One Meal a Day for Six Weeks – Week 3

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Welcome to Week 3 of One Meal a Day for Six Weeks. This is about seeing what can be accomplished in a short time frame rather than having a specific weight goal in mind.

I’m tracking my progress with the scale, the tape measure and progress pictures.

Week 1 started at 185 lbs, saw a low of 181.2, and finished at 183.6.

Week 2 started at 184.8 lbs, saw a low of 179.8, and finished at 181.4.

This is the story of the tape measure so far:

Measuring weight loss 20160730

Monday 1st August 2016

Weight loss 20160801

6.40 am

Walk for fat loss 20160801

My week started with a 25 minute walk around the forest. It gave me a chance to think about what I want to achieve in the week ahead.

Although I’ve still got four full weeks to go, being in week 3 creates the idea in my head that I’m half way through. This is interestung because it adds some pressure to perform. Pressure in a good way, acting as a motivation rather than stress.

It’s going to be a good week!

5.00 pm

Diet food bolognese pasta 20160801

Dinner: Bolognese, various pasta, cheese, cucumber, slice of bread (not shown).

Diet food ice lolly 20160801

Dessert: Ice lolly

I liked eating dinner at 5 pm, it’s a much better time for me and works well to reduce the food cravings I have if I don’t eat until 7 pm.

Dinner with the family was always important but now that the children are older and  doing different activities in the evening, I might start eating my meal earlier again.

5.45 pm

Walking to lose weight 20160801

30 minutes of walking woke me up. I only got six hours sleep last night and I’m starting to feel it.

9.00 pm

100 squats in 4 sets of 25 finishes the day for me.

I love Mondays as far as the diet is concerned. It always feels like a fresh start and another opportunity to build a solid foundation for the week.

Eating more at the weekend somehow manages to make Monday easier. Maybe that’s just my imagination?

My aim this evening is to get to bed by 9.30. I’ll be asleep before my head hits the pillow.

Tuesday 2nd August 2016

Weight loss 20160802

6.10 am

Walking for fat loss 20160802

I forgot to mention yesterday how great it was to put my work trousers back on after a week off work and not feel like they’re cutting me in half.

I had the same experience this morning. It’s not like they’re loose but it feels so much better. I can’t wait to see how they fit at the end of the six weeks.

6.10 pm

Diet food chicken tomato pasta bake

Dinner: Chicken, tomato and pasta bake with salad and bread.

Diet food just two cornettos 20160802

Dessert: TWO Cornettos.

Somebody had better call the diet police. Surely this isn’t allowed?

8.00 pm

Walking for weight loss goals 20160802

My wife was late home and my youngest child I’d too young to leave by herself, so I was late out for my walk.

It was already quite dark because of the cloud cover, but 30 minutes later it was significantly darker.

Walk for fatloss 20160802

I didn’t enjoy my walk so much this evening. There were loads of people about. They should know by now that it MY forest and they’re not welcome!

I might be a bit grumpy this evening.

11.30 pm

Damn it. I wanted to be in bed 2 hours ago. Life’s just not like that, eh?

It got to 11.15 and all I’d managed to do all day was 2 sets of 10 press ups (which I did mid-afternoon).

I so very nearly binned the idea of doing the exercises but immediately threw myself onto the floor and did 30 press ups. I got to my feet and did 25 squats. Brushed my teeth and then did 50 dips.

I felt compelled to do the exercise because I knew that it would be crazy not to. After all, I’m only doing this for another 4 weeks and then I’m free to have a break if I want one.

Wednesday 3rd August 2016

Weight loss 20160803

6.10 am

weight loss walking 20160803

Another rainy dark morning… but it’s still a good way to start the day!

The weight is dropping off, as it tends to do, as part of this now very familiar pattern.

It’s really hard not to get caught up in the scale weight even when you fully understand the significance, so I fully understand when people freak out over it.

