I’m back on the one meal a day diet to see what I can accomplish in just six weeks.
There’s no target weight this time. Whatever I get to, is whatever I get to.
This time around I wanted there to be an end point, as opposed to endless weeks of dieting where I sometimes feel like I’m never going to reach my goal.
Having a short term time frame gives me something to solid push against in the full expectation that focusing more on the process than the outcome will bring better results.
When I get to the end of the six week period I can decide whether I want to continue and how I want to continue.
For now I’m taking a moderate approach to calorie restriction and exercise, but I am open to the idea of looking at short periods of aggressive action once the six weeks is up.
I have an underlying desire to get back to the body composition I had when I was at 168 lbs, but for now I’m going to focus only on getting through the next six weeks.
[Maybe you just want the see only the progress pictures?]
As well as being a general introduction to this six week project, I also wanted to add some extra context for new readers.
This diet is something I first had success with in 2012 when I lost 30 lbs over a five month period.
I wrote about it in detail (here: Lose Weight Eating One Meal a Day), and although I’ve made some adjustments, that article is still pretty much the way I approach the diet.
I recommend you read it, but that article is over 10,000 words, so here’s the short version:
Monday to Friday I eat one meal in the evening.
On Saturday and Sunday I eat two meals, lunch and dinner.
I try not to eat at all throughout the rest of the day, but if I get genuinely hungry or feel feel weak or feint, I’ll eat something.
My snack of choice is an apple because I can eat one or two, but I can’t eat three. I try to avoid highly processed foods as snack choices because it’s just too easy to over consume.
At meal times I eat what my family eats. There’s no serious attempt to base food choices around ‘diet foods’, but I do try to aim for a balanced diet. Arguably, I don’t always succeed but I think I get close enough. I try to be about conscious eating and that seems to be half the battle. There is always room to make better choices, and with time, more of those choices form part of the ‘conscious eating’ decisions.
For me the idea is simple. If I’m on a diet I’m going to be hungry. If I follow the widely adopted practice of eating six small meals throughout the day, I’ll be hungry all day every day and that’s a miserable way to exist. Saving most of my calories for the evening meal means I spend several hours feeling full and I rarely go to bed feeling hungry. In addition I eat the foods I know and love, so I don’t feel deprived.
I don’t count calories, I can’t be bothered.
I do weigh myself every day. I weigh myself first thing in the morning after I’ve emptied my bladder. As you’ll see from my writing, weight fluctuates wildly for a number of reasons. Seeing the fluctuations and understanding why they happen and what they mean is important. I wrote about it when I answered a reader’s question, “Why am I not losing weight?” but at some point I’ll put together a dedicated post.
When I first started this diet I had just undergone knee surgery so I couldn’t run. Running seems to be the go-to choice for those seeking to lose weight but I couldn’t, so I didn’t. Instead I walked as part of the recuperation and then I walked out of choice. Walking is vastly underrated as a form of exercise. I find it to be no problem to get out of the house and walk, but I quite often meet internal resistance to strapping on the running shoes and pounding the pavement. Typically I walk (briskly) twice a day for 30 minutes.
I incorporate daily resistance training in the form of body weight exercises. As a minimum I aim for 100 and sometimes for fun or variety I go for 30o. Just to put it into context, doing 300 body weight exercises takes 12 minutes out of the 1440 available minutes each day.
In case you missed that:
Resistance training is definitely something to incorporate. Hanging on to or building extra muscle is without doubt beneficial to the dieter.
It could be argued that dieting is a form of controlled starvation, except your body has no concept of dieting, and if you diet hard enough it will begin to see your muscle as a metabolically expensive liability. Fat on the other hand is metabolically inactive (relatively) and more valuable to a starving body. The fat gets retained and the muscle gets wasted. Just ask anyone who has done a juice detox!
The only supplement I take is vitamin D3 after discovering that I had a deficiency. I don’t take any other vitamin or mineral supplements.
Disclaimer. I wrote one. It’s pretty good. It’s about protecting you, not me. You should read it.
I have long been convinced that the key to dieting is finding a way to make diet and exercise sustainable. The best diet in the world put together by the foremost expert in weight loss is worthless if you can’t stick to it.
Lastly there’s nothing magical about eating one meal a day, it’s a crude but effective way to limit calorie intake while sticking loosely to a normal lifestyle.
Go see the daily updates listed below or come back here for the summary if you don’t want t put up with the inane details of my life.
Week 1 Summary
I’m 6′ tall and 47 years old.
Start: 185 lbs
Low: 181.2 lbs
End: 183.6 lbs
Progress Picture – Start
Progress Picture – Week 1
Week 2 Summary
Start: 184.8 lbs
Low: 179.8 lbs
End: 181.4 lbs
Progress Picture – Week 2
Week 3 Summary
Start: 182.6 lbs
Low: 180.2 lbs
End: 182.4 lbs
Progress Picture – Week 3
Week 4 Summary
Start: 182.8 lbs
Low: 178.8 lbs
End: 181.2 lbs
Progress Picture – Week 4
Week 5 Summary
Start: 181.6 lbs
Low: 176.4 lbs
End: 178.4 lbs
Week 6 Summary
Week 6 will be updated fully on Sunday 28th August.
Until then you can see all the posts in this six week diet series.
Or select each individual week below: