouldn’t be as dramatic, but over the span of a few months or a year you could make astonishing progress because you’d be less likely to sabotage your own efforts (as we all do from time to time – I’m certainly not exempt from this and I’ve definitely had my fair share of failures!)

There’s no need to rush this, in fact, it’s better if you don’t.

At one point I was thinking of creating a forum but decided against it. Maybe it’s something I’d look to do in the future. In the meantime I’m dealing with the dieting on my other site 1MADdiet.com – you’re more than welcome to join us there.

Thanks for leaving a message, Christina! :)

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FT October 30, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Came across this article to see if anyone else followed the diet I’ve been on for the last year or so based on no research, it just seemed to be something that might work for me – and it did. I was morbidly obese, but I’ve lost over 100 pounds on this diet. Similar to you I only eat one meal in the evenings on week days, followed by dessert. Though I may also have a chocolate or some small sweet treat afterwards. I have a cup of coffee for breakast. At weekends or holidays I often eat more, such as having breakfast and/or lunch, and often graze more than I probably should, and I do try to make up for that during the week – I do weigh myself and sometimes get frustrated that I was too over-compensating during the weekend, but nevertheless it has worked for me more or less.

I do much prefer eating a big meal in the evening so I feel full – other diets just always leave me hungry. And whilst I can sometimes feel hungry during the day on this diet, when I’m at work or whatever it’s easier to ignore, whereas in the evening if I only ate a small meal I’d feel hungry and for me personally it would be something difficult not to give in to.

I still have some way to go with my weight loss, and for the last couple of months I’ve only lost a few pounds, but the important thing is is that I haven’t actually regained the weight (or when I’ve put a pound on here or there i.e. after a week’s holiday with family), it has come off again afterwards. I’m slowly trying to integrate more exercise into my lifestyle as I hope that might help me shift the last bit of weight and keep my metabolism up as otherwise my lifestyle is largely sedentary. But this diet has certainly helped me lose over 100 pounds and I would highly recommend it. I must add that I have also calorie counted as part of this diet though, but I don’t think it is probably all that necessary if you stick to other rules (like only eating at the table between a certain time).

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David November 1, 2013 at 10:21 pm

FT, thanks for leaving a message and for being so open about your situation.

You have done a fantastic job, and I’m sure you feel proud of what you’ve achieved… you certainly should.

The thing I’ve found out about this diet is that it’s simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. So when I read that you’ve lost over 100 lbs I know something of what it took for you to do that.

There are quite a few reasons to like this diet and as you suggest feeling full in the evening is a key reason – because otherwise, just like you, it leaves me open to temptation.

The great thing is that you’re keeping the weight off and clearly you’ve developed the all important habits that help you to do that.

Great job FT!!

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David October 31, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Hi,

I just wanted to offer an apology for being so lousy when it comes to replying to my blog comments.

I know how frustrating it can be to write a comment and not have it acknowledged in any way.

Starting tomorrow, 1st Nov, I’m going to start working my way through your replies.

I’ve already started the same process over at my other site 1MADdiet.com, where I’ve been equally poor at answering comments.

I am grateful that you’ve all taken the time to reach out and I regret that I haven’t had the courtesy to get back to you sooner.

Dave.

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Roula P. November 5, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Hello there! I myself am thinking of starting a one-meal-a-day approach. I came across your site last night, read all readers’ comments and i feel greatly encouraged and motivated. This approach fits my personality very well, since restricted and “healthy” meals seem like a torture. I am a foood addict, unfortunately. I really NEED to feel like i will not miss my beloved food, or else i slip and binge. I am sure that if i lose weight, i will be motivated by my great body and will easily eat healthy but, right now, i see myself in the mirror and grab a snack to ease my grief. I am 31 y.o., 1,65m and 93kg. I will keep coming to post my results and read others’ comments…

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David November 5, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Hi Roula!

That’s great! It’s good to hear that you accept you enjoy your food and that you want to find a strategy whereby you don’t have to give up the things you enjoy. You raise a very important point and that is: severely altering your diet often leads to binge eating… which is a diet killer and psychologically damaging too. My feeling is that it’s better to make some small tweaks to an existing diet first and then gradually transition to making ‘better choices’ along the way.

You’re more than welcome to keep posting here, but you’ll also find me over at 1maddiet.com.

Looking forward to hearing about your progress :)

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onthejourney November 6, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I stumbled upon your post while I was looking for a popular Japanese book called “One Meal a Day.” It is written by a Japanese doctor about the benefits of eating just once a day. (I was told this information by Korean students of mine.) The book is extremely popular in Asia.

Apparently, there is some science behind your approach! I haven’t read the book as it is not translated into English yet. (There are some spin-off authors, but the original book was written by something-Yoshi-something. )

Sorry for the sketchy information, but I’m sure you’ll want to look for it when it comes out.

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David December 2, 2013 at 9:19 am

Hi onthejourney,

That’s great to know. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. If ever it gets translated it should be a fascinating read.

All the best to you,

Dave.

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Shannon R November 11, 2013 at 5:34 pm

I’ve tormented myself with varying diets beginning at the age of 12. I’ve done everything from raw vegan to paleo. I’ve restricted but to the point of starvation. I’ve attempted Intuitive eating but always wind up back where I started; fat with added helpings of body-hatred. Upon questioning my naturally thin friends, including my wonderful boyfriend, they all have said the same thing, “I don’t think all that much about food. It tastes good when I’m hungry.” They do share one thing in common..they usually eat one meal a day and snack when they feel enough hunger to annoy them. So, to get to the point, I’m going to try focusing on one good meal a day, the later the better. I’m a floor nurse in a busy hospital so that may not ultimately work for me, but I am looking forward to not having that food coma feeling when trying to use my brain as well as the tax on my body. I hate feeling sleepy after meals but the stress makes me want to eat constantly.

Blah, blah, blah. Thanks for sharing your story. I’ll update you on progress if you like. I currently need to lose about 15-20 pounds. Fortunately, my metabalism still functions well, despite all my dietary abuse.

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David December 2, 2013 at 9:28 am

Hi Shannon, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’m afraid I don’t have much in common with your friends becasue I actually do like to eat and quite often I like to eat just for the sake of eating… and I think that’s a very normal experience. The funny thing is though that I;ve come to see this way of eating exactly as you’ve described. I base my eating around one main meal a day and eat small snacks if I get hungry.

Stress eating still plays a part in my life and I try hard not to beat myself up about it and I continually look to play the ‘long game’ to mitigate my short-term shortcomings.

This is still very much an experiment to me and I still make mistakes, but I’ve kept the weight off for well over a year now and still eat food I enjoy.

Good luck, I hope it goes well. :)

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Johnnywild November 23, 2013 at 4:21 pm

Hey david i will try your diet just curious how much you weigh now ? And how tall are u? Im 5 11 1/2 193lbs want to go to 175lbs

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David December 2, 2013 at 9:33 am

Hi Johnnywild,

Right now I weigh 172 lbs and I’m 6ft tall.

I don’t know how much you weigh now but I can tell you that I felt good at 175 lbs – so it seems like that might be a good target for you.

Good luck. :)

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elly November 23, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Hi David, Started the one meal a day plan two weeks ago after watching a tv program on the five two diet. I am very fit and have always been health conscious but found my weight creeping up slowly as I got older. I am 65 years old and was about 4 kilos heavier than I wanted to be. The weight was around my abdomen and fasting/ raw food only diets just didn’t work in the long term. It was a continual battle. Since starting the one meal a day diet I have lost 3 kilos in two weeks. My weight has now plateaued and obviously need to restrict calories to reduce further. The most amazing thing though is that I feel better. The body just doesn’t need the amount of food we eat no matter how healthy it is. Like you if I feel weak I have a snack but its always fruit and my weight doesn’t go up. It was really great to read how other people are doing. I enjoy this way of eating and tuck into my evening meal with such pleasure because I don’t worry about overeating. For those out there with misgivings I hope this blog is a catalyst for them to make beneficial changes in their life. Thankyou David for sharing your story and setting up this website. Cheers Elly

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David December 2, 2013 at 9:46 am

Hi Elly,

Thanks for sharing your own experience with this way of eating. I really glad that you’ve had success with it. As for your plateau… I’d be tempted to wait it out a little while before reducing your calories (which is incidentally advice I should take myself!) – my experience tells me that I’ll circle around a particular weight for a while and then drop 2 or 3 pounds overnight. There are all sorts of factors at play, chances are that you’re retaining water. :)

You mention that we simply don’t need as much food as we eat and I agree with that. It’s been pretty hard to come to terms with and maybe that’s why people struggle??

Thanks for your supportive and encouraging words, it’s appreciated.

:D

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Delphinium November 25, 2013 at 8:20 am

Hello
I completely agree with you. I actually did this diet a few months back. I fasted the whole day and only ate a well balanced meal (rice/pasta with vegetables and meat/fish) at 7pm and drank water. I slept at 9pm or wanted to be ready for bed by 9pm so in those 2 hours I actually only ate the meal and was too full to eat anything else, therefore no snacking. I sometimes managed to eat some raspberries or a clementine as a dessert/snack. If I drank a sweet drink with my meal, that was considered dessert/snack. I always drank water before bed. I was fasting/doing this diet for 2 weeks and I lost weight. I didn’t weigh before and after but I could easily fit into an old pair of jeans. My tummy became less obvious and my shoulders were less fleshy. I am and was never fat but started to become fleshy therefore I did this diet. It definitely worked. Today, I am starting this diet again because I had been snacking. So, here’s to one meal diet and I am planning to be lean before the new year! This diet works.

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David December 2, 2013 at 9:55 am

Hi Delphinium,

Sounds like you’ve found the right mix! It’s great that you know what works for you, and you also know how to adapt it to get the results you want.

Getting back into an old pair of jeans is a brilliant way to measure progress. I hate weighing myself and have often felt it hampers my own progress because I get caught up in chasing numbers rather than sticking to the process.

Great job! And good luck! :)

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john November 28, 2013 at 12:25 am

how do u eat when u get to your goal weight?

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David December 2, 2013 at 10:01 am

Hi John, I eat 2 meals a day…

But… I set a new target for myself, which I’m currently failing to reach(!), and until about two weeks ago I’ve been talking about it on my other site. I’m about to dip back into it today and make time explain why I’ve been struggling.

Incidentally, right at the start I lost weight eating two meals a day but I wanted to experiment with one meal… and I guess the experiment continues! :D

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Andrew MacDowell November 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Thank you David, this is an interesting and sensible article.

I think that for a lot of people with a metabolism that works OK, skipping breakfast is a great help. This article is very interesting and helpful:
http://www.leangains.com/2012/06/why-does-breakfast-make-me-hungry.html

The chap who writes this website, Martin Berkhan, has a genuinely scientific approach, is not trying to sell you something, is not a biased ideologue and bases his suggestions on practical experience: rare phenomena in the field of diet.

