Weekly Diet Update Saturday 9th April 2016

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Are you worried you might not lose weight if you follow this diet and eat one meal a day?

I don’t blame you if you are. After all, my progress seems to have ground to a screeching halt.

But what really concerns you?

It’s probably that you don’t want to put yourself through the pain and misery of being hungry and denying yourself for weeks if not months, and at the end of it, fail to lose a significant amount of weight.

I’m guessing you think there’s some big secret to dieting and if you keep searching long enough you’ll find it.

Maybe you thought this diet was the secret… before you saw my progress tank.

So what exactly is going on with me, and what does it mean for your own weight loss?

Before I get into that I want to point out that there is no secret to eating one meal a day. It’s just a framework around which to create a caloric deficit.

That’s it. That is by far the biggest factor.

It is merely a simple way to reduce calories.

Eat most of the daily calorie intake during one meal, and eat very little the rest of the time.

The problem this solved for me, way back when, was that the earlier I eat, the more I tend to eat.

Holding out until dinner time seemed to solve this for me.

Lately though I’m struggling to break through a plateau. But this is not because the premise of this diet is flawed.

There are loads of reasons why weight loss stalls and right now the primary reason for me, is probably that I’m not creating enough of a deficit.

I simply don’t have the motivation.

I know deep down that in the true sense, I’m not actually overweight. My BMI is right where it should be.

If you looked at me in clothes, you’d describe me as slim, thin or lean. It’s only when you see the shirtless photos that you see areas of fat.

If I didn’t change from my current body composition for the rest of my days I’d be absolutely fine with it.

Blogging has always been a struggle for me. I’m always trying to decide exactly how much of my personal life I want to reveal to the internet.

By nature I’m reserved, so some aspects of blogging don’t sit well with me. So when I’m deciding how much to share, I usually err on the side of caution. As a result some of you perhaps don’t understand why my progress drops off from time to time and maybe you attribute it to the diet.

For the last month my mind has been elsewhere and I’ve felt a little stressed. I’ve been suffering lower back pain and sciatica. I’ve got four kids and a full home and work life. The car had mechanical problem and needed fixing. My house suffered some minor storm damage and needs to be repaired, but every builder I’ve called has messed me around, and if I dont get it fixed soon the next storm will drop my chimney through my roof. My wife has had the most miserable time at work because of some very poor management. The children’s pony was savaged by a dog. There have been two birthday celebrations. There was also the Easter weekend to contend with. The children have been off school for two weeks. I have been managing the recent resignation of a subordinate at work. And at the same time I’m trying my best to publicly lose weight. The list just goes on and on.

I’m only human so all this is bound to have some effect, despite my best efforts to rally and enthusiastically declare, “I’m getting back to basics”. I promise you it’s well intentioned, but it turns out to be fairly hollow.

I’m not a great role model for you right now in terms of being the poster child for linear weight loss.

But I believe I might be a good role model for showing grit and determination. For sticking with it even when it’s not going well. And for sharing the reality of dieting.

This is really what it’s like for most people when they diet. The diet goes well until life throws a curve ball or two. They get freaked out by scale weight fluctuating like crazy. They lose confidence when they stall. They beat themselves up when they fail to stick to their plan. And they quit.

I haven’t done any of that. And I encourage you to follow suit.

Dieting is hard. It’s hard right from the start when you decide to change your nutrition for the better. It’s hard when the metabolic adaptations kick in, even before the first week comes to a close. It’s hard when you get down to lower levels of body fat and your body fights you because it thinks you’re starving it. And almost everything about dieting is even harder if you’re a female.

My apparent failure here could be about me not dropping enough calories. It could be something to do with water retention caused by chronic stress. It could be that the energy depletion is causing me to fidget or move less and therefore burn fewer calories every day.

It really doesn’t matter though because I don’t fear failure as an outcome. I am utterly confident that if I follow the process I’ll reach my goal.

I’m not at all miserable eating this way and that’s why I’m going to stick with it until I reach my goal. After that I may well go back to two meals a day because it suits my current lifestyle slightly better.

I will never push this as the only way you can lose weight. It’s not.

There are a dozen ways you could successfully diet down.

If you don’t like the idea of not eating very much all day long until dinner, don’t do this. Remember… there’s no magic to this, it’s mostly about creating an energy deficit around a sustainable eating and exercise plan.

This means accepting that weight loss is not usually linear. It means accepting that weight loss will likely be slower than you’d hoped. It’s about understanding that life will present challenges that disrupt your efforts, and learning how to navigate through the storm.

OK this could easily be a note to myself, and sometimes I need to do this, but actually I’ve written this for those of you scared commit to a diet.

Stop doubting that it will work.

If the diet you choose is based around moderate caloric deficits over a reasonable period of time, and if you base your eating around foods you like with a nod towards making better nutritional choices, ensuring that you get sufficient fats to sustain your hormonal health, sufficient protein to retain or even grow your muscle (by adopting some resistance training), and enough carbohydrates to energise you, you’ll probably do well.

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Weight loss progress 090416

This post was mostly written on Saturday (9th) as usual, but it wasn’t posted until Monday (11th) because I was heavily committed over the weekend.

So you were left with this message for the last few days:

1maddiet screenshot

Sorry about that. Here’s a brief update:

Last Saturday I weighed in at 180 lbs and I left you with the message that I was celebrating a birthday (not my own) and that I would be eating well. I certainly did. There was McDonald’s and ice cream and later another meal with birthday cake and alcohol.

Sunday was fairly standard with 2 meals, and then throughout the rest of the week I stuck to the plan.

Exercise was minimal other than walking twice a day,

I’ve stopped taking the psyllium husk because it doesn’t seem to have worked well for me. I’m no more regular than I was before and now I think the fibre is just making me retain more water.

Weekly weight loss 3 apr 2016

As you can see from the image my weight jumped up to 184.6 on Sunday and dropped steadily over the week until 181.4 on Friday.

Today’s weight (Sat 9th) at 180.6 lbs is pretty good all things considered.

My progress pictures weren’t great. I look kind of puffy and water logged. There were some slightly more flattering images I could have chosen, but this isn’t about that, this is about being honest – even when it hurts.

Progress picture 090416

I’m writing this late on Saturday and I can tell you that I’ve been celebrating another birthday and I had a huge meal including two starters, a main course, one of my children’s meals, a dessert, and two of my children’s desserts. All washed down with two beers and several glasses of orange juice.

You may question why I did this given that my weight loss has slowed recently, but I felt I needed to have a break from the diet and the month of relentless hassle. There was no way I was going to attend this 70th birthday party and be the guest who picked at the lovely dinner the hosts troubled themselves to provide.

I’m three calendar months into this and I needed to relax and offset the chronic stress. I’ve chosen to look this huge eating episode as a diet break, albeit that for the rest of the time I’ve continued to stick to the plan.

I’ve no idea what this will do to my weight, but it’ll be interesting to find out.

Thanks for reading this far.

See you soon.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa April 11, 2016 at 11:58 pm

Hi David

You are most certainly a role model – one that is human just like the rest of us and one that we can relate to because all these issues come up in our daily lives in one form or another too.
I know that when I am stressed I don’t seem to be able to make the time to look after myself and it is very easy to forget my goal……and this is exactly the time that I should be concentrating on it.
I love reading your blog and I hope that you continue to share with us.

Cheers
Lisa

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David April 12, 2016 at 9:31 am

Hi Lisa! That’s great to hear. And maybe it’s z good thing that I’m having a hard time of it at the moment especially if it resonates with others. Thanks again Lisa

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Nina April 13, 2016 at 9:47 pm

I just stumbled across your website because I’ve been trying to figure out a way to stick to a weightloss plan. I recently started a new diet and have been counting calories and In 4 weeks I have went from 253lbs to 242lbs and I am very pleased with the results but Im having a very hard time sticking to it. I think one meal a day would be perfect for me because I wouldn’t have to sacrifice eating everything I love. My only question is does it matter if I decide to eat this one meal for lunch instead of dinner? My husband works nights and I always cook for him before work at lunch time and If I eat dinner its usually something small but if I only eat lunch will I get the same effect? I’m looking forward to starting this tomorrow. I think this will be easier for me and easier to stick to then eating foods I do not like and having to focus on every calorie I intake because I want to make a lifestyle change not just diet untill I reach my goal weight and the be right back in the same position again. Thank you for sharing this!

