2 Meals a Day May Lead To a Faster Weight Loss
If you’re like the majority of people who are trying to shed some excess fat, you’re probably putting in the work when it comes to your fitness routine. You’re pumping extra iron, adding miles to your marathons, and minutes to your HIIT routine.
Those are all necessary components to achieving your fitness goals, but if you’re not getting the results you want, it might have nothing to do with your training. Your diet might be the main reason that you’re not seeing those six-pack abs you’ve been dreaming of.
There are plenty of fad diets that you’ve probably heard of, but most of them aren’t legitimate. With that said, one of the best ways to lose weight faster might be as simple as cutting out one of your meals per day while everything else stays the same.
Sounds too good to be true? It actually might not be. Let’s discuss how eating only two meals a day can fast-track weight loss, as well as some other ways to shed pounds quickly without having to revolutionize your whole routine.
Putting Off Pounds
Not everyone exercises to lose weight. Some people who are trying to bulk up are looking to gain some extra weight, and they may need to take in more calories than the average person. If you’re a bodybuilder, the two meal diet might not be for you. However, if you’re trying to tone up and lose some weight, this may be the way to go.
In order to lose weight, you need to be in a calorie deficit. This means that your body is taking in fewer calories than you’re exerting. An average sedentary person might burn up to 2,000 calories a day just from doing nothing, but you can burn a lot more if you exercise. The average American consumes 3,600 calories a day, so you can see where the trouble lies.
Even if you’re able to burn upwards of 3,000 to 3,500 calories daily (which means you’re exercising quite a bit), you still won’t be in a calorie deficit based on national averages. This means you’ll need to start cutting calories from food sources if you’re really trying to obtain weight loss.
If you can cut around 500 to 1,000 calories a day from your usual diet, you’ll lose about a pound a week. This might sound pretty simple, but if you’re eating three meals a day, it’s actually super difficult to keep this up. That’s why cutting out a meal might help put you on the right track.
Two Meals a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
The two meal a day diet is exactly what the name implies: you just eat two meals a day. When done properly, it’s a great way to cut calories without having to give up many of the foods that you love most.
The diet doesn’t specify which meal you need to cut out. So you can eat breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner, or breakfast and dinner: whichever best fits your schedule and needs.
The goal of this plan is to help restrict calorie intake throughout the day by reducing snacking habits. This is because the two meals are meant to be a bit more calorie-dense than a typical three meal plan, so the theory is that you’ll be more satisfied after just two meals and feel less need to snack on chips and dips all night long.
How Does It Work?
The two meal diet plan is a form of intermittent fasting, which is one of the most popular new diet trends in the country. It’s a good thing, though, because there is scientific evidence that intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight and improve your holistic wellbeing.
After hours without food, your body exhausts its glucose (sugar) stores and starts reaching into the fat for fuel. This is often referred to as metabolic switching, and it’s the main reason that these types of meal plans are so effective at helping to lose weight.
On top of that, if it can help you reduce overall calorie consumption throughout the day, you’ll be able to be in a calorie deficit that will help you lose weight as well.
But does it really work? Deborah Wexler, the Director of Massachusetts General Hospital Diabetes Center, stated that there’s evidence to suggest that restricting meals to eight to 10 hour periods during the day is effective at helping to lose weight. It’s just more proof that the two meal diet plan might be right for you.
While it might sound like a big commitment to completely cut out breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you might already skip a meal every now and then and not even realize it. Getting started is even easier than you think.
Skipping a meal will be difficult for your body at first, which is natural because it’s been so used to eating three a day. However, if you stick with it, your body will adjust and will no longer feel deprived. In fact, you’ll probably never feel the need to eat another meal or snack much throughout the day.
This is good because it’s way too easy to eat even when you don’t feel hungry. Sometimes, something as simple as dehydration or boredom can disguise itself as hunger and force you to reach for the bag of cheese curls. This diet can help avoid that.
Make the Most of Your Meals
Since you’re only getting ⅔ of the normal number of meals a day, you’ll want to make sure that they count. And this doesn’t necessarily mean you should start loading in tons of sugars, fats, and oils.
Even though you’re only eating two meals, it’s important to make sure they are still nutritionally valuable in every way. The two main components of each meal should be carbohydrates and proteins.
Carbs have always gotten a bad rap because of the fad diets that make them seem like the devil. However, you actually need carbs to survive. With that said, you can maximize your carb intake by getting them from the right places.
The three main types of carbohydrates are:
Starches are the “good carbs” that come from whole plant foods, like potatoes, fruits, vegetables, beans, and tree nuts. They contain important vitamins and minerals to help support your health. Not to mention, these help with satiety and make it so that you don’t keep snacking even when your meal is over.
Starches also contain fiber which is a carb that your body can’t digest, meaning that it can foster healthy digestion and a healthy gut. Leafy greens are an excellent plant-based source of fiber.
Sugars are simple carbs that your body digests quickly. You don’t want to eat a lot of sugar, as you probably already know, but sugars are actually your body’s main source of energy. It’s good to get your sugar from healthy sources such as fruits.
When you’re crafting a meal, it’s important to try to incorporate healthy carbs into each one. You can do this by making sure you’ve got some fruits or vegetables on your plate during both meals of the day.
When you’re doing some chest presses or bicep curls with your Gorilla Bow, your muscles should be begging for mercy by the time you hit that final rep. This awesome pain is caused by tiny tears in your muscle fibers, which is what happens when you build up strength.
However, muscle soreness and tenderness are often a byproduct, and it can hamper your ability to properly work out as often as you want. This is where protein enters the equation.