I am sure we did not evolve eating breakfast yet there persists this idea that we need it. If we were not VERY effective at dealing with periods of not eating then we would not be here. I argue that it is important for our metabolism to have extended periods of not eating or eating little. We are not designed to have constantly elevated levels of glucose in the blood nor are we designed to have the repeated glucose spikes followed by commensurate spikes in insulin which are created by the frequent eating of so much carbohydrate – especially sugary, high glycaemic index foods. I lost three stone – 42 pounds – by only having one meal at six in the evening. I drew myself back from the early stages of insulin resistance and have never felt better. It is CRUCIAL to drink – a lot of the problems arise from dehydration. I drink water and I also drink a lot of tea and coffee with milk but no sugar. I know coffee is rather diuretic but I like it and it kills hunger …. and it is good for me being an excellent anti-oxidant.

As David says this lifestyle does not suit everyone and we have to be sensible and find what is safe and sustainable for us as individuals. I enjoy this lifestyle; it’s counter-productive doing something you hate – but, of course, that’s no excuse for not making any effort and it takes time to get used to changes.

Thanks, David, a very sensible, down-to-Earth article.

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David December 2, 2013 at 10:23 am

Hi Andrew,

Many thanks for posting the link. Thank you also for sharing your own experience. A 3 stone loss is a terrific outcome and and well deserved – and I can say that because I have some understanding of what you went through to get there. :)

“We have to be sensible”…. I love that because it’s so true. The responsibility is ours alone.

Sustainability is crucial! And finding the right balance between calorie restriction, physical activity and living an enjoyable life isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort.

Thanks again for your helpful comment. It’s appreciated.

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Andrew MacDowell December 2, 2013 at 7:38 am

I don’t know why my post has not appeared – I cannot imagine what was wrong with it – it took trouble writing it because I thought it might be useful and encouraging for people.

I shan’t bother with your site any more.

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David December 2, 2013 at 10:54 am

Andrew, nothing at all wrong with your post. In fact it’s brilliant and I thank you for it. :)

You should know this about me: I am a hopelessly inconsistent blogger and I have been since I started my first site back in 2008. I’m not proud of it. It’s been the source frustration for me and for the people who read my blog right from the beginning – but it’s the reality I happen to be living right now and I try not to beat myself up over it.

Don’t think ill of me, I’m just chronically over extended and often struggle to get the balance right. :)

Your remark comes as a welcome reminder that I need to decide what do with this site. I haven’t updated it for a long time!

Thanks again for taking the time to contribute!

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Reshma December 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

Hi,

I have been trying to loose weight from the past 15 years. Nothing happened. I read your article and started the one meal a day and have lost 1 kg in the past one week. However I do eat fruits so that I don’t faint.
thank you

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David December 4, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Hi Reshma, that’s great! I’m glad you’ve made some progress. :)

There’s nothing wrong with having fruit throughout the day to keep you going. It’s a good move if it keeps you feeling happy about being on a diet and if it helps you to feel physically and mentally well. I’m glad you’ve found a way to adapt it to suit you. Great job!

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John December 5, 2013 at 11:55 am

Whats your other site david?

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David December 5, 2013 at 5:43 pm

John, it’s http://1maddiet.com

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Liz December 5, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Hi guys, I am so glad I stumbled on this site today – been glued to all of your posts and comments regarding the one free meal dieting method – and from all accounts it works! Well done to everyone involved! I myself used to eat just one small meal on an evening in my early twenties, and was a svelt size 8/10 (UK size) but kids and life got in the way and I am now 43 and ballooned to around 14.5st – I decided of my own accord to just eat one meal per day and being out of work currently, budget can only stretch to that in any event so no incentive to pig out as no money to buy said pig-out food. I am on day 2 and started reading all your comments – I do feel good already. I don’t own a pair of weighing scales but I can generally tell by the waistband of my ‘work’ trousers – these are my measuring method of weight loss. For example, I attended for an interview wearing these trousers two days ago and the waist band had curled over and over until I felt I was going to have a small hernia, all the while trying to look composed and professional during my interview with two very savvy lawyers! Suffice to say, the moment I got home I decided enough was enough and decided if I only eat just enough to not go into starvation mode and to keep my strength up, then I’m raring to give it a go. For ‘breakfast’ I have a three quarter cup of cold water with an effervescent multivitamin added so that I am not lacking in vitamins. My small evening meal consists of a Weight Watchers branded frozen meal, usually around the 300-400 calorie mark. If I feel exceptionally hungry, I will opt for a couple slices of toast of an evening, but the further into this diet I go, the stronger my resolve. I have decided that when I do get back into the workplace, I will opt for a healthy cup-a-soup for my lunch so as not to be seen to be starving myself in front of work colleagues, together with say, a banana. Apples are too acidic for me. Just wanted to share and I have bookmarked this site to keep me motivated. Onwards and upwards guys!

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David December 5, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Hi Liz, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

I can sense the enthusiasm and I love it!

This diet is still very much an experiment for me and I continue to tweak it and change it as time goes on.

Fundamentally though it’s still the same in that I do most of my eating based around one big meal in the evening. These days I don’t tend to do the 23 hour fasts that I used to do – and when I’m properly trying to diet, as opposed to telling myself I’m trying but actually cheating like mad (which is what I’ve been doing recently), I still get results.

I also try hard not to create a massive deficit each day (just a moderate deficit). That said, for a very short period of time, it can be beneficial to kick start the process. However over the longer term I found that a huge daily calorie deficit was damaging.

It was important to me from the outset that I could tell myself that this wasn’t about starvation and that I could eat food that I enjoyed. And whenever I tried to really cut back hard on the calories for more than two or three days I often found myself fed up with the diet and face down in the biscuit tin. :)

I mention this only because I note you intend to reduce your daily intake to 400 calories and without wanting to be a party pooper and knock the stuffing out of your wonderful enthusiasm, I’m worried that it’ll cause you more problems than it solves. Besides, I want you to enjoy the process rather than endure the process!

Here’s just a few thoughts for you to mull over:

Being a man, and a fairly typical man at that, I was keen to retain my muscle so I looked into it a little. I discovered that very low calorie intakes induce the body to use lean tissues (like muscle and connective tissues) as fuel and sometimes in preference to fat. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat so preserving it burns more calories. Muscle is also a liability to a body that isn’t getting enough calories so it allows it to be broken down. So whilst aesthetically you might not worry about losing muscle, it’s better to keep as much as you can.

I also found it pays to keep the calories higher just so that I had somewhere to go if I needed to. So if I wanted to break a plateau I could drop 200 calories without putting a huge dent in my daily intake. So for the sake of argument, If I’m on 2000 cals a day, 200 represents a 10% reduction. If I were to drop 200 cals from a 400 calorie daily intake, that would be a 50% reduction… and where do you go from there?

I knew I needed to keep my calories higher because I decided not to take any supplements including vitamins and minerals. I needed to be comfortable that I was getting them through my diet, which again means keeping the calories higher.

There are other issues too and I really should get my backside into gear and start writing about these things. Even though this post was fairly comprehensive I’ve learnt a lot more since I started and I should share it.

In the meantime, to save you wading through the post and the comments again, my suggestion to you would be to create a 500 calories deficit every day, partly through reducing food and partly through increased exercise and stick with that until you’re the weight you want to be. It might take longer but it’s worth it.

If none of this made any sense, give me a shout.

BTW One of the reasons I liked the diet was because it saved me money. I started doing this when I was a stay at home dad and money was very tight for a while. So I completely understand where your coming from. I hope the job interviews go well!

Dave :)

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Steve December 5, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Do you have problems with sleep eating this way? When I ate one meal a day, I would have problems falling asleep at night. Maybe I was creating too much of a caloric deficit? I would usually have my main meal between 8:30-9pm and go to bed around 11:30.

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David December 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Hi Steve, no I don’t think I’ve ever had difficulty sleeping as a result of the diet. When I’ve cheated and overeaten there have been a couple of times I’ve been unable to sleep with all the food sloshing around in my belly, but not when I’m doing it properly – but to be fair, I usually eat earlier than you, so maybe that’s it?

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John p December 5, 2013 at 11:11 pm

Hi david what kind of cardio u do? Thanks

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David December 5, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Hi John, mostly it’s just walking. As a minimum I like to get in 30 minutes every day, but ideally I like to walk an hour each day.

There have been times when I’ve supplemented my efforts with a short run, but it’s not the norm.

These days I feel I have to look after my knees, so running long distances is no longer appealing to me.

If I run at all it’s usually either as a personal challenge, or for the enjoyment of it.

Hope that helps!

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John p December 5, 2013 at 11:37 pm

On sat and sun u still eat twice a day

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David December 6, 2013 at 8:05 am

Yes, but lately I’ve been cheating more than I’d like to admit. :)

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John December 6, 2013 at 12:33 am

Do u still go by this?

Monday to Friday – One main meal in the evening, with a dessert.
Saturday – Two meals – lunch and dinner, with more freedom to snack in between. In other words, a cheat day.
Sunday – Two meals – lunch and dinner, with a dessert.

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David December 6, 2013 at 8:08 am

Pretty much, with some slight variations.

I don’t view Saturday as a cheat day anymore, so I try to stick to eating just twice.

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john December 6, 2013 at 3:34 pm

I hope i am not annoying you! So other days u still eat once a day still? Also do you do pushups upper body exercises? thanks david for your patience

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David December 6, 2013 at 7:44 pm

Hi John, ask as many questions as you like, it’s no bother at all.

In brief: I’m still doing this although right now at this precise moment in time I’ve taken a break from actively dieting and I’m just maintaining.

Since losing the initial 30 lbs I’ve had an on and off goal of losing the last of the weight and seeing whether I can get flat abs with this diet.

For various reasons mostly relating to mindset, motivation and personal circumstances I haven’t been able to reach my goal.

The upshot is I just don’t want the abs enough to do what’s necessary. If I did I would have done it by now. I don’t feel bad about that, it’s just the way it is. I’ve got four young kids, a career and an insanely busy lifestyle.

So, yes, I’m still doing this, and I’m still doing the body weight exercises. For a while I was doing 300 reps a day (push ups/dips/squats) but at the moment I’m doing 100 push ups and 25 chin ups.

These days this diet has become much less about the desired physical result and much more about whether I can become the kind of person who can achieve the result.

I knew at the beginning that this would be more about mindset, habits and persistence than the specifics of the diet.

I will reach my goal, of that I have no doubt, it’s only a question of when – which might be a prompt for me to begin another attempt!

Hope that helps :)

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John December 7, 2013 at 3:08 am

Confused dave lol so u off the 1 meal a day diet?

