I Ate One Meal A Day For 30 Days. Here’s What Happened…
Like most people, I’m constantly on the run. Between running 221B Tactical, managing my real estate portfolio and other business ventures, exercising and making time for family and friends and taking care of things around the house, there just never seems to be enough hours in the day. Sound somewhat familiar?
Many days I would find myself not eating my first meal until one, two or three in the afternoon. My pre and post workout drinks (not shakes) would hold me until around 10am or so. Then, I would usually have a coffee or tea as I continued my morning tasks. Additionally, all the while, I’m sipping from my gallon of water. So yes, I was taking in a lot of fluids but essentially zero calories.
Truth be told, the primary reason I found myself not eating until late afternoon was because eating meant I had to stop. Stop moving. Stop driving. Stop talking on the phone. And quite frankly, in my mind, I couldn’t afford to stop. I had to keep going so I could complete my tasks and achieve my daily, weekly and monthly goals. And with all the fluids I was taking in, I really didn’t get hungry until later. But then it would hit me…
By 2pm or so I would find myself, not hungry, but losing focus and dragging a bit. At first I thought this meant that I was tired and/or needed more caffeine. But I was religious about sticking to my “no caffeine after 12 noon” rule and never deviated.
It wasn’t until one day when I had a late lunch meeting scheduled that I realized what was really happening. Out of obligation, I ordered lunch during the meeting. The fog and lack of ability to focus was hitting me as the meeting began. As much as I wanted to order a Diet Coke, I resisted. Although not “feeling” hungry, I ordered a Cobb Salad.
Within taking the first few bites of my salad, I felt like a completely different person. My laser focus was back. I was alert and felt energized. And here I thought a Monster Energy was the cure for what ailed me. Nope, I just needed calories. I was literally low on fuel.
From that day on, I made it a point to stop and eat a big, healthy meal before my “low fuel” indicator light illuminated. I would typically do this around 1pm. After the meal I found myself going full speed ahead until around 6 or 7pm. At this point I started feeling actually hungry (not tired). But this posed yet another problem…
Another one of my quirky rules was not to eat late dinners. Of course when traveling or at social functions, this is nearly impossible. But for the 90% of the time I was home, I was able to stick to it. Eating late at night has physiologically been proven to adversely affect your weight and sleep. So I avoided doing it whenever possible.
However, with my schedule and this new “refuel meal” between 1 and 2pm, I had to figure out an evening game plan. What I ultimately decided on was a casein protein shake just before 7pm. This gave my body the fuel it needed to continue working into the evening hours and restore my muscles from that morning’s workout.
Now, I know what some of you might be saying right now; a shake IS a meal. Wrong. I used to think the same thing. But ask any high level nutritionist and they’ll tell you point blank: protein shakes are not meals. In fact, your body doesn’t even recognize a protein shake as food from a physiological standpoint. The term “meal replacement shake” is, in fact, one of the most dangerously false marketing terms ever used.
I was fully aware that an evening shake was NOT a replacement for dinner. But it would hold me over until I went to bed. And, it was something I could easily have while I continued to move and work.
Now, here’s what you’ve all been waiting for. What happened to me and my body after doing this; eating one meal a day for 30 days (I actually did it for 37 days). Well, for starters, I leaned out and my body tightened up to a point I hadn’t seen in years. The little love handles that I couldn’t shed no matter what I tried literally disappeared. The little bit of lower belly fat that was making me self conscious when I sat down in a chair because it hung over my belt, also diminished. Overall, I got more defined and my muscles were much harder and fuller. But that’s not all…
My quality of sleep shot through the roof. This isn’t just my opinion; I actually tracked it. I’ll explain why and how this happens on an eating plan like this in a future article. But that’s not all…
Another benefit I received from this eating plan was in increase in HGH. This was something I was hoping to get out of this and I did. NOTE: I also supplement 5 days a week with a topical gel that naturally helps boost my HGH which works phenomenal. Been using it over 2 years now and it has changed my life. Guys, boosting your body’s HGH to its’ proper level helps everything; and I mean EVERYTHING! Ladies too for that matter. I’ll leave it at that.
Another thing that was a result of this eating plan was that I, by default, was practicing intermittent fasting (IF)…kinda. The basis of IF is restricting eating to a small window of time each day. Most common is restricting eating to an 8 hour window. However some, like myself, prefer to limit eating to a 6 hour window on the days I fast. Science has proven that the optimal benefits of IF “begin” at 16 hours.
Many say that coffee and/tea do not break your fast and are thus allowed. However, the science kinda proves otherwise. That said, my pre-workout drink and post workout coffee have nearly zero calories combined so I’m not overly concerned about it.
Eating my first meal after 1pm and finishing my evening shake prior to 7pm keeps me right in that 6 hour feeding window. Which means during this time of only eating one meal a day for 30 days, I was, by default, doing a 18/6 IF: fasting for 18 hours and eating during a 6 hour window. NOTE: I still do the 18/6 most days but take in way more calories during the 6 hour feeding window. To build mass and put on size, I have no choice.
On about 12 of the days during this little experiment, I was able to make it until 7pm without eating anything at all; just coffee, tea and water. So yes, on these days I only ate dinner; that’s it. But if you saw my meal at 7pm you would have thought I was going to the chair. It was big and typically anything I felt like eating. I’m not talking fast food or junk; good, decent food. Just a lot of it. And I did not worry about carbs at all during this meal.
The question I get the most when people hear about this is “was it hard?” And the answer is yes and no. Like I said, most days I was kinda doing this anyway. In fact, most of you reading this are more than likely doing a 12 hour fast most days and don’t even know it. What was hard was the days that I pushed myself to not eat anything until 7pm. But this was only hard at first. After doing it for a few days, it became much easier. My body just got used to it.
In pre-historic times, hunter/gatherers would often go days without a viable meal. And they survived. Your body is so much more powerful and capable than you think. Whatever limits you feel you have are more than likely only about 30-40% of what you’re truly capable of. Most people just don’t know this because they never push themselves to that extreme. They don’t have to; food and the couch are only ever a few feet away.
Ask yourself; do you want to go your entire life without ever knowing your true potential? Your true limits.
DM me on Instagram @suresh_actual if you have any questions about anything in this article. I’d be happy to answer them for you.
DISCLAIMER: This article is about MY personal experience. I’m simply sharing my story; what I DID. This is not me telling YOU what to do. That’s what your doctor is for. However, I will say this; choose your doctor wisely.