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]:
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.
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.