The wisdom of chow – eat once a day only

October 10, 2016

Many of my regular readers frequently ask me – how it’s like to survive on only one meal a day and how did I end up with such an unusual lifestyle choice.

Q: Can you list out the benefits of eating only once a day compared to a normal three meal diet?

A: I can only speak about my own experience. Better weight management. Stopping and reversing premature aging. Significantly increased focus, alertness and energy level. Less likely to feel sleepy or tired during the afternoon. Less down time searching for food all the time. Saves money.

Q: What are the negatives?

A: None. Maybe just one pitfall – it would certainly be really awkward if you’re trying to date a girl first for lunch to hopefully make it to a full candle light dinner when you don’t even eat lunch.

Q: How did you discover this lifestyle? I say ‘discover’ as it is widely known you have pioneered this way of eating for a very long time.

A: I wouldn’t exactly call myself a pioneer in the true sense of the word. Maybe you can term me deliberate and even cerebral in my approach. As I have always seen fit to regularly interrogate modern habits of consumption – only because restricting one’s diet either by fasting or limiting the opportunities to consume food is a common practice that had been around for thousands of years. I don’t think it’s necessary for me to list the benefits of a restrictive diet – anyone could just as well google it up.

But to add on – on my original motivation to only eat once a day, much of it had to do with living in a tribal culture where it’s quite normal to only eat once a day.

It seems very curious to me modern man is the only animal in this planet who seems to eat at set times at least three or more times a day. No other large carnivorous mammal can ever do that even if they want too in nature – and it’s even doubtful pre Industrial man could have even lived such a lifestyle given the scarcity of food and opportunities to cook food – so my point is this whole idea of consuming three or four meals at specific time intervals during the course of a day is quite a recent cultural phenomenon.

Q: Why do you think modern man has developed this habit of eating three square meals a day?

A: I don’t want to come across as a conspiracy theorist. But what’s noteworthy for your learning outcome perhaps is when I first started to change my lifestyle many years ago to only eat one meal a day – I really wanted to know whether there were other people who did the same. There were of course many who were doing what I did – eating only once a day – only they were all tribal people…folk that modern man prefer to label as uncivilized, backward and savages – as most tribal cultures never eat three meals a day. At times when food is short, they even fast. Food consumption is always relatable to seasons and constraints in a tribal setting, what impressed me most about the tribal lifestyle was man is the most flexible link in the chain who always seems to be making adjustments to keep the balance.

This however seems to be the reverse in modern city culture where not only is man rigid and perhaps even dogmatic in his consumption pattern, but you could even say he even doesn’t feel any motivation or inclination to question whether there is any compelling reason to support the case that it’s even necessary, worthwhile and beneficial to eat three times a day.

To me this is a very serious omission that I seem to experience great difficulty in understanding – perhaps one reason that can explain my sense of estrangement has a lot to do with my own life that is closer to the frontier sort of life. So whenever I encounter ‘civilization’ the contrast can be starker and even sharpen the experience…I feel when one is marinating 24/7 in the city, it’s very difficult to even realize one has inadvertently fallen into a mind trap.

It could well be our modern lifestyle is shortening our lives, triggering premature aging and even dangerous to our mental and physical well being.

Q: You really believe our modern eating habits is dangerous?

A: Well like I said, till today. No one. Not even nutritionist or even physicians can actually support the idea man is designed for three square meals – so to me this whole idea of three meals is a manufactured reality – it’s a concept that seems to benefit everyone from cereal producers to the snack industry. Everyone except maybe the consumer – since he has to keep eating and eating stuff that he wouldn’t be eating in the first place if he has a habit of only eating one meal a day.

Q: But this whole idea of breakfast, lunch and dinner is really quite ubiquitous and even common. So common that it even goes back to antiquity.

A: That’s not true. It can’t be true. Because there are a lot of stuff that we are eating for breakfast that did not exist at all in the ancient world. There are also a lot of stuff that we are eating for lunch and breakfast that could not possibly have been served up in the ancient world due to lack of preservation technology or scarcity.

It’s conceivable the only reason why many of us are programmed to eat three square meals has more to do with our bovine attitude not to interrogate this idea of how much and what time we should eat – the default position is we have outsourced that thinking aspect to corporations, marketers and people who are always trying to sell us stuff – so naturally they will tell you to eat three million times a day!

Q: And how do you deal intelligently with this question of how much and when to eat?

A: I only eat when I am hungry. I only feel very hungry at the end of the day around eight to ten in the evening.

Q: What explains your keen interest on this subject?

A: I am a planter. It’s only natural for me to be very serious about the whole idea of food and sustainability. Besides I genuinely care about the well being of kids and animals and I just want to encourage others to think deeper about food – after all you’re really what you choose to eat or not.


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