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Seven Tips to Get Started on the One Meal a Day Diet



Choosing to eat one meal a day for any reason can be a little challenging when first starting out. The good news is that after the first week, it can become second nature. That’s also when you really start noticing the benefits and can reap rewards such as weight loss, increased productivity, and increased energy, to name a few. But to get through that very first week, here are seven tips and things to do that can make a big difference!

Tip 1: Start With Three Meals a Day and Gradually Reduce to One

This tip is especially for those that are used to eating many meals a day or who randomly eat throughout the day. It’s hard to go from zero to hero overnight, so it will be a lot easier if you start by grouping your meal plan into three or four meals a day without snacking. This will help you get into the habit of eating a decent amount of food in a smaller number of meals and also get out of the random snacking habit. As the week progresses, you can take away a meal whenever you feel ready while adding the calories of that meal to another meal. By the end of the week (maybe in even two weeks), it should be easier to just eat one meal a day.

Tip 2: Avoid Snacks and Processed Foods

Another tip is to avoid eating snacks and processed foods. Try not to even have them in your home if possible! Although these foods could fit into a one meal a day lifestyle, the problem is that these foods are highly addicting, and could have you going back for ‘just one more’ after you have finished eating your food for the day. If you’ve been on the one meal a day plan for a longer time span, then it probably won’t be a problem. But when you’re first starting out it helps to not have those foods around.

Tip 3: Experiment With Different Times of the Day

Remember—you don’t always have to choose to eat your one meal at night. For some people, eating in the morning or afternoon may be the best option, and that can also change over time. Let’s say you work a night shift, or you go out a lot at night. Eating sometime during the day or afternoon may be your best option. Try eating your one meal at different times of the day and see what works best for you.

It's best to avoid snacks and processed foods when starting out.

It's best to avoid snacks and processed foods when starting out.

Tip 4: If You Mess Up, Keep Going

Everyone is bound to eat outside of their one meal window when first starting out. It’s ok; it happens—just try to stick more closely to your plan the next day. You truly have to adapt before it can become like second nature, as with anything in life. You’ll still receive a lot of the benefits even when eating a little outside of your window, but for optimal results, it’s best to just stick with only eating during the time slot you have given yourself.

Tip 5: Focus on Adapting to the Plan

During the first week or so, it’s best if you don’t weigh yourself. It will be tempting, but your focus should be on adapting to the one meal a day plan and not on your weight loss goals. Once you’ve fully adapted, the weight loss will come naturally, but it may not be seen in the first week. Weighing yourself and not seeing any significant weight loss can throw you off balance or make you want to quit without giving it a real chance. Most people will lose a lot of weight in the first week, but don’t make that the goal initially.

Tip 6: Eat Foods That You Like

This is not a lettuce and grilled chicken diet (although you can eat that if you like!). You don’t have to deprive yourself, and it’s actually easier if you eat what you like. Don’t go overboard; you do want to eat within your calorie limits, but you don’t have to eat typical diet foods either. Depriving yourself will only make things harder because you’re battling two things now—eating fewer times a day and cravings. You should eat healthily, but it’s easier to gradually add in more healthy foods once you’ve adapted to eating one meal a day.

Tip 7: Adapt the Plan to Your Day

The final tip to getting started on one meal a day living is to adapt the plan to your day. Some days it may be easier to eat at night, and others during the day. Let’s say you have a special event, a dinner party, or a family gathering. You don’t have to feel like you can’t eat because you’re supposed to eat earlier or later. You can still enjoy your life and adjust your plan to whatever life throws at you, and you can actually eat a decent amount of food at these events. You’ll be losing weight, and no one will even know you are trying to. That’s the beauty of the one meal a day lifestyle!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Michelle V


Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on May 25, 2014:

Ultimate Life,

You are very welcome. If you are not following me already, I am still looking for you to come aboard and if you are following me, Thanks.

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You are very appreciated.

Happy Memorial Day.

Michelle V (author) from USA on May 25, 2014:

Thanks Kenneth!

Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on April 24, 2014:

Hello, ultimatelife,

I really enjoyed this hub. You have a real talent for writing. I voted Up and all of the things to push because you really deserved it.

Are you going to write any novels in the future? I hope so, because your wrting skills can and will touch so many lives.

I am going to leave you some fan mail and then become one of your followers.

I would consider it a great honor if you would check out one or two of my hubs and be one of my followers.



Michelle V (author) from USA on June 13, 2013:

When eating one meal a day, you're not going to be eating the same amount of calories as you would (in one meal) when eating three meals a day or more. You still eat your recommended amount of calories for weight loss, just at one time a day. It's a more satisfying way to eat and still lose weight in a healthy way. It has many other benefits as well. Many people do it and love it!

Karen Hellier from Georgia on June 13, 2013:

I don't understand why anyone would want to eat only 1 meal a day. Is this way of life recommended by doctors? I thought the body needed more than that to stay healthy.

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