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I.F. - first 4 weeks- feedback please

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  • I.F. - first 4 weeks- feedback please

    Nicely timed Insider email today. I've been on a Paleo/Primal/Caveman type diet for six weeks. No grains, dairy, sugar or starch whatsoever. The first two weeks I grazed during the day and had my main meal early evening (lost 14lbs). The following 4 weeks I've strictly followed a one meal per day/early evening routine. I lost 7lbs the first week (week 3) lost nothing at all in weeks 4 and 5 - but then lost another 7lbs in the past week (week 6). I've exercised every other day during the 6 weeks and cycled to work approximately 3 times per week (this is only 6 miles though).

    So - 28 lbs lighter - a lot more to go. I'm not missing the grains/dairy/sugar/alcohol/etc. and the one meal a day hasn't really bothered me. I'm eating plenty of vegetables/meat/fruit/nuts to satisfy me during my evening meal.

    What I am wondering is - am I ok to continue with this one meal a day program or will my metabolism get used to this and slow down/adjust accordingly thereby not continuing to help me with my fat loss reduction? (a long winded question I know).

    Any advice/feedback gratefully received......thanks in advance

  • #2
    Everyone is different. Of course the closer you get to an ideal weight the slower the fat will come off. Great start! Congrats! I see no problem with a meal a day plan and intend on using it as a lifestyle indefinitely.


    • #3
      Ive been doing a single meal a day for at least two weeks. Weight scrubs off irregularly but no different than when I was eating more regular meals. I chart my weight loss in excel. Ive felt no ill effects. Actually quite happy and almost never a craving. Along with single meals daily I also fast sometimes avoiding a single meal in a day. I do this when I plateau. It can generally break a stall in weight loss.
      It amazes me that almost everything I put in mouth has more calories and (crap) in it than I realize. Either I eat more in portion size or air has calories. In any event unless I mind my inputs this way I seem to stall out. Just some thoughts for you to consider. I keep track of everything I eat on my journal here and I plan to post my graphs once per month. I have only posted one set of Pix so far. Best, Chas
      They used to call me No Neck, but now I have one.


      • #4
        so you are only eating one (sit down) meal per day, but grazing otherwise? or nothing to eat except for once each day?

        I am so engrained to eat every 3 hours. Did my first IF today and skipped breakfast, then ate lunch. Wasn't really hungry, but felt anxious ?? Anyone else get that feeling?

        I will try the one meal a day this week.. with light grazing , Still doing my fast WEd, and Friday.


        • #5
          in response to smhsailaway - No, Ive stopped grazing for the last 4 weeks and the fat loss has been hit and miss - 7lbs the first week - nothing in week 2 and 3 - but then another 7lbs fat loss in week 4. I might try chasbuddy suggestion and go for an even longer fast- say 36 hrs - if I get a stall in my fat loss reduction again. Thanks to you, chasbuddy, and grol for the feedback.

          Interestingly - the email from IF Life today - see below:

          If you have been following along with my daily quotes on Facebook, you probably have been noticing lately occasional quotes from “slightly older” texts.

          I have been recently going through old books online, and it amazes me how much simple wisdom and insight has been said so long ago…yet seems lost in today’s information overload.

          It is almost like 100+ years ago people were saying what we needed to do to stay out of trouble, but we ignored it and just went on our merry way (and are now paying for it).

          For example, here are some good quotes from the book entitled “The Hygienic System: Orthotrophy” by Dr Herbert M. Shelton, originally published in 1935:

          Dr. Felix Oswald says that “during the zenith period of Grecian and Roman civilization monogamy was not as firmly established as the rule that a health-loving man should content himself with one meal a day, and never eat till he had leisure to digest, i.e., not till the day’s work was wholly done. For more than a thousand years the one meal plan was the established rule among the civilized nations inhabiting the coast-lands of the Mediterranean. The evening repast–call it supper or dinner–was a kind of domestic festival, the reward of the day’s toil, an enjoyment which rich and poor refrained from marring by premature gratifications of their appetites.”

          How many people today use a meal as a reward for a hard day’s work? How many use it as a “festival” to enjoy with friends and/or family? How many take the time after the meal to relax and let the body digest what they have eaten?

