One Meal a Day

For the month of January, I tried something radical with my diet.
Every day for the month, I only ate one meal a day. OMAD.

I didn’t do a 4-hour eating window. I didn’t do 8-hours of eating and 16 hours fasting. I only ate one meal a day.I forced myself to only feed my head hole once a day. I knew this would be a challenge, but since I enjoy a good challenge I gave this a shot. Part of the challenge meant that every day I recorded several data points and completed a daily journal. The data points I collected were:

  • Weight
  • Total Sleep
  • Deep Sleep
  • 1-10 How I Felt
  • What Time I Ate
  • Did I Cheat

I really set out to discover if I could only eat once a day and not be starving for the rest of the day. Since I set a weight loss goal for myself, I wanted to see if eating one meal a day would give me a jump start to losing weight, or if I would lose weight at all.

This way of eating really boosted my productivity. Since I only ate one meal (OMAD), I didn’t have the wasted time for two other meals. I was also more productive with my clients as I found it much easier to focus on work.

Overall Change

In 31 days I was down exactly 12 pounds which is 2.8 lbs a week. The fewer carbs I ate for my meal, the less hunger I had. The only “pressure” I had to eat was social pressure, but more on that next.

Issues Encountered

After the first couple of days, I got into a rhythm. My body quickly got used to only having one meal a day. The biggest issue was social eating. I’ve thought a lot about this and reflected back on previous diets as well. Eating is such a social activity. Just try to go out to eat with friends or family and only order water. Or imagine one of your friends doing that. There is tremendous social pressure in this type of situation. I only ate two meals for the day twice for the month, one for a celebration, and the other because I went out with family. Both social reasons. I successfully was able to move my one meal to accommodate the other social situations.


Eating is such a social activity. Just try to go out to eat with friends or family and only order water.

What I did

I only at one meal a day, and the timing of the meal changed depending on my activities and social commitments. My only exception was drinking coffee with a splash of heavy cream. As Vinnie Tortorich puts it, I only put as much cream in it so that its the shade of The Rock.

Daily Journal

Below, I have included the daily journal. I am including this portion to give you an idea of how I was feeling day by day. Some days were more of a challenge than others, and I definitely believe sleep plays a huge role in influencing your willpower. Looking at the chart I made, the more difficult days were after I had a night or two with little, or low quality sleep. More info on that here.

January 1

Day one, Wanting to try something new here. I’ve been struggling with my weight creeping up here and I need to go full in on cutting out carbs. My initial plan here is to eat only lunch daily, however, if something special arises I can adjust. My only other food intake will be coffee with a small amount of heavy cream in it in the mornings. Herbal or black tea in the afternoon/evenings.

So far today I’m feeling ok, I have quite a few carbs yesterday so I’m getting hungry often and all I want is bread and pizza. I know for me that eating carbs makes me want to eat more carbs, so that’s why I’m trying to get rid of them as much as possible. I’ll be tracking my weight as well as my macros every day and will note and fuck-ups along the way. Also very importantly I’ll be tracking my sleep totals as I believe having more sleep will help to get off the carb cravings.

Problems I see this month are that I will be traveling for 2 weeks.

End of the day I was very hungry but pushed through

Overall I felt a 6/10


January 2

Woke up, not hungry drank 3 cups of coffee in the AM – started getting hungry around 1130 – ate at 1245. Totally full, not stuffed, but totally satisfied

It’s 1350 and I’m starting to get hungry again, Not sure if it’s because of wife just ate a cookie in front of me lol – Going to get some tea.

Tea helped, 2130 feeling hungry but not bad at all I’d love to eat something but feeling ok.

Overall 6/10


January 3

This morning I felt great, ate BBQ for lunch, totally full.

Rest of the day went great, hunger totally in check.

Overall 8/10


January 4

Felt great today, Didn’t eat until 1400 and could have easily gone longer. I tried something different today because of gallbladder issues, I did not drink for an hour before or after eating, I also took 125mg of ox bile.

Supplements taken before eating meal:

125mg ox bile

Vitamin d3 w/ k

Taken after meal:

Multi

b12

Overall 9/10


January 5

Not eating dinner until around 5, it’s 330 now and I don’t feel hungry. Had several cups of coffee this A.M. with heavy cream, I feel great!

