So I’ve decided to try a new experiment and that’s going on a 10 day one meal a day diet experiments. Hopefully I can share some of my OMAD results below. I will be keeping a 10 day log of this one meal a day food intake to understand if you can lose weight in such a fashion. Although eating this way is less of a diet and more of a way of eating. Restricting all your daily calorie intake to a small window. Sounds difficult to punch in 2500 calories in a short amount of time.
I probably should start with the reasoning behind why I am trying the One Meal A Day DIet and it is simply that I am going on a holiday and have come out of a very indulgent Australian summer and have gained 8 kgs. The reason behind this has been several factors. One I started a new job in mid-November which had a dramatic change in my lifestyle. Previous to the new role I was cycling ton and from my work for about 10km’s every way. This was a fantastic way of building in my daily routine exercise and I need routine.
Now with my new job, 35 km’s away from where I lived it meant I had to return to the grind of getting in a car and driving to work. Alas, this was bad for several reasons, I hate driving, I hate the effects of driving and I really did enjoy riding my bike to work. So here I am 3 months later with all of this extra weight and all the beach gear that I want to wear for my upcoming holiday is a little tight. I should Add I am already a big guy in the first place, I am about 6’1 and weighed in November 2017 around 105 kgs. Bear in mind I also live a vegan lifestyle for both the environmental and ethical reasons.
So here I am 11 days out from our holiday to Bali and thinking why not try something a little left of centre and something that really needs a lot of discipline but something I know that I can achieve. More than anything I am just curious to see what 10 days of one meal a day will do and if the effects of the diet will be dramatic or if I already slowed down metabolism, which I have noticed since turning 30 (now 38) will play a detrimental part in achieving any success.
So if you did the maths yes I have put on 8 kg’s in the last 3 months, which means that I now weigh a beefy 113 kgs. I’ve been much beefier before but that’s a whole other story.
So what is the one meal a day diet?
In the past I have tried intermittent fasting with great results, this is when you fast for a time period and eat for a time period. The typical one I regularly did was 16 hour fast window and 8 hour eating window. My eating window usually went from midday to 8 pm at night. I found this rather easy to do as I typically am not that hungry in the mornings. A cup of coffee was more than enough to get me through to that lunchtime period and eat my first meal of the day.
So a one meal a day diet is the next level of intermittent fasting, where you get all your daily calories, nutrients, and energy in just one meal per day. It bucks the trends of eating the three meals a day plus snacks. Sounds daunting to most people but to me, it sounds like a challenge. I will raise a couple of the benefits of eating one daily below but more than anything it’s allowing to be empowered by the mantra of ‘it’s ok to feel hungry’. As I will demonstrate below it is a good thing rather than a negative.
Dr. Xand Van Tulleken a professor at Harvard and Oxford University advocates for it as scientifically endorsed and would most likely produce weight loss results with the benefit of extreme methods of calorie counting. Something I really do hate and for that look forward to the challenge. Dr Van Tulleken goes on to say that a “large amount of medical evidence that indicates fasting is a safe and effective way of losing weight.”
Eating one meal a day benefits
So there have been studies showing the benefits that go along with intermittent fasting.
These studies have shown the following benefits:
- Dramatic weight loss, especially around the belly area.
- It may help lower blood sugar levels which can have a major impact on people who have type 2 diabetes
- A positive effect on eating and sleeping cycles which can increase their lifespan
- Improve your memory (I’ll definitely take that)
- Overall benefit to the cardiac system
- Increased levels of human growth hormone by 5 times
- The body induces important cellular repair processes, this has a dramatic effect on removing waste product from the system.
These all sound like fairly good reasons to give it a crack, so why not I say?
Where to from here?
Well, I will be keeping a daily log of how I am feeling and the effects of this one meal a day diet. I am as curious as you if you have stumbled across this post and cannot wait for the challenge. So at the end of the ten days, I will hope to have these questions answered
- How will it affect my body? so I will show one meal a day diet before and after.
- What happens if you only eat one meal a day?
- Can you lose weight by eating one meal a day?
So it’s 9 pm day 1 and I’m happy to say that I made it all the way through the day without snacking or eating until I returned home from work. It was a fairly regular Monday for me, where I took the dog for a walk in the morning and then did about 30 mins in the gym before getting ready for work and heading off. I did jump on the scales and updated the information above. I was a little heavier than I first thought and the scales read 112.8 kgs. I haven’t been this heavy for a very long time. Even more, motivation to go hard for 10 days.
Not eating all day was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be. I drank about 4 litres of water and had 2 cups of black coffee throughout the day. I did get some hunger pains at around 2 pm but just drank a whole bunch of water and that did the trick in subsiding the feeling. I ate my first meal at 7.30pm which was a mound of noodles with stir-fried green vegetables and a can of kidney beans. After that, I had a whole bunch of dried fruit including dates and apricots. Then I finished with a couple of bananas, a bunch of grapes and an apple.