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Jawahar December 12, 2013 at 5:45 am

Yes! It will work 100%. First of all I am surprised to see this article. Me too following same thing with little change that 5pm I used to take snacks. And after 7P.M. I do as you do. I eat fully without any restriction even it may be full of rice Items/over calories. I got reduced my weight from 85 to 68. This habit I got accidentally. I was 85kg when I am 18. After that I had to go out of my home for higher studies. I used to come on saturday and sunday. As my college was located outside city there was limited hotel only with limited food varieties. I took one room for rent near to my college. More over I didn’t like to eat there in day time due to I felt inconvenient to eat there. But after 5pm I came to tea shop and I have one tea with unlimited snacks even oily items. After 7pm I came out and eat fully(without any restriction like eat only this and that) even non-vegetarian too. As I said saturday and sunday I came home and eat fully whole day. Again monday early morning I go to my college and the diet process gets repeated. I was too big when Iam 18 but became normal now. Everybody my friends and relatives surprised and said we never thought of seeing you like this with fitness. Yes it will work cent percent. In regular diet system among the busy tight work schedule we can’t see and eat calorie value and all. But this method make us to feel we eat everything whatever we want without any restriction. Thank You.

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David December 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Hi Jawahar, I’m so pleased that you’ve had some success with this way of eating.

When I was eating six small meals a day, all I learnt was… how to eat all day long!

Thank you very much for sharing your experience with us, it’s appreciated! :-)

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akhilesh December 12, 2013 at 8:30 am

The one meal a day really works!
I can confirm this because it happended to me without me ralising it!
in July i lost about 10 pounds by eating only one meal a day most of the time..

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David December 12, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Hi Akhilesh, it sounds like you’re doing very well. Well done! Thanks for stopping by :)

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Akhilesh December 13, 2013 at 12:05 pm

You’re welcome! in fact im pretty obsessed by weight loss – The reason why I landed on your page!
In July I was very busy preparing for my wedding and I didn’t bother about eating. So during the day I barely felt the need to eat at all!

Today I have realised that i have consumed too many calories throughout the past 3 years.

Now I only eat when I’m REALLY hungry! ;)

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Amy December 14, 2013 at 12:00 am

Hi David. I just found your site and I think it’s pretty cool that you are so straight forward about everything. I can’t tell you how sick I am of hearing the same old, “eat anything you like” attention getters and then when they get to the menu plan, it’s like, “tofu salad” and crap like that. It’s so refreshing to hear that you CAN eat anything you like and still lose weight. I mean, I know you really shouldn’t be eating twinkies and ding dongs and call that a diet, but to say that you can eat a little junk along with a NORMAL meal and still lose weight just tickles the heck out of me. I love it. I can wait til the evening to have my NORMAL meal. This sounds like the best way of eating to me. I love this forum. Keep up the good work, Amy

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David December 14, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Hi Amy! Thanks for the supportive words, it’s appreciated. I just wanted to find a way to live as close to a normal lifestyle as I could, and this way seems to fit the best. It also seems to be fairly forgiving of mistakes and allows for some of the realities of living a life that’s not just about dieting. So many people who have posted a comment on this page seem to have found a way to tweak the diet to suit their own needs and I think that’s wonderful.

Thanks again for the kind words. :D

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Sara December 16, 2013 at 2:06 am

Hi David! I’m excited to start this one meal a day diet. Especially with the new year comming it will give me time for summer:) I am currently 5″7 and 150 and I am 25 with two kids work full time but I got married almost two years ago and I was 120 when I got married and looking good :) and I have put on about 25 to 30 pounds since then everyone says my weights fine and I look fine but I can’t fit in small or medium and I use to be able to not even try clothes on just buy them they would fit now nothing does so I’m hoping this works cuz I can honestly so I think I packed on the pounds cuz I was depressed and food comforted me:( but now with trying to lose 30 pounds seems impossible and I want so badly to feel good about myself again! My husband says y do I need to lose weight I look good and his option should only matter but I want to feel good inside ya know but I will keep u posted on my progress and let u know each week I will do my weigh ins on Mondays thanks for the posts:) wish me luck!!!

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David December 16, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Hi Sara!

I know what you mean. The people around you are telling you that you look fine… and they probably mean it… because you probably do look fine. They’ll love you whether you’re fat or thin, but you’re right, you have to do it for what it means to you. If it helps you to feel a little better every day, like you’re heading towards a worthy goal, then do it. Be selfish about it, but understand that really it’s enlightened self interest… it doesn’t just benefit you it benefits everyone around you. And as I found out it has a positive effect on other areas of life to.

It turns out that the real joy of weight loss comes from the process. It comes from becoming the kind of person who can make positive and beneficial changes to their life. Taking control is massively liberating so I’m not surprised you’re excited.

Good luck, Sara! :)

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Karl January 2, 2014 at 8:04 pm

David, I’ve read some negative things about eating one meal per day and I don’t buy it at all. What are your thoughts? I have never been a big breakfast person and usually skipped it because I wasn’t hungry after drinking my coffee in the morning. Buy lunch I would start to eat a very big meal and get very tired. It carried over into dinner where I would eat too much again. I stumbled onto the one meal per day idea and started experimenting with it off an on last month. I discovered that I felt much better and now I am on it full time. I don’t get tired anymore, which is the thing I like best about it. I have much more energy now. I’m sticking to it and looking forward to losing about 30 pounds.

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David January 2, 2014 at 8:30 pm

Hi Karl, I’ve seen and heard a lot of people being negative around this way of eating. Most seem to insist that eating breakfast is essential, but I know that for me it just isn;t true.

I stopped eating breakfast in my late teens and haven’t suffered as a result.

My experience is the same as yours… I have more energy throughout the day and it feels great.

If I’m really hungry I’ll have a tea or a coffee… or maybe a piece of fruit, but I try to save myself for dinner.

Good luck with your goal and thanks fro dropping in. :)

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Rachael January 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm

I love this diet. Its perfect and normal. I used to do this when I was thin about 135lbs ago. Then my dad died and I gained 50lbs in 2007. I lost it by 2009, but then in 2011 I got divorced, so back to the 180’s. I just started a few days ago and I was 187lbs. Now im 185 in two days. I’ll wait a week and see how much more I can loose with 1 meal a day. The best part about this diet, is no one has to know. People can be so critical when they know you are on a diet.

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David January 5, 2014 at 9:50 pm

Hi Rachael, I’m totally with you about people not knowing. I know there are so many people out there who insist you have to tell everyone you’re on a diet so that you can be held accountable, but in the early stages it’s far better to keep it to yourself. People are not at all receptive to the idea that we simply don’t need to eat all day long and you’re absolutely right… they do get judgmental. And in the early stages of any diet, when we’re trying to find what works and what doesn’t, we’re susceptible to the occasional setback or failure and unfortunately we start to doubt ourselves and then we start listening to the doubters and detractors.

As I’ve found out, dieting is mainly about mindset and eating in a way that fits in with our lifestyle, but at the start it helps if we can get in some early wins and make a little progress. Once we’ve dropped 10 lbs or so and proven that our diet is working for us it’s easier to let people in on what we’re doing.

Great job on the weight loss! Keep up the good work.

(BTW I’m in the process of dropping another 20lbs (I put on a few pounds during November and December) and I’m writing about it over at my other site http://1maddiet.com )

I’d love to hear how your diet is going, so please come back soon and let me know. :D

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Megan January 7, 2014 at 7:14 am

I think I have always preferred eating 1 meal a day, but tend to eat more socially or out of boredom. Truth be told, my trainer would tell me just how unhealthy eating once a day was, but when I wasn’t losing weight on his regiment I went back to eating once a day. It really isn’t a “diet” to me but just when I feel hungry. 4 years ago I lost 80 pounds by just eating when I was hungry which worked out to be dinner only each night. I’ve since got in a relationship centered around food and put 20 back on but decided to not force myself to eat when my boyfriend eats.

I think I’ve lost about 2 pounds in 3 days but it’s still early. No issues here with hunger or cravings. I eat what I want and just keep busy outside of dinner time.

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David January 7, 2014 at 11:34 am

Hi Megan, I think that many trainers and so called experts are well intentioned and knowledgeable but they often fail to take into account that we’re all different. Instead they want to apply a cookie cutter approach to all of us, and it just doesn’t work. Eating six times a day will work for some and eating once or twice a day will work for others. Spending 2 hours a day working out will work for some whereas others can get it done in 15 minutes.

I love that you eat only when you’re hungry. And I fully understand the pressures you must be under in a relationship centered around food.

Here’s something else I love… You keep yourself busy! I think a lot of diets fail because people don’t have anything outside of eating to keep them occupied or satisfied. I understand why that happens, but I also understand it’s worth striving to have other goals and ambitions in life. Food and diets are not all that we are about, so I admire that you clearly have something worthwhile to send your time doing.

It’s great to hear from you Megan, let me know how you get on with the weight loss.

BTW I’m currently having another crack at the diet again over at http://1maddiet.com. Maybe see you there? :)

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mona January 7, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Thank you for this article. As a Muslim we do this every year for one month during Ramadan. Same idea. Only one meal a day at sunset. We stop eating at sunsrise. Except we fast from everything and I did notice I’d lose at least 10 lbs easy. I wanna adopt this into my daily life and so far it’s been 7 days and I feel great. I am exercising as well along with the diet. But I want to be toned and I want to lose my holiday weight quicker.
I only eat once a day. I’m never hungry nor am I obsessing over food. My stomach shrunk and I feel great.

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David January 7, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Hi Mona, it’s great to hear that you do this and that you’re feeling good on it.

I found it very difficult at first to be fasted for 23 out of the 24 hours every day but after a while I got used to it. I don’t tend to do that any more though. I will snack during the day of I feel hungry and I drink sweetened tea or coffee too.

Good luck with losing the 10lbs. Let me know how it’s going for you and thank you for stopping by to leave a message. :-)

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The Wedding Couple January 9, 2014 at 5:35 pm

David, I spent the majority of my night, last night and this’s morning reading your blog and comments. I’m am quite interested in your lifestyle choice. Some of your replies speak of this as a diet but its clear as day that it is a way of changing your eating habits rather than delaying them with crash diets.

My fiancé and I have come to the agreement that we both feel comfortable eating once a day together. I hope that this will give us both a personal support to the change. What I do fear however is that he will give in to temptation as he always does with our “diets” as we have done in the past such as “the military diet.” I lasted three weeks and he-four days. But we both really need a change, we’ve got a wedding to plan and we both want to find ourselves fitting for the big day. But we both have different weight loss goals. He would like to “trim the fat” and I’ve got about 70 pounds to lose and a year and a half to do so.

Eating dinner together is a sound plan, but I have a speed bump at night due to the fact that I don’t go down for the night until three or four in the morning and the stretch from six at night and three in the morning seems like a long haul so…

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The Wedding Couple January 9, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Perhaps I can allow myself a small late snack before bed to chase away late night hunger to get some sound sleep? Any advice for exercise? I plan on biking once a day on my tredmaster and crunches as well as aerobics before bed.

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David January 9, 2014 at 9:41 pm

The Wedding Couple… Hi! :-)

I think you have it right. This is a lifestyle thing. I call it a diet because it’s convenient but really it;s about making different choices.

The choices we made before got us to where we are today so we have to make new, better choices and those choices have to become our lifestyle.

The choice here is simply to limit the amount of food we eat during the day by eating less frequently.

It is perhaps too simplistic to say it;s a calories in vs a calories out kind of deal, but that little piece right there is the vast majority of it.

