This is the 3rd day of my One Meal a Day To 6 Pack abs challenge. See below for updated photos.
Make your diet more effective
Open ended eating is a killer for any diet that doesn’t involve calorie counting or otherwise specify the quantity or volume of your intake.
I don’t calorie count with my diet so it helps me to set other constraints like time limits.
Let me be clear about this, I like eating one meal a day, there are certain benefits to taking this approach, but I don’t want this to be a permanent lifestyle. It’s a little too tough as a lifestyle choice, so I dip in and out.
Set limits and stick to them
I find that when I return to the diet it benefits me to set times during which I’ll eat.
Mon-Fri: 5pm to 6pm
Sat: (Free day – no limits)
Sun: Noon to 1230pm & 5pm to 6pm
Make your diet decisions in advance
If I don’t set limits it gets ugly. Making these decisions in advance usually prevents me from rationalising away all the good work I’ve done.
Without limits it becomes too easy to eat my evening meal and then spend the next two or three hours picking at little bits of food that were left over from dinner. Maybe some bread or pasta, perhaps another spoonful of dessert. Or how about a chocolate, followed by another, and another?
If I’m not careful I end up eating close to a maintenance intake, which is OK but it kind of defeats the object of the exercise.
I experimented with a 2 hour window for a while but I’m afraid to say I abused the extra latitude. It forced me to take a hard line and keep that window to just one hour – between 5pm and 6pm.
Be sensible about it
Yes it’s possible to eat 2500 – 3000 calories in an hour but not if you’re sensible about it – and one distinct benefit of fasting all day is your stomach will be smaller and you’ll feel fuller,quicker.
I eat my meal with my family so there’s a certain amount of conversation that prevents anyone from bolting their food.
Besides, I haven’t eaten for 23 hours so I want to savour the meal rather than cram it down as fast as I can.
Once the clock hits 6pm, that’s it, no more eating.
And I stick to it… most of the time.
Not sticking to the rule causes me pain, so I find it easier to quit eating than to deal with the internal conversation that flips between rationalising what I’ve done and berating myself for being weak.
Set a ‘start time’ too
It’s dangerous to your diet when your opportunity to eat is open ended, so setting an end time works well, but setting a start time can be almost as crucial but not usually quite so damaging.
I find that in the half an hour before dinner it’s so tempting just to sneak a piece of the fresh bread we’ll be having with dinner. After all, I’ll be eating it in half an hour anyway, so what’s the harm?
- Well, for a start you set a precedent for earlier eating and if you do it once you’ll likely do it again.
- Also, you take no account of that piece of bread when you finally do sit down to your meal. You won’t eat one less bread roll to make up for your earlier snack, you won’t have the will power.
Yes it’s a restrictive way to live life, but it’s supposed to be. After all I’m trying to lose fat by consuming fewer calories than I use – so sacrifices have to be made.
Don’t forget, it’s temporary
Setting strict limits is a temporary thing and you’d do well to remind yourself of that when you’re feeling your diet is too tough.
Be rigid about about your window of consumption, especially in the early stages.
Limit the amount of time you can eat and (provided you’re sensible) this will limit your calorie intake and speed up the weight loss process. You’ll lose more weight quicker.
This is me today: Day 3
This is me: Day 1
This is me at 205lbs