I’m feeling ridiculously full right now. Day 1 was a breeze let’s see how the mounting days of full-day fasting goes. One meal a day diet is going well so far. Nine days to go!
Today was a bit of a struggle to be honest. Everything started off well with my daily routine, went on a long walk with the dog and had my morning coffee. I found myself thinking about food from pretty much the morning but tried to keep my mind occupied by getting right in the work zone to forget about the fact that I fasting. It’s that I was feeling hungry either, just that I was conscious of the fact I’d only eaten once in the last 36 hours or so. Hard to explain in words the feeling to be honest.
I never really felt hungry until about 3 pm so a little later than the day before, but it was pretty full on this time. I really had to focus on the fact that it was ok to feel hungry and that feeling was natural and part of eating one meal a day diet. I knew that the intermittent fasting I was going through was somewhat extreme to the norm but I was fairly comfortable with what was going on.
My wife doesn’t really understand what I am doing, but that’s ok. Her question was, why are you eating so much and having to explain the concept over again was a little frustrating. Tonight I did not feel full like I did yesterday and have eaten heaps of food. I’m looking forward to doing my day 3 morning weigh in to see what the effects were of eating 2 meals in a 60 hour period. Kind of weird to say! Until then and only 8 days to go.
Today was a good day for several reasons. Three things happened.
- I jumped on the scales and a number popped up that was hard to believe 109 kgs. So in 48 hours I had dropped 3.8 kgs. As a regular dieter I’m well aware that most of this weight due to fasting is mostly water weight. Even so this was promising to see.
- Unrelated to this experiment my family is now rather clear what we are doing in regards to purchasing a new property as our ‘forever home’. We are super excited. Although already months into the process of looking at homes I really just want to get it over and done with.
- My hunger pains were barely even noticeable today and even weirder I had this amazing feeling of buzz and energy at around 3.30 pm. My team suggested that I eat some food but it was a moment full of clarity and in that moment punched out a revenue model for a business idea i have been procrastinating on for days.
All in all it was a great day and Im feeling super positive about this one meal a day diet experiment.
When it was about 5 pm today (Thursday) I was thinking to myself I had only eaten 3 times since Sunday night, obviously my meal of the day was to come, but it was still a bizarre thing to realise. Amazingly I must admit that today was by far the easiest day of the one meal a day eating program. I didn’t really feel hungry all day and wasn’t really even thinking about the fact that I wasn’t eating like two days ago.
I did get that same feeling of clarity today and just an awe of being sound of mind. The only thing I can really think of is that you don’t have those eating hangovers like you usually do say after lunch. Where you feel like taking a nap, in fact its much the opposite. I can’t even think of the last time I felt like I had a pep in my step around 4 pm but it is now becoming a regular thing for me. Almost a mini buzz of some kind. Again very hard to put into words.
Overall at this stage just short of being half way through my 10 days I can say that I have not really felt weak or light headed. I’m feeling really positive and more enthused everyday. The test will really come after tomorrow as we hit the weekend and not being occupied by work. My one meal on Sunday will be lunch which is different so hopefully that doesn’t throw me out. Very much looking to the weigh in tomorrow.
Today started with a weigh in and to be honest this was quite the deflating exercise. Obviously understanding the rapid weight loss of the first 2 days on the one meal a day diet was most likely due to water weight loss, I was not expecting the next two days of fasting to have the dial move in the other direction. As mentioned above after 2 days of one meal a day i had dropped 3.8 kgs and was at 109kg’s but this mornings weigh in it seems that I was sitting at 109.5.
I have to admit that this was quite the psychological blow. I must admit though I did still commit to the whole day of fasting and have a hearty meal at night going out for dumplings with some friends. Again another successful day of only eating the one meal a day. I was admittedly feeling a little flat today but I do believe this had a lot to do with the weigh in.
Day 6 & 7
I have bundled these days together because it was the weekend and I think the hang over of the weigh in kicked in. I capitulated by 3pm on Saturday when my family was having a late lunch. After a full day of house hunting my mind was spent and sitting there watching my family eat lunch together was torture.
So as it turns out the weekend was a fail. The experiment lasted 5 days with strict one meal a day.
Saturday night was a big celeberation of a friends birthday and a sleep over and my folks house with a gathering of my siblings to celebrate a group birthday sessions so I decided to let loose and forget about the OMAD for the weekend.
I have made a self recommitment though that I will indeed punch out the next 5 days of one meal a day plan. Then it will be holiday time which spells the definite end of this experiment.
I do think so far I have come to that understanding that during the work week, OMAD is fairly simple to intertwine into your life. The weeknd on the other hand thats a damn challenge. So onto the next 5 days of one meal a day and I shall continue to report on days 8 to 12 of my 10 day experiment.
Gahhh! Off the rails well and truly. Well not as catastrophic as it sounds, but today found it hard to get past 1pm today and I have capitulated to the hunger. Might just have to rename this to the 5 day challenge.
Feel: A little disapointed in myself.
It’s time to call this experiment quits. I will definitely give this another crack on my return from Bali.