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.
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:
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.
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.
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.