It’s fine today because it’s where I think it should be, but if I’d seen an increase today that would have irked me, even though I know what I know about scale weight. Just being honest here. Things like this are a constant challenge and I don’t think any of us are ever totally free from it. But I do believe we get better at it the more we practice.

Perhaps that’s how we should view it. As a practice. As part of an ongoing journey towards self mastery. In other words, it’s a life long commitment.

I know that will put some people off, but I think that’s the reality. Being concious of the choices we make in relation to nutrition is not something restricted to the period of time we’re actively on a diet. I know this to be true from repeated first hand experience .

It’s an intesting journey to say the least. I think there’s a lot of self discovery involved with this game.

2.00 pm

I went to a coffee shop with a couple of colleagues for an impromptu meeting. It was my turn to buy but while we were standing at the counter I saw one of my team eyeing up the cakes and pastries.

Being the nice guy that I am, I asked him if he fancied a cake. He graciously accepted but then I was left with the dilemma… my other colleague didn’t want anything and I didn’t want the other guy to feel guilty.

I did the decent thing and ordered a slice of banana bread.

Instead of having a milky coffee I chose to have tea instead.

I didn’t take a picture but I borrowed this one from Harris and Hoole (which is where we were – and it’s very nice too).

Diet food banana bread

OK so I didn’t get to put a mark on my adherence tracker but it did make me make a deliberate decision.

I’m happy with the decision I made and I have no regrets. Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too.

6.30 pm

My 13 year old son cooked dinner this evening, so what I ate was out of my control. I suspect that this is the case for many people wanting to lose weight.

It can be made difficult make better choices if you’re at the mercy of the person who does most of the cooking.

That is definitely something I had in mind when I first looked at this diet. I saw eating one meal a day as a way to limit exposure to what might be called sub-optimal foods.

This was a lovely meal though. It’s the first time he’s ever made something like this and I’m not being protective when I say it tasted great.

Diet food roast beef and vegetables 20160803

Dinner: Roast beef with various root vegetables, peas and sweetcorn.

We didn’t have any gravy but I certainly wasn’t going to question his choice there. It’s interesting that I was served a dad-sized meal. The potatoes and veg were piled high.

diet food strawberries and meringue 20160803

Dessert: Meringue, strawberries and cream.

I was able to get away with just a splash of cream without causing offence to the chef.

I can imagine it’s a nightmare for those who try to influence other family members to eat different food or smaller portions. For some, sharing the news that they’re going on a diet might well be met with open hostility.

I might have eaten slightly more than I wanted to today but it was marginal. It’s always difficult to judge when you don’t count calories.

Great meal! I’m proud of my son.

7.15 pm

fast walking for fat loss 20160803

You’ll be glad to hear that I had the forest all to myself this evening. The other people obviously realised the error of their ways and stayed away.

Order has been restored!

10.15 pm

As my day draws to a close I’m pleased to say I’ve finished on a high by completing my body weight exercises.

75 press ups in 3 sets of 25.

50 dips in 1 set of 50.

Thanks for reading. See you tomorrow.

Thursday 4th August 2016

Weight gain 20160804

6.15 am

Walking cardio for weight loss 20160804

I was slightly later getting out for this morning’s 30 minute walk. Even though I got to bed at a reasonable hour I was woken several times by children having nightmares and dogs scratching to go out to pee. I felt wrecked when I finally had to haul my rear end out of bed.

There’s a half pound weight increase since yesterday, which is unusual for me at this point in the week, but is by no means unheard of and certainly not catastrophic. I don’t now need to head directly to the fridge loudly declaring that my diet is failing and proceed to fill my face with cream cakes.

All I need to do is stick to the process.

Looking forward to my dinner this evening because I already know I’m having fish. Lovely.

6.15 pm

Diet food haddock broccoli 20160804

Dinner: 2 pieces of breaded haddock fillet with potatoes, carrots and broccoli.

