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How I Discovered the One Meal a Day Diet



When I first started the one meal a day plan, I had about 30 pounds to lose to get to my ideal weight. I had tried to lose this weight for a few years, going the “recommended” way to no avail. I would eat small mini-meals throughout the day and exercise vigorously. I would lose a little weight but had trouble keeping up the routine and would gain the weight back.

Food Was Always on My Mind

I discovered that eating throughout the day always kept my mind on food and always kept me craving food and feeling unsatisfied. The exercise seemed to always make me hungrier, and I would end up eating more calories than I normally would or want to. Sometimes I would consume just as many calories as I had burned from exercise in the first place, and I thought, “What’s the point?” When doing this for the first few days, I could use my initial willpower to keep me going.

My Motivation Went Away

After a week or so, I would no longer feel the drive to keep it up, and I would inevitably fail. This is because it took a lot of concentration and motivation to keep it up, which can take its toll and fade over time. I realized that I needed to do something that would help me lose weight that didn’t take a lot of time, energy, and thought to do so. I needed something that would seem effortless and that didn’t need a lot of concentration or motivation on a day-to-day basis. I also needed something that was comfortable and kept me satisfied at some point in my day. I thought there’s got to be an easier way.

Eating one meal a day is not a starvation diet, and doesn't have to be a lonely experience.

Eating one meal a day is not a starvation diet, and doesn't have to be a lonely experience.

I Tried Many Things

I tried a variety of things. I tried not exercising and just reducing my calories. That seemed to work a little. I was able to reduce my calories more, and my appetite seemed more stable. I did lose a little more weight from that, and I didn’t easily gain it back. I tried that for a while, but I noticed that when eating throughout the day, I still felt food-obsessed, and I was still eating a little more than I needed to.

A Big Margin for Error

I found myself gradually reverting back to eating more calories than I wanted to. I had lost only five or six pounds before my weight just stabilized. I knew that reducing my calories (while randomly eating) would take a concentrated effort that, from previous experience, I knew would fade over time. I needed to do something that I wouldn’t need to think about and monitor all day long, and it would just be a clear do or don’t. Something I could keep up for life, so I could always be at my ideal weight, I could still enjoy eating, and it would seem effortless. At first, I thought about just eating three square meals a day. But I realized that on a reduced-calorie plan, although it did work better, there was still a big margin for error.

The Seal of Consuming

I tried eating three meals a day for a while, but I would still find myself snacking here and there. In fact, I realized that at the point when I first ate was when the "seal of consuming" was broken. Once I broke the fast, all I could think about was eating. So I tried to push my eating back later in the day, and once I did that, I was pleasantly surprised at how great I felt. I had more energy during the day, as I usually didn’t eat until 3 p.m., and when I did eat, I felt full off of less food than normal. I also had a night job at the time, so I just decided to eat all my daily calories within the two or three hours before I had to go to work.

Feeling Slimmer and Energized

When I was at work, I didn’t feel overly full, and I still had energy. I still felt satisfied, so I wasn’t tempted to eat at work at all. The next day when I woke up, I did start to feel hungry again, but I also felt slimmer and energized. I liked how the day before went, so I decided to implement the same strategy. I realized that even though I felt hungry, I felt more in control of when I wanted to eat. I enjoyed the slim feeling (and the energy), so it wasn’t hard to push my eating back to the time I wanted. I knew that if I ate earlier, it would break the "seal of consuming," so I decided to wait again until about 3 p.m.

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Learning How to Tailor the Plan

When I had to work my night shifts, eating at 3 p.m. worked great. I eventually realized when I had the night off and no nightly activities to go to, it was more challenging to stop eating after my 3 p.m. meal. So I decided that whenever I stayed in for the night, I would push my eating back later to about 6 p.m. From there on, I decided that I finally found what worked for me, and I planned on sticking with it for as long as it fit my life. This is how I discovered 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


Laura on January 19, 2017:

Do you still follow this eating plan?

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

Thanks, glad this helps you!

Leena from new delhi on September 13, 2013:

nice tips...for me snacking is a problem.

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