Ate about 50g of carbs today for dinner with German night – potato dumplings and apple cabbage – yum

Overall 8/10


January 6

I gained a little weight this A.M., I’m guessing it was the carbs yesterday.

Took d3, 125mg ox bile, and multi just before eating

Waited 30mins before, and 45 mins after eating to drink

Towards the end of the day, I’m feeling a bit blah, we’ll see how tomorrow goes

Overall 9/10


January 7

Today was great, after lunch before traveling, no issues.

No drinking 30 mins either side of eating

Overall 9/10


January 8

On-site with a client all day, ate dinner after work at a Brazilian steakhouse, amazing!

No drinking 30 mins either side of eating

Overall 9/10


January 9

Ate dinner today, chicken wings. Feel great with no hunger until dinner.

No drinking 30 mins either side of eating

Overall 9/10


January 10

Ate dinner today – BBQ with no sauce. Getting into the routine now, I feel fantastic and although my stomach makes noise like it hungry, I don’t feel hungry at all. Even when it’s meal time I feel like I could skip it with no issue. Over the course of this diet my bm’s have been great, instead of several times a day, its usually once every other day. I’m not sure if its the ox bile or the no drinking, or both. Either way, this diet at this point seems extremely sustainable over the long run.

I ordered a ton of food but didn’t eat nearly as much, either my stomach is shrinking or I become satiated easier/faster. Compare this to the start and It seemed like I couldn’t eat enough food, I’m fairly certain my body was seriously craving carbs.

I have a sneaking suspicion that my body is insulin resistant, and I heard a very good layman’s explanation of that. Once you cause a rise in insulin in your body (eating carbs) it takes many hours for that level to decrease. This will of course not allow my body to use its own fat for energy.

Overall 9.5/10


January 11

I’ve lost 8.2 lbs since I’ve started eating like this – averaging out to 0.82 lbs a day. I know that number will decrease as time moves on, however, this is not quite as dramatic as PSMF, however, I don’t obsess about food at all. I was listening to the low carb podcast last night and the doc’s there said it takes about 45-60 days for this to really become a habit – not OMAD per se, but keto/low carb. I feel like I am already moderately fat adapted so I doubt it will be that long for me as I’m already feeling the huge benefits of eating this way. OMAD is really simple – I thought it would be harder to switch my meal time from lunch to dinner while on the road, and it was quite easy to do.

Overall 9.5


January 12

Today was my son’s birthday party and I snacked on dried fruit and a couple cookies while at the party during lunch. Bad news I had way too many carbs for the day and I suspect I’ll gain weight tomorrow. Instead, I need to come up with an alternative. Looking back I should have eaten before going to the party, that would have helped. Even though I wasn’t hungry I was munching.

I felt good today, just ate things I shouldn’t have

Overall 8/10


January 13

This morning I’m feeling much hungrier than I have previously. I suspect this is due to eating carbs yesterday

It’s noon and I’m starving – feeling irritable, grumpy, etc. No meat is defrosted so I have to wait a couple of hours to eat. This is how I pay for eating Carbs the previous day.

Today I did ok, I ate a couple bites of Pineapple upside down cake that wife made, It was delicious, but I stopped myself from eating more. We’ll see if I pay for that tomorrow

Overall 6/10


January 14

When I weighed in today I gained weight. This is quite disappointing to say the least, but I hope this will even out. I think that for next month I will weigh myself weekly instead of every day.

I ate lunch at 1430 today – Hunger wasn’t an issue at all today, huge change from yesterday. I’ll still need to fight off the temptation for sweets as that seems present after I eat and in the evening.

Overall 7/10


January 15

Today was good except I ate lunch and dinner. Had Thai green curry for dinner which put me over for carbs.

Overall 7/10


January 16

Stayed good today no issues and no cravings from yesterday which I was surprised. I felt great today with very little hunger. Weight did go up a little we’ll see what happens tomorrow.

Overall 9/10


January 17

Great day, 1 meal – feel great

Overall 9/10


January 18

Ate ice cream today, Completely unnecessary. Need to break the sweet cravings.