Proteins are the most important nutrient for staying in shape because they help accelerate muscle repair. This is why it’s essential to incorporate it into your diet so that you can get stronger and stronger every day without needing to take much of a rest.
If you’re frequently working out and engaging in strength training, you need to be eating about 75 to 128 grams of protein a day.
You can incorporate protein into your two meals with foods such as:
- Lean meats (chicken, fish)
- Tree nuts (almonds, walnuts)
- Tofu, or other soy products
- Greek yogurt
- Nut butters
If you’re just starting out with this diet plan, it can be difficult to think about what types of meals to make for each meal. Here is a layout of a few great examples depending on which meals you decide to eat throughout the day.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day (unless you decide to skip it and start with lunch).
Some delicious early morning, pre-workout breakfasts include:
- Greek yogurt with low-sugar granola and fruit.
- Avocado toast on whole grain bread with a sunny-side-up egg.
- Egg scramble with onions, spinach, bell peppers, and low-fat cheese.
- Oatmeal with bananas and berries.
Lunch is one of the greatest meals of the day because there are so many different options.
Some of our favorite, balanced lunches that are perfect for a two meal diet include:
- Chicken sandwich on whole grain bread with lettuce, tomato, and low-fat mayo.
- Lunch wrap on a whole grain tortilla with tofu, lettuce, onion, and peppers.
- Cobb salad with mixed greens, hard-boiled egg, with tree nuts or fruit.
Ending the day with a delicious dinner that’s satisfying and tasty is the perfect way to round out a day of working out and eating right.
Here are some ideas:
- Stir fry with mixed vegetables, chicken, and soy sauce.
- Cooked salmon with a side of vegetables and rice.
- Homemade veggie pizza with whole-grain crust.
- Pasta with a meat and vegetable sauce.
Two Meals a Day Isn’t For Everyone
We think that a two meal a day plan is something that anyone who’s trying to lose weight should get into. While it’s hard at first, your body quickly adjusts, and you’ll never want to go back to three meals ever again.
However, it’s not for everyone. Like we said earlier, this isn’t right for people who are trying to gain weight or put on a ton of muscle. Additionally, it’s not the best for pregnant and breastfeeding women or people with disordered eating who may already be skipping meals.
Also, this isn’t a good plan for people with diabetes or other health conditions, as this diet may not meet the unique nutritional needs that are associated with it.
Things To Keep in Mind
As you continue working towards your weight loss goals by cutting out one of your meals, you’ll want to make sure you’re keeping a few important thoughts in mind.
For one, you should still be engaging in regular physical activity. Being in a calorie deficit will make you lose fat, but it can also make you lose muscle. You’ll need to keep working on your resistance band exercises to make sure you’re still bulking and toning your muscles as you continue to lessen your body fat.
Also, remember that it’s okay to snack, especially when you first get started. However, you can try to make the most of your snacks by going for high-protein nuts, healthy fruits, and vegetables, or satisfying whole grains rather than going for chips or sweets.
You also can feel free to switch up which meals you do and don’t eat on any given day. Although most people will probably fall into a routine, if you feel like eating lunch one day but not the next, that’s perfectly fine as well. With that said, if you’re ever feeling exhaustingly hungry, you should feel free to eat a snack or cook up a meal.
Finally, make sure you’re still tending to your dietary requirements for any underlying health conditions. Don’t give up foods or nutrients that are essential for your health just to try to shed a few pounds.
Alternatives to the Two Meal Diet
Eating just two meals a day isn’t right for everyone, but that’s okay. There are plenty of other ways that you can shed some pounds in a way that suits your needs.
One idea is to keep eating three meals a day but cutting down on your portion size. Food portion sizes in American restaurants have nearly tripled in the last 20 years, so it’s natural that many of us tend to overeat at home. Try to cut down on portion sizes to also cut down on calories (and make room for leftovers the next day).
You can also try to incorporate more cardio into your workout routines. If you mainly focus on building strength, you’re not getting your heart rate to a point where it’s burning fat. Start incorporating more running, HIIT workouts, or rowing into your routine so you can pump up the heart rate and cut down on fat.
Lastly, you can try to cut back on snacking throughout the day. Taking a handful of chips every now and then can add up, so you might be able to keep your meal plan the same and just cut back a little bit on the snacking.
The Cool Down
The two meal diet plan is exactly what it sounds like... you just eat two meals a day instead of three. And this form of intermittent fasting is extremely effective for weight loss because it gets you into a calorie deficit while also making you feel more satisfied, limiting overeating throughout the day.
You can still get all of the nutrients you need by making sure that your two meals are filled with good carbohydrates and protein-rich foods. Your body will quickly adjust, and you’ll soon completely forget that three meals a day is the typical norm.
Of course, it’s not for everyone, so there are plenty of other alternatives that might work better for you. In general, if you’re trying to lose weight, just try to cut back on some portion sizes or incorporate more cardio into your workout routines to max out your calorie deficit.
If you need a helping hand to get you to your goals, the Gorilla Bow All-Access Membership is like having a personal trainer at the palm of your hand. With live and on-demand classes, you’ll get the most out of your Gorilla Bow to fast-track you towards the body of your dreams.
Average Number of Calories Americans Eat Has Increased Dramatically | Business Insider.
Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics | The Mayo Clinic
Intermittent Fasting: What is it, and how does it work? | John Hopkins Medicine
Intermittent fasting: Surprising update | Harvard Health Publishing
Portion Sizes and Obesity, News & Events | NHLBI, NIH
PROTEIN INTAKE FOR OPTIMAL MUSCLE MAINTENANCE | American College of Sports Medicine
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