What is the danger of one or two meals a day during the 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 became 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 some tips that you can follow.
Two meals a day is the practice of a late breakfast (for example, at 10-11 o’clock), and then a full dinner at about 17 or 18 o’clock. All the rest of the time, between these meals, only liquid intake is allowed, without snacking.
A single meal is a meal in the evening, during dinner, with a volume of about 1000 kcal, and during the rest of the day there is nothing to eat. This leads to a fairly rapid weight loss. But how healthy is it to eat once or twice a day? Does this mode have any useful effects or will it only harm you?
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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 an opposite opinion – for maximum comfort, it is better to eat 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 followed correctly.
More and more research is being conducted on whether two meals a day can be used as a therapeutic tool to solve systemic problems and treat certain health conditions.
Autophagy, or the death of damaged cells, is one of the benefits of intermittent fasting.
The body has the innate intelligence to initially eat weak and old cells when it has no food. This means that you can initiate autophagy as a programmed death of damaged and worn-out cells, which helps optimize cellular activity.
In the process of autophagy, it is also possible to replace cells labeled by the immune system. When your body starts absorbing old cells and mimicking autophagy, over time it also replaces autoimmune cells, making it a great way to fight autoimmune conditions.
Over time, the number of stem cells increases. With a relatively long period of fasting, 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 produced in the liver during fasting or a low-carb diet, and the body begins to use ketones as a fuel source instead of glucose. The brain likes 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 the metabolic processes.
You need to combine intermittent fasting with a healthy diet that is low in sugar and starch and high in fiber, fat, protein, and vegetables.
Intermittent fasting can increase your body’s cortisol levels if you have adrenal dysfunction. If you’re struggling with stress and sleep problems, don’t go hungry.
Blood sugar imbalance – periodic 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 causes symptoms of blood sugar imbalance, such as frequent hunger or headaches when eating late.
Because women’s hormones are very sensitive to stress, intermittent fasting is discouraged by gynecologists, except during 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 fast 23 hours a day and consume food within an hour window.
The theory is that the body can get all the nutrients it needs in just one meal, if the dish is put together correctly-usually one serving of meat, a serving of two different vegetables, generous portions of whole grains and legumes, and some carbohydrates. There should also be some milk or yogurt.
The theory says that if you only eat once, it means you’re paying more attention to your food. It also helps the body to use stored fat, which leads to weight loss over time, according to adherents.