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Old 14-Aug-03, 03:38 PM   #1
Merrida
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Eating once or twice a day?


This is for all, but I admit I'm particularly interested in what cursor has to say about this, what his impressions and thoughts are.

Intro: I listen to a talk radio station, and one show is the Dr. Dean Edel show. A traditional western medical doctor who puts little faith in anything "natural" or "eastern," his philosophies are somewhat controversal.

He has a book published called Eat, Drink & Be Merry. I have not seen/read it, just heard about it, but seeking information intrigues me to go get this book to read it.

Well, he practices what he preaches, he lives what he expresses, and he does offer some interesting explanations.

He eats once a day. He defies anyone to prove that we must graze or eat several small meals per day. He also doesn't believe in dieting. (That can be up for debate given definitions).

He said even based on our evolution, we did not graze, we didn't get up and eat three squares, and that he feels it would be very hard for someone who eats once per day to truly overeat because of a maximum caloric intake at one time,...that it would just be too hard to do.

He also says he's sure that if someone ate the same total number of calories as he did (if they had same BMR), but ate it in 6 small meals, they'd do the same, get the same results.

He thinks a lot of the guidelines on exercise are over-rated as well.

He doesn't believe in ANY supplements of any kind, or vitamins. One of the biggest reason has more to do with how vitamins are not regulated for safety.

He often debunks products sold to consumers (like those electronic ab belts, fat burners, penis or breast enlargement pills, etc.)

He said that it's all very personal, and that he doesn't recommend people eat once or twice a day, just that he thinks we stress over it too much, and that cultures show varied approaches.... while europeans eat the largest meal in the middle of the day and little afterwards, if we were to tally up the net, that the total caloric intake again would still be about producing a deficit, and THAT is more relevent than what we eat and when and how far apart our meals are.

He feels aspartame is perfectly safe, and people who complain about things like "sensitivities" are misinformed and probably over-reacting.

All my education, and experience, leads me to the foundation of grazing, several smaller meals, and nutrient balance and stabilizing blood sugar, etc.... Common sense would tell me that one just cannot live on 2000 calories (or whatever your BMR would be) of any ole thing and be fine... But I'm still curious to hear thoughts about reactions to Dr. Edel's theories.

His book would further explain his thoughts, which I'll investigate, but in the meantime, I'm curious about other opinions.
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Old 14-Aug-03, 03:43 PM   #2
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I have listened to Dr. Dean Edel and have always found him to be very level-headed and logical. But this, to me, sounds completely unrealistic. But beyond that, who wants to live that way? Eating and enjoying a variety of foods is so important to so many of us that the thought of having one 2,000-calorie pig-fest once a day sounds like food prison. I can't speak to the health or benefit of the concept, but I'd reject it based on lifestyle reasons alone.
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Old 14-Aug-03, 03:51 PM   #3
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Yes, but his point was that FOR the people who ARE that way naturally, for the ones, like himself, who tend to gravitate towards that, that in his opinion it is fine to eat that way.

While others feel the natural urge or tendancy to eat 3 x day or even 6 x day, his theory is to DO SO. NOT for "everyone" to eat once a day, nor does he condone a pig fest. His point is that he believes it would technically be difficult to HAVE a pig fest because in order to consume 2000 (or whatever) calories in one meal, you'd get too full.

So either have it at once, in two meals, or in six meals, but if the total for the day remains at your required amount, THAT is what matters, NOT how you choose to eat (or rather, when).

It doesn't work for me, but I do know people who say they skip breakfast, aren't all that hungry at lunch or are just too busy, but dinner is their main meal. Dr. Edel feels: Then run with it. That's YOUR body's unique way of achieving homeostasis.... and that we all have our own paths or urges or tendancies. He feels rather than direct everyone to eat 6 x day, that we respect our own body's natural patterns...so long as we stay at the calorie number total per day that we need.
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Old 14-Aug-03, 03:58 PM   #4
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Dr. Dean Edel
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Old 14-Aug-03, 04:04 PM   #5
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I'm definitely one of those people who gravitate toward one bigger meal with one or occasionally two other smaller feedings scattered here and there and I have to admit that the 5-6 feedings thing is one of the handful of conventional wisdom type things I've more or less blown off for the time being.

The arguments in favor of grazing (and against skipping or delaying breakfast) all make tons of sense but I dunno, I sometimes wonder if their primary benefits are more behavioral than physiological. And that's not an indictment, btw. The behavioral benefits can be significant. Some people will attack the first bar of candy or bag of cookies that crosses their path if they don't make themselves eat breakfast and grazing can be a very effective way of getting out of the habit of stuffing yourself well past the point of satiety.