… and tomato ketchup.

Diet food kitkat orange 105 calories

Dessert: Chocolate (KitKat Orange).

This meal was fantastic. The fish was delicious. In fact I’d have preferred 3 pieces of fish in exchange for the potatoes.

I went a bit lighter on desert today because I felt I could.

I rarely mention it… but you do know that throughout the day I drink tea and coffee with milk and one sugar, right?

I also eat fruit if I’m hungry. Today I ate two apples, and most days I have at least one. Because an apple a day keeps the doctor away and all that.

Just thought I’d mention it. I felt like it was common knowledge but I had an email today asking about it.

6.45 pm

Weight loss walks in rain 20160804

It rained. It rained hard. I got soaked. For 30 minutes!

10.45 pm

That’s it! I’m done. 100 press ups in 4 sets of 25. I’m starting to feel stronger in my chest especially at the low point in the movement.

Friday 5th August 2016

Weight loss 20160805

6.20 am

Early morning walk for weight loss 20160805

My weight is stubbornly sticking around the 180s as I approach weigh in day tomorrow.

I have to keep reminding myself that this is about a change in body composition, not pure weight loss.

I am stronger than I was, I don’t feel like I’ve lost muscle. It’s hard to gain muscle on a calorie deficit, but when you’re an untrained individual (like me) it is possible. It won’t be much but it might be enough to mask some of the fat loss.

Anyway, enough of the second guessing.

Stick to the process. The result will come.

4.45 pm

Dog walking for weight loss 20160805

Although it’s no longer raining, there’s still plenty of water to play in. This was a really good walk. My legs felt like they were on fire at one point going up the hill.

I was thinking about something I’d read in Seth Godin’s The Dip.

The Dip UK           The Dip USA

Quiting for the wrong reasons

He says,

Quitting in the dip is usually a short-term decision — and a bad one.

When people quit, they are often focussed on the short-term benefits. In other words, “If it hurts; stop!”

The Dip is when you hit a point where it gets tough, tougher than you expected and you find it difficult to continue. Perhaps you don’t feel like you’re getting the results you’re expecting, or you question whether the desired outcome is worth the pain.

It can be difficult in the moment to see beyond the short term. We’re wired to avoid pain and seek comfort, whether that be physical pain or mental pain.

Diets aren’t easy. Lifestyle change isn’t easy. New habit formation isn’t easy. There is some pain and discomfort involved.

I am convinced that finding success in many challenging endeavours, like fat loss, involves learning to sit with the discomfort and recognising it for what it is… a transient and quickly forgotten experience.

Great walk!!

6.45 pm

Diet food pizza fries salad 20160805

Dinner: Pizza, fries and salad.

Diet food strawberries and greek yogurt 20160805

Dessert: Strawberries and Greek yogurt.

This is not what I’d have chosen for myself. It’s another meal where the salt content will likely play havoc with my water balance. Oh well.

The strawberries were amazing!

10.15 pm

I forgot to mention this earlier,  but you may remember that a couple of days ago I went for a coffee shop meeting with a couple of colleagues. On that occasion I had a slice of banana bread which meant I didn’t stick to my eating plan.

I had another meeting today and this time I just stuck drinking tea. I explained that I was watching the calories. It wasn’t an issue at all.

I’m happy to break my eating plan if the occasion is right, but I don’t want to set up a habit of eating cake every time I go to the coffee shop.

I think it was also in the back of my mind that I’d be weighing in tomorrow and that made the decision slightly easier.

Today is over and I get to go to bed now! Can’t wait.

But before I go I should tell you I’ve just finished doing 100 dips in 4 sets of 25.

Saturday 6th August 2016

Weight loss 20160806

6.40 am

Walking early for weight loss 20160806

It’s weigh in day! As you see from the image I’m 180.2 lbs. That’s about half a pound up on last Saturday’s 179.8 lbs.

