One meal a day update

by Jon Sullivan - 2019-12-30 - Status

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A recent The New England Journal Of Medicine article has a study of the health benefits of eating fewer meals a day.

Previously I've talked about my habit of eating one meal a day here. To recap, for me that means eating a big dinner, then skipping breakfast and lunch, with no snacks or beverages during the day other than water and coffee. The new study confirms earlier results and goes into some of the reasons why this eating style may be more healthy.

One of the things I found most interesting was the theory that such daily fasting was more healthy due to a keto-like effect. I typically hear that keto is an all or nothing thing, where you don't eat carbs, full stop. It's intriguing to think you can get some of the keto benefits while also eating carbs.

"Periodic flipping of the metabolic switch not only provides the ketones that are necessary to fuel cells during the fasting period but also elicits highly orchestrated systemic and cellular responses that carry over into the fed state to bolster mental and physical performance, as well as disease resistance"

This exactly mirrors my experience. More alert, more energy, better mental state, general feeling of being more healthy. And while the study is about eating in a 6 hour window, I prefer my 1-2 hour window. Once you get used to the eating schedule, hunger pretty much goes away. So a 6 hour window doesn't make much sense to me. Easier to do it all in one go.

The study also seems to indicate that you can get the same results from only fasting a few times a week. Basically, fasting often is good, no matter how you do it. So even if you cheat on one meal a day now and then it's no big deal.

Seems too good to be true. But it's science. So I guess pizza and fried chicken for dinner tonight.

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