Why is it dangerous to eat one or two meals a day?
Many of us grew up on three meals a day, and even with 2-3 snacks and night trips to the refrigerator. But not so long ago, the concept of intermittent fasting has become popular, and it has become one of the most popular diets in the world.
The essence of such a diet is to eat once or twice a day, and the rest of the time – no meals. But can everyone practice this approach? Nutritionists have a few tips you can follow.
Two meals a day is the practice of having a brunch (for example, at 10-11 a.m.), followed by a hearty dinner at about 5 or 6 p.m. The rest of the time, between these meals, only fluid intake, no snacks, is allowed.
A one-time meal is a meal in the evening, during dinner, with a volume of about 1000 kcal, and you cannot eat anything for the rest of the day. This leads to a fairly rapid weight loss. But how beneficial is it to eat once or twice a day? Does such a regime have useful effects or will such a regime only harm.
Two meals: for or against?
According to scientists, it is quite possible to live comfortably if you follow a diet that includes intermittent fasting. But there is also the opposite opinion – for maximum comfort, it is better to eat in very small amounts, but every two hours, with the exception of the sleep period. Both philosophies have their advantages and disadvantages.
Benefits of intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting and two meals a day offer certain benefits when properly followed.
More and more research is now being done on whether two meals a day can be used as a therapeutic tool for solving systemic problems and treating certain health conditions.
Autophagy, or death of damaged cells, is one of the benefits of intermittent fasting.
The body has the innate intelligence to first eat up weak and old cells when it has no food. This means that you can initiate autophagy as the programmed death of damaged and worn out cells, which helps to optimize cellular activity.
During autophagy, it is also possible to replace cells marked by the immune system. As your body begins to absorb old cells and mimic autophagy, over time it also replaces autoimmune cells, making it a great way to fight autoimmune conditions.
The number of stem cells increases over time. With a relatively prolonged fast, the body begins to produce new stem cells, and therefore, this allows you to increase cellular activity, fight aging and improve energy in general.
Ketones are produced. These compounds are made in the liver during fasting or low-carb diets, and the body begins to use ketones as a fuel source instead of glucose. The brain loves ketones.
Disadvantages of two meals a day
A long period of fasting does not give you the right to overeat. Excess food after fasting harms metabolic processes.
You need to combine intermittent fasting with a healthy diet that’s low in sugar and starch and high in fiber, fat, protein, and vegetables.
Intermittent fasting can increase cortisol levels in your body if you have adrenal dysfunction. If you’re struggling with stress and sleep problems, don’t go hungry.
Blood sugar imbalance – intermittent hyperglycemia, may worsen.
If you have a blood sugar imbalance or insulin resistance, intermittent fasting can be very challenging. In order not to worsen the condition, you will need to eat more high-quality proteins and healthy fats. Prolonged fasting provokes symptoms of blood sugar imbalance, such as frequent hunger or headaches with late meals.
Because hormones in women are very sensitive to stress, intermittent fasting is discouraged by gynecologists, with the exception of certain phases of the menstrual cycle, such as the first days after menstruation. If you have problems with your cycle, intermittent fasting is not for you.
Meals once a day
The One Meal A Day meal plan, or OMAD diet, is an extreme form of intermittent fasting, also called the 23: 1 diet because you are fasting 23 hours a day and consume food during the hour window.
The theory is that the body can get all the nutrients it needs in just one meal if it’s harvested correctly – usually one serving of meat, a serving of two different vegetables, generous servings of whole grains and legumes, and some carbs. There should also be some milk or yogurt.
The theory states that if you only eat once, then you are paying more attention to food. It also, as claimed by adepts, helps the body use stored fat, which over time leads to weight loss.
Cons of single meals
Doctors are wary of the OMAD diet. Some fitness experts argue that it is potentially less harmful than extreme diets that cut calorie intake or eliminate food groups altogether. But doctors will tell you that neither extreme is healthy, even in the short term.
You will experience sharp drops in energy, fatigue, especially if you stick to this diet for more than two weeks. Expect irritability and impaired attention, concentration. Even in healthy, non-diabetic adults, the OMAD plan will adversely affect insulin production and pancreatic secretion. LDL or bad cholesterol levels can jump.
OMAD is usually used in short bursts – five to ten days – by those looking to lose weight quickly. It is also used as a kind of detox plan for those who feel sluggish after, say, an overly active holiday season. Regardless of the duration, it is hard on the body, and people trying OMAD must be under medical supervision and plan their meals with the help of a specialist.
Ideally, it will be one meal a day with regular small snacks of fruits, nuts, and dried fruits. Plus, you need to drink plenty of water at intervals of three or four hours.
People with chronic illnesses should avoid OMAD and all radical diets. This includes diabetics, people with an imbalance in the thyroid gland, unstable blood pressure, fatty liver disease, uricemia, or gout. People on medications, patients with high acidity, breastfeeding mothers, and pregnant women should avoid this and other radical dietary plans.