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Eating once a day/fasting.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Michael Jewels, May 25, 2005.

  1. I'm just curious as to who and how many out there do either or both of these dietary habits.

    I'm interested because if I do try to eat three times a day, I feel bloated, and I'm not talking about monster portions either.

    I could stand to lose a few pounds, though this is not my main reason for asking. I just want to eat a little better and smarter, although my diet isn't that bad at the moment. (Not too much red meat, fat and no junk food)


    1.) What are the advatages/disadvantages of eating once a day?
    2.) How often and how long do you fast and what are the benefits of this?

    I just had a checkup, and everything's fine, plus I would never do anything without asking my doctor first; I'd just like some casual discussion on what has worked for you.

    Maybe we could all learn something here. :)

  2. bassturtle


    Apr 9, 2004
    I have no idea about the health benefits of fasting. Any time I fast, it's for some spiritual reason. Usually, I only do from sun up to sun down.
  3. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    If I remember correctly from back in my healthy days, eating just once a day is liable to make you sluggish and tired, because your metabolism slows down to compensate from the lack of food. IIRC, the best way to keep a healthy, energetic diet is to eat 4 or 5 small meals a day, so your body is continually burning the same amount and your metabolism is kept up to deal with it. This isn't four or five meals of cheeseburgers, mind you, it's for vegtables, rice, and maybe some light meats-types of meals.
  4. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    I've never heard of any health benefits to eating only once per day. I eat 7 "smaller" meals a day. The grazing approach is purported to keep the metabolism higher and also tends to prevent binge type eating since you won't ever really feel hungry. The problem with the eating based on hunger is that it takes some time after eating for it to subside, though some people continue to eat during this time.
  5. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    I can attest to this. I usually eat only once a day because I am lazy. It is not the healthiest lifestyle. Back when I was more focused on taking care of myself physically I used the grazing approach, it is much better for you.

    Periodic fasting will not have long term health effects, but if you do it for a long time you will see a marked drop in energy, weight gain and probably mood swings and mild depression as a result of constantly fluctuating nutrient levels.

    One of the easiest things one can do to moderate the amount of calories you take in is to switch to drinking only water with every meal several days a week. An amazing amount of waste calories come from things like soft drinks, coffee, milk, etc. If you cut even a portion of these beverages out of your diet it makes a huge difference. Try doing it on say, every Wednesday. Eat normally but drink nothing but water. See how you feel, then expand it to a few more days. When I was training heavily water was the ONLY thing I drank for months at a time. It really helps.

    Another good thing to get into is fish. Tuna, Salmon, Swordfish all have lots of protein and vitamins, and are generally low in fat. I try to eat at least two or three fish based meals every week, though supposedly more than that is bad due to the levels of mecury and other chemicals in alpha predator species.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I do not eat breakfast...just coffee & OJ.
    I only recently started eating lunch with some co-workers(tuna or turkey sandwich w/ lettuce & tomato).

    For years(about 40 of 'em), I only ate dinner & no later than 5:00pm.

    I graduated college in '80...155-160lbs w/ 31" waist.
    Today, I'm 170-175lbs w/ 31" waist.

    Tell you what, though-
    Couple years ago, I was diagnosed with Reflux Disease; my doctor said "No big meals". I though, "Yeah, right".
    I used to be able to put a hurting on a buffet table...no more. I seem to get 'full' a lot faster.
    And 6 months ago, I had to go into braces.
    As a result of both, I am 'fasting' more often.
    No weight loss, though.

    I don't know, Mike. IMO, going to one meal would be tough...I suspect you would get headaches/light-headed throughout the day.
    I say "eat sensibly", no couch potato-ing with snacks(especially after 7:00pm), NO SODAS, drink more water, & do some moderate exercise(treadmill, walking, biking + some wights &/or situps/pullups/dips).
  7. The best bet would be to eat small meals more often, or smaller meals, period. The best way to keep your metabolism going is to keep feeding it, because 1 meal a day will cause your metabolism to sleep for the rest of the day. Try having a piece of toast for breakfast, a couple eggs for lunch, a bowl of fruits during the afternoon, a moderate dinner, and a small snack at night. Just never eat to get full and don't eat for nothing. Let your body consume on a meal by meal basis and thus keep your metabolism going all day. One meal a day will likely weaken you and s not healthy at all.
  8. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    Yeah, what are your excercise habits like? This is way more important than diet IMO. You can diet all you want, you will still feel like crap if you don't excercise.

    My older brother eats close to 5000 calories a day, mostly pasta, vegetables and lean meats. He's weighed a steady 180 since he was 16. Why? Excercise. The guy bikes 30 miles after work to relax and does hundred klick cross country ski treks every weekend in the winter, just for fun. He's competed in international sking competitions several times and even worked as an instructor and guide in Tahoe. He needs to eat constantly because his body burns so much energy.

    Even a slight increase in the amount of excercise you do will make a noticable difference in your health and how you feel. Probably more so than most changes in diet.
  9. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Everything I have read would point to more frequent small meals is generally greater than less frequent big meals.

    Fasting, I think can be beneficial in that, when you stop fasting, you are typically unable physically to consume very large amounts of food, in that regard it regulates your food intake somewhat. Though, there are other ways to do that I suppose.
  10. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    When I fast, it is for cleansing reasons. Mostly my colon. I know there are lots of pills, powders, and other products out there to help with this, but I do not use them. I eat no food of any kind, and only drink tea with lemon in it. I am not going to say that this is the best and only way to fast. It has worked for me for years, so I do it periodically. No set schedule, just when I can tell my body is ready for it.

