It may come as a surprise to many, but eating once a day seems pretty popular among people who want to lose weight. It’s even got a name “once a day diet”. In forums, and online groups, people have stated that they find eating only one meal a day quite healthy and it seems to deliver the results as far as losing weight is concerned, but may be they are only looking at short term results. Now it can be argued that each body is different and can adapt to different eating styles, but is eating once a day diet really healthy, physiologically and psychologically, in the long run?
Are You Getting Enough Calories?
The main goal of eating food is to get sufficient calories so the body can perform its regular functions like digestion, excretion, blood circulation, breathing other physiological functions. Calories are also need to perform physical and mental labor, whether it is lifting a barbell or solving a math problem, it still needs energy.
It has been estimated that an average human being needs close to 1200 calories per day, at least, to perform his daily functions in a healthy manner. The question then arises, does eating one meal a day provide enough calories to provide sufficient energy for your daily functioning? It’s difficult to get 1200 calories from one diet, unless you are eating a lot of fat (which is not healthy). Even if you ate a regular meal of rice, meat and vegetables, you can garner not more than 300-400 calories in one sitting.
When the body obtains insufficient calories from the food, then it automatically starts burning up stored fat in order to make up for the calorie deficiency. So eating once in a day will cause weigh loss for sure, but it’s not a healthy way to lose weight, since you are starving your body to lose stored fat.
If you are choosing once a day diet for the purpose of weight loss, then it’s definitely a poor choice. A much healthier choice would be to eat nutritious meals, at least 3 times a day, while working out enough to burn off calories.
Deficiency of Minerals and Vitamins Can Pose Severe Problems
You may not see problems with your once-a-day diet in a short term, but if you persist with it for a long term you are going to notice the side effects creeping in. The most major problem you might face, in the long run, is the deficiency of vitamins and minerals.
Minerals are essential for the wholesome functioning of your body. You may surprised at the number of niggles and problems you can develop if one to two of the essential minerals start dropping in your body. Many people who eat once-a-day diet start feeling slugging and tired if they continue this pattern for more than 3-4 months, this is usually the time when the body’s reserves start running out and the deficiencies start creeping up.
Your diet defines your health. So it’s important to think about the consequences of eating a limited diet.
The risk is Not Worth It
Given the various problems you can run into by eating only one meal a day, it does not seem very healthy. And even if you take a risk with it, ask yourself if it’s really worth it. Losing your health for the purpose of losing weight seems like a paranoid and silly decision. The right way to lose weight is through working out. Burn your calories through exercises like walking, cycling, running or swimming.
Instead of eating only once a day, and starving yourself, try eating nutritious meals three or five times a day in healthy portions. You can start your day with assorted fruit salad and juice, snack on wheat bread veggie sandwich, have a lunch of rice and vegetables with some fish or chicken and have a dinner of soup and vegetable salad or some meat. As long as you eat moderate portions, this diet will provide you with 1200-1400 calories per day, along will essential minerals and vitamins, allowing sufficient energy for your daily functions. Just make sure you indulge in 30-40 minutes of aerobic exercise to burn of 30% of the calories obtained from this diet.
Eating three or more nutritious meals a day, in moderate amounts, will ensure that your mineral and vitamin count does not deplete, and exercising will ensure you burn off any excess calories you obtain from the meal.
If you are looking at losing weight, try eating more raw vegetables and fruits in your meals and avoid processed, refined and fried foods. You can’t go wrong with this. It’s a much healthier option than eating once a day.