Why one meal a day?

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.
User avatar
Bhikkhu Pesala
Posts: 3687
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:17 pm

Re: 1 or 2 meals a day ?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:30 pm

It seems that a common practice in the time of the Buddha was for monks to collect their almsfood early in the morning and to eat it in a quiet place on the way back to the monastery if the journey was a long one.

The practice in Thai Forest monasteries was to eat the single meal about 9:00 am after all monks had returned from almsround and local supporters had brought curries to offer.

In Burma, the practice was to eat a breakfast of noodles or rice gruel at first light, then the meal of rice and curries at about 11:00 am.

In the West, both meals are later — maybe 7:00 am if you're lucky and just before midday for the second meal.

My practice is to eat most of my meal in the house where I go for alms at about 7:00 or 7:30, then to eat the left over fruit, etc., just before midday.

Tea or coffee without milk can be taken at any time, and fruit juices without pulp can be taken at any time before dawn. Lay people should also follow that practice if they wish to observe the Eight Precepts properly, and are not just trying to moderate their food intake.
AIM ForumsPāli FontsIn This Very LifeBuddhist ChroniclesSoftware (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

Saoshun
Posts: 276
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:59 pm

Re: 1 or 2 meals a day ?

Post by Saoshun » Sat Oct 03, 2015 6:59 pm

I eat two times a day, sometimes 3 times in the weekend, benefits are enormous to the body health and feeling, but you must get used to, first body can felt unpleasant, but the more you will follow it with time the more be at ease, I do not suggest to practice one meal a day if you are lay person.
Remember… the Buddha had said that everyone living in this world is crazy, by the phrase, “Sabbē prutajjana ummattakā”; excluding the Arahants, everyone else is crazy. Would you get angry if a mad person scolds? Do we get angry for a crazy thing done by a crazy person? Just think about it! :candle:

P0sey
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:59 pm

Re: 1 or 2 meals a day ?

Post by P0sey » Sat Oct 03, 2015 7:03 pm

Saoshun wrote:I eat two times a day, sometimes 3 times in the weekend, benefits are enormous to the body health and feeling, but you must get used to, first body can felt unpleasant, but the more you will follow it with time the more be at ease, I do not suggest to practice one meal a day if you are lay person.
Why not ?

Saoshun
Posts: 276
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:59 pm

Re: 1 or 2 meals a day ?

Post by Saoshun » Sat Oct 03, 2015 8:20 pm

Because for proper balance in the mind there is need for proper balance in the body. You will not get all the fuel from one meal a day.
Remember… the Buddha had said that everyone living in this world is crazy, by the phrase, “Sabbē prutajjana ummattakā”; excluding the Arahants, everyone else is crazy. Would you get angry if a mad person scolds? Do we get angry for a crazy thing done by a crazy person? Just think about it! :candle:

tuchopotila
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2014 2:10 am

Re: 1 or 2 meals a day ?

Post by tuchopotila » Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:19 pm

I stayed in a monastery in Sri Lanka for 3 months. I can say even when one eats as much as possible before noon it is rarely enough to stay sated for the rest of the day. You start to get hungry by sunset, and have to suffer until the next morning. I lost a lot a weight while I was there even when I tried to eat as much as I could. Also I found that the diet we had was not very nutritious either. We lacked fat in our diet. Maybe once a week we would get some butter, but it was never enough. I would eat the butter raw, not even taking the time to spread it on bread, because my body craved it so bad. It is not all sunshine and rainbows unfortunately the nun/monk life.

User avatar
Subharo
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:22 pm

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by Subharo » Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:14 pm

I prefer one meal a day to two. I guess the main reason is that it makes more time for other things, especially meditating. Each time you have another meal, there's considerable preparatory and cleanup work which is somewhat redundant (for example, wiping counters, tables, sweeping up, etc.). More "kuti time" is better.
Subharo Bhikkhu
"There is but one taste on this path, the taste of freedom" -The Buddha :buddha1:

SarathW
Posts: 8252
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by SarathW » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:03 pm

Bhante
You appear to be very young.
What age did you started taking one meal a day?
Was it gradual and how long it took to get used to it?
How do you take the required 2000K daily intake?

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

User avatar
Subharo
Posts: 107
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:22 pm

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by Subharo » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:42 pm

SarathW wrote: What age did you started taking one meal a day?
Was it gradual and how long it took to get used to it?
How do you take the required 2000K daily intake?
I entered the monastic lifestyle at age 30. That was 9 years ago.

The policies around meals can vary a lot from monastery to monastery. The abbot has a high degree of control over these policies. Oftentimes, you have to eat 2 meals a day, because that's what everyone else does, and you need to do what the others are doing, or it can make complications or disharmony.

I've only eaten one-meal-a-day for relatively short stretches so far. The longest stretch was 80 days (during a rare and precious 80-day retreat). Ajahn Sona, if you are out there reading this, THANK YOU for that 80 day retreat. :anjali:

Having said this, it looks pretty certain that I'll fairly soon be moving to a monastery where one-meal-a-day is the standard for all monks (Wat Buddha Dhamma, North of Sydney, Australia).

To get enough calories, you basically just keep eating and eating and eating until your stomach (not your brain) gives you the signal that you've hit the right amount. Once I began living in a monastery, it took me a year or two to tune into my stomach's signals (which I had been pretty much ignoring all my life). Back when I was a layperson, I used to weigh 15 or 20 pounds more than I currently weigh.