When I started out on this I thought there was some advantage to eating (or consuming) calories only during a one hour window, i.e. eating once a day. But now I know that there’s little to be gained from taking that approach.

Now I see it as eating one main meal a day and eating a few small snacks in between to keep me going. But one thing is still true for me… the earlier in the day I start eating, the more I eat.

So here’s the point as it relates to your situation… you could eat a decent sized meal at your normal meal time and you could then eat something smaller later on to see you into the early hours.

When I first started this I began by eating two meals a day and still lost weight. So I have no reason to believe the same wouldn’t be true for you.

To answer the point you made about your fiance giving in to temptation…. I;d say don;t worry about it. I failed on this diet just as much as I succeeded. In fact what I can say with certainty is that you will both fail at some point. That’s not the important thing though. What’s important is how you deal with the failure. And how quickly you get back to reaching your goal.

I think that in some way I’ve made this seem like an ‘all or nothing’ kind of deal and it really isn’t. There’s so much flexibility and there’s definitely room for error.

What I really love about what you;ve written is that you’re planning way ahead of time. So many people don’t and when the diet doesn’t work out as expected they get bitterly disappointed. But you have given yourselves plenty of time to make this work. And if this eating one meal thing doesn’t work out for you, you still have time to try something else.

Regarding exercise… just walking. Briskly for 20 to 30 minutes a day to begin with. Throw in a few body weight exercises to let your body know it needs to keep the muscle you have. Do what you can. If you can only do ten push ups a day, then just do 10.

You’ve got a long time to get this done and you can definitely do it. The only other thing I;d say is don’t drop your calories to low and don’t raise your physical exertion too high – or your body will fight you.

Sustainability is key. If you hate what you’re doing/eating/feeling you’ll quit, so make sure you do what you enjoy doing, eat what you like to eat, and give yourself every reason to feel good about the process.

I love that you have taken ownership of your situation. It’s very motivating to me to see this and I wish you the very best.

Hope that helps.

Ask anything you like. You’ll find me over on 1maddiet.com

:-)

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Tony M January 9, 2014 at 6:12 pm

I have done the one meal a day in the past and am looking to do it again. The first time i did it i lost 55 lbs in 5 months(of course this is when i was around 18 years old and alot more active then i am now). The second time was a couple years ago(age 25) and lost 60 lbs in 6 months. The hardest part for me is keeping it off obviously but this time im ready to give it my all and keep it off for good.

My day basically consist of this, no sweets at all(soda, cookies, cake etc.), the only thing i drink is water, i will have a glass of orange juice in the morning and on the weekends i will let myself drink powerades.

As far as food, i pretty much eat every food i eat when im not on a diet, the only thing is i have a calorie limit which for me is 1500 or less(on average i eat around 1200 cal a day). Besides the glass of orange juice i eat in a very small snack in the morning as well(usually 100-200 cal) and then i don’t eat anything else til around 6pm(this varies, sometimes i eat earlier or later) where i eat one big meal around 1000 cal average.

Also the other main thing is excersize, if you don’t excersize you will not burn any calories or fat. I usually excersize for 45 mins a day, mon-friday. Usually i just do a p90 video followed with push ups, sit ups and a little weight training.

I usually have 1 cheat day a month where i can eat sweets(i don’t go crazy and eat everything i site but the 1500 cal limit goes up to about 2000). So that is basically my days. I know some people say that it is better to eat 5-6 small meals a day then to eat one big meal. However i feel that everybodies body is different, i have tried eating small meals and it has failed every time for me. One big meal a day is the best way i have found for me.

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David January 9, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Tony, absolutely! It’s what works for you that counts. I’m so glad that you’ve had success with this style of eating in the past.

I admire your determination to make this work and to keep the weight off this time. I put a little weight on over Christmas and New Year and now I’m taking it off again. ( http://1maddiet.com ) Life’s like that sometimes, we either plan to put on the weight like I did this time – or we put it on when life gets overwhelming and we drop the ball. It’s doesn’t matter though. All that matters is what we do now and in the future and it sounds like you’re set to do what needs to be done. Great stuff Tony.

I’d love to hear how the weight loss is going for you, so do let me know!

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Tony M January 28, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Just checking back in. Been dieting for 2 weeks now and have lost 9 lbs so far. I was put on medication for a back problem im having and one of the side effects is water retention which might interfere with my weight loss but i hope not..I havent really been able to excersize much, i only excersized 3 days last week and 2 days the week before due to my back injury. this week i feel alot better though and am hoping to get to my normal routine of 5 days a week excersizing. Hopefull i continue with the weight loss!

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Gangi January 14, 2014 at 12:40 pm

This is what exactly what I was looking for. I know this works and this is what gonna fit my life style. I work from home and most of the day sitting in front of PC. All I do other than work is eating when I get bored from work. Your words reminded me the times I had control over my self, my diet and how good I felt. I don’t know whether I will be able to do it again, but I am gonna try and remember your words. I just struggle to be consistent.

Thanks. :)

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David January 14, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Hi Gangi,
I struggle to be consistent too. And even though I managed to lose the weight I still have days when I can’t stick to my eating plan. Some days the best I can do is to eat at maintenance and most of the time that counts as a win. The small victories mean so much in the beginning.

Thanks for leaving a message. Good luck! :)

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Lilly January 14, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Hi!
Congratulations on your Weight loss, I wish I could do the same. I started doing that last week, I haven’t seen any result yet but I guess that’s normal. I started exercising a lot, and I have to say I’m actually forcing myself a bit but I feel if I don’t do it, I’ll never loose the weight!

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David January 14, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Hi Lilly, these things take time so don’t worry about it. We all respond in different ways, so don’t lose heart. There are far too many factors at play to start second guessing whether it’s working for you. Give it another week or so and see how things are then.

Exercising is great but doing too much too soon could be disadvantageous. If you’re forcing yourself to exercise you’ll be more inclined to quit when the going gets tough as life presents its twists and turns.

Start slowly by cutting 300 calories a day from your diet and exercising enough to burn 200 extra calories and you should start to lose weight at a rate of 1 lb per week.

Too many people drop a thousand calories from their diet and exercise enough to burn 800 calories every day and then wonder why their body is reluctant to give up fat and starts using lean tissue for fuel.

Stay strong in your desire to reach your goal and be kind to yourself. Take a long term view of it and try to derive your satisfaction from sticking to your plan rather than on the results. Results always come from sticking to a process for long enough and having the honesty to review the process and make changes where required.

You can do it!

:-)

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Lily January 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Hi, I’m quite young… Well 15 actually, and I’m definitely not overweight: 5’7 and about 137 lbs (last time i weighed my self: before 1 meal a day) but as a teenager I have been feeling a little rough about my weight lately. There are alot of skinny girls in my year, and I won’t pretend; I want to be them. I got really bad when I started looking on ‘thinspo’ wed sites (of you don’t know what they are they are anorexia based sites when most girls post pictures of VERY skinny women, it crashes your confidence and pretty much guilts you into loosing weight)

Well I had been looking on these and I decided I HAD to change.

I started not eating unless someone made me (like dinner) so like you I would eat just one meal a day. I haven’t been doing it for long but it’s the best diet I had done, even if I do go 24hrs with just a stick of gum and 2 litres of water. I don’t have snacks, so tea or anything, and I still only have 1 meal at the weekend, but I do feel much more controlled that I was.

I was worried that my one meal a day was unhealthy, but reading this made me feel alot more comfortable, and after my maybe 700 calorie meal in the evening, I have so much energy I can easily do 30 mins of what would be painful exercising.
Congrats on your weight loss, and thanks for making me feel batter about my new-ish eating habit, pleaseee reply so I know if I’m doing it right.
Well done again on your weight loss.

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David January 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm

Hi Lily, It’s great that you’ve reached out to talk about these issues, I admire you for that, so it’s important to me that I take some time to give you a considered response. :)

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David January 29, 2014 at 11:18 pm

Hi Lily, your reply caught me off guard a little and honestly I needed a couple of days to think about it.

I really admire your honesty for saying exactly how you feel and your courage for wanting to talk about it. The pressure that young women are under to conform to an unrealistic ideal is enormous. And the pressure to fit in is also overwhelming.

I just want you to know that your life as it is now won’t always be this way. The chances are good that within a year or two you’ll have moved away from the girls you currently want to emulate and you’ll be living your own full, rich and happy life chasing some worthy ideal.

Right now though you’re stuck in the present moment and you want to lose a little more weight. OK, so, 137 lbs at 5’7 is pretty much your ideal weight, but me telling you that doesn’t take away your desire to lose a few more pounds, so all I can do is encourage you to be careful.

For someone of your age and height you need to be getting somewhere between 1800 and 2000 calories a day just to maintain your weight. So if you drop your calorie intake to 700 a day your body is going to drop your metabolic rate to cope. It will be less inclined to burn fat and more inclined to burn lean tissue instead (which isn’t a good thing). There are all sorts of metabolic adaptations your body makes, including changes in your hormonal balance and I understand some conditions may even trigger the switching on or off of certain genes in order to survive when the body thinks it’s going through a period of famine.

So here’s what I’d suggest…. and keep in mind I’m not a trained or qualified professional, merely a 45 year old man who is documenting his own experiences with weightloss. :-) ….So bearing in mind that 1 lb of fat equals 3500 calories, you could lose a pound a week by creating a daily caloric deficit of 500. You could do this by dropping 200 calories of food and expending 300 calories through exercise. So instead of 1800 cals a day you’d drop to 1600 (or even 1500) – which is more than twice what you’re eating now.

You could experiment a little with the balance to see what works for you, but take a long term view of this. Aim to do this slowly and deliberately. Aim for a lean athletic look rather than the waif look. I promise you that the lean athletic look is far more appealing than the skinny look.

I’m not sure how much support you’re getting from friends and family, but do make sure you continue to have conversations about these issues.

I hope that helps. If you need me to clarify anything, just say the word. If you have any more questions, just ask. I’ll do my very best to answer them in a supportive and constructive way.

Take good care! :-)

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Lisa January 28, 2014 at 10:46 pm

It is really great to hear that there are more people following this diet, I have tried it on and off over the years and never had any trouble sticking with it (I drink skimmed milk or a glass of juice for the sugar hit if I feel woozy) I find it cheaper and more simple than any other diet out there.

Having spent 15 years in the fitness industry I’ve battled with guilt over this diet as it goes against everything that they’ve tried to teach me over the years! But I know it works and now I know it works for other people too I will happily continue – guilt free!

By the way I do some weightlifting three times a week to keep my metabolism up, more muscle means more fat burned ;-)

Thanks David

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David January 30, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Hi Lisa, I’m with you on the economics of eating this way. Not having to make or buy lunch every day creates a huge saving.

It’s great to know that you’re in the fitness industry and I can believe that your colleagues and contemporaries would look scornfully on this approach, but more an more I’m seeing people who do exceptionally well without sticking to the well trod path of six meals a day.

I love weight lifting but I haven’t done it for years. I could happily go back to it now, but part of my little experiment is to see what I can achieve with bodyweight exercises alone.