As much as I would desperately love to have seen a number in the 179s, it hasn’t worked out that way this week.

12.30 pm

Diet food chicken burger 20160806

Lunch: Chicken burger, fries and salad.

5.00 pm

Walking leads to weight loss 29160806

I spent 30 minutes walking around the forest. It was nice to see the sun breaking through the canopy.

7.00 pm 

Diet food quiche 20160806

Dinner: Quiche, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cheese and red onion bread.

I’ve eaten too much today.

No dessert for me!

10.00 pm

Today’s measurements:

Fat loss measurements week 3

Today’s progress picture:

Diet progress picture 20160806

Hmm? I look spongy and puffy and water logged.

I’ll post this one alongside the other progress pictures.

My exercise today… 100 tricep dips.

Sunday 7th August 2016

Weight gain 20160807

6.30 am

Walk hard cardio for weight loss


I’ve just done a really bizarre thing.

I’ve just eaten 5 of these oaty biscuits:

Diet food oaty biscuits

I had a really full-on day yesterday. My time was hijacked by everyone else and the things I wanted to do didn’t get done.

As a result I felt cranky and I woke up feeling the same way today.

There seem to be lots of things about day to day living that are irritating me. I’d put that down to being on a diet, but even when I’m not on a diet, those things are still irritating.

I think that negative aspects of out lives seem worse than they actually are while trying to lose weight.

Eating the biscuits was a deliberate decision.

“I don’t care, I’m doing it anyway”

…were the words that ran through my mind.

Well it’s done now. The main thing is not to dwell on it. I certainly don’t need to do anything drastic. But I do need to exercise some caution for the rest of the day.

Interestingly, I wasn’t using my adherence tracker this morning. To be honest though, I’m not sure it would have helped. I was pretty much going to do it regardless.

It’s quite funny to think about how easily we’re swayed to act by our primative brain. The rational reasoning brain doesn’t even get a look in!

12.30 pm

Diet food tuna mayo sandwich 20160807

Lunch: Tuna mayo sandwich.

Nothing fancy here.

Diet good muller light

I don’t eat Muller Light because it’s ‘light’. I eat it because it’s in the fridge.

5.15 pm

Walking for weight loss 20160807

This picture was taken just as we enter the forest. It’s lovely. 30 minutes of walking.

7.00 pm

Diet food salmon and broccoli fish cakes 20160807

Dinner: Salmon and broccoli fish cakes with fries and peas.

No dessert today.

11.45 pm


I’ve just this minute finished my exercises. 50 press ups in 2 sets of 25 and 50 dips in 1 set of 50.

I was in two minds whether to do them at all because my lower back has been sore for the last two days.

It feels like something is getting pinched which in turn is causing all the muscles around the area to tighten.

The pain killers take the edge off it — and I have taken a oat load of them — but they don’t work nearly so well as I’d like.

I’ll see you tomorrow for Week 4.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin harris August 2, 2016 at 8:46 am

Loving the blog mate.

Just starting on this today .

Love your walks too, been in Hong Kong for 10 years and miss the walks from UK. Where abouts do you live ? Looks amazing!!

My only problem over here is there’s a big drinking culture and its ageless ( I’m 45 but can easily go have beers with mates from 25-60 ).
We have a day off for a typhoon so thought it would be a good day to start…. Apart from the kids driving me mad!!
Constantly getting gout too so hoping that will work. Need to lose about 55 lbs.
I’ll keep you posted.
Looking forward to your next update!!


David August 2, 2016 at 9:43 am

Hi Kevin, thanks for taking the time to leave a message.

I’m about half way between London and Brighton. The countryside is lovely around here and the walks are mostly enjoyable. In the summer it’s great. In the winter 5.30 am in the forest can be pretty grim.

Just looked at the weather in Hong Kong. Looks pretty serious. Hope it doesn’t cause you too much disruption.

I had no idea there is a drinking culture out there. That’s got to make it tough to network if you’re not part of it.

