Is the diet plan you are following going according to plan? If not, you may want to consider changing it to the One Meal A Day Diet. Nowadays nutritionists recommend using it as a way to meeting one’s weight loss goals. It is becoming a popular trend as many people, especially the obese, have difficulty in following a diet plan that is pre-defined or performing a workout regimen.
This post talks about the one One Meal A Day diet plan, and the ways in which it can benefit you. To know more, keep reading!
One Meal A Day Diet – An Overview
Intermittent fasting, like the one meal diet, involves the practice of eliminating or limiting your intake of foods and beverages during specific times of the day or days of the week. The science behind this type of fasting is not complicated. It simply means that during the fasted state, stored fat is constantly broken down by your body and getting converted into energy. This is a situation that is ideal for weight loss and long-term weight management as your body’s overall capabilities for fat burning are hugely maximized.
There are different types of intermittent fasting that you can adopt. The one that will work best for you will depend on your lifestyle and schedule (1). The popular ones include diurnal fasting, alternate-day fasting – which is also known as the every-other-day fasting, two-day fasting and of course, the often practiced one-day fasting.
The most distinct type of intermittent fasting is diurnal fasting (2). When you adopt this kind of fasting, you abstain completely from foods as well as beverages during the day. You are allowed to eat only at night. What makes diurnal fasting so unique, among the many intermittent fasting types, is the fact that you do not have to go through an entire day without food. It is all about maintaining the timing of meals. This diet is great as your body does not have to miss out on essential nutrients that it needs on a day-to-day basis.
What Is The Basic Idea Behind The One Meal A Day Diet?
The basic idea behind the one-meal diet plan is quite simple. Every day, you eat one huge meal, preferably at night, and fast the entire day. You can eat one or two pieces of fruit, and if you are training, you can even include protein powder. The basic idea is to take in a major portion of the required calories during a single meal. This means that you get to eat as much as you like and this in turn makes you feel more satiated.
It is natural to experience hunger pangs when you need to go through the entire day without eating a single thing. As mentioned earlier, if you feel a little peckish during the day, 1 or 2 pieces of fruit is allowed. You just need to make sure that what you eat does not exceed 200 calories. Experts recommend two large apples as it is rich in fiber and has a high water content, both of which help in keeping you satiated.
You can drink soda if you like; just make sure that it has zero calories. Coffee has also been given the go-ahead as it works very effectively as an appetite suppressant.
Steps To Follow The One-Meal Plan
As a general rule, the best way to lose weight is to eat several small meals throughout the day. When your body is deprived of sufficient calories, your metabolism will slow down, and the process of fat burning in your body stops. However, there are times when eating just one meal a day is just the solution you need to jumpstart your weight loss plan.
Here are the steps you need to follow to kick-start the One Meal A Day Diet:
As always, make plans to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. The twist will be that two meals should be made of liquid foods, consisting of juices made of fruits and veggies, broths and soups, and protein shakes and herbal teas. Drink as much as you require to feel satiated and to ensure that a constant level of energy is maintained. Research has shown that drinking natural substances is beneficial as it gives you stamina. Beetroot juice is great as it enhances your body’s endurance power. Also, you can opt for fruit milkshakes, which are rich in carbohydrates and are low-fat, enabling your body to achieve optimal performance during workouts. Natural liquids are recommended by nutritionists even if you are not on a diet as they benefit overall general health regardless of gender and age.
Have your one meal of the day during lunch or dinner time. However, experts recommend taking this one meal at night as it is more suitable for the one-meal plan. Make sure that you eat lean proteins such as chicken or fish and that the meal does not have a high oil or fat content. Also, avoid having fried foods. You should also remember to add at least a cup of veggies that are non-starchy and one to two whole-grain servings as well to your meal. This will help your body get better acquainted with foods that are healthy.
It is important that you drink plenty of water throughout the day. You should drink at least 8 glasses daily; you can increase the number if you are not drinking too many cups of other liquids like tea. Water is essential as it helps in keeping your metabolism active, maintaining hydration levels and flushing out toxins that are released by the dieting process.