  11. in my experience fasting is a bad thing. as far as dieting, i will mimic what some have said here, just eat smaller portions more often.... go for a 5 meal a day thing. and dont skip breakfast.

    Your just depleting your body of nutrients. with this once a day thing, as long as you eat sensibly... like whole grain breads instead of white or 60% wheat. stay away from the bad stuff... eat oatmeals, eggs(i hate these but they are damn good for you), fruits.....

    ya know man? I remember fasting when I was in my fighting days, it is just harsh

  12. Amen

    Ulcers at 16, reflux being more prominent at 20.

    21 now.

    I used to be the never ending stomach guy (though still a bone rack) and now, I can eat alot in a day, I need to because I burn alot of energy but I can only handle small meals
  13. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Catabolism is a scary thing. When deprived of food, your body processes your muscle mass (protein) first, thus slowing your metabolism. It's a vicious cycle.

    Unless you're doing it for spiritual reasons, I highly recommend NOT to fast.

    East healthy, smaller meals including a balance of protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and drink plenty of water. Increase your physical activity slowly and surely, and most importantly, safely.

    By eating smaller meals, your body is forced to continually process food, keeping you energized, and keeping your metabolism high. Lift weights to increase muscles mass, increasing your metabolism, do cardiovascular activity, both aerobically and anaerobically, to have a healthy heart.

    Do these things intelligently.
  14. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Eastern North Dakota
    Eating once a day is BAD. Your body thinks it's starving and slows down, storing everything as fat. I did that once, gained weight and felt terrible.

    Many small meals is better. Actualy, you should just eat a little bit when you are hungry, drink plenty of water and get a little exercise. That's better than any diet.

    Even poeple who come up with these "diets" and "lifestyle" plans agree on that. But they know Americans are looking for a quick fix so they are more than happy to sell the books, packaged food, etc.

    The only way to really get control is to follow paragraph 2.
  15. Senor SQUID

    Senor SQUID Guest

    Jan 11, 2004
    Fasting is no good bro. I eat 8 small meals a day and never ever skip breakfast. No carbs are no good. You need carbs for muscle growth and brain function. Fasting will leave you lethargic. Just my 2 cents
  16. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    While I agree you need several meals a day for your body not to go into hibernation mode and a healthy amount of carbs, I do think cutting down on bread is a good idea, as too much carbs (and bread is pretty damn high on carbs) will make you gain weight quickly. I know it may seem hard at first, but try to get your carbs from somewhere else, i.e. rice. Rice is easy to make (I use the microwave, works great) and you can add pretty much anything you like to it spice it up.

    I dare say bread is probably the reason why us Westerners tend to have more weight problems than cultures that don't use it as a part of their diet. :bag:
  17. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I've been on a diet for a month and a half. I began with 130kg (around 270 pounds). I lost 15.6kg (35 pounds) and have to go on until the needle marks 90kg (190 pounds aprox.). I'm doing ok so far and learned a few things I'd like to share...

    1) The several little meals a day is completely true and you definitely notice because you have so much more energy

    2) (the obvious) To maintain your weight it's important to vary food types as much as possible and keep quantity under control. The reason is if you eat significantñy more food of a certain type your body will have the tendency to store more of what is missing and that is bad news as metabolism also slows down this way and you gain weight easily.

    3) To lose weight (more than 1kg each three days!) the doctor's changing my diet each 2 weeks. So far it has worked (weight loss hasn't stopped, in fact it's increasing). If you do the same diet for months, you lose weight fast at first but then the loss rythm slows down more and more.

    4) Once a week, take a break and eat something you really miss (even in nice portions). It's good for your soul too, keeps your "abstinence syndrome" controlled.

    I haven't been given any medicine at all. But there's a trick I can take advantage of (prescripted by the doctor, of course) that consists in taking 5 active carbon pills (yes, the ones for diarrhea -sp?-), eat gently for an hour and then take another 5 pills. It inhibits absortion for a while (don't expect to "deliver" that until a couple of days later). This only works if your intestines work with regularity (if you sit at the "throne" the normal 1 or 2 -or more- times a day). If you suffer from constipation often, you better avoid it (the pills, not the weekly "happy hour"). And YOU CAN'T DO THIS ON A REGULAR BASIS, it's just intended to lower the weekly "happy hour" effects on weight loss. By happy hour I always try to chose a nice moment (a party, having dinner at a restaurant), I mean, don't waste your "happy hour" on McDonald's kinda crap (fortunately I ousted this kind of food from my eating habits).

  18. WOW!

    17 responses, and they all seem to agree to stay away from fasting.

    Thanks much, guys. :cool:

    I'll write more later when time permits.

  19. Yep stay away from fasting.

    Here's something I read in the paper today FWIW:

    Sitting playing guitar for 1 hr - burns 166 calories.
    Sitting smoking for 20 minutes - 42 calories.

    Would that mean smoking while playing would be over 200??? What about standing and playing??? I think I may be onto something....
  20. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    This is something I would have expected, but it's still a neat little parallel. Where, in weight lifting, if you only do curls to work your biceps, you will get some good gains for a little while, but then it will totally level off and you pretty much won't gain anything. The key is to keep variety in your work outs to maximize the blahblahblah you get the idea. Either way, that's interesting to know it works similarly for dieting.

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