Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
14 Mar

1 Meal vs. 3 Meals

Two collaborative studies (1,2) from the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute on Aging offer a look at the physiological effects of 3 meals versus 1 meal a day in two crossover groups. The volunteers participated in both diet plans for two eight weeks periods.

The first study analysis showed that consuming a one-meal-per-day diet, rather than a traditional three-meal-per-day diet, is feasible for a short duration. It showed that when the volunteers were ‘one-mealers,’ they had significant increases in total cholesterol, LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol and in blood pressure, compared to when they were ‘three-mealers.’ The changes in cardiovascular disease risk factors occurred despite the fact that the one-mealers saw slight decreases in their weight and fat mass in comparison to when they were three-mealers…

Further analysis of the study group showed that when the volunteers were one-mealers, they had higher morning fasting blood sugar levels, higher and more sustained elevations in blood sugar concentrations, and a delayed response to the body’s insulin, compared to when they were ‘three-mealers.’

via USDA ARS

While a lot of people caught up in our hectic culture would suggest that this is normal weekday practice, we’d suggest (and these studies do as well) that a one-meal routine isn’t the best way to go. As Mark has shared the past, grazing remains the ideal (if difficult) mode for daily fueling strategy. For most of us, three full meals a day aren’t always possible, but the body has a remarkable resiliency to carry us through on the days when it just ain’t happening. Yet, it’s still the goal. That said, there’s room and considerable benefit in shaking things up with intermittent fasting.

Mark has talked about intermittent fasting before, and it’s a subject we’ll cover more in the coming weeks. While the bag was mixed for these one-mealer folks, they took a different approach over a longer and more sustained period of time than the routine Mark has shared. A primal-influenced model of intermittent fasting (which can take various effective forms like a week or alternate days for a short period) can keep the body on its toes, so to speak, and reinvigorate the old metabolic system. Yet eight full weeks of single meals in a day would’ve been enough in most people to send the body’s systems to the board room to begin a long range downgrading plan more than short term honing strategies. Even still, it would be interesting to see a follow up on these folks a few months out.

Plenty of studies have shown that periodic fasting can offer a number of benefits like lower blood pressure, improved insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, weight loss (we’re talking body fat) a decrease in oxidative damage and even a kick start for tissue repair. Check out Mark’s entry from last summer for links to studies and more info.

What are your experiences with intermittent fasting or caloric restriction? Hit us up with a comment!

danzden Flickr Photo (CC)

Further Reading:

Mark on Intermittent Fasting

10 Ways to Cut Calories

Post Workout Fasting

Conditioning Research: Intermittent Fasting Research

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I’m very familiar with that Mattson study and here’s my thoughts on it:
    – subjects either ate a whole days worth of calories in 3 meals or 1 meal for 8 weeks
    – The cal intake was high, and VERY high in carbs (esp for the 1 meal people as they needed the calories in one setting…so carbs are the answer)
    – Essentially shouldn’t shock anyone that eating a “carb bomb” once a day for 8 straight weeks is not the magic way to better health.

    This got alot of talk especially with the recent interview and post by Dr Eades on the subject. Here’s the links to the interview over on Tim Ferris’ site and the discussion we did on it in more detail:
    http://projectfit.org/iflifeblog/2008/03/03/dr-eades-and-tim-ferris-on-if/

    Of course I love IF and think it works…BUT like anything you have to do it the right way. IFOC (Patent Pending for “Intermittent Fasting on Carbs” and “Intermittent Fasting on Crap”) does not work. Also IF works better with smaller meals in an eating window vs 1 big meal (as people tend to throw the carbs in). So IF can work wonders especially on a lower carb, moderate protein, moderate fat intake divided into smaller meals in the eating window.

    Unfortunately people think IF is a pass to eat anything they want in a certain timeframe and come out looking like a swimsuit model…doesn’t happen..even if it did you would probably give yourself diabetes in the process. So to sum up my thesis, IF=good IFOC=bad.