It is important to find ways to deal with low energy and cravings. Obviously, eating just once daily is not an easy endeavor and it can make you weak and dizzy. You may also find concentrating difficult. Do not depend solely on caffeine to give you energy; instead, keep yourself active to feel energetic. Always make it a point to have a small snack, like a few nuts, so that your energy is pumped up before you start a workout.
Here are a few other tips to help you with your one-meal diet:
- Talk To A Doctor: As you already know, it is important to consult your doctor before you start following any diet. A professional will be able to give you expert advice based on your physical abilities. For instance, if you suffer from an illness such as diabetes, a safer course of this diet plan will be recommended to you.
- Avoid Alcohol And Cigarettes: Needless to say, it is important to abstain from substances like alcohol and cigarettes (3). This will help you in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding these substances will also benefit you immensely as it keeps you more focused on your weight loss goals.
- Opt For Light Exercise: Instead of doing strenuous exercises, go for ones that are lighter, such as jogging. Taking walks and doing other light activities help in keeping your mind on things that are more productive. It also makes it easier for you to follow this diet plan.
Why Does The One Meal A Day Diet Work So Well?
Here are 5 reasons why the One Meal A Day Diet is an excellent plan to follow when you are trying to lose weight:
- Gives You Energy: Have you eaten lunch and felt totally tired a couple of hours later? It feels awful! There is a belief that lunch gives you an energy boost and it may do so for some people. However, a large percentage of people say that they fall into an after-lunch slump, which has an adverse effect on their productivity. With the one-meal diet, you do not have to worry about this as fasting throughout the day gives you an energy surge that lasts all day.
- Not Feeling Deprived Of Food: Hunger is one of the main causes of failure when it comes to diets. For example, when you follow a diet that requires you to eat 6 small meals a day, all you have to survive on is a few hundred calories every few hours. This leaves you feeling unsatisfied at the end of the day. Ironically, eating a single meal every day solves this problem for a lot of people. When you fast throughout the day, your appetite is suppressed and when you finally get to eat at the end of the day, you feel more satisfied and full.
- Gives You Time To Be More Productive: Have you ever thought about how much work you could get done if you did not have to think about your daytime meals and snacks? When you fast during the day, you have more time and this in turn allows you to be more productive. And when your focus is on things other than food, you do not have the time to think about whether you are hungry. Many people have claimed that the one-meal diet has helped them become more efficient and productive, and with practice, the thought of food hardly crosses their minds during the day as they are so busy.
- Everything Tastes A Whole Lot Better: It is only natural that when you do not eat for the entire day, your body craves for food at the end of it. When you finally do sit down for your meal at night, you will find that everything you eat tastes better. You will appreciate everything that you eat in ways that you have never done before. Many people have claimed that the best meals that they have ever eaten in their lives are the ones after a long fast. Enjoying food is important when you are on a diet and with this one, you definitely get to experience that.
- More Control: Do you want more control over your weight? If so, the One Meal A Day Diet is definitely for you. When you are on this diet, you make the decision about how many calories you want to take in every day. You will also find that it is not difficult to stick with a calorie amount as you have just one meal to work with. Your cravings can also be reduced as you are able to consume a lot of calories. Whether you want to lose weight or maintain it, adjusting the amount of calories you take in is much easier because the amount of calories you can work with is more and you keep away those pesky hunger pangs that pester you at night.
For a lot of people, this diet plan works best and it is all due to the reasons mentioned above. When you are trying to lose weight, following a diet that has too many restrictions or limitations can sometimes work against you. With the One Meal A Day Diet, you get to enjoy different kinds of delicious foods as long as they are nutrient-rich and you maintain the meal timing.
What Are The Cons Of This Diet?