I see no reason why you wouldn’t do well with the diet. Just alter it to suit your own needs.

Good luck with the kids. Having just spent a week at home with my own, I understand the challenge!

Give me a shout if I can help in any way.

Looking forward to hearing how you get on.


mark August 2, 2016 at 9:48 am

Dear Kevin, Hope you dont mind me replying. Firstly I have been on this 1MAD for 17 days now. Mostly not difficult, if I get wobbly I have a banana or some other fruit. I drink a lot of tea and coffee and water. I am losing weight slowly, but my body is changing shape, and my stomach much less bloated which is the real change. BUT gout, thats a big deal, I have had it for many years. The only thing which controls it is allopurinol. I take 300mg, no side effects. Colchicine if I have an attack. I went off it for a year (thought I was cured) and had a terrible time. Now I am asymptomatic but this diet has not caused me any problems at all. Sometimes gout can be triggered by diet but nothing so far. I also drink beer or wine without any problems, but not a lot, 2 beers or 2 glasses of wine max 3 times a week, any more I get hammered, I am such a lightweight at 56. I also have more energy….well mostly. Good luck with weight loss, gout and have fun on typhoon day.


mark August 2, 2016 at 11:46 am

I lost 3kg in July on 1MAD. 95.8 to 92.7kg. I cant go every day on no calorie fasts so have a banana, 2 dates or apples. I feel puny today so need to keep busy or I will end up in the fridge before Dinner time! Mark


David August 2, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Hi Mark,
That’s great! I’d say that 3 kg in one month is about right.

Having some good quality snacks throughout the day is a good way to go. As you say, it gives you a better chance of staying out of the fridge. I think it also means you have something to look forward to when the day starts to get tough. Keep at it Mark, you’re doing a great job.


mark August 2, 2016 at 3:18 pm



Marie August 3, 2016 at 4:02 pm

I’m really enjoying reading your updates! I have tried many attempts at this way of eating but have always failed after about 2 weeks because I get so cross when the scales don’t say what I expect. I’m very impatient – but need to accept the scales do indeed lie!

I came back from Center Parcs about 3 weeks ago and made the mistake of going to Costco first to buy some of those massive boxes of chocolate shortbread and pastries – oops.

I was so disgusted with my weight when I got back I hardly ate for a couple of days – then I got on the scales – 11st 3.6 – I’ve been doing 1mad ever since with the exception of last Thursday – I fell off the wagon big time. I started by eating something healthy then progressed to biscuits and crisps. I was so cross with myself I ended up going to the chip shop for tea.

Today I weigh 11st 5, I have kept to 1MAD for a couple of weeks (apart from the chip shop day), and normally by now I would have given up. Not only have I not seen a loss, but I’ve actually gained wait.

I want to persevere and am hoping in time I will lose – ideally I want to lose a stone.

Only 1 problem – I’m going on holiday with my extended family on Saturday and I don’t think I am going to be able to follow this eating plan because everyone else will notice and because I will be surrounded by food.

Maybe I should just aim to not gain weight? This is going to be so hard, I hope I don’t get all fed up as usual and give up.

I’ll make a note of my weight Saturday and see what it is the following Saturday.


David August 3, 2016 at 5:12 pm

Hi Marie, it can be so demotivating when the scale won’t budge. Even more so when it goes up!

This was happening to me about 8 weeks ago. For me though I was actually eating too much. Still at a deficit but not enough to detect. During the day my snacks were biscuits and mini cake bars rather than apples or vegetables etc.

I was eating those Belvita breakfast biscuits, thinking I’d be ok, but over the period of a week or two the 200 calories per pack started to add up.

Other than that I felt like I was working hard but clearly I was eroding the deficit to a point that the scale didn’t register the fat loss in amongst the water retention.

You are probably eating at a deficit, but one that is easily hidden by water weight/waste weight/hormone cycles.