Overall 6/10


January 19

No kids – went out for breakfast and dinner – ate dessert and popcorn – was “treating myself”. Shitty idea, I need to get it out of my head that sweets are treats.

Overall 5/10


January 20

No kids – went out to eat for lunch  – did pretty well, except I ate the avocado egg rolls – but for the most part, it was good with no issues.

Overall 7/10


JANUARY 21

Went out to dinner at Italian – good except at some bread/some pasta, and ate a cannoli. Thats several days in a row eating sweets. I felt fine except that I shouldn’t have eaten the dessert at least.

Overall 6/10


January 22

Ate BBQ for Lunch with mom – felt great today

Overall 8/10


JANUARY 23

Ate 1 meal for lunch – feel great

Watched “That Sugar Film” great movie – I think it shows that sugar is definitely an addictive substance.

Overall 9/10


January 24

Ate 1 meal for lunch – feel great

Overall 9/10


January 25

Waited until dinner to eat – felt hungry pretty much all afternoon

Overall 7/10


January 26

Ate Chic Fil A and had too many carbs – although nothing too crazy – felt great all day. My biggest lesson here is to enter my food in the calculator BEFORE I order it. I had no idea there were as many carbs in the salad as there were. I will try that before each meal from now on.

Overall 7/10


January 27

Today was not good. Not good at all. Went to the theater for lunch – my meal was fine I guess, although it was not filling enough which was my problem. I ate the chips wife didn’t eat – quite a few. Then I made quesadillas for dinner for the kids and I ended up eating a whole one. Probably 100g of carbs for the day. No sugar, which is good, however I know I’ll pay for it tomorrow with nasty shits and weight gain. Today I easily gave in which was bad news.

Overall – 4/10


January 28

It’s 7:30 – my stomach is not having a good time today. Plus stepping on the scale this morning was very discouraging as I gained several pounds. I need to implement my plan to enter food before I order it (when going out to eat) ASAP. My issues seem to be on the weekends where I do more social eating, weekdays I’m alone at home, so no issue.

I’m already quite hungry at 8 am, I will be able to push through until noon I’m sure, but yesterday was such a mistake.

Did my first peloton workout today –  feels amazing!! Was tough to start because I haven’t ridden a bike in quite a while, so I’m sure I’ll be sore tomorrow when I can do it again!!!

Overall 9/10


January 29

Great day today – ate a yummy lunch. And did the spin workout

Overall 9/10


January 30

I also felt wonderful today – I did feel a little hungry before bed – but I’m starting to recognize that is not really hungry – its being tired, or something habitual. I drank some tea and went to bed early.

Overall 9/10


JANUARY 31

Finished the month strong – overall down exactly 12 pounds for the month. Thats pretty impressive I must say. IF I can stay on this pace – I’ll meet my goal by June – which is very exciting!!!

Overall 9/10

Lessons Learned

  1. For February I will only weigh in on Saturday Mornings and the last day of the month. I have found that the normal ups and downs every day can be discouraging, and are a bit unrealistic.
  2. When going out to eat, I will log food prior to ordering in order to make better choices
  3. I will try to stay NSNG for the entire month in addition to OMAD
  4. Most important is to stay Keto/NSNG
  5. Second Priority is OMAD (social exceptions Only)

TLDR;

I lost weight. When I stayed away from carbs and got enough sleep I felt fantastic. I’d highly recommend One Meal a Day as long as you want to lose weight and adopt low carb eating habits. The more carbs you eat, the hungrier you feel. With just a little planning, this way of eating is totally easy to do, and frees you up to be more productive during the day since your next meal isn’t a concern.

Who Should Try This?

In short, anyone. The mental clarity I had was the single biggest change that occurred in January. Overall my hunger decreased and since I wasted less time on my next meal, I had more time to be productive. I also lost weight, without feeling like I was missing anything. There were many meals where I ate carbs, however, I was able to keep my energy intake lower. If you are trying to cut weight this is a great method to try. If you are prone to overeating, this is also great.

Stay Superior!!!


Photo by Alexandru-Bogdan Ghita on Unsplash


 

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Matt
Matt is a husband, a father, an avid motorcycle rider, and an all around awesome guy.

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