I have a secret for you…
Your body doesn't need to eat food every 3 hours to be healthy.
In fact, eating so often is not natural to the body.
The reality is this…
The only reason we desire food every 3 hours is because we're eating carbohydrate foods.
Carb foods do two things to us:
- They don't satisfy our hunger and
- They produce intense cravings every 3 hours
So no matter how much carbohydrate foods you eat, you never feel satisfied.
Ever ate and ate and ate until your stomach was about to explode … and then wanted dessert?
That's because you were eating carbohydrate foods.
When you eat animal foods that are high in vitamins and saturated fat, it's nearly impossible to overeat.
When you eat fatty meat once per day you become satisfied.
And that's what I found out when I ate one meal a day every day for 30 days.
One Meal A Day (OMAD)
During the B&D 30 Day Challenge, I challenged myself to eating only one meal per day, every day.
That is not the same as intermittent fasting. I did not eat all of my food in a 4 hour window and call it one meal.
I literally ate one meal per day.
These are the foods I ate: Grassfed ribeye steaks, grassfed beef liver, pastured bacon, raw butter, pastured eggs, goat meat, and pork chops.
This is nearly all I ate, though I did cheat approximately 5 times and eat ice cream which I will explain later.
But first, let's start at the beginning…
I was used to eating 3 meals per day: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
I was on the carnivore diet and my usual meals consisted of steak, steak, and steak.
I felt fantastic eating 3 meals per day (again, meat only).
I wanted to challenge my own self-discipline and will and I wanted to make my mind stronger than my body.
So I committed to one meal per day, even though I felt great eating 3 meals per day.
Here's exactly what happened…
On the first day I felt intense hunger around noon time.
This hunger lasted perhaps one hour and when I persevered, this hunger vanished and I felt a sense of euphoria and energy that I hadn't experienced in a long time.
I ate that day's meal at 5pm, so between 12 noon and 5pm I felt really fantastic.
That evening I ate a fat ribeye steak.
1st day = easy
On the 2nd day I had the exact same hunger pang around noon and again I pushed through it.
I did not experience the same euphoria and energy as I did the first day, but I felt absolutely fine and had no intense desire to eat right away.
I made it until 5pm when I ate another fat steak.
2nd day = easy
Things took a turn for the worse on the 3rd day…
During the day I was reading book after book about nutrition and this caused me to think about food all day long.
I began my meal early because of this (at 3pm rather than 5pm) but halfway through my meal I had to leave to visit a family member in the hospital.
This took 2 hours and when I returned I was obviously still hungry, and mentally weak, so I ate my normal food plus some vanilla ice cream.
This proved to be a big mistake.
3rd day = difficult
On the 4th day I absolutely craved carbohydrates all day long.
On the previous days, my cravings were easy or zero, but after eating ice cream my carb cravings were absolutely intense.
I did not give in and ate only meat, but I certainly wanted ice cream again.
4th day = difficult
On the 5th day I again had intense hunger pangs around noon, but I persevered and did not eat until 5pm.
Again, I craved carbs but not quite as heavily as the previous day. I ate nothing but steak.
On the 5th night my dreams became incredibly vivid.
My dreams were like watching a full movie from start to finish.
5th day = medium
On the 6th day I had great energy in the afternoon.
Vibrant, clear, and alert.
Usually in the afternoon I would eat lunch and my energy would be decreased.
I thought to myself, “If I did eat right now my energy would definitely without question instantly decrease.”
I did not eat until 5pm, at which point again I ate only meat.
6th day = wonderful
On the 7th day I ate liver, raw butter, and pork ribs.
One hour after eating was still hungry and ate some raw milk cheese.
(Cheese seems to make it harder to defecate. I never once felt bloated or constipated but I typically do not defecate the day after eating cheese.)
Regarding the pork ribs, they were pastured pork ribs and very lean. They had almost no fat on them and I found myself again very hungry again even after eating the cheese.
Also on the 7th day I weighed myself at the gym and I had lost 4 lbs in one week.
This caused me to wonder if I was eating enough food and if I was losing weight too quickly.
My goal was never to lose weight, only to conquer the mind.
Unfortunately, the mind conquered me on the 7th day and I wondered heavily if I needed to eat carbs to maintain weight.
Because I was so scared of losing weight, and also mentally weak on this day, I ordered a cheese pizza and bought a bucket of vanilla ice cream.
I had absolutely horrendous heartburn in the middle of the night, something I never experience on the all-meat diet.
7th day = mistakes were made
The cravings on this day were absolutely intense. I felt “starving” and was wondering if I made the right decision to eat only one meal per day.
I felt sure I was not getting enough calories.
On the 8th day I was again mentally weak.
After my 5pm meal of meat I finished it with ice cream.
8th day = hard
On the 9th day I again had intense cravings for carbohydrates but I did not allow myself any ice cream.
At 5pm I ate only meat.
9th day = hard but disciplined
On the 10th day I noted that hunger was with me every day, seemingly all the time.
This is what I wrote in my personal journal:
Hunger is here every day. This process has become spiritual. It is a battle against the mind, to conquer one’s own mind. Hunger is the teacher of the spiritual.