    Mike OD - IF Life wrote on March 14th, 2008
  2. Mark,
    I’ve been on an IF Condensed Eating Window program (www.fast-5.com) since the beginning of the year, and have lost over twenty pounds and inches around my waist without any undue problems. The key, as MIke points out, is to eat clean (meats, vegetables, fruit, avoid starches, sugar, grains) and eat two to three times within a condensed window. I normally eat between 5pm and 10pm, If I need to eat earlier in the day, such as for a social or business occasion, I can do that once or twice a week, and then just limit my eating the rest of the day to a similar time window.

    I’ve been very happy with it, and found it to be sustainable for the future. I plan on continuing until I’ve lost down to my BMI suggested weight, and then modify it as needed to maintain that weight.

    By the way, I had already been eating “clean” before starting the IF plan, but had not experienced the weight loss that I did after beginning IF.

    Steve M. wrote on March 14th, 2008
  3. oh if you want some more CR/IF research studies, I got like 20 or so listed here (there are so many more…but after a while they all start to say the same thing)

    http://projectfit.org/iflifeblog/resources/

    Mike OD - IF Life wrote on March 14th, 2008
  4. I’m agree with both above posters about an eating *window* being more important than eating one meal per day. I do daily fasting for 16 hours and eat within an 8 hour window, with an occasional 24 hours fast/24 hours feast once every couple of weeks. I feel sharper, stronger, quicker, and this style of IF is by far my favorite method of eating. Eating a day’s worth of calories in one meal (especially if you are lifting weights or physically active and thus requiring 2500+ calories) is going to cause some problems which will be further exacerbated by binging on garbage foods rather than eating clean.

    Keenan wrote on March 14th, 2008
  5. I usually do a 24 hour fast once every year. As long as I haven’t done heavy working out/training loads the few days leading up to it, it really isn’t bad or hard at all.

    I will also say that I feel GREAT afterwards – almost to the point where I have considering continuing for another 12 hours. People usually think I’m weird, but those who have done it ‘get it’ and agree with me.

    Ryan Denner wrote on March 14th, 2008
  6. I don’t think “grazing” is a good idea. It’s the American eating pattern, and we have serious problems with overweight. In parts of Europe, people don’t snack, and they stay thin despite a high carb intake. It’s not the only lifestyle difference of course, but I think it contributes.

    I agree that “IFOC” is not the way to go.

    Sasquatch wrote on March 14th, 2008
  7. Of course my idea of grazing is a lb of meat! :)

    Mike OD - IF Life wrote on March 14th, 2008
    • In your experience, eating three large meals seems to work better than 5-6? I’ve always had around 6-8 meals/shakes a day. T’ve been eating like this for 11 years now and its become a burden, So getting in around 200 grams of protein over 3 meals and maybe a snack or two is just as effective than spreding it out over 5 plus meals?

      Steve wrote on January 23rd, 2011
  8. I need to be clear about my take on grazing. I am NOT an advocate of 4-6 small meals a day. It’s just too much work. I like meals spread out more, occasionally skipped, occasionally large. On the other hand, I do “graze” at home a lot (because that’s where the refrigerator is). If I find myself particularly hungry, I grab a handful of nuts or a bunch of cherries. Other times I am happy to look up and see that it’s 2 PM and I haven’t eaten anything yet for the day. None of it is a big deal anymore (it used to be when I was training hard) and the emphasis is on a week-to-week caloric intake versus a meal-to-meal. The use of the term grazing in this article was/is just a reference to eating sporadically throughout the day. Should’ve been more clear.

    Mark Sisson wrote on March 14th, 2008
    • Mark,
      n your experience, eating three large meals seems to work better than 5-6? I’ve always had around 6-8 meals/shakes a day. T’ve been eating like this for 11 years now and its become a burden, So getting in around 200 grams of protein over 3 meals and maybe a snack or two is just as effective than spreding it out over 5 plus meals?

      Steve wrote on January 23rd, 2011
    • DITTO…..

      Jo-Anne wrote on April 15th, 2012
  9. The above posters, special shout out to Mike OD, pretty much kicked the crap out of this IF study.

    I agree, IF on crap = crap.

    Personally, I just eat when I’m hungry, and don’t eat when I’m not. Most often that has me eating for the first time in the late afternoon, but maybe 6-8 times per month it has me eating breakfast.