The One Meal A Day Diet comes with quite a few benefits, especially when you want to lose weight effectively and still eat delicious foods. This diet does not have a specific list of foods that you should or shouldn’t eat. But as with any other type of diet plan for weight loss, it too comes with a few adverse effects. These include the following:
Increase In Blood Pressure And Blood Sugar Levels: In two studies that were conducted in 2007, middle-aged participants with normal weight were given one meal a day which had the same number of calories as an alternative meal plan that consisted of three meals a day (4). Researchers found that the participants who consumed only one meal a day had blood pressure and blood sugar levels higher than those who consumed three meals a day.
Lower Immune Function: In 2011, a study was conducted on middle-aged people with normal weight to find out the effects of a one-meal diet (5). They were given a meal that was designed to have the same calorie content as an alternative meal plan that consisted of three small-sized meals a day. The researchers found that the participants who ate just one meal a day had immune systems that were less efficient than those who were on a daily three-meal diet.
Studies are continually being conducted to find out more about the effects of a one-meal diet plan on health. Researchers are still uncertain about why consuming one meal per day may have adverse medical consequences. They are continuing to explore different theories about potential causes.
One Meal A Day Diet For Weight Loss And Maintenance
For many people today, eating just one meal a day may seem unthinkable. You may even think that it is impossible or too difficult to maintain. However, it is not really that hard. If you look back in history, this is how the early humans ate. Their days were spent gathering food and hunting and at the end of the day, they had a big feast. They did not have issues with low energy levels or slow metabolisms. They also did not have obesity to worry about. If you think about it, one meal a day is the most natural way to eat.
When you eat one meal a day, it helps you eat less because the habit of eating constantly is broken. Since the diet allows you to eat until you are full, it is not difficult to keep up with it. Unlike a six-meal diet plan, it does not leave you wanting to eat more. You may lose 10 pounds by eating six small meals throughout the day, but when you are not satisfied, the chances are that you will eat more than you should. This will make you gain weight instead of losing it like you planned.
When you follow The One Meal A Day Diet, your body will be able to eliminate waste and detox properly while you are not eating. This helps in getting rid of excess water weight, which not only adds extra, unwanted pounds, but also makes your body look bulky. This diet does not suit everyone, but if you are done with being obsessed about food and eating constantly, or if you feel that the eating plan you are currently following is not helping you lose weight effectively, you may want to give it a try.
Eating one meal a day is a great way to lose weight because when less food is consumed, the stomach, in a gradual way, starts to shrink naturally. When you fast the entire day and make dinner your only meal, your stomach size is reduced and this makes eating small amounts of food less of a challenge.
[ Read: The 8-Hour Diet – A Complete Guide ]
Monitor Your Calorie Intake
If losing weight is your goal, monitoring the amount of calories that you take in is a lot easier when you eat just one meal a day. Keeping a check on calorie intake is less complicated than it is when you eat six meals a day. For many people who follow the One Meal A Day Diet, calorie counting even becomes unnecessary. Calorie counting can be tedious and it can also prevent you from enjoying food. With a one-meal diet, you do not have to stress too much about the calories you consume.
How The One Meal A Day Diet Helps In Weight Loss
As already mentioned, with the One Meal A Day Diet, you can eat small servings of fruit or veggies, a protein shake or fresh juice during the day. According to experts, this helps in maximizing the fight or flight response of the sympathetic nervous system. This in turn plays a role in stimulating fat burning, boosting energy and promoting alertness. They also say that the feasting phase that occurs at night maximizes the ability of the parasympathetic nervous system to help the body in recuperating and promotes digestion, relaxation and calmness. The nutrients absorbed by the body are also used for growth and repair. It is also believed that eating at night helps the body in burning fat and producing hormones. This diet’s effectiveness has been reported from all over the world; and many people have vouched that this diet has helped them lose weight successfully.
Diet trends come and go, and many of them are not as effective as they are touted to be. After the hype dies down, people find that they have not lost the amount of weight they had wished to or are unable to maintain their new weight. The One Meal A Day Diet is not only a way to shed those unwanted pounds, but a great lifestyle change that will make you feel more energized and mentally alert. This diet is definitely worth a shot if you want to lose weight without the need to worry about the food you can or cannot eat.
Ready to try this new diet? Do let us know how it fared for you! Comment in the box below!
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