“…more muscle means more fat burned…” Absolutely! :)

Thanks for dropping by Lisa. It’s great that you’re going to stick with it and I’d love to hear how it’s working out for you.

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Evandra January 29, 2014 at 7:23 am

Funny, im a woman and felt that i was writing this article to myself,i’m a work from home married mom with a child and you are talking to me. I secretly started the 1 meal a day diet 2 days ago & wonder why i haven’t done this soon. Feeling very optomistic after having read your article and going strong. So thank you very much for the insight.

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David January 30, 2014 at 8:27 pm

Hi Evandra,

What an amazing time in my life it was to be a stay at home dad. It really is the hardest work I’ve done and I promise you I’ve done some very challenging jobs. I understand totally how having young children leads to being emotionally fragile and therefore susceptible to comfort eating. The fatigue lone is so debilitating it’s amazing that anything at all gets accomplished – so dieting becomes especially tough.

I’m glad you found something of use in this article and I’m grateful that you took the time to leave a message. Good luck Evandra, let me know how you get on with the diet. :)

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Dan February 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm

Hi David,

I’ve no idea how I came across your site but so glad I did! I haven’t read all of the posts so I am sorry if this has already come up. Wouldn’t this be considered a form of Intermittent Fasting? I also wondered if this could be reversed. So for example I feel better not eating at night (meaning after 5PM) and I sleep a lot better too. I wonder if it would work, say, if I stopped or had my one weekday meal around 3:00 PM. I work from home so I can easily accommodate something like that. I was also curious if you know what the caloric intake is or if there is one? I assume you don’t eat 2500 calories in one sitting. :)

Thanks again!
Dan

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David February 2, 2014 at 12:05 am

Hi Dan,
I didn’t know it when I first started this diet, but not I see that it does have some similar characteristics to intermittent fasting.

At the extremes of my experiment I fasted for 23 hours a day. These days I tend to be fasted anywhere between 14 and 18 hours a day.

When I wake in the morning I try not to eat or drink anything until noon and I try to stop eating or drinking after 8pm. I’m quite flexible about it.

You’ll be glad to hear there’s no special reason for eating my main meal between 5 and 7 pm, it’s simply that my family eat then.

You’d be fine eating earlier if it suits you better.

I have been known to consume all my calories in one sitting – but lately I work on eating a decent evening meal, but I take in calories at other times drinking tea or coffee and maybe eating some fruit if I’m really hungry. And no, I have no real idea how many calories I eat each day, it’s guesswork and a little experience.

Hope that helps! :-)

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Dan February 2, 2014 at 12:41 am

David,

Thanks so much for the fast reply and all of the great information. You know, I was thinking about this and I too did this or something similar to it back in the late 90’s and I wasn’t even trying to lose weight. I was working long, long hours and I ate breakfast and lunch at the normal times. By the time I got home at around 7PM at night, I was too tired to eat so I’d read or watch TV and go to bed. It just became an unintentional habit without me realizing it and I believe I dropped something like 30 pounds in about 5 weeks. One of my friends noticed I was getting too thin so I began eating 3 meals again.

It definitely does work! I am going to try this starting tomorrow and I will post back what happens one week from tomorrow. I don’t blame you, I’d eat my meal at dinner too with my family if I had one.

I have 87 pounds to lose. The thought of that is just so sad and depressing to me.

Have a great week and congrats by the way on your weight loss success and thanks for the inspiration too!
Dan

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DixieWrecked February 4, 2014 at 2:27 am

David,

Congrats on the long running comments section. You made quite a splash. I stumbled across the one meal eating plan while in Kuwait for OIF. I was there prior too and at the beginning of the Iraq travesty. As I recall, there was only one chow hall with a hellacious line, and absolutely no bunkers nearby. Needless to say, I decided that I would rather stay close to a bunker than be caught out in the open when the warning sirens went off. At 6’5, I went from 210 to 185 in a matter of months. Of course this was unintentional. I wonder if General McChrystal had a similar experience as myself.

I did the same again at 24 as a broke college student. My one meal a day was a bowl of Ramen with a handful of frozen veggies and a chicken breast thrown in. I went from 220 to 190 in less than a month while running around 16 miles a week.

At 30, I found myself struggling with my weight, and intentionally began the one meal a day plan.

I would like to throw out some things I have learned. Number 1, I think the nutritionist are full of themselves. I understand their reasoning, but the human body is highly adaptable. If the nutritionists are correct, our species should have gone extinct the moment our mitochondrial Eve experienced her first hunger pang.

I know that our bodies go into starvation mode after prolonged periods of no food, but within 24 hours? I think not!

The idea of overeating at dinner to compensate for the lack of calories during the day, my experience says, is wrong. I have “ghost” hunger pangs from time to time during the day, but I eat well at dinner. I eat until I’m full. I still lose weight.

Weight loss is simple mathematics. Less food in equals more weight lost, but with a caveat. I do not think of my eating lifestyle as an excuse to gorge on high fat, high sugar, excessively salty , highly processed foods. I do not count calories, nor shy away from butter. I do follow one simple rule. If the ingredients list has more than 3 ingredients, it does not go in my shopping cart, period! Water does not count as an ingredient. Yay beer!! Basically, if I can’t make it from scratch then I don’t eat it. I make an awesome Macaroni and Cheese.

I am a 4:00PM/16:00 grazer. I keep a stash of walnuts, almonds, and prunes at the ready for those days where I am not making it to dinner time.

Lastly, when I reach my target weight, I SLOWLY begin incorporating more food into my diet, until my weight loss slows and stops. I weigh myself daily, first thing in the morning after I empty my bladder. If my weight trends five pounds over my target for a week, I eat one meal a day to get back on track. This typically occurs over the holidays, although I will sometimes go overboard when out with clients. I work in IT, and those guys love to drink.

Our lives are to complicated to follow a strict dietary plan that requires a degree in order to implement properly. A little math, a lot of good food, and a little self control can go a long way.

Cheers!!

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David February 4, 2014 at 8:12 pm

DixieWrecked, many thanks for sharing your experiences. So much of what concerns most dietitians and nutritionists is up for debate. For every argument there’s an equally compelling counter argument. Some of the people who dedicate their entire lives to studying this stuff cant; agree on the fundamental principles.

I’m pretty sure there are issues that influence weight loss like the hormonal response to food and the much talked about ‘starvation mode’ but quite often I think too much is made of this stuff.

For those wanting to get ‘competition lean’ i.e the athletic elite, manipulating diets to take account of these factors makes sense. But for the vast majority of the population, provided they’re mostly fit and well, the general principles of energy in vs energy out will get most people most of the way there.

Yes, try to make good food choices where possible or desirable, but as you’ve said, the human body is highly adaptable.

I love the way you sum it all up. What you describe is almost like a reverse diet and I think it’s a great way to rebuild a slightly down-regulated metabolism after an extended period of caloric deficit.

You last sentence really finishes it off nicely.

I’m grateful you took the time to post this. Thank you!

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ShaniRajen February 6, 2014 at 8:51 pm

Hi David,

I am exactly following this diet but naturally. I just came to see what people actually think about it. I just want to suggest one thing, when you talk about those snacks, you should be careful to not eat like a bag of chips because it will damage your diet system. I choose to have liquid portion during the day if I feel hungry. They are typically less calories and also easy to obtain.
Also, eating less sodium will keep you stabilize and lean at face. People who want to be skinny typically also look for face fat loss. Keeping a handy bottle of water and chugging it time to time helps too.
BUT YES, DIET MUST BE SECRET FROM A FAMILY.

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David February 6, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Hi ShaniRajen, it’s great to hear that this way of eating works well for you. Drinking snacks instead of eating snacks is a nice option.

Thanks for sharing your tips with us, it’s appreciated. :)

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Jovin February 10, 2014 at 3:21 am

Hi I would just like to ask if its perfectly fine if the only meal I do for my 1 meal a day diet is breakfast? I just then eat biscuits if I am getting a little hungry for the rest of the day.

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David February 10, 2014 at 8:12 am

Hi Jovin, it’s simply a matter of consuming fewer calories per day than you expend and meal timing is irrelevant other than with regard for your lifestyle and preferences.

So if you are more likely to stick to the diet by eating breakfast, I see no reason why it wouldn’t work.

Of course, I should mention that where we can, we’re seeking to eat a balanced diet regardless of the timing.

Good luck with your diet! :)

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Dan February 10, 2014 at 6:23 pm

Hello!

Checking in after my first week. I did it faithfully, but in my case I stopped eating at 3PM. So I fasted from 3PM to 9AM the next day and had 2 small meals (9AM and 11:30AM) and a larger meal right before 3PM. I had a really difficult time sleeping. It wreaked havoc with my sleep to the point where I felt like a zombie. I lost 6 pounds btw. That said, I am going to have my meal at 6 PM starting today instead and see if that corrects the sleep issues.

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David February 11, 2014 at 12:02 am

Hi Dan, that’s great! 6 lbs is a great start.

I think your approach to it is spot on.. You’re adjusting it to suit your needs and experimenting with different options. That’s exactly what will make this work for you.

Thanks for the update. I’m glad you checked in. I hope you’ll come back with another soon.

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Don February 12, 2014 at 7:41 pm

Your methods seem interesting and do-able. After reading your article only once, I would say your key is not 1 meal a day, but working something to fit you and your life.

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David February 12, 2014 at 9:30 pm

Hi Don, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I just found a way to eat at a deficit that fits in with my lifestyle and includes all the things I like to eat.

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Sheree February 13, 2014 at 5:21 am

Funny running across your blog as I have just decided today to do just as you have done, I am a chef running a b&b and ideally need to lose 10kg (22lb) interesting how I also find it easier eating once a day than small meals, weighed meal etc, etc, The English entertainer Cliff Richard has always limited his diet to one good meal a day, and looking at him at his age its worked a treat. Great blog and I will keep reading and let you know how I get on.

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David February 13, 2014 at 10:00 pm

Hi Sheree, it’s great that you’re going to give this a go.

And yes, Cliff is in great shape!

I would love to hear how it works for you :)

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Margaret February 24, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I’m just getting started with this myself – great to read about your experiences!

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hayley March 4, 2014 at 7:55 am

I am convinced that one meal a day is the answer for me. I am going to start tomorrow. I am so inspired by what I have read.

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Janene March 7, 2014 at 7:09 pm

I enjoyed reading all the comments and progress people have made with the one meal a day diet. I have always ate only one or sometimes two meals a day for years and managed to stay fit without exercise. Now I have got into the habit of eating 3 meals a day and need to lose at least 50 pounds so that I can exercise without pain. I have started today, one meal a day and will let you know how it goes.

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hsheng March 25, 2014 at 7:00 pm

I’ve done that for years. At least it helps me in controlling my body-weight :) Actually, I think that we can also practice the idea of “a fast day and a meat day” plan.

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Tank March 26, 2014 at 4:35 am

Hi David, im happy to hear about your weight loss and im glad i hav come across a like minded person to this aproach of “1 meal a day never hurt anyone”.