I would recommend to anyone that living in a monastery for at least a period of months (even as a "lay-steward") is a great chance to get in touch with your body more, when it comes to regulating eating habits. Not to mention all the other benefits.
Subharo Bhikkhu
"There is but one taste on this path, the taste of freedom" -The Buddha :buddha1:

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3476
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by Alex123 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:42 am

SarathW wrote: How do you take the required 2000K daily intake?
It is easy. Just blend a pound of cashews and drink it. In 15 minutes you will consume ~2000 calories.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

SarathW
Posts: 8252
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by SarathW » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:11 am

that is half a kilogram.
Thanks for that. I love cashews.
What about almonds?
:)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
samseva
Posts: 2095
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:59 pm

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by samseva » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:36 am

SarathW wrote:that is half a kilogram.
Thanks for that. I love cashews.
What about almonds?
:)
Alex123 wrote:It is easy. Just blend a pound of cashews and drink it. In 15 minutes you will consume ~2000 calories.
I know you are are just saying that to illustrate your point, but eating 35g of omega-6 would be a plan for serious systemic inflammation, as well as a load for the gallbladder and other organs. Even worst is that all those grams of omega-6 are certainly oxidized and basically toxic to the body.

If you do eat nuts on a daily basis, I would eat only 12-15g or so at the most—which is about 10 cashews or almonds. Raw and not roasted.

User avatar
samseva
Posts: 2095
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:59 pm

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by samseva » Fri Oct 16, 2015 2:49 am

SarathW wrote:How do you take the required 2000K daily intake?
Rice or another source of glucose, but especially fats like butter, and sugar. These are both very concentrated forms of calories, since there are 9 calories in a gram of fat, compared to 3 in a carbohydrate; sugar is basically a pure and crystalized carbohydrate. Eat protein and vegetables (and fat) with your meal to avoid a blood sugar spike, don't overdo it and you'll get about 2000 kcal—while also eating reasonably healthy.

User avatar
samseva
Posts: 2095
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:59 pm

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by samseva » Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:07 am

I have been eating one meal a day with sometimes a small breakfast (granola, no cooking or cleaning dishes) for a few months now. I lost some weight and was afraid I would continue losing more and more.

I am eating about 1600-2000 kcal daily. I weighed myself today and I actually gained a little more than a pound, which is very good news for me. Eating only one meal a day is so much better than eating two or three. It saves so much time; I can't imagine going back to three cooked meals a day.

SarathW
Posts: 8252
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by SarathW » Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:14 am

So you eat half a kilo of granola every morning?
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
samseva
Posts: 2095
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:59 pm

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by samseva » Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:30 am

SarathW wrote:So you eat half a kilo of granola every morning?
:thinking:
No, I eat a large meal in the afternoon. Part of the time, I also eat a little more than half a cup of granola with cream, blueberry juice and almonds in the morning.

SarathW
Posts: 8252
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by SarathW » Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:34 am

So you skip lunch but have breakfast and dinner?
I thought it is two meals.
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
samseva
Posts: 2095
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 12:59 pm

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by samseva » Fri Oct 16, 2015 3:56 am

SarathW wrote:So you skip lunch but have breakfast and dinner?
I thought it is two meals.
:thinking:
Well, I consider the half cup of granola as half of a meal. Although, sometimes I skip that as well.

SarathW
Posts: 8252
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2012 2:49 am

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by SarathW » Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:09 am

The way I understand the breakfast and the lunch is the most important.
:shrug:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1690
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by acinteyyo » Fri Oct 16, 2015 6:20 am

I'm trying again to change my foodintake to one meal a day. I find it to be difficult if I also try to eat the one meal before midday. I've read that in medieval times it was normal to have only one meal and having more than one meal a day was considered as gluttony.
subharo wrote:To get enough calories, you basically just keep eating and eating and eating until your stomach (not your brain) gives you the signal that you've hit the right amount. Once I began living in a monastery, it took me a year or two to tune into my stomach's signals (which I had been pretty much ignoring all my life). Back when I was a layperson, I used to weigh 15 or 20 pounds more than I currently weigh.
I've made the same observation. Ironically it only seems to work when I have the one meal at around 3 or 4 pm. If I eat a lot earlier I am hungry in the evening and if I eat later I feel like overeaten and lethargic. It seems to me that eating from one bowl helps to find the right balance with respect to the amount of food one actually needs, while the use of many vessels kind of blurr the real amount of food one consumes.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

User avatar
Alex123
Posts: 3476
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:32 pm

Re: Why one meal a day?

Post by Alex123 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 10:36 am

samseva wrote:
SarathW wrote:that is half a kilogram.
Thanks for that. I love cashews.
What about almonds?
:)
Alex123 wrote:It is easy. Just blend a pound of cashews and drink it. In 15 minutes you will consume ~2000 calories.
I know you are are just saying that to illustrate your point, but eating 35g of omega-6 would be a plan for serious systemic inflammation, as well as a load for the gallbladder and other organs. Even worst is that all those grams of omega-6 are certainly oxidized and basically toxic to the body.

If you do eat nuts on a daily basis, I would eat only 12-15g or so at the most—which is about 10 cashews or almonds. Raw and not roasted.
I drink almost ~0.5 pounds of cashews 3 times per week for my breakfast prior to workout and work. I also often used to take omega-3 fish capsules and I take lots of turmeric. No inflammation at all. Had blood tests.

The reason I mentioned cashews is because it (and pumpkin seeds) are complete protein source. I can't stand the taste of pumpkin seeds so I drink cashews.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests