Advice in reducing meals to one a day.

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Advice in reducing meals to one a day.

Post by Miguel » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:10 am

Hello to everyone, friends. I open this new thread here instead of doing so in the 'Wellness, Diet & Fitness' section since it seems to regard more a matter of discipline than one of any of those things. If moderators don't find that this is its proper place, they are free to move it there.

As the title states, I would like to hear how have you managed to transform in a habit the practice of eating only one meal a day, and always before noon. I have been able to reduce my feeding times to two, but going further has proven very difficult, specially because I'm living the lay life and have constant interactions with food during the day (I work in a restaurant's kitchen). Thanks!

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Re: Advice in reducing meals to one a day.

Post by JamesTheGiant » Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:40 am

Start by doing it only in the weekends, when you're not working.

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Re: Advice in reducing meals to one a day.

Post by rightviewftw » Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:25 am

I think it is good to reflect on the benefits of moderation of food as well as the drawbacks of not doing it.

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Re: Advice in reducing meals to one a day.

Post by salayatananirodha » Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:23 am

How the nutriment of physical food should be regarded ... .than.html
King Pasenadi goes on a diet ... .olen.html

I've personally tried it and found it to be very manageable. If it weren't for craving, I'd still be doing it
It's easier if you are a morning person
I'm also not a morning person.
Let your OMAD effort be the result of developing the lower stages of the path. If you'd asked me, I would have posted this in the sīla sub-forum (higher precept).
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

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Re: Advice in reducing meals to one a day.

Post by DarrenM » Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:18 pm

Me personally, I’d say you’ve got to go through the pang of craving for food as your body doesn’t necessarily need it. It hurts at first, but will lessen over time.

Also when you slip up maybe a couple of times a week at the start don’t be too hard on yourself and remind yourself that your training towards it. I also eat another meal if me and my family ever go for a meal somewhere 1-2 a month. Food is not really attractive either when you think of all the hands it’s been through to get to your stomach (and where those hands have been!)

And finally get used to trying to ensure you get enough food to sustain you for the day. It took me a while but now I know how much I need. Good luck.

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Re: Advice in reducing meals to one a day.

Post by Dorje Shedrub » Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:52 pm

Water helps with hunger pangs. Also, depending on tradition, strained juice, coffee or tea without milk, is allowed. When I attended a Khmer wat, the yaychee would make a banana smoothie for a few of the monks who were quite active physically (I dont know if she used milk or water).

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Outwards and unbounded,"

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Re: Advice in reducing meals to one a day.

Post by Chula » Tue Jul 03, 2018 4:12 am

If you're working in a restaurant kitchen it will be hard to practice one meal a day without steady sense restraint which is hard to do in lay life.

I suggest you keep to 2 meals a day before noon and focus more on finding time for meditation and Dhamma study.

One meal a day is something that is best done in a monastery setting where you can focus on meditation for most of the day. It's not as conducive to lay life where your attention is elsewhere and you use much more of your physical energy during the day. It also depends a lot on your line of work - I'd imagine if there is minimal social interaction and contact with food it would be easier to take on. That doesn't seem to be the case for you.

I tried 1-1.5 meals a day for about a couple years back when I was working full-time and in hindsight I think it would've been better to have 2 meals (without being overly strict about noon and just have the 2nd meal when it is convenient) and focus more on finding time for meditation (1h in the morning and 1h at night at least).

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Re: Advice in reducing meals to one a day.

Post by Laurens » Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:20 am

Maybe over egging it is a good way to train yourself. It certainly worked for me. Much of my food addiction was cured by a month of going on a restrictive diet. Once I went back, regular meals were enough of a treat that I didn't crave anything else.

Perhaps try fasting for a whole 24 hour period a few times when the conditions are right for you to do so. Do it on a day when you don't have to do much, and aren't going to be required to be in a particular mood etc. Then once you've tackled that a few times, not eating after noon will be a walk in the park.
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Re: Advice in reducing meals to one a day.

Post by TamHanhHi » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:05 pm

What's most difficult for you? Hunger pangs or the temptation of being around food?
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Re: Advice in reducing meals to one a day.

Post by markandeya » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:47 pm


Its definitely good for more good energy of mind if the balance is done right, its also helps to wake up early with a clear mind and not heavy feeling because the body will rest completely and one will have more energy as a general rule. I am one for promoting practice in the morning 4 am is good if you can make it, its usually known as an auspicious time for practice, usually around 48 minutes before sunrise. By using this period skillfully great amounts of change can come about, it can take upto 3 months to adjust

I would suggest to cut down in heavy meals slowly, because the body follows patterns, most people eat at regular times due to habit at certain times, they may or may not be hungry. It will also depend on your lifestyle and how active you are, moderation and mindfulness are key.

I read recently somewhere that the tradition of not eating at night was due to practical reasons of monks going into towns later at night to collect alms, usually around night times people are in more relaxed mood, they may drink more, and women were supposed to be more forthcoming even to monks or monks could have found themselves in situations that they would not usually experience in the morning alms collection. Also some stories that Monks would be in more danger out at night, and sometimes lose their way, fall in a ditch, be at danger from roaming animals. Also another reason given was that the sangha did not want to be a burden on lay communities to keep asking for to much and they were not allowed to store.

Try eating light meals at night, and bring it down to bear minimum, your only under your own pressure to try these things so experiment and try things out. Sometimes even a few nuts can calm down hunger pains.

I think that having loads of food in one go can have health implications. I spent time in Korea travelling with local Korean Monks and they eat 3 times a day, usually very simple vegan foods, rice and pickled cabbage being the main part of the diet. I did this for a period of around 4 months and was very healthy. If one can learn to raise ones chi or prana that will help with an energy source not related to food, this will naturally bring down excessive eating and promote good energy in the mind.

There is a lot of common misunderstanding about renunciation and tapas, real tapas is physic heat that naturally occurs or can be induced by certain practices, it has very little to do with forced austerity, many monks and yogis who can do super human feats are in natural states of absorption's and not in self denial and gritting their teeths to overcome usual bodily and mind demands.

Be careful, wise and mindful.

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Re: Advice in reducing meals to one a day.

Post by Miguel » Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:25 pm

Many thanks to all for your replies. They are all very thoughtful, and I have tried to synthesize them into a more or less defined how-to-do-it-and-what-to-expect mind frame. After some months, I am still fighting the hunger pangs at night and the occasional desire that arises from seeing food that, to be honest, would surely taste good. Fortunately, a tendency has going on from then until today to be less and less hungry when fasting or during normal lunch and dinner hours. I remain confident how the situation will develop in the future, thanks to all of your good advice.

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