          Here’s another quote from the same book:

          At the period of their greatest power, the Greeks and Romans ate only one meal a day. Dr. Oswald says: “For more than a thousand years the one-meal system was the rule in two countries that could raise armies of men every one of whom would have made his fortune as a modern athlete–men who marched for days under a load of iron (besides clothes and provisions) that would stagger a modern porter.” He also says, “The Romans of the Republican age broke their fast with a biscuit and a fig or two, and took their principle meal in the cool of the evening.” Among the many things that have been offered as an explanation for their physical, mental and moral decline has been their sensuous indulgence in food which came with power and riches.

          So in the history of some of the greatest academic and athletic cultures, they ate but only one “main” meal per day! In terms of “meal” in the quotes above, this was most likely referring to their larger “cooked” feast later in the day.

          To be fair, I wouldn’t personally say they ate “one meal” as it really doesn’t fully describe their full daily eating habits (as you will see below in another quote). It really was more like 2 meals. The later meal being the main and larger one, but they most likely also had an earlier smaller “meal” at some point of bread, fruit (like fig), cheese, olives or local grains mashed up into a porridge.

          “But what about breakfast the most important meal of the day?” (you may be thinking)

          Well not sure who came up with the “most important meal” line (except maybe some of the breakfast cereal companies who want to sell you more cereal)….but “breakfast” as a meal is more a historical concept based on economic prosperity, not nutritional requirements.

          Salzman’s English Life in the Middle Ages, tells us that: “Breakfast as a regular meal is little heard of, though probably most men started the day with a draught of ale and some bread.” ”Barely two centuries ago,” says Major Austin, “the first meal of the day in England was taken about noon. Breakfast was an unrecognized meal and it originated in the practice of ladies taking an early dish of chocolate before rising. The ancient Greeks–the finest of people, physically and mentally, that ever lived–ate but two meals a day. The same was true of the ancient Hebrews and it is the custom of some of the best fighting races in India today.” The adoption of three meals a day, in England, came along with the increasing prosperity of that country.

          So what we find is some of the most revered past civilizations full of healthy, athletic, and intelligent people only eating enough to nourish their bodies and not having “the most important meal of the day” (well by modern standards that is).

          Then I look around today and see a world full of chronically tired, sick, rapidly ageing, overweight and mentally clouded persons who are told to eat more often….how is this reflecting any wisdom from the past?

          So whether you want to eat 2x, 3x or 10x a day…the choice is yours to make. Just take time to ask yourself why you really eat the way you do and see if there is another way which might be better for you (that is if you are not already full of daily energy, health, strength and mental clarity).

          For me….I like this old 16th century proverb to sum it all up:

          To rise at six, dine at ten, sup at six and go to bed at ten, makes a man live ten times ten.


          • #6
            What a great post - very informative and a lot to chew on.

            I have very much needed to have three solid protein-rich meals to steady my blood sugar and crazy sugar cravings, but now that I'm there, I keep thinking, "How could traditional people spend so much time making food?"

            Do you have an idea of how much they ate at that one meal? Are we talking a whole day's worth, or just that they needed less overall?

            Help me get over the idea of "carbs in the morning = blood sugar spike & crash." Bread, porridge, ale - it makes me shudder!
            5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
            Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
            Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
            Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
            ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***


            • #7
              Hi Sixtyacres, I am by no means an expert but have a biology degree and a new fan of Mark Sisson's. In the PB book Mark details how plateaus occur and what you can do to overcome. Your body will get use to the routine as a norm and stabilize. Mark details strategies for overcoming a plateau but his number one piece of advice is patience. You have lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time which is very impressive. Congratulations! Now, just let your body adjust. Let the hormones and fat cells get use to what is going on. Enjoy the feeling of success and know that you are healthier for your choices. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are amazing and that you are simply melting away....I love positive self chat. Sounds weird but it works. Mark talks about self actualization in his book and is a big proponent of self-praise.

              I know what you are doing is great and I encourage you to continue. One meal a day is fine. Try going a little longer up to 36 hours and see how you feel. Good luck.


              • #8
                mamagrok - I'm fairly new to all of this. The other sites I've been visiting are - - some good articles/blogs on there - and - this is the one that kicked it all off for me....


                • #9
                  jllums - thanks for the feedback and encouragement - very much appreciated. I've read Marks book once but plan to re-read a couple more times to take in more of the detail..I just need to remember that I've been following this new lifestyle for only 6 weeks and shouldn't be so over-eager for instant/better results.....after all - it took me 30 years of bad habits to get here !