    Neal W. wrote on March 14th, 2008
  10. I’m skeptical of this study for reasons already pointed out. From what I’ve read, hunter-gatherers ate once or twice a day, so it’s hard for me to believe that more meals is somehow better. There’s also some research that connects higher meal frequency to colon cancer.

    Matt Metzgar wrote on March 14th, 2008
  11. What up Neil W! Yeah that study is useless except to stop people from thinking that IF means eating a whole pizza every night for 8 weeks is the ideal way to get fit and healthy. Ummmmm…..No.

    In the whole grazzing thing…I probably eat only 3 meals a day….in a shorter window for the most part. But like Neil said…it varies as somedays I will have breakfast…or not. But I like the flexibility and total randomness.

    Downfall of IF is there is no just one definition of what it is or can be…as everyone makes it different….that also, makes it it’s biggest strength (if that makes any sense).

    Mike OD - IF Life wrote on March 14th, 2008
  12. Mike OD,

    That kind of gets us back to the basics. If you can control yourself and eat what we here all consider healthy, then it really doesn’t matter when or how much you eat or not. It’s Art DeV’s fractal, random, intermittent, sporadic, acute, once-in-a-whiley eating system. Pick the right foods, do a little of the right exercises and it all works well :-)

    Mark Sisson wrote on March 14th, 2008
  13. Nice comment MOD. I’ve had nothing but success with a properly implemented IF, using Paleo foods as the fuel. I like the multiple meals in a smaller window approach, but it’s also important to listen to the body and eat when it says to eat. Having been IFing off and on (mostly “on”, in different incarnations) for several years, I’ve learned to distinguish true hunger from “there’s food available” hunger.

    Here’s my success story for those wanting additional information.

    Cheers
    Scott Kustes
    Modern Forager

    Scott Kustes wrote on March 14th, 2008
  14. Funny how the basics always work best….but we now need decades of research just to prove it to us. The healthiest people in the world are probably just living a natural life in response to nature’s demands in pure ignorance about all the technical stuff we debate about every day. Oh the simple life….why did we mess up a good thing??

    Mike OD - IF Life wrote on March 14th, 2008
  15. We all want to loose our weight and we can do efforts to any limit but our efforts should pay us. It can only happen when we have a good idea to loose our weight. We can find a lot many ideas on the internet which are really helpful to us.

    Angie wrote on March 15th, 2008
  16. There was a good comment on the Mattson study on the yahoo fasting group:

    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/fasting/message/3191

    I’ll quote:

    What is not appreciated (and is not in the abstract) is that the
    subjects in this study were required to eat MORE than they wanted and its likely that this skewed the results.

    Here’s a quote from the last paragraph in the full paper:

    //****************************************************************
    Our findings show that consumption of one unusually large meal per day worsens morning glucose tolerance compared with an isocaloric diet spread across 3 meals. However, when on 1 meal per day, the subjects would have eaten less than those on 3 meals per day if we had not asked them to consume
    the same amount of food that they normally eat on a 3-meals-per-day schedule. When rodents are subjected to an alternate-day fasting regimen, their overall calorie intake is decreased by 10% to 30%, they maintain a lower body weight than animals on an ad libitum control diet, and they exhibit increased insulin sensitivity and decreased blood pressure [11] and
    [25]. Similarly, when maintained on an alternate-day CR diet over a 2- month period, human subjects lost weight and exhibited improved cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk profiles [28]. In the latter study, the subjects ate only 400 to 500 cal on CR days, which resulted in a reduction in plasma
    leptin levels and an elevation of ß-hydroxybutyrate levels only on the CR days, but sustained decreases in plasma insulin levels, suggesting improved insulin sensitivity. Collectively, the available data therefore suggest that meal skipping or intermittent CR diets can result in health benefits including improved glucose regulation, but only if there is an overall reduction in energy intake.

    Chris wrote on March 15th, 2008
  17. In that study you mentioned, I’d be interested to know what kind of diets the people were eating while they ate three meals vs one meal per day. I imagine a lot of the ill health effects they associate with the one meal group are more likely to happen within a high-carb, typical Western diet than a high protein/high fat diet.

