Why one meal a day?

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.
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Dhamma_Basti
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by Dhamma_Basti » Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:45 pm

Yes from my experience it is just a matter of practice. Right now I eat 3-4 meals a days and sometimes something in between and my weight is quite low (mainly due to the fact that I am constantly overworked). Duing retreat when allowed to eat only one or two meals a day I always manage to gain weight. Maybe the first days I am starving a little but then the body quickly learns how to get what he needs. ^^
But on retreat I am also much more concerned about health and eating very consciously. In daily life that's not so much the case... Many times it's only some musli while still reading a paper, finishing this, that etc... Well could be better but thats life I think.
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SarathW
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by SarathW » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:21 pm

samseva wrote:It is important to take into account that, for monks, eating only one meal a day isn't for deprivation, but for practical reasons. It is a rule that was laid down by the Buddha mainly to reduce the effort exerted by the lay people to offer alms, time needed to go on alms round, etc.. Even more so, one meal a day is one of the dhutanga (ascetic practices).

When monks eat only one meal a day, they eat a huge meal in one sitting. Also, some monks sometimes eat something small in the morning (since the rule is to not eat after midday).

If you are eating one meal a day, it is important to eat a huge meal. One that is 2-3 meals in size; especially if you are physically active.
I feel that there are other spiritual benefit of fasting. (say not eating after noon)
I can't give any practical advise as I still have my dinner. (even though I am struggling to avoid dinner for more that six months)
People in Islam faith fast for one month. (not all follow this rule) One reason they do it for health benefits and build a compassion for poor people.
So fasting after mid day is a serious matter.
Do not take it lightly.
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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samseva
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by samseva » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:29 pm

SarathW wrote:I feel that there are other spiritual benefit of fasting. (say not eating after noon)
I can't give any practical advise as I still have my dinner. (even though I am struggling to avoid dinner for more that six months)
People in Islam faith fast for one month. (not all follow this rule) One reason they do it for health benefits and build a compassion for poor people.
So fasting after mid day is a serious matter.
Do not take it lightly.
:thinking:
Yes, especially for meditation, but it still is for practical reasons. When eating one meal a day, it is important to know the reasons why you are doing so; not doing it just because monks do it.

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ihrjordan
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by ihrjordan » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:47 am

Why did the Buddha require fasting for trainees?

1. So the monks don't require food all the time/contentment/less strain on lay people

2. ALOT less prone to lustful thoughts, because of less salt, brain drugs etc.

3. For the feeling of lightness, both in body and in mind.

4. For the benefit of energy and lack of sloth

5. So monks didn't go out at night searching for food and run into shady characters

6. Freedom from sickness (I would say this is the biggest reason, I've been fasting for 8 days and the health benefits are limitless)
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifest ... e-you.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; It's also been shown to be effective in fighting cancer...

7. For lay people (You save all kinds of time and money)

8. Another likely reason is religious separation. The Jews don't eat pork and a myriad of other things specifically so they will be known for not eating those foods and the chances are less that they will dine with someone who follows a different eating creed. Muslims and Christians do this for the same reasons, so I don't think Buddhism is the exception. If you don't eat in the afternoon you spend a whole lot less time catching up over meals with pointless talk.

Try out fasting if you're curious. There's a reason it's been praised throughout history as our bodies natural cure. The Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed all praised the benefits of fasting. Don't listen to all the nutritional experts, the human body is capable of amazing things.

SarathW
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by SarathW » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:04 am

:goodpost: Ihrjordan
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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tattoogunman
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by tattoogunman » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:54 am

I was speaking with regards to lay people and not so much those who are ordained. I can see the practical side of it for a practicing monk, but not so much for a lay person living a normal life. Starving yourself has more health detriments than it does benefit, ask anyone who has ever been stuck at sea or in the dessert. I'm also not talking about practicing fasting for a few days here and there because of a religious observation (even in Ramadan they still eat, it's only after sundown though). Again, even the Buddha himself gave up the ascetic aspects in this regard and stopped starving himself to death. Skipping meals and then trying to scarf down three or four meals worth of food in one sitting is also not healthy. Everyone is free to do their own thing, so don't get me wrong. I just personally don't see any legitimate health benefit from depriving yourself of food for no real good reason. :tongue:

SarathW
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by SarathW » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:00 am