3 meals a day and sleeping in was better for the work, but rising early and eating one meal a day set in motion a chain of events that could not have happened otherwise.
Hunger pangs last about 10 minutes and then they go away.”
I forgot to mention that in addition to eating only one meal per day, I was waking up at 5am every day.
This caused a big change and a forced adaptation, which took a little while to get used to.
10th day = very hard
On the 11th day I finally got enough sleep and felt absolutely incredible all day.
Hunger was no problem at all and I did not have the “black and white” feeling that insufficient sleep gives you.
I felt incredible and happy all day. Loved the idea of finishing all my daily work before I spent time eating.
I ate only meat.
11th day = fantastic
On the 12th day didn’t get as much sleep as the night before but still felt pretty good and banged out a 2400 word article like it was no problem.
At 5pm I ate goat chops and goat burgers. My mind was feeling a little dull or a little down.
I ate ice cream after eating meat and “felt better.”
Later that night I experienced total failure and went to a local Mexican restaurant for 4 tacos. All of my meals were eaten in a 6 hour window, so not OMAD.
That night I noticed that when I eat carbs my hands always fall asleep at night. They get a pins and needs feeling that doesn't happen when I eat meat only.
12th day = total failure
Up until this day I had been force-feeding because I was scared of losing too much weight.
I was forcing myself to eat past the point of satiety just to get the extra calories in.
It was on the 12th day that I recognized the fact that my body does not like big meals.
What I learned is that big meals aren’t actually necessary. One normal sized meal per day is enough.
I ate a HUGE meal on the 12th day and did not defecate well on the morning of the 13th day.
Big meals make it harder to digest and harder to defecate (and also cheese backs you up).
I also realized how vital sleep is.
Whenever I get my full 9.5 hours sleep I have solid discipline and stay away from carbs but when I get less sleep I crave carbs and give in.
When sleep is insufficient, self-discipline is insufficient.
Insufficient sleep directly leads me to low self-discipline which directly leads me to eating carbohydrates which directly leads me to inferior energy and inferior mental clarity.
As noted in my personal journal:
My concentration is inferior when I eat carbs.”
On the 13th day I ignored the cravings for carbohydrates and ate meat only.
13th day = revealing
On the 14th day I started cooking my steaks outside on the grill.
This proved to be the best choice I made.
The steaks tasted better cooked over an open fire and the air was chilly and proved a good boost of vitality to my lungs.
I absolutely loved cooking my food outside on an open fire and eating my food outside in the cool air.
The cravings for carbohydrates on this day were strong, but I was stronger and did not give in.
On the 14th day I also moved my daily meal from 5pm to the afternoon (on this day it was around 2pm).
14th day = easier
This is what I wrote in my personal journal:
Ate nothing but meat yesterday and feel fine, the carb cravings are decreasing.
It’s easier every day to not eat carbs. When you eat carbs, you crave carbs.
Eating one meal per day with carbs is very emotionally taxing.
Carbs fix depression and make you feel better? They caused the depression in the first place.
In the total absence of carbs, the mood is always bright.
When eating carbs, and when away from carbs for more than 3 hours, the mood is dark. Hence “Hangry”.
I prefer an afternoon meal to an evening meal.
I dislike waiting so long to eat, especially when I’ve been waking up at 5am and finishing my work by 1pm or so.
Waiting those extra hours seems pointless. After I eat my one meal I am content for the night so it seems better to be content than to wait and not be content.
Up until this time, eating one meal per day had been emotionally demanding.
I often felt blue, sad, and even depressed.
I was constantly second guessing my decision to both eat one meal a day and rise at 5am every morning.
Moving my one meal to the afternoon helped tremendously.
15th day = medium
On the 16th day I ate my meal around noon.
I felt absolutely awesome eating my one meal at lunch time.
I ate a fatty pork chop and 12 scrambled egg yolks (no whites) and became EXTREMELY full.
16th day = awesome
By now I've been cooking all my food outside on the grill.
I never want to use a stove ever again.
I also started blessing my food before I eat it and I will try to keep up the habit forever.
17th day = easy
From my personal journal:
I ate 3 burgers last night and got full. Didn’t poo-poo this morning but feel fine. Haven’t experience hunger yet (11:45am).”
I ate raw beef and some eggs last night. Defecated fine in the morning.
Some days I skip the toilet but I never feel bloated or constipated.
From my journal:
After last night’s raw beef and scrambled eggs, I feel pretty hungry today (12 noon) and will eat the remaining pork chops (maybe). Definitely feel very hungry around noon today. Raw beef and eggs don’t seem to last too long. I passed through the hunger pangs and they vanished.”
20th day – 21st day
4 words can describe every day for the last week:
“Meat only, very easy.”
Not only has every day been very easy, but the initial sadness I felt on this diet completely vanished.
My sleep has been excellent and I only get mild hunger pangs in the afternoon.
I eat my meal at lunch time rather than dinner time and I feel absolutely fantastic.
All of the initial doubts I had in my mind have completely vanished.