    That said, I don’t think a consistent one meal a day is enough, intermittent fasting aside. Plus there are simply too many delicious things out there to eat to have only one meal per day. I think probably a variety is best, following your body’s natural instincts while eating healthy foods (as opposed to your body’s instincts while living off of sugar.)

    Food Is Love

    Huckleberry wrote on March 15th, 2008
  18. Well, I’ve been doing what I like to call IIF (Intermittent Intermittent Fasting) for about five months now. I eat *normally* during the week and on weekends I fast for 16-20 hours and then eat a couple of meals within a window. I eat low carb within that framework and it’s been pretty successful for me, really helping me with taking off a significant amount of weight.

    Before that I was doing low carb, but was eating five to six small meals a day. As you said, Mark, that’s just not all that feasible when you work in an office or are a road warrior — my job entails both sometimes. But after trying out IF, and doing it pretty consistently, I came to understand that I don’t need to eat THAT often and that hunger in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. Now on my non-IF days, I’m still practicing some form of IF because I’m eating two decent sized meals a day that end up being about 10-12 hours apart. And it all happened pretty naturally. I just wasn’t hungry for one or two of the *small meals* and extended the fast time between them. I find this way of eating so much more manageable and it’s given me a greater understanding of some of my *food issues.*

    And then there are days when I’m just hungrier or seem to need more food. And you know what? I’m OK with that, and when my body’s telling me that’s what it wants/needs, I give it to myself.

    Cynthia wrote on March 15th, 2008
  19. I can totally relate to problems with gorging tendencies. This has been a bit of a struggle for me too, but I think one of the “last steps” to getting this whole paleo/IF thing. Particular the way devany’s EF model is described. Notice how he has repeatedly emphasized gorgeing goes against the tenets of the EF way.

    What I’ve had to do (which I was so hesistant to do based on how I felt it was not in line with a paleo experience) is break my meals down to relatively small portions. A really big meal, paleo or not, is gonna leave you with the “gorge” feeling -> mainly lethargy. I suspect that the glycemic content of food is not the only factor in insulin control. Devany has alluded to this I think. [the recent research on artificial sweeteners also seems relevant]

    Just this last week I’ve been (still in the context of partial IF) splitting a typical meal size into 2 parts, trying to eat until just before that full feeling. Even if I only wait an hour before having a bit more it makes all the difference. I think it falls into place when you finally let go of that last inkling of BB mentality telling you to concern yourself with how many calories to get in.

    Energy levels seem to be riding high more consistently. And that is the most significant reason I am so interested in paleo/IF in the first place.

    The way I see things is this: there is a “missing gap” between the evolutionary logic of seasonality, seasonal variations in insulin sensitivity. It just doesn’t fit our modern lifestyles to adopt gorge eating habits. A hunter gather likely does gorge to extremes when food is plentiful, and lies around doing nothing after such meals. That is how their seasons rotate between high and low insulin sensitivity. But the EF model is much more elegant than that. One could even argue that it is “transhumanist” in the sense that it deviates significantly from our “natural” lifestyle but manipulates our genes to enhance our hormone profiles to our needs.

    Greg Davis wrote on March 15th, 2008
  20. I’ve reviewed both papers cited above. In the second paper that states morning glucose tolerance was worsened. If you analyze the paper itself you will find that this result only happens within the first hour of the test, by the 2 hour point the glucose tolerance of one meal per day vs two meals per day were the same.

    In the other study, cardivascular end points such as LDL, HDL, total cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, and cortisol were measured. The actualy data shows that LDL AND HDL went up so these effects are cancelling. The reported increase in systolic blood pressure was still within normal range, so this is a non finding ie: blood pressure went from statistically health and normal to statistically health and normal. NO EFFECT!

    Cortisol actually went down on the one meal per day program. And the biggest confounder of this study was that blood measurements were taken at different times of day for the 3 meal per day group compared to the 1 meal per day group. Many of the blood markers and hormones tested will change simply by the time of day they were taken and how many hours fasted the 3 meal per day vs 1 meal per day group were. The researchers admit this is a limitation of their study that could affect the comparability of the blood test results. And they are right, 12 hours in the morning is much different than 18-20 hours fasted in the afternoon etc…They should have tested both groups at the exact same time of day and number of ours fasted, otherwise the results will not be comparable.

