One Meal a Day for Optimal Health?

Eating only one meal a day for health and fitness seems like such a radical concept, but I’ve experienced success with it over the years. At the same time, I have eschewed commonly accepted dogma, such as:

  • Eat 5 to 6 small, frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
  • Avoid eating at night, it will make you fat.

Rather than tell you which way is right, here are some advantages to eating only one “main” meal, at night [Update: I now do my main meal as a late lunch, since I exercise in the evenings; but I make sure there is time to rest around eating]:

More energy

Digesting food is a more energy costly process than most would believe, so when you’re not busy digesting food, you have this energy available for mental and physical tasks. Furthermore, since exercising on an empty stomach is ideal, there is no issue of timing on when you last ate vs. when you’re exercising.

Better sleep

Because of the energy expended in digestion, food can be a natural sedative, which is perfect for insomniacs, as timing your meal in the evening can raise serotonin levels and help you fall asleep easier. The digestive process will continue throughout the night, and by the time you wake up, you’ll have an empty stomach, ready to be alert and wide awake.

Deal with cravings

Throughout the day, you’ll be exposed to a lot of temptation when it comes to food, so by holding off eating until the evening, you can make a conscious decision on what it really is you want to eat when that time comes. You might find that some cravings were merely incidental.

Something to look forward to

We’re all familiar with “comfort food”, so by having your meal as the last thing you do in the day, you’ll always know you’ll have something to look forward to. This would typically be a very satisfying meal if you’re eating the same amount of food in one meal as you were in 3 meals.

After reading this, you may not want to try the one meal a day way of living. However, if you do, realize there are several benefits and that it’s not detrimental to your health. Stay positive.

*People with blood sugar irregularities may need to be on a more frequent eating schedule. Check with your doctor.

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9 responses to “One Meal a Day for Optimal Health?

  1. I finally researched this issue of one meal a day to see if others feel the same way I do. I agree with everything you said. It is so paradoxical that you have more energy when you don’t eat during the day. What is really the motivator for me is the absence of the midday crash–2:30 or 3:00 when you are sapped of energy. No such thing if you fast all day and just eat one meal in the evening. It is quite remarkable. Eat nothing until evening.

  2. It is an amazing way to lower ones’ fat mass too, albeit a bit hard to do at first. It’s a great way to do calorie restriction.

  3. Wow, just like Elijah Muhammad taught since 1930. You should also check out his books How to Eat to Live Books 1&2.

  4. I can’t believe this, except that I really do believe now.
    All that you said, I thought by my self, it was like a epiphany.
    All made sense when I thought about it. About every single thing.
    So I started. I drink water, all day long, and I have one single meal, a hour before I sleep.
    This has been amazing so far, because I don’t feel tired during the day and I continue with my exercise routine and I’m not having trouble sleeping anymore. O_o (And I don’t feel hungry at any time)
    One of the best things is that you feel alert, all day long, sometimes is like a change in perspective.
    I don’t know if this is going to keep up like this, I hope so, because, it’s bringing me a lot of benefits. Besides, I didn’t do any search for anything before doing this, so is definetly not placebo effect.

  5. I do this, but my one meal is lunch. I have my dinner at lunch because I am too tired when I come home after working 8,10 or 12 hour days to cook.

    I come home, rest for an hour, read my bible, pray, then go to sleep.

    I have tried this fast for 40 days and it is pretty amazing. At times I am tempted to cheat on junk food, but instead I just chew sugar free gum instead until I can eat my one meal.

  6. Curtis–
    I have eaten one meal a day for 16 months now, and it’s a mid-day meal. Fortunately my weight problem is moving in the right direction as I have lost 35 pounds. I’m at 175 and need to lose 20 more.
    I recommend it for most people. It’s so easy and simple.

  7. I do something similar. But instead of one meal, I have two small meals within like a two hour time frame in the evening to night time. My first meal is actually is actually a cup of fruit. The fruit varies. The second meal is usually either a larger portion of fruit or vegetables. I may have beans, potatoes, salad, etc, and I may use a dressing from Whole Foods that are all natural of close to it as possible. Also, sometimes I drink some fruit juice before I have my first meal or earlier (I have my own juicer).

    I do this about six days a week and I do eat meat, bread and some processed foods once in a while. I’ve always been active, never had a weight issue (except for once for a little while) and have usually felt pretty healthy but I’ve been feeling much better in every way since gradually transitioning to this way of eating.

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