My weight completely stabilized after losing only 4 lbs.
I never feel cravings or hunger. I never feel sadness. I feel happy, satisfied, content.
If I had to use one word to describe how I feel every day, that word would be: BLISS.
I have never been happier in my life than I am right now.
I have learned that:
- We constantly overeat food
- We are never satisfied and content
- We are over stimulated in all ways
One meal a day is more than sufficient. I feel I could eat one meal every 2 days and be satisfied. The thought of eating meals every 3 hours seems grotesque.
On the 22nd day I drove to Albuquerque and planned to eat burgers on the drive.
I did this knowing that I would get the carb cravings and I wanted to test myself.
Also after eating 2 fast food cheeseburgers I got a tummy ache.
With this understanding of “junk foods” – that they always make me feel terrible – every day for a week afterwards was very easy.
23rd day – Bacon only
24th day – Beef only
25th day – Bacon, eggs, and pork brains
26th day – Bacon, eggs, pork brains, beef liver
27th day (Thanksgiving) – Duck bacon, wild boar bacon, buffalo steak, beef steak, sausage
28th day – Beef burgers with raw sauerkraut (sauerkraut is fermented and therefore less damaging than cooked or raw vegetables)
29th day – Beef only
30th day – Beef and liver
I didn't look in the mirror for 30 days.
I hadn't weighed myself since the end of the first week.
On the 30th day I woke up and looked in the mirror.
My reaction was simply: “wow.”
I had lost weight certainly, and become even mildly skinny, but I was a natural lean. In total I lost 7 lbs in 30 days.
I now have the look of a surfer or a swimmer rather than a bodybuilder, but this look is nearly without effort as I do not do standard bodybuilding workouts.
In fact, the only workouts I do are to activate muscles that atrophy from sitting to do computer work (neck, glutes, hamstrings mostly) and I do a lot of stretching.
Even though I was skinny compared to how I used to look as a bodybuilder, I was quite happy knowing that I could keep a nice physique and nice tone completely naturally (I took no bodybuilding supplements of any kind during this 30 day trial).
Thought other people did notice and remark that I was noticeably skinnier. Because of this, I will likely add raw goat milk to my diet to regain some of my lost weight.
What I learned eating one meal a day
Keeping a strict routine is very important to your success.
If you fall out of your normal routine your self-discipline shrinks.
I noticed this when making the 9 hour drive to Albuquerque. During this long drive, and with constant billboards advertising junk food, it was difficult to not pull over and get junk food.
I also did not listen to any music or any podcasts on the 9 hour drive. I did not listen to any music because I wanted to do a quick dopamine fast and be alone with my thoughts.
But I was hardly alone with my thoughts because in the heartland of the United States you cannot go 3 miles without seeing a billboard for some kind of addictive food.
We don't eat because we're hungry, we eat because we're bored (or addicted to junk).
We often eat not because we are hungry, but because we are bored.
When you make the decision to only eat one meal per day you are forced to confront this fact.
Self-discipline shrinks when you're tired.
It's very important to get enough sleep if you plan to do this challenge.
The less sleep you get, the less self-discipline and willpower you have.
I found myself going to bed at 8:30 pm and waking between 5-6 am.
The first 2 weeks are hard.
They can be very hard. But after that, it's easy.
And actually it's not only easy, it's great. It's wonderful.
On this 30 day journey I found something I was not expecting to find…
Am I going to continue eating one meal a day?
I am going to eat when I am hungry.
In particular, I am going to regain some lost weight. I became noticeably skinnier at the end of the 30 days.
On many days it was extremely easy to eat only one meal in the afternoon.
1 lb of bacon in particular kept me full for 24 hours or more.
On other days, it was harder. I am going to use one meal a day as my “base” but I am not going to limit or starve myself.
If I'm hungry, I will eat. If I am not experiencing true hunger, I will not eat.
I will skip breakfast and eat a meal at lunch time. If I need more in the evening, I will have more.
On any normal day I will follow the zero-carb carnivore diet and eat simply when I am hungry. Your body knows better what you need than a clock knows.
To put it simply, I'm going to eat food when I'm hungry and drink water when I'm thirsty.
The one meal a day for 30 days plan was a spiritual journey.
I will do this every November from now on.
As the muslims follow Ramadan, Victor Pride follows Novembadan.
Do I recommend you follow the OMAD plan?
If you're fat, yes.
Fat people can and should follow the one meal a day plan until they aren't fat anymore.
If you're skinny, no.
Skinny people should not eat one meal a day, they should eat 3 or 4 and gain weight.
If you're standard, yes.
For standard bodied men and women I recommend you do it once a year for 30 days.
What you will find may surprise you.
You'll learn more about yourself in 30 days of one meal a day than you will in 55 years of 3 meals a day.
And at the end you may experience what I experienced…
Until next time.
PS – If you want to experience the bliss that I experienced during this 30 day challenge, I would suggest picking up the upcoming ebook entitled: MONK MODE: The Path of the Ultimate and The Key to Self-Mastery.
In the meantime, the original 30 day challenge, 30 Days of Discipline, will be $7 until the end of the year.