    The biggest point from this research that nobody here is commenting on is that the 1 meal per day group lost a significant amount of weight and the 3 mealers didn’t!

    Overall this research seems to be saying that one meal per day is just as safe as 3, and in fact you will lose weight!

    John

    John B wrote on March 16th, 2008
    • John knows how to read a research paper.

      I follow a one meal a day plan a lot of the time. This summer I strayed quite a bit, sometimes eating every few hours. The warm weather makes me want to eat more.

      Of course this isn’t scientific by any means… but it would make sense to me biologically, since fresh food is generally much more abundant in the summer and would be a good time to load up and store fat for the more scarce winter months.

      Grok wrote on August 11th, 2009
  21. John B – great comment. Thanks for that.

    Chris

    Chris wrote on March 17th, 2008
  22. I had to have my thyroid removed through radioactive iodine a few years back. Messed up my whole metabolism. Gained at least 50 lbs. Am going to try the one meal a day right now. See how that goes. Been on a variety of diets, but if I don’t stop the food from entering in the first place, it can’t do anything. My schedule doesn’t allow the 6 meal, eat a fruit type diet. And with the solid protein diet, I think I developed ‘roids.

    Jay Ferguson wrote on September 26th, 2008
  23. I fast every third or fourth day for about 23 hours–roughly between 10 pm and 9 pm. I spent an active day at the beach recently–walked for miles, sprints, squatjumps, leaps, broad jumps, lifting and carrying driftwood, and totally forgot I was fasting until driving home in the evening. Have tried many other fasting schedules, but prefer this one. I may also start skipping meals, if not hungry, for more intermittence.

    will wrote on January 24th, 2009
  24. Everyone here who is interested needs to check out “The Warrior Diet”. There is a science behind one meal a day, and it’s pretty convincing.

    Also, stop by this forum and ask some of the warrior dieters how there health is. There are plenty of people who have increased their health greatly with this one meal a day plan.

    http://www.defensenutrition.com/forum/

    preston wrote on January 25th, 2009
  25. I started using I.F first day of the new year. I have been documenting my own findings on my blog. In just over 6 weeks of doing IF, I have found it very easy to follow. 2 fasts per week had become very easy. As of this week I am experimenting with eating one meal on an evening, during the week. I am starting with with fast after my evening meal on a Sunday, and breaking that fast the next evening. Weekends ( from Friday evening) I will eat normally. This fits in well with social gatherings. I should explain that I am using IF to reduce my weight at this point, and not to maintain it.

    Dave wrote on February 17th, 2009
  26. Thanks everyone for tearing down that study. IF is something I’m very interested in and that study went against everything else I have read. Your comments were fun to read. Especially Mike OD.

    Justin S wrote on October 26th, 2009
  27. One meal a day was normal throughout history with increased meals occuring more often as social events. Breakfast didn’t exist in Europe as the Catholic church didn’t approve of it throughout the Middle Ages. One meal a day is not a stone age diet but was practiced until recent centuries. Cooking was a major ordeal left until evening and food was rarely eaten raw for fear of infection. One meal a day was certainly normal in Ireland until the Tudor conquest according to this account by Francisco de Cuellar, a survivor of the Spanish Armada, ‘The men are all large bodied, and of handsome features and limbs; and as active as the roe-deer. They do not eat oftener than once a day, and this is at night; and that which they usually eat is butter with oaten bread. They drink sour milk, for they have no other drink; they don’t drink water, although it is the best in the world. On feast days they eat some flesh half-cooked, without bread or salt, as that is their custom. They clothe themselves, according to their habit, with tight trousers and short loose coats of very coarse goat’s hair. They cover themselves with blankets, and wear their hair down to their eyes. They are great walkers, and inured to toil. They carry on perpetual war with the English, who here keep garrison for the Queen, from whom they defend themselves, and do not let them enter their territory’…to this day the Irish Gaelic words for Breakfast and Dinner are direct borrowings from English i.e Bricfeasta and Dinnéar. The word for lunch is lón but is not time specific and literally means ‘provision’, lón cogaidh for example means ammunition or literally provisions for war. Food shortage was never an issue in Ireland prior to English rule so one meal was not a function of economic necessity but customary. Given the billions of dollars at stake I would imagine plenty of studies will crop up to persuade us all to graze and take supplements and medicines etc etc etc. Life expectancy was lower in previous times but this was not a function of diet but infant mortality, plagues, infections, crop failures (mini ice-age during the middle-ages) not to mention constant war of which scorched earth famine was a common weapon. People always overlook that most historical figures known to us lived well into old age and certainly did not all die before they were 40 unless murdered, but each to their own, whatever suits you is probably what is best!