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David April 13, 2016 at 9:57 pm

Hi Nina, firstly, 11 pounds in four weeks is great. You’re off to a great start.

No, it doesn’t matter. The timing of the meal is largely irrelevant. If it suits you better to eat a big meal at lunch time, go for it.

One of the biggest issues people have with weight loss is the sustainability. So even if it isn’t perfect, as long as you can stick to the diet, you’ll probably see great results.

Denying myself thd foods I love is a recipe for failure. Learning to incorporate those foods in a responsible way seems to me to be the way to go.

Thanks for joining in. I hope it goes well for you. Keep us updated!

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mary April 21, 2016 at 5:36 pm

Hi David, I was so happy to see your post. Please continue posting, your defintiely helping me!This blog is NOT pointless, its helping me so much!!

yesterday i overate, and i felt so bad and lacked motivation today to continue, but your post encouraged me so much.

i look forward to reading more and more of your posts!
thank you

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mary April 21, 2016 at 5:37 pm

Oh, but the way Ive already lost 30 lbs so far! :)))

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David June 25, 2016 at 9:40 pm

Hello Mary, I can’t tell you how guilty I feel about not replying to you sooner. I’m sorry about that. I ran into some obstacles at work and at home, and duly fell over them. As a result the blog got neglected.

It’s been a while, so I’m pretty sure you won’t see this message, but regardless, I wanted to say thanks for leaving such a great comment. I also wanted to say well done for losing 30 lbs.

πŸ™‚

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Vi April 22, 2016 at 7:59 pm

Hi David hey everyone,

I’ve been reading the comments and blog and it was just the shoot of encouragement I needed, this is just an awesome blog. I’ve been doing the OMAD for 3 months now and I’ve gradually worked up to 10000 steps a day also. I seem to be starting into a slight slump. Saying that I’ve lost 30lbs since Jan 1st.
It’s been one of the best experiences of my life and just feels right for me. I eat my meal in the evening and I’ve been staying between 1000/1100 cals. per meal. I don’t eat anything else till the next meal. I average 15 glasses a day as well.
I tried weighing every day but didn’t work for me so I’ve went to once a week, much better and I take measurements twice a month, I’m down 10ins since Jan 1st.
This week I’m starting with Sat/Sun as free days, it was just Sunday’s. But since it’s getting warmer and he and I picnic often in local parks I wanted to have weekends open for that.
I have one very close friend I share all of this with but this is the first time I’ve opened up to anyone else.
I wish everyone the best of luck!!!! Vi

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David June 25, 2016 at 9:34 pm

Hello Vi, you’ve done an amazing job. I only wish I’d said so at the time you left this inspiring message. I’m sorry about that. Life just got slightly too hectic again.

I’m so glad you shared your experience here. I know that many other people read this blog and will be encouraged by your success. πŸ™‚

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Krista April 28, 2016 at 6:47 pm

Hi David,

Great post and very encouraging. I’m starting this way of eating to try to lose 15 lbs and to free myself of having to think about food all day. I can relate to how you stated that eating early in the day only makes you want to eat all day long. I also find that the later in the day that I eat, the easier it is for me to control my portions. I say “easier” only because obviously if I didn’t have an overall issue with portion control then I wouldn’t need to lost 15 pounds πŸ™‚ Anyway, I’ve started 1 MAD today thanks to the encouragement of your posts/progress and the posts/progress of others. If I’m able to stick with this way of eating then I’ll report any progress that I’ve made after 1 week. Cheers!

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David June 25, 2016 at 9:29 pm

Hi Krista, my apologies for keeping you hanging there. It wasn’t intentional, I’m afraid I got caught up in the daily dramas of life.