I myself did this diet a few years back and was in the best shape of my life which took only 3 months (motivated by splitting up with a hellhound of a girl).

I also trained like crazy and looked very athletic…. Sadly after meeting sombody else and working in a office i put all the weight back on and balooned up to 250 pound (carry it well due to muscly arms, shoulders, back)

I usually lose weight fast and have last week started the diet again. I am already seeing results and am motivated by a lads holiday at the end of july this year!

i wanted to hear if you think its achivable with training to drop 40 pounds from now until then?

And if most people who do this “stratergy” are doomed to put the weight back on?

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Jess March 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm

I’m relieved to find I’m not the only one to do this! I have been doing the 1 meal a day thing 7 days a week for six mths now and lost 77 pounds. I have done it before and had similar success but put the weight back on when I went back to eating. Your plan including dessert and 2 meals on the weekends has given me a plan to try when I reach the maintanance phase! I only wish I didn’t have to be so secretive, people are not very open to this idea. Maybe it’s not perfectly “healthy”, but in my opinion it is more unhealthy for me to be 110 pounds overweight!

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Alex DeLeo March 27, 2014 at 11:44 pm

Hi There.
I’m on this one meal a day thing myself, then i google it and found your page, and like it.
What i do is, i’ll eat one meal a day usually at mornings (since i’m a morning person) then i’ll drink
vegetable/fruit juices along the day if i’m bit hungry ( i’m juicing them myself, i’ll NEVER buy food store juices etc )…my goal is to loose about 30 pounds, and after 2,5 weeks i’m on my way and already lost 9 pounds
Keep rockin’ guys !!!
Cheers : Alex

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Paul March 31, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Hi,

I am so glad to read what I have read! I started this same diet a month ago. I had not read anything on it, just started not eating at noon. Today I was thinking maybe I was hurting myself and googled eating one meal a day and found your blog. I eat one meal a day M-F at night and maybe a small snack after if I have the urge. On the weekends I eat One large meal at noon and maybe snack a little in the afternoon and a small meal at night. I have been trying to kick the Mountain Dew habit, but on the weekends I let myself have one each Friday and Saturday. I also run a couple miles at least 3-4 times per week. I am to scared to get on the scale to see what I have lost, but I can tell my clothes already fit better. Soon I will have to get on the scale to see. It really isnt that hard to eat only one meal a day. I have never eaten breakfast and when I would eat a small meal at noon it seemed to make me hungrier than not eating at all. I just glad I am not hurting myself and others have found success. Thanks!

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Chelz Pantz April 1, 2014 at 4:17 pm

This is the best article I’ve ever read.. Hope it works for me and control myself not to eat more..thank u for sharing! Gonna try this by tomorrow! :-)

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Andulairah April 5, 2014 at 9:33 am

Thank you for the wonderful account you have shared about your own journey with the one meal a day approach.
As a vegan, I can say that I have struggled maintaining my optimum weight simply because I enjoy to eat! However I have found in the past eating one meal a day works perfectly for me.
Funnily many years ago, I had a Nigerian boyfriend who only ate once a day also. Not only him but all his brothers and sisters, and friends also! He was so lean and had the most perfect legs- even better than female legs- they were just so lean, slender and thin. I asked him about this one meal a day eating, and he said “this is the way my people always eat’. The meal that he, or his family/friends cooked was a big event however. Lots of rice, a type of meat and they would all sit around on the floor with a huge dish of rice, flat bread and the meat in the middle of it- and everyone eating with hands. It was beautiful to watch and be apart of- and this is the same approach the Arabs have also. Food + friends & family = Love
I believe eating this way does bring people together, and you can truly enjoy your meal instead of thinking of ‘how many calories is this, or am I eating to much? etc’… thank you and blessings!

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EozS April 7, 2014 at 7:43 pm

I am fully on board with this method! I lost about 30 lbs in 6 months (I don’t know exactly when I started or how much I weighed at the time, so I only have my last physical’s weight to go by), from 220 to 190 (189.5lbs last week – I haven’t seen a 18…. on the scale for ages!)

I find this way so easy. I do get hungry, but once you accept that you’ll be hungry you no longer feel like you need to eat. You know you can eat whatever you want when you get home – which is what I do. I eat 0-300 cals from waking to getting home. I try to keep between 1200 and 1700 cals total which is easy when you’re only really eating one meal.

I tried losing weight the “right” way but I never did lose much and it was too hard to maintain.

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Keysha April 8, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Thanks for this! I began doing the same about two weeks ago and I’ve already had others ask if I’ve lost weight. I don’t know for sure, as I do not weigh myself regularly, but I think so. Anyway, I just decided that it was easier for me to tell myself that I can’t eat until 5pm than it is to tell myself I can only eat certain foods all day long… the latter makes me think of food all day! I also don’t eat after 7pm, and since my evening meal is whatever I want it to be, plus dessert, it’s been fairly easy. I’m in my early 40’s and never had to worry about my weight until 5-6 years ago… I’m now about 40lbs overweight. I’m not weighing myself until Memorial Day, then I will know if it’s been worth it… but it sure hasn’t been all that hard! I had my yearly doctor visit on the second day of doing this, so I’ll know exactly what my weight was when I began. I look forward to evening meals and of course, Saturdays! I also knew that I had to limit myself a little more on Sundays to get back into the proper mindset (and tummy-set!) on Mondays. I think it’s great that you’ve already documented this same “diet” and I just happened upon your page. Best of luck for continued success. I really think this is gonna work well for me too!

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Nickie April 10, 2014 at 8:37 pm

When I started seeing an acupuncturist and Dr. of Chinese Medicine for infertility, he said my first concern should be to focus on losing weight and that based on my height and age I needed to lose 50lbs! I’d been on a “diet” and watching what I was eating for about a year with no success, so this news was frustrating to say the least. He suggested the fasting/1meal per day diet with coffe and tea until dinner and then one well rounded meal for -with desert! But, what about skipping breakfast? What about getting enough protein? What about “starvation mode”. All of what my Dr. responded with was the same as this article. I’m going on week 3 and I feel great! My mind is more clear, my clothes are fitting better, my skin and hair are healthier! I’ve had digestion problems for years (“IBS”) and this way of earning has made me feel much more “normal” and “regular”. 2 things I can add that my Dr. did say in support of this way of eating was that we are consuming “too much nutrients” and we are spending so much time and energy thinking about healthy eating that it causes more stress and ends up having a negative effect! I love this diet!

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Mish April 15, 2014 at 7:16 am

Hi, I’ve been eating one meal a day too and am finding it a good way to lose weight. Ideally I’d eat lunch rather than dinner, but lifestyle prevents me from doing this.

Like you, my exercise is also about lifestyle – biking to work, yoga at home. That’s all I want to do really.

Good idea to keep this diet quiet though – other people certainly have an opinion on how I want to eat!

I also do the cheat day/two meals on weekends.

Interesting to see lots of others have also hit on the one meal a day idea.

PS My grandparents would probably be horrified – back then, food was far less taken for granted!

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hassan April 25, 2014 at 11:27 am

Hi! Excellent post by the way. I can totally relate to this lifestyle as I too have a family waiting for me at for lunch. I do however eat fruits particularly oranges at night time as they keep my digestive system in check. So please tell me if its ok to have one big meal particularly lunch and then have fruit in the dinner time?

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Allison May 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm

I am so glad I have found your blog. I am approaching 40 this September and actually coming to your part of the world for my 40th bday trip from the States. I am currently 5’6 and weighing 206 and miserable. I have EVERYTHING in the world to be thankful for. A loving husband, supportive family and 4 healthy, beautiful little boy’s. So what was dragging me down on a daily basis was my self esteem and feeling old and unattractive for a few years now. After the birth of my 4th son which was only 15 months after my 3rd I knew then something had to be done. These big boy’s had stretched my tummy out to no end and I couldn’t wear anything cute and felt so frumpy. It wasn’t til just recently that I gave in and bought no maternity clothing. Now, not to say I still have some becasue they are comfy but I refuse to wear them out. Luckily for me maternity clothes look like normal clothing these days but they fit me better becasue quit frankly my tummy still looks like I am a few months pregnant. So I have tried it all and being at home like you know with 4 small children all under 10 it is hard to not grab the nuggets they don’t eat or stay away from that yummy pizza. I don’t ever eat breakfast but a cup of coffee and not really hungry at lunch just have no will power to stay away form that mac n cheese. So, I typed in eating one meal a day just this morning while I was working my part time job all while thinking about running up to the local fast food place and getting a salad. Well, a salad that was about 800 calories in one pop. I would like to get to 170 as my first goal and would love to reach that by the time I come to England so that I can look back at our trip and pictures and not think “oh, my God I am so fat”. I want the memories of the trip not my weight. So with an ultimate goal of 150 to be able to have the energy to keep up with my active boy’s and live to see them become Men i am setting off with my first goal of 170. wish me luck and Thank you for your advice. I will keep you all posted.

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Joanna Felix May 7, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Filled my day with hope, after reading this! Everything makes such sense to me and can’t wait to try it out, but does the meal have to be dinner?!

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kunal May 23, 2014 at 7:51 pm

hey David,
Today is my 5 day and I m getting used to it…
very motivated and I know this is gonna work for me just as it did for many others.
what I wanted to ask you is Can I eat in the afternoon instead of evening? just wondering because I can easily hold me through that tough phase from 3pm to 6pm, or do you prefer sticking to 5pm dinner thats all?

Thank you mate

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Amanda May 31, 2014 at 2:09 am

Hi, I am really impressed with this post. For the past week I have been eating roughly one meal a day and feel great doing it. I was just googling to see if this was a sustainable weight loss strategy to continue with. I am so pleased to find a common-sense article on this! I have read so many conflicting things about what is best for your metabolism and was worried that this would slow everything down but if it’s worked for you and so many people in the comments – not to mention the fact that I feel good doing it(!) – then I am going to stick with it. I havent got loads to lose but would definitely like to get 30 pounds off (I’m 6 foot tall and 190 pounds) and have been trying to do so for years. Weight watchers helped me shed around a stone but I couldnt stick to their new points system which punishes you for having carbs! I find with this way of eating I have more energy and sleep better and generally feel less bloated and crappy. I am not going to weigh myself more frequently than every month because I completely agree that the scales can be misleading and a disappointing trip on the scales can completely undermine your motivation to continue. Thanks so much, Ive recommended this to my friend too, I hope he tries it.

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Scott June 3, 2014 at 7:54 am

I’m curious about this and wanting to try it… I’m 6’2 at 220 pounds I have a belly I would like to lose but just eating once a day… How does that burn fat? Will it actually burn fat or just lose the belly fat? Will it work in the arms too? I noticed at the top of my arms near shoulder they’re a little saggy…also I’m starting to grow what I call a turkey neck… I’m 30 years old so wouldn’t mind seeing the sag go away and to be honest that’s what’s going to motivate me to get rid of this, I have a foot injury that never healed for two years so I can’t really run or jog… But I can walk.