The cheat day will have thrown the whole thing out of whack and made it look like you’re putting on weight. Don’t worry about it. All you can do is get back to it.

It might benefit you to count calories for two weeks or so just to be sure your intake is creating a deficit and that my give you the extra confidence.

Reading between the lines it sounds like you might be struggling to just eat once a day and maybe you would do better with the ‘skip a meal a day’ version?

That way you’d get to eat two reasonably satisfying meals a day and that can be better for the state of mind. I’m thinking of trying a version of this once this six week phase is over.

I might eat something substantial at 4 pm and something lighter around 7 or 8 pm.

Enjoy your holiday. Don’t be on a diet while you’re there. Life is to be lived and enjoyed. You’ll put on a couple of pounds of fat and maybe 4 lbs of water weight. The scale will freak you out and you’ll feel bloated but that’s OK.

Start with a fresh resolve to make some better choices and experiment to see what works for you.

I don’t know if I say this enough, but there’s nothing magical about eating one meal a day. It’s mostly a calories in vs a calories out thing.

You’ll do great once you get back from your hols. You’ll be well rested and de-stressed.

Let me know how it goes.


Marie August 3, 2016 at 7:30 pm

Thanks David, you’re right -definitely need to relax on the holiday.

Normally I don’t even think about food during the day – I’m so busy in work, but I’m off until September so am constantly making food for the kids – I swear the ginger nuts are actually speaking to me saying eat me it won’t hurt lol.

When I get back froms hols I will be a bit stricter and focused, I don’t want to go back to work having to wear the clothes from the ‘bigger’ section of my wardrobe so I guess that’s a good motivator.

Thanks for your support and prompt response and I hope next time you go to the forest local people will stay indoors and realise it is actually your forest. If not maybe you need to remind them who you are!


David August 3, 2016 at 8:25 pm

There was a packet of ginger nuts in my house last week. I couldn’t be absolutely certain but I’m pretty sure I heard them calling my name. Spooky coincidence?

If you do have to venture into the bigger section it will only be for a short while until holiday bloat goes. 🙂

Yes! Exactly! Those wretched local people in my forest. Didn’t they get the memo!? 😀 😀


mark August 4, 2016 at 6:54 pm

fell of the wagon big time this last 2 days, due to having the pleasure of meeting lovely friends for lunch in my holiday, this completely screws my well honed plan to only eat at night. That plus Mr Chardonnay……however tomorrow is another day and this is an eating plan NOT a diet so I can catch the 1MAD bus again tomorrow, however I am hiding the scales in the boot of the car well away from easy access.


David August 4, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Yes! Love it!

You don’t know how great it is to hear you talk about this so objectively and with the perspective of the bigger picture firmly in mind.

Love the bus thing too. The bus will complete its journey whether we’re on it or not. Fortunately there’s always another one coming along. As long as we spend more time on the bus than off it, we’ll get to our destination.

It sounds like you enjoyed yourself and that’s important. Thanks for the honesty, it’s inspiring! Have a great evening. I’ll see you on the bus tomorrow.


Kevin harris August 7, 2016 at 4:31 pm

Did you take the photo of the biscuits before or after ?


David August 7, 2016 at 7:44 pm

After. I recreated the scene of the crime so that the diet police wouldn’t have to beat a confession out of me.


Kevin harris August 11, 2016 at 2:58 am

Hey mate,

Where’s week 4?


David August 11, 2016 at 6:23 am
Alan scanlan February 5, 2017 at 8:01 am

Been on this diet for about a month, lost some weight but getting terrible constipation, any one else had this problem & what’s the remedy


Espirito May 12, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Maybe is your body reajusting to this..


Katrina Fletcher March 29, 2017 at 11:29 am

Hi David I started this 3 days ago and feel fine so far. My question is about wine. I love my wine usually drink 3 bottles a week mainly weekends. Do you think this could affect my weight loss?


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