    John wrote on February 8th, 2010
    • I am on 1meal diet for 2 weeks now. I have lost 6 pounds, although I have all the food I want in my meal. I follow some basic rules: I always start the meal with proteins and fat, and leave the carbs (fruits and vegs) to latter. Sometimes I just have 2 regular meals in a 3 hour time. The reason I chose to have lunch meal instead of dinner is because of the time of exercises (mainly 1h walking, eventually sprinting), which I do not so regularly before lunch, under the sun.
      My energy levels and mood are stable all day long, including mornings, when there comes some light hunger. I also control my glucose levels, which are in the 78-85 in the mornings, jump to 90-100 after lunch and decline slowly to 80-90 before bedtime. My blood pressure used to be average 110-70. Now it is average 113-63.
      I believe my metabolism has decreased since my heart is slower in the mornings (49 bpm vs 54bpm)
      The diet also saves me time on preparing meals in the mornings and nights!
      All that said, I dont plan to quit the diet, specially because its very satisfying.

      Carlos Guillaume wrote on April 8th, 2011
  28. I’ve been eating 1 vegetarian meal per day since 1998. No snacking or grazing. I’d never go back. In addition to that I’ve been fasting once per week (48 hours only fluids). My immune system is extremely strong and we save lots of money. I work out almost every day, with heavy workouts 3 times per week (sometimes on fasting days). Folks always look at me like I’m crazy. But almost all of them are obese and/or suffer from chronic ailments. Try it. You’ll like it.

    Eric B wrote on May 4th, 2011
    • Eric,

      That comes out to something like only five meals per week, 4200 cal per meal. That is amazing!

      primalwalker wrote on May 5th, 2011
      • You know I never counted what I get on average. But it’s a pretty big meal. The wife and I take about an hour to eat. We definitely take our time.

        Eric B wrote on May 5th, 2011
  29. Interesting study as I have heard the 4-6 small meals a day advocated as a sound way to lose and maintain weight loss by several members in our travel club. I would add a caution, to check with your doctor before implementing any diet regimen or change in normal eating habits.

    Anna and Donald Gordon wrote on June 29th, 2011
  30. Ask yourselves this. How do the healthiest, longest-lived cultures in today’s world eat? What do they eat and how often do they eat? None of them eat a single meal per day and none of them eat a low-carb diet.

    Robert wrote on July 25th, 2011
    • How many of them use automobiles and sit on their bottoms all day?

      Eric B wrote on July 27th, 2011
      • Probably none! They are active which is what *everybody* should be doing *regardless* of diet. So did you have a point?

        Robert wrote on July 27th, 2011
  31. I do IMOC, and am in perfect health. That said, anecdotal evidence is generally rather worthless.

    bobsmith wrote on August 23rd, 2011
  32. I have been eating one meal per day for about 3 months and it is working very well for me. I have more energy and feel better physically than I ever have before. I have unintentionally lost weight and inches from my waist. I used to wear size 36 pants and have gone down to size 32. I have gotten to a point where my weight remains fairly constant. For my one meal I do not eat anywhere near a 2000-calorie diet. I eat about half or less than half of that. Also, I am vegetarian and I almost never eat any processed foods. I almost only eat fresh fruit and vegetables, oats, grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. I do allow myself one cheat meal per week – a couple of slices of pizza. Once in a while I give in to temptation and have something with sugar like ice cream and chocolate, but it is very infrequent and in very small quantity.

    Casey Klint wrote on September 7th, 2011
  33. When I eat a large meal I get bloated for hours, pain in my abdomen and feel really exhausted/tired afterwards.
    I do best on 2 small meals a day with a couple of snacks inbetween, maybe a fruit or a couple jerky strips.