I think I will try this but I would rather have a breakfast rather a dinner because I work construction physically so it would be impossible to work on an empty stomach… I guess I could try, will bring something to eat in case it gets too bad, I know I could just eat a breakfast without eating anything until the next day because I’ve done it before but I just don’t know about only eating a dinner and no breakfast, I don’t think I can handle it.

But if anybody has any answer to my previous question it would be appreciated, I haven’t seen the blog owner post anything recent since 2012, I wonder if he met his goal or did he gain all the weight back or has he kept all the weight off, would be interesting to hear.

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Ashley June 11, 2014 at 7:08 am

I’ve reached a point where I’m scared. I’m scared that I won’t be able to grow old with my husband, or have healthy children and watch them grow up. I’m 280 pounds, 5’6 tall. I’ve gained about 80 pounds over the course of 6 years. I miss being healthier. I was a healthy 200 pounds. I went hiking almost every day. I was able to go jogging without my knees hurting. Now I can’t even walk without my knees hurting. I’m going to start this diet tomorrow. I ALWAYS eat a big dinner. My husband love taking me out to eat. And we always grab an icecream cone after. It’s like a ritual for us. I’ve gone all day without eating before. I think the key is staying busy, and so that’s what I’m going to do. I only work 2 days a week so it’s hard to stay busy. I will just have to find things to do. I’m glad summer is here. I think that will help me. Wish me luck on my journey. I will let you know how I do. Thank you so much for your post. I feel like this is something I really can do!

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Paul June 11, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Just a update on my situation. I started eating one meal a day during the week a little over 3 months ago. I have now lost 30 lbs. I was 6’3″ 260 and now weigh 230. Even without eating all day, I feel fine to run on the treadmill for a couple miles. I have not felt any ill effects. Yes I am hungry during the day, but no more hungry than if I ate a smaller meal for lunch. I figure if I am going to be hungry any ways, might as well save those calories for a night meal and eat something that satisfies me for the whole night, which will stop me from snacking later on. I would still like to lose another 30 pounds, but not sure if that is possible, but I will contiue to do this. Sure is nice to be able to fit back into some of my old clothes :)

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Lilly June 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Wouldn’t it work better not to have dessert at all? And why would you have a cheat day? If you actually stick to the diet and eat a meal a day you lose much faster..

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Rollover Guy June 24, 2014 at 2:46 am

One meal a day is amazing. I did this my whole adult life until I met my wife. She said my lifestyle was unhealthy and I should eat three meals a day. Within years of eating three meals/day I went from 180 to 250 lbs.. I have gone back to one meal a day at the end of the day and I just lost my first 30 lbs in 41 days. I am never hungry and I now sleep much better. It’s the way to go, period.

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andy July 16, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Hope she is still with you!

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Mike from TO August 11, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Been reading this blog and like the many stories in it. Had to respond to this one though. Rollover Guy, I can relate!! 3 years ago I started a journey to go lose weight. At the time I weighed around 250lbs and my blood work was showing signs of distress…borderline diabetic, elevated cholesterol, hypertension, etc. So I decided to do something about it because I didn’t want to start taking prescription medications. So I started eating only 2 meals a day (many days only 1 meal depending on my hunger), cut out processed carbs and sugar and monitored my caloric intake and I was able to go from 250lbs to 190lbs in one year, a little over 1 lb a week average. And felt awesome. What I was surprised at was how many people who witnessed me losing the weight, felt the urge to comment as I neared the 190lb level, how I looked too thin, too gaunt and generally were critical. At 6’2″, I don’t’ think 190lbs is too thin but regardless, they were not supportive. But I felt good, slept better so didn’t worry about the rest. But here’s where our stories are also similar. I too met a woman who didn’t want to follow my lead in healthier eating and I too, within a year, ballooned back up to 230lbs. I felt like I had wasted my time losing weight and started to feel bad again. Long story short, I am no longer with that woman and back to eating the way that I find the most healthy and have already dropped 15lbs in two months and feeling great. Never lose faith and don’t let other people stop you from reaching your goals.

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EJ July 16, 2014 at 8:27 am

Hi David and everyone!
Congrats on the weightloss! I’ve read through your article and this die reminds me of a diet I’ve been doing since 2001. It’s called the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet. It’s very similar to this ‘one meal a day’ lifestyle. I ate one meal a day called a ‘reward meal’ and it was pretty much anything I wanted to eat but I had to consume it within an hour. I lost 30 lbs doing this and have been keeping up with it since. Your body just seems to adjust to this way of eating. And the best thing about it is that it’s so effortless! if I do get hungry before my reward meal, I’ll eat something low carb like eggs, bacon, cheese, avocado. I never go over 4carbs when I snack. I’ve tried many other diets and this is the only diet that has worked for me. My blood pressure is 118/78, my sugar levels are at 75 and I have no problems with cholesterol. I feel great!! Good luck everyone and keep up with the diet. It works!

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Mike from TO August 11, 2014 at 3:12 pm

Hey EJ, good tip on the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet. I also like the book Wheat Belly by William Davis. Like many people, I was confused about all the conflicting information on what to eat, what not to eat, when to eat, and when not to eat. But after watching Gary Taubes on YouTube one day, I had my answer. Low carb, moderate protein and plenty of good fat in my diet…and have never felt better. I now never have the dreaded carb crash that I always thought was normal, I sleep much better and by removing all processed carbs from my diet, I can go 24hrs between meals now. Public perceptions are now changing on what and how to eat. And it is blogs like this that make that happen. Keep up the good work!

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Nan August 14, 2014 at 12:12 pm

Absolutely with you on the low carb. Especially as we age. I could eat anything when I was young, but with each decade after 30, the pounds started sticking, by late 40s I could see I was going to have trouble, then read Atkins to Taubes and everything between. Even doing lc, it is harder to lose and avoid feeling hungry or thinking about food without doing just a meal a day.

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EJ July 16, 2014 at 8:51 am

Scott,
This diet will burn fat and not just in your belly. How this diet works is that your insulin in your body is being controlled. Instead of your body burning carbs for energy, it’s burning the fat directly. You all should look up the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet. It is very similar to this. I’ve been doing this for years and I’ve kept the weight off. Good luck!

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Jason July 30, 2014 at 3:41 pm

I have been doing this type of nutrition plan for a few years now. (5’10” 165 lbs +/-) I came up with the idea when I hit the 180 mark on the scale. Every spring I get back into it seriously and drop back down to my goal weight of 160 lbs by the end of summer. I love being able to eat out with my family and not worry about busting my diet. Boosting the weight loss with running and Insanity really busts up the belly fat and love handles.

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Troy July 30, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Day 1 of this diet: 220lbs. target is 175lbs.

I’m documenting this here because I want to hold myself accountable, but I don’t want to tell anyone in my life that I’m dieting. I’ll post first results in 2 months.

Thanks for this site, great idea!

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Monica August 1, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Hey there . This was the best decision i have made ! but the only thing youse should do to be healthy is take your multi vitamins, hair,nails tablets just to be healthy while you are doing this. I only eat dinner but throughout the day i have nothing but sips of water , i dont even think about food . But for dinner i mix it up a bit to confuse your body . I had kebab last night but the day before i had a 500 calorie meal , This diet makes me feel so good and accomplished !

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Kevin August 6, 2014 at 9:43 am

Fantastic information and motivation. I am on day 2 :)

I thought I’d struggle during the working the day but so long as you keep yourself busy, it is not that hard.

I am 43 years old and am currently 201lbs. My first target is 182lbs.

Thanks again David.

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Neita Ashley August 10, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Man am I glad I found this article. I actually found it googling “can a person survive on one meal a day” Lol!!!

I started doing this about 5 days ago. I’m a teacher and I had a very difficult school year last year, which included horrible fatigue and issues with rheumatoid arthritis. All these bad issues, and months before all of them, I was running 1.5-2 miles every other day or more!

The fatigue always hit after lunch and in the evening. I’d be so sleepy I couldn’t concentrate at school, and even fought to stay awake on my drive home. Anyway, I got some help with medicine back in May, but I’m looking to further improve with this diet. I’ve felt GREAT the last couple of days! I’m not falling asleep like a narcoleptic, and my energy seems to sustain throughout the day. The RA symptoms seem to be subsiding too, which is something I never thought would get better. I had all but given up the idea of ever running again! :-( It looks as though I may soon be able to get back in to running. Lord I hope so, because I miss it so much!!

Anyway, I’m really glad you wrote this article because I feel like my initial hunch about eating only one meal a day is valid. I’m not really hungry at breakfast or lunch, and dinner is just so much more satisfying! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

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Nan August 14, 2014 at 1:02 am

Thanks for making this blog! I was glad to see it.

The only way I gave been able to lose weight since I was 40, many years ago, is one meal a day. I have to stick to low carb to avoid gaining or getting diabetes, and find one m-a-d is much more satisfying. Also, it takes my mind off thinking about and preparing food. With only my husband it is easy, but I can see it would be harder for people with children.
I enjoy my food so much more now, and get to have that pleasantly full feeling that three small meals just never gave me. I have adjusted to this pretty easily. I took about a week to ease into it. If I ever do get a bit dizzy I will have coffee with cream or a lc protein bar. I do exercise, but cary the intensity, doing HIIT one day, walking 2-3 days, skating, rowing to mix things up.

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Nan August 14, 2014 at 1:06 am

Forgot to add that I drink 2-3 liters of water or tea each day. Hydration is a really important. Also make sure to do enough salt, magnesium, potassium, and multi. As we get older, our bods are less foregiving.

Thanks again for sharing your success story.

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Nivedita Mishra August 27, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Hi David,

I searched your site today just to find out if it is ok to have one meal a day. I have started this since the last 5 days and I just have wholesome lunch with whatever I want/like to eat. Throughout the day I drink water only. No snack, no tea or coffee for me. I started this due to a religious festival which is a week long but now I want to continue this at least for a month as I am going for a vacation. My current weight is 90 kgs. I was 80 kgs earlier but post delivery I have gained another 10 kgs and I want to loose 20 kgs minimum. The best part about one meal a day is that you can eat as much you like and whatever you like without thinking that you are consuming extra calories. I have not weighed myself yet but I feel I have lost some amount of weight, may be the water content and people around me can see a little change in me. I will have to see how much I have lost after a week’s time.

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David August 28, 2014 at 11:18 pm

I’d like to offer yet another apology to those of you that have take the time to reach out and make a comment on this post, only to get ignored.

The reality for me is I’ve bitten off a little bit more than I can chew (which is a terrible phrase to use on a site like this).

Life the universe and everything just got the better of me since I started Hubby’s Home and this was oe of the things I had to let slide in order to make sure I stayed afloat.

Times are better now but the old habit of ignoring fine people who take the trouble to comment, sadly doesn’t appear to have left me yet.

I will do something about that, but in the meantime, I am still writing about this stuff over at 1maddiet.com and whether you comment here or over there I will get back to you. (But you are totally free to ignore me in return (I kinda deserve it!)).

Sorry again, and thank you for reading this far.