But if you can skip breakfast without going nuts later in the morning/afternoon and that one large meal isn't three helpings of pasta, cheese and sausage then I dunno, maybe it doesn't make *that* much difference.

All I can say for sure is I've been on a pretty low cal intake since June 1st, pretty much only eat when I'm hungry (and feel like doing dishes) and get the bulk of my cals in a late-in-the-day meal and I feel awfully good. That's not to say I'm not unknowingly sabotaging my efforts or that my progress might not be better if I more strictly adhered to a more conventional approach...maybe that's the case.

It just doesn't feel like it.
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Old 14-Aug-03, 04:06 PM   #6
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Oh, one other point...the good doctor is mistaken in at least one regard...it's not at all difficult to pack on many, many extra pounds eating once or twice a day.

Trust me
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Old 14-Aug-03, 04:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cursor
Yes, I've seen the site. When I heard him on the radio, I looked up the site.

But curious about thoughts on his philosophies re: eating plans.

No "one size fits all" ... that much I can agree with.
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Old 14-Aug-03, 05:01 PM   #8
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The way you eat (once per day, or up to 6 times per day) is, I think, dependant on how active you are within a day and what your goals are. For example, I know for me (a bodybuilder), I need to eat 6-8 meals per day in order to maximize the achievement of my goals. If I was a person who sat at a desk all day and did nothing in the way of activity overall within most days, well then hey, I might be able to get by on eating 1 or two meals per day. Depends on what you are trying to achieve.

If you are trying to increase or keep your metabolism increased, then eating more frequently is required.

If you are active or do strenuous daily activities (ie working out) then eating more frequent meal consumption is needed to reach your goals and provide your body with a steady supply of nutrients for maximum performance.

Personally, even if I was not an overly active person, I would rather regulate my food intake to be more frequent and eat less at each meal compared to shoving in 2000 calories in each of my one or two meals per day!

Just my opinion tho!
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Old 14-Aug-03, 05:04 PM   #9
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Todd summed up what I was going to say much better than I could. As an active person, there is no way I could get my daily calorie requirement in one meal. I would just be too full halfway through heh.

I know quite a few people who eat once or twice a day and are still fairly skinny (My brother for one). He is not active and also not trying to lose or gain weight.

I still think if you want to boost your metabolism, you should eat smaller meals all day. I know that I didnt start losing fat (Not weight, but fat) until i did so. I used to eat once a day or so as well and sure i lose weight, but I later learned that it was primarily muscle.
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Old 14-Aug-03, 08:01 PM   #10
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The only real reason we could have so many divergent views about meal size, quantity, macronutrient breakdown, etc., is because people vary greatly in many ways. What works for some often doesn't work for others. Each has to find his or her own way.

Doctor Dean says is usually pretty sensible most of the time, but he has his weak points.
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Old 14-Aug-03, 08:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJNY
The only real reason we could have so many divergent views about meal size, quantity, macronutrient breakdown, etc., is because people vary greatly in many ways. What works for some often doesn't work for others. Each has to find his or her own way.

Doctor Dean says is usually pretty sensible most of the time, but he has his weak points.
Yup, and not only that, what works for a given individual can change over time too. I've currently got quite a bit of excess poundage to shed and I fully expect to have to tweak (or perhaps even dramatically change) some of the things I do as I move closer to various targets.
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Old 15-Aug-03, 09:33 AM   #12
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I assumed that you (Merrida) had reference to the web site, but figured the reference might be worthwhile for others.

I don't know what to think (for sure).

I know from personal experience (and from looking at tons of people around me) that better regimentation in nutritional intake is important. If you don't have a plan, then you will more than likely not adquately maintain a quality scale weight and body composition. Hell ... that's what we Americans do now! Just look at our national health status.

Assuming that we have a daily target of calories, and a healthy feel for macronutrient balance and healthy food types, I suspect that by consuming three solid meals a day, I'd still be in pretty good shape. I'm inclined to believe that one or two meals a day just couldn't possibly be as effective as more frequent feedings.

If you're happy with 20% body fat for as male, I suppose that 1 or 2 meals a day might be OK (provided you still had a plan for total daily calories and some reasonable macronutrient balance). Higher quality results, however, require a more fine-tuned plan ... in my opinion.
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