    I can maintain my body weight with 2500 calories a day…but actually feel and perform better when carbs are reduced and meals are considered small (for american standards) and consist of lots of blubber, and calories drop below 2000 for the entire day.

    Arty wrote on October 1st, 2011
  34. I have been on a almost 1 meal diet for 3-4 years. I am in Great Health. As far as I am concern, it is what you are eating.

    John wrote on December 25th, 2011
  35. Herschel Walker, Greg Plitt by far the best looking individuals I’ve ever seen and both eat one meal per day… Btw when I’m in a crunch to get my 6 pack showing I just eat 1 meal per day,I DON’T go low carb because Humans were designed to run on high carb, I prefer to keep my thyroid running the way it should. Oh and how could something that scorches the fat off someone increase bad cholesterol? That study if off… Most likely to promote the
    multi meal per day feeding epidemic

    Tc wrote on February 4th, 2012
  36. The 5-6 meal per day method does accomplish one thing at least. It makes one think of food all day. In human history, the three meal (or more) per day concept is relatively recent. We commonly ate two meals per day and you don’t even have to go back to Paleolithic or even Neolithic times to see that behaviour. I now do two meals per day plus a small snack in the evening. The only time I do a single meal in a day is if I’m eating out, which is typically once a week. The two meal method worked well for centenarian Walter Breuning, who lived to age 114. He ate two meals per day for the last 35 years of his life. Like the Okinawans, Walter would leave the dinner table before he felt full. He also drank lots of water.

    Robert wrote on April 15th, 2012
  37. I don’t care what the study shows. Eating once a day is the only way I can keep my weight down over the long term. With the once a day plan, I feel no hunger all morning and afternoon, then I eat a huge meal somewhere between 3pm and 5pm, then I feel a small amount of hunger as this meal digests, say from 6pm to 9pm, but willpower can overcome that mild hunger. My body acts like the old saying: “eating restores the appetite”. The fewer times a day I eat, the fewer times appetite is awakened, which means the less willpower I have to exert. I eat a moderate fat diet (50% carbs, 30% fat, 20% protein), with much of the fat coming from chocolate with almonds for dessert. Life isn’t worth living if I can’t have a big dessert.

    revelo wrote on April 29th, 2012
  38. I have been eating one meal a day for nearly 5 months now, weight loss has been slow and gradual. I started off at 165lbs and 5’5. And now I am at 140lbs. It has turned into normal routine for me now. Calories vary based on my physical activity, no binging. Blood work has been normal.

    Shana wrote on June 14th, 2012
  39. Eating 1 big meal per day, for dinner, is the ONLY way I can lose weight. I eat a 250 calorie breakfast, 300 for lunch, and 950 for dinner. I did this the first time and lost 15 lb. Now I do it once or twice per year, for 5-7 weeks (5-7 lb), to maintain my weight and re-set habits.

    The 3-6 more-even meals diet makes me hungry all day, and I can’t sleep at night from hunger. I count minutes until the next meal, and since it’s hard to prepare good, little meals, I eat more junk food.

    The 1 big meal per day gives me energy, and I sleep well. I look forward to the evening meal, but am not rushed. I am motivated to take the time to prepare and eat high quality and tasty calories. I can have a hearty meal, plus desert.

    I’d guess the 1 meal per day diet would work, too, maybe even lowering hunger more, but I like making and eating my tiny breakfast and lunch snacks.

    Gina wrote on November 22nd, 2012
  40. Don’t agree. Try eating a huge breakfast of your favorite proteins, fats and carbs/vegs. Obviously not to stuff yourself but if you haven’t eaten since the previous afternoon, you will be able to tolerate a pretty big breakfast (or dinner if that’s your preference). You should be satisfied and full for the next 12-14 hours, with maybe a snack meal to round out the day. Trouble is, if you pick dinner as your meal, sleeping is part of that window opportunity. There’s no empirical evidence (nor will there ever be) that eating any which way is bad for this, that or the other. Every study can be reputed. Besides, this view seems contradictory. On the one hand, you’re reupting one-meal-a-day but in favor of IF. They’re the same. You can’t graze AND IF.

    B-case wrote on January 23rd, 2013

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