Is Eating One Meal A Day A Good Way to Lose Weight?
When it comes to weight loss, there are many different approaches and strategies. But with so many options, it can be difficult to find a strategy that works well for you. Some people go to extremes to lose weight, choosing methods that can actually be dangerous. This is why it is important to do your homework and research the different facets of a weight loss plan. One method is to eat only one meal a day, but is this actually an effective way to drop the pounds? There are pros and cons to all diets, and this one is no exception. If you are considering trying out this approach, read on to learn if eating one meal a day is actually a good way to lose weight.
What does the one-meal-a-day diet consist of?
With this diet, the title itself explains that you only eat one meal a day. But which meal per day can vary based on the person. Most people choose to have their one meal a day be reserved for dinner. This can also be revised to include intermittent fasting, which would mean you can then eat more than one meal a day. To most, at least skipping breakfast can be a great way to ease into this diet plan.
Make sure this meal is calorie-rich to keep you fueled all day
If you do go the route of strictly eating one meal a day, one thing to note is how many calories you intake with that meal. Because this is your only opportunity to consume food, you should make sure this meal is high-calorie. Your body will be depending on this single meal to pull all its necessary nutrients and energy from. So be sure to pack in the calories. Aim for at least 1200 calories in this meal. This may sound like a lot for just one sitting, but there are ways to pack in a ton of calories for one meal. Focusing on foods with high-fat content and increased protein are good places to start. Another insider hack is to increase your eating window, that is if you are going to the intermittent fasting route. With an increased eating window, you can break the single meal up into two, making it easier to intake more calories.
Is this diet a better option than others?
There are other diet plans that are similar to the approach of only eating one meal a day. Alternate-day fasting is one of them, and is comparable from the perspective of restricting calories. But short-term fasting has been shown to have great health benefits, one of which is the improvement in blood sugar levels. This style of dieting gives participants 4 to 8 hours to consume food. To fast for 15 hours a day can help in a number of ways, including helping the body’s cells learn to better resist disease.
How does eating one meal a day help with weight loss?
One of the key ways this diet is effective is the same way that most diets are: it helps create an energy deficit. This can be done by burning more calories, or reducing the amount of calories you take in. The one-meal-a-day diet is a form of calorie restriction dieting, which is how the energy deficit is created. This greatly increases the chances that you will lose weight while on this diet.
What are some of the risks of this diet?
As with any diet, the one-meal-a-day plan is not without its fair share of risks and setbacks. Anytime you go an extended period of time without eating, you are going to have some associated risks involved. One of these is the possible development of an eating disorder. Some of the other risks include:
- Becoming extremely hungry and feeling starved
- Developing nausea and other digestive issues, both short-term and long term
- Trouble focusing and difficulting concentrating on work and other tasks
- Feeling weak, shaky, and disoriented
- Increased irritability as blood sugar levels drop
- Greater chance of binge eating and overindulging during your single meal
Your body may go into permanent starvation mode
Another key setback to this diet is that your stomach can shrink to a pretty small size. This may be good from an aesthetic standpoint, but this can sometimes lead you to feeling full way too fast. In this case, you may not be able to eat enough to consume the needed calories for the day. Also, if you don’t get enough nutrients every day, your body may go into “starvation mode.” This means that it will start to hold on to everything it can, which makes it store more fat.