Are you talking from your experience?
If not what is the basis?
:thinking:
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tattoogunman
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by tattoogunman » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:06 am

SarathW wrote:Are you talking from your experience?
If not what is the basis?
:thinking:
Basis for what? Go talk to a medical doctor or dietitian if you think skimping out on food, engaging in unhealthy eating habits, or starving yourself is a healthy thing or not. I'm not saying that you cannot survive by doing so, obviously you can, but it doesn't mean you are necessarily going to be healthy from a medical and physical perspective. Again, everyone is free to do whatever they want. ;)

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samseva
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by samseva » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:05 am

If you read up on anthropology, you will find out that our ancestors, for many millions of years, lived probably eating only one meal a day—sometimes nothing at all for many days, when food was scarce. We have biologically evolved to live in such a way.

Studies have been conducted about intermittent fasting and calorie restriction. Across the board, they have discovered that it increases lifespan and decreases the prevalence of certain diseases and conditions.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermittent_fasting
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie_restriction

On the contrary, I would say that eating three square meals a day is actually unhealthy.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... ealth.html

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Sam Vara
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by Sam Vara » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:22 am

ihrjordan wrote: The Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed all praised the benefits of fasting...
Jesus is reported as fasting, recommends certain behaviours for those who fast, and makes references to it; it was obviously a religious practice of the time. But does he actually praise its benefits?

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:59 am

samseva wrote:IStudies have been conducted about intermittent fasting and calorie restriction.
The Five-Two Diet also recommends intermittent fasting. The two fast days allow 500 calories for women and 600 for men.
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Alobha
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by Alobha » Thu Jul 30, 2015 9:19 am

samseva wrote:If you read up on anthropology, you will find out that our ancestors, for many millions of years, lived probably eating only one meal a day—sometimes nothing at all for many days, when food was scarce. We have biologically evolved to live in such a way.

Studies have been conducted about intermittent fasting and calorie restriction. Across the board, they have discovered that it increases lifespan and decreases the prevalence of certain diseases and conditions.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermittent_fasting
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calorie_restriction

On the contrary, I would say that eating three square meals a day is actually unhealthy.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... ealth.html
:goodpost:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
samseva wrote:IStudies have been conducted about intermittent fasting and calorie restriction.
The Five-Two Diet also recommends intermittent fasting. The two fast days allow 500 calories for women and 600 for men.
:goodpost:

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ihrjordan
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by ihrjordan » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:54 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
ihrjordan wrote: The Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammed all praised the benefits of fasting...
Jesus is reported as fasting, recommends certain behaviours for those who fast, and makes references to it; it was obviously a religious practice of the time. But does he actually praise its benefits?
Hmmm the evidence is weaker than previously suspected, but then again it does say " When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others when you are fasting, but only to your Father who is in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you. "©NET

Which of course is a far cray from praising the health benefits, then again I live in a heavily christian influenced society (U.S) so perhaps this is why the benefits of fasting have gone almost unnoticed among those in the medical field, with the exception of a select few...Anyways...nobody asked you Jesus!

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samseva
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by samseva » Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:06 pm

When the Europeans came over to the United States, they ate three meals a day whereas the Native Americans ate in a less restricted fashion — a practice which Butler claims the Europeans considered to be unrefined. Butler offered excerpts of an email interview with Abigail Carroll, author of the book Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, as proof of this point. “The eating schedule of the native tribes was less rigid … the Europeans took this as ‘evidence that natives were uncivilized,’ Carroll explained to me in an email,” Butler wrote. She said that Carroll told her that the Europeans believed that “civilized people ate properly and boundaried their eating, thus differentiating themselves from the animal kingdom, where grazing is the norm.”

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Vanda
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Re: One meal a day... at night?

Post by Vanda » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:10 pm

Jungblood

:goodpost:

I have adapted the Buddha's dietary guidance. My understanding is that you can take more than one meal between sunrise and noon. So you can have more than one meal. You could have some fuel for your body that morning before your workout or exercise, replenish yourself some more, later on, as you see fit, and then even have a meal before the sun hits midday (around noon), that's what I do. As for the time that transpires after, if hungry, water, juices, and certain herbal teas are still permitted, but I find fueling up in the morning before heavy activity like a run, works well for me.

:anjali:
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Last edited by Vanda on Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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