I know it’s been a couple of months since you left this message, but I hope you are doing well. Good luck.
πŸ™‚

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Sara May 17, 2016 at 12:09 pm

I have a friend who lost a lot of weight by eating one meal a day and then felt guilty about losing weight “the wrong way” so she went back to “normal” eating habits and is now obese. Another friend I have is in his 70’s and has been eating 1 meal a day for years. He’s very lean. I’ve been thinking about these two friends experiences with eating one meal a day and my own desire to slim down. That’s how I came across your blog. Thank you for sharing your own experience. I especially like the idea to view success as sticking to the plan instead of the numbers on the scale.

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David June 25, 2016 at 9:26 pm

Hi Sara, I’m sorry for the delay in replying. Some of life’s issues derailed my best intentions to keep track of this blog.

Thank you for leaving such a positive response. I am so glad you can relate to the plan vs the scale weight.

πŸ™‚

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Cyndi June 11, 2016 at 2:15 pm

I have been battling with my weight since a young age, I remember a few years ago I thought it would be a good idea to lose some weight by eating only once a day instead of the usual 3 times a day. I’d have one huge meal at once which mainly consisted on fruits, protein mainly from yogurt or boiled eggs and a decent amount of good carbs (sweet potatoes) with a multivitamin. No sugar, no chicken, no meat, no fats, no salt or spices, i completely gave up on refined carbs which meant no bread, pasta, rice, or cakes. I had no idea about IF and just thought it was a quick way to get rid of excess weight. I weighed 138.8 lbs at 5’3 and went down to 125.6 lbs within 2 months which is the smallest i have ever been in years by the way i was 18 then. I couldn’t lose anymore but i was comfortable with my weight, drank at least 2-3 litres of water I managed to maintain my weight for a couple of months until i gave up on the diet because my family members were getting worried because they were against IF. in the course of the years i got up to 143.3lbs and stayed there for 2 years. now I weigh 154.3lbs, 11lbs which i gained over the 8 past months due to my stressful job and moving to England, new food and new people. Today is day 2 on my IF, i almost gave up at 1AM when I suddenly ran out of sleep and the terrible hunger pangs but I reminded myself of how happy I was when I first did this plus now i’ve decided I won’t limit myself too much.. (allow myself a bit of chicken here and there)

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David June 25, 2016 at 9:23 pm

Hi Cyndi, sorry my reply is long overdue. I got caught up in the twists and turns of life.

It sounds like you have a good plan there. Eating something if you’re truly hungry is a great idea and chicken is a great option.

I hope your time in the UK becomes less of a stress for you. Good luck with the IF. You’ll do great! πŸ™‚

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nikki June 25, 2016 at 1:17 pm

I am starting this diet I am in the UK and I think this is the way forward for me I am a part time worker and a mummy to 3 children under 10 I have tried all kinds of diets from green sludge to counting calories. I gained the most of my weight when I stopped dancing. I get married 29th September and I have my dress already which I love but I want to FEEL beautiful ( not sure if that makes sence)…. I am aiming for at least a stone do you think that’s do able and also I have a real issue with sugar free energy drinks I drink 3 a day and I’m awful without them will this slow me down in anyway

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David June 25, 2016 at 9:11 pm

Hi Nikki, you certainly have your hands full there with 3 under 10. πŸ™‚

Definitely an achievable goal, especially with such a wonderful motivator.

The energy drinks shouldn’t dent your progress. If they help you to stick yo your eating plan it’s something you might want to stick with.

Good luck. I hope it goes well. πŸ™‚

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1mealadayer June 26, 2016 at 9:42 am

Hi Nikki.
I’ve been doing this the last 17 mths. Altogether I’ve lost over 2.5 st. But for the longest time I’ve been maintaining that weight loss so I think if you stick to this then a stone by your wedding is very doable. Good luck!!

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1mealadayer June 26, 2016 at 9:47 am

Meant to say I also have 3 kids under 10 and no time for counting calories or measuring portions!!! 1 meal a day is way easier!

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