Dave

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nanzai September 10, 2014 at 5:47 am

I’ve decided to try this out.

Day 1: 218lbs

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David September 23, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Nanzai, great job. Let me know how it goes.

These days I check in at my other site 1maddiet.com more often. So maybe see you there.

Good luck. :)

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Goku September 23, 2014 at 3:28 pm

Hey guys, this is how I ate for 25 years of my life and was never fat.
(When I started to eat breakfast, then I gained stomach fat.)
Basically, when you go the whole day with no food, you are burning pure fat. By the end of the day, when you eat, your body will really utilize the nutrients the way they are meant, protein to repair any wear on your body the entire day, fatty good is good too, it will rebalance hormones and energy stores.

When you eat frequent in the day, you have not accumulated enough wear on your body, so much more protein eaten is used as energy or stored as fat because most people eat more protein than they need. So when you eat frequently everyday, you never have a chance to burn fat.
When you skip breakfast and lunch everyday, you see lbs drop a lot sooner. When you drop lbs sooner, you are lighter and feel more energetic. Your weight loss becomes almost self perpetual with each lb dropped. I know it from almost the same experience.
And on the days you know you will dine with people for dinner, you can skip food until then as anticipation toward he dinner.
When you have to eat with people at restaurants but don’t want to over eat, try to just order french fries or some kind of appetizer as your meal instead.

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David September 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Thanks Goku,
Some interesting points there.

There are some interesting aspects to process of energy balance and fat loss. Clearly it’s not straight forward because there are so many factors involved but essentially, if we consume less energy than we use, the body will find sources of fuel elsewhere. Sometimes it’s glycogen, sometimes it’s fat and sometimes it’s lean body mass ie muscle.

Thanks for adding to the discussion and sharing your experience. :)

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Soma September 25, 2014 at 11:52 am

Dear David,
Stumbled on your diet around 3-4 th of August and started the once a day meal on the 6th ,since then its been 6 weeks and i have lost 5 pounds only and i lost most of this weight in the first four weeks after that it has been no progress from last 2 weeks ,dont know why i havent lost weight ,i snack a little inbetween pumpkin seeds or raisins and have 2 cups of coffee since i am in office ,one at 11 am and then at 4,before leaving the house i have a parsley juice with 5 almonds,inbetween if i am really hungry i have a smoothie ,you think i am having too many calories? do i have to keep reducing the amount of food? where could i be going wrong ?
Regards
Soma

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David September 25, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Hi Soma, I wouldn’t feel too bad about your progress. It’s close to being a pound a week, which is sustainable for the long term. In order to lose 2 lbs a week we have to create a daily energy deficit of 1000 calories, which is tough to do for a long period of time.

There are numerous reasons for the apparent weight loss stall. The most likely candidates are water retention, slow transit of digested food, replenished glycogen reserves.

It sounds like you need to give it a little more time. If you’re finding it tough then maybe eat two smaller meals a day for a while and see what happens.

The only way to get an accurate idea of what’s going on is to track your caloric intake. There’s nothing wrong with doing that and in some ways it’s beneficial, but personally I find it tedious.

Fluctuations in weight are normal. Follow this link and look at my own weight fluctuations. See how my body holds weight for a few days and then drops it: http://1maddiet.com/one-meal-a-day-phase-2-week-1/

Hope that helps :)

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Miranda September 29, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Hello David!

First I must applaud you for still replying to all of your comments on this page! I started doing OMAD last week. I started doing it on my own, checked google for some pros and cons, and that is how I came across this site!

I do so great during the week. I work in an office Monday through Friday, so it is so easy to wait until dinner to eat. The weekends are proving to be VERY difficult for me. I have 2 little boys at home (4 little boys every other weekend) who are ALWAYS hungry and I just can’t stay on track! I try to allow myself to have 2 meals, but once I start eating, I can’t stop. It’s horrible and I am ruining all of my weekly progress in just 2 days! Do you have any suggestions?

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David September 29, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Hi Miranda,
Thanks :)
But truth be told, I haven’t managed to keep up with the replies and I feel bad about that. But thank you anyway :)

It’s great that you’ve started this and that it’s working for you during the week. I get how the weekends can be tricky and .y advice to you would be… don’t worry about it at this stage. Put in a few good weeks (Monday to Friday) just to get used to eating this way and feel good about developing a new habit. As time passes you’ll get better with the weekend eating too because, as you’ve already discovered, you don’t want to undo your hard work. That said, two or three weeks I’d a long time not to be making progress so if you don’t feel you can do that then set some limits like defined eating windows. To help you do that you could make a grid or a tally sheet for every fifteen minute period and mark it with an x to show you stuck to your eating plan. The theory being that you won’t want to break the chain and marking the grid becomes your reward. As silly as it is, it worked for me.

One other option is that at any time other than the main meal you only eat foods that don’t prompt you to eat more. For me that’s apples. If I’m hungry I eat an apple. If I’m really hungry I’ll eat two. I have been known to eat three in a row but after that I can’t face any more and I’m too full to eat junk food.

It’s still 250 to 300 calories but it’s a better option than eating 300 calories of pop tarts.

Not sure if that helps at all but it might trigger you to think of something that will work for you.

Thanks for stopping by :)

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Miranda September 29, 2014 at 8:56 pm

Love the idea about the chart! I will have to do that! It’s like a potty training chart lol but for weight loss!!! :)

Tea is my lifesaver during the week. We have a Keurig at work and I love green tea and english breakfast tea, so I have several cups of that during the day (no cream/sugar/or milk). I do not have my tea at home on the weekends….so I think I just found my problem! I’m going to pick up some tea bags this week!!

Apples are a great idea too. They are VERY filling.

Thanks again! You are so inspiring!

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David September 29, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Thanks Miranda :)

Yes! It’s just like potty training. :D :D

It was a great way to keep me honest and an excellent way to give me a fresh start every 15 minutes if I messed up. Maybe it’s about time I used it myself again? Ha.

I admit, I love a cup of English Breakfast tea. In fact… that’s what my first cup will be tomorrow. :)

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Digby September 29, 2014 at 7:03 pm

I have found my safety food to help me stay MAD is a very low carb protein shake, about 200cals/2carbs. I gave myself permission to have one in the morning or anytime I felt really hungry/shaky when I started, so as to have only one real sit down meal. What helps is I am not over fond of protein shakes, but feel having a safety net food helps me stick to MAD. I rarely seem to need the shakes, but like your apples, it is part of a plan. If I started eating I would want more, but the shakes do the job without stimulating a desire to go crazy with food.
Thanks for this blog!

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David September 29, 2014 at 10:32 pm

Hi Digby, I think that’s a fantastic way to go. Love that idea. Thanks for sharing it.
All the best,
Dave

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Jason October 13, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Lol we are kinda similar i also tried to excersise and stuff before(that didn’t help). Yesterday I decided to try eating only dinner and today i googled it to see if other people have done this, and I found this nice to hear this has worked for people :)

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David October 13, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Hi Jason. Thanks for leaving a message. Hope your diet goes well :)

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Patricia October 14, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Hi David, desperate to lose some weight . I weigh 11 stone and am only 5ft 3ins. I like the sound of one meal a day, so will give it a go .
Thank you

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David October 14, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Hi Patricia, just take it nice and easy. Aim to lose a pound a week, maybe 2 at the most. Find a way to make the diet sustainable and enjoyable. Don’t feel that you can only eat once a day but try to save most of your calories for the main meal.

There’s nothing special about this way of eating it’s just a very simple way to restrict calories.

As long as you create an energy deficit every day through eating fewer calories or increasing exercise you should lose weight… but I guess you already know this :)

Trouble is, that’s often easier said than done and that’s why we all struggle.

For most people I think it’s just about finding a way they can stick at it long enough to see a result.

Thanks for stopping by. Let me know if I can help.

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Patricia October 14, 2014 at 8:58 pm

Thank you David . Will keep you informed of progress.

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Miranda October 16, 2014 at 3:35 pm

Just an update! I’ve been at it for about 2 1/2 weeks now. I am down about 5 lbs! I have also been able to take back control of my weekends! I think this is the lifestyle change I have been needing desperately!!

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David October 16, 2014 at 9:58 pm

Miranda, that’s great news!

I’m glad to hear the weekends are going better for you too.

It’s not easy with the kids around, so any progress in this respect is monumental and you can justifiably feel proud of your efforts.

Great job! :-)

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Dori October 24, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Having read all the comments I already feel lighter…lol I’m in my fifth day and feel great! It seems to be so effortless and easy, so far no craving during the day. I have my coffee with full fat milk no sugar, some tea and water if I feel like it. I’ve been watching my weight since I can remember, being 5ft6 I’ve gone over 165lbs and never was lighter than 155lbs. I’m one of them people, who ”look” healthy, stay within decent bmi but never experienced being proper slim!!! I’ve tried most of the popular diets and learned a great deal about nutrition. I’m fairly active, hardly ever eat junk, cook 99% of my meals, don’t drink alcohol. Six months ago I gave up breakfast and switched to low carb trying to induce ketosis without any spectacular results. This is my last resort and I’m determined to make it work.
Look forward to reading more entries on this site, it’s hugely motivating.
Thank you David for sharing your experience!!!

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Soma October 28, 2014 at 6:07 am

Dear David,

hi! i am doing the one meal a day now for almost 3 months and on the 6th of november it will be 3 months exact,but i am struggling ,not eating during the day has become easier but i dont eat till 7.30 in the evening as i get off work at 6.30 and it takes me a hour to reach home.i am stuck at the same weight from last month and a half at 61 -62 kilos ,i have stopped doing the cheat day as well and since it was diwali(something like christmas) i had lot of sweets ,and have become 62 ,i know in a week i will be 61 ,i keep going back and forth this same weight and i dont know what i can do to bring it down. i am having 2 cups of coffee and one cup of tea till 5 and then i eat a fruit around 5.30 then by 7.30 i eat dinner ,what can i try different? for dinner i have a traditional indian meal of rice ,dal,salad and veggies. Sometimes i have fish curry n rice or 2 rotis and veggies ,if i am getting late then i grab a subway sandwich ,my weight wont go down after 61kgs…..any suggestions ?

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Soma October 28, 2014 at 6:29 am

oh and another strange thing ,my stomach has gone in quite a bit ,it seems like i should be weighing less as i feel i am looking slimmer, not like a lot but yes a bit ……but it doesent seem to show on the scale? any reasons for that?

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Dori October 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Hi Soma,

I’ve been in this type of eating only for a week but I’m very motivating having read all the post on this blog. I wonder if you could share your starting weight and how tall you are. I think the stat are crucial to determine how well one is doing. I got even more motivated this morning . BBC Breakfast had shown a fromer Lord Chancellor who lost over 2stone during last two years by eating one meal a day, snacking on diet cola and an apple, and daily running. Interestingly this pattern of eating has been endorsed by BBC’s in house GP!!!
As far as women’s weight loss goes, I think we are slightly more complicated comparing to men. Our monthly cycle cause water retention, increased hunger pungs and general hormonal rollercoaster . Regards:)

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