I’ve been eating 1 meal a day for the last couple of weeks.
Simple. I wanted to switch things up, clean out the system and claim some of the benefits of not eating. But more than anything, I wanted to test my fortitude.
And it was a breeze, to be honest. Easiest diet routine I’ve ever followed. I simply did not eat all day and had a massive (I mean massive) meal at dinner time.
People around me thought I was crazy.
“You’re losing too much weight.”
“How can you still work out every day?”
Easy. I said I’ll do it so I did it.
I know for most this is a very foreign concept. People say a lot of things, they talk a lot, but when it’s time to deliver, they’re nowhere to be seen.
But I’m a man of my word. If I say I’ll do something, you can rest assured it will get done.
And what followed was the best two weeks in recent memory. Come to think of it, I haven’t felt this good in years.
After 2 days on the protocol, my mood and mental clarity were at an all-time high. I felt calm but razor-sharp every day.
As a result, I got a lot more work done during my days. You wouldn’t believe how time-consuming your diet is until you reduce it to one meal a day. A true game changer.
But this goes far beyond mere time management and convenience.
At around 4-5 PM every day, I would experience an intense, almost euphoric high that lasted several hours. I felt so damn good that I’m struggling to find the words to describe it.
“Pure bliss” comes close.
And the pleasure I got from eating my meal at night (anywhere between 18:00-21:00) was truly divine. Every day ended with a full belly and a big smile on my face.
I know what you’re thinking right now. “I bet your workouts sucked…” or something along those lines. But no.
Workout performance, especially endurance, was fantastic. Strength seemed to be slightly compromised on an empty stomach (don’t train fasted if max strength is your prime objective), but endurance… good God, was limitless.
I literally felt like I could go all day, every day.
In fact, since my energy levels were so high on this protocol, I sometimes would hit the gym twice a day. That’s right, two intense workouts a day on an empty stomach (not always completely empty, as I would allow myself 1-2 pieces of fruit on intense training days).
Did I lose weight on 1 meal a day?
No. Because I ate like a king every night, consuming between 3000-4000 calories in my one meal (Yeah, good times indeed). And this is key. If I didn’t compensate properly at dinner, I felt tired and weak the next day.
Will I continue on this protocol? Yes and no.
Stuffing myself every night and going to bed with a food baby isn’t very pleasant, so I decided to add a small meal at around lunchtime and eat less at my main meal.
That’s two meals a day on most days for me, with the occasional day of eating only once.
Undoubtedly, this is the best I’ve ever felt in my life. And I’m not going to give this up any time soon.
“I wish I had your willpower”
I often have people tell me, especially folks I haven’t seen in months or years things like “You know, I would really like to work out more, eat better, and do this and that… but I just don’t have the time, I’m too busy… the kids… my girlfriend/wife…”
And when people tell me these fairy tales, they can’t even maintain eye contact as we speak.
They can’t look me straight in the face because deep down, they know these stories are nothing but fabricated bullshit. Stories they tell themselves to justify their lack of doing.
Deep down they know it’s possible. Deep down they know it’s not a matter of time, money, or circumstance. They know it’s strictly a matter of doing the damn thing.
But trust me when I say, willpower alone will not get the job done.
Contrary to what some people think, you can’t will things into existence. You can’t will your way to a better body, better relationships, financial freedom or whatever else you desire.
Well, actually you can. But it’s certainly not as easy as saying “I will do it!”, I will start eating better…”, I will start strength training…”, “Let’s go champ!”
Yeah, that’s nice. But it is absolutely meaningless.
Willpower, like inspiration or motivation, can get you going, it can give you that initial boost, but after that, you’re on your own. You see, willpower is a limited resource and should only be used in moderation, strategically and sparingly here and there.
You cannot rely on willpower to get you to the finish line, because all it takes is one day where you don’t feel like it, one day where you’re simply off (and we all have those days) to deplete your willpower and derail your momentum.
One bad day and you’re back to square one.
Routine Trumps Willpower
I’m a creature of habit. I like to do the same things over and over again.
I like working out every day. I like eating the same handful of meals over and over again. And I like watching the same old reruns of Two and a Half Men.
I like having a simple, steady, boring routine. And if there is one thing I learned working with my clients over the years, it’s that routine is the key to success.
Routine will get you from A to B. From skinny-fat to rock-solid. From laughably weak to superhuman strong. From chump to champ.
You can’t rely on motivation, desire, or willpower. You need something better. You need to start putting the right habits in place and automate your days.
How do you do that?
Easy. You set up a daily routine for yourself (the simpler the better). A routine that moves you closer to your goals. A routine you can follow without channeling your willpower.
And then you simply go through the motions. You take the same steps over and over again. You go through the motions until you are where you want to be.
Eat 1 meal a day? Done.
Work out 30 minutes every morning before work? Done.
Walk 30-60 minutes every day during your lunch break? Done.
Get 7 h+ of sleep every night? Done.
Forget willpower. Forget motivation. Forget all these empty words. They are meaningless.
You do not need more motivation, more opportunities or more time. You need a plan you can stick to consistently. A bulletproof routine that blends seamlessly into your everyday life. And you need the fortitude to follow it to the very end.
So grow a pair and get after it.
[For the record, I do not recommend eating 1 meal a day for most people. It works great for me and my personal preferences but you might not agree. Only one way to find out.]
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