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How Do You Feel About Splurging on One Meal a Day?

Speak Up: Splurging on One Meal a Day

I read an article recently in the New York Times, "Vegan Before Dinnertime," and the title really captured my attention and got me thinking. This partial dietary restriction is how Mark Bittman, author of Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating With More Than 75 Recipes, lives. During the day, he loads up on fruits, veggies, legumes, and whole grains, steering clear of white bread, dairy, eggs, and meat. When dinner rolls around at 6 p.m. — anything goes. Allowing himself to indulge at one meal makes it easier for him to stick to his vegan diet the rest of the day, which has helped him drop 35 pounds and lower his cholesterol.

Deciding to make a healthy change to your diet or lifestyle can be difficult if you have an all-or-nothing attitude. So what do you think about being healthy most of the day, and allowing yourself to splurge during one meal? Do you think this tactic would be effective for you, or do you think you'd end up indulging too much during that one meal?


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alxxxmx alxxxmx 8 years
i dont get this. it's all about calories in and calories out.
SillyGirl SillyGirl 8 years
Um if I ate like that every day, I would balloon to a rather large size, not lose weight. I guess if you are the kind of person who normally splurges at 3 meals per day, this is a great balance.
glitter-junkie glitter-junkie 8 years
I worry about people going short-term vegan to lose weight: for me veganism is an ethical choice not a straight health choice. I'm glad people see it as healthy though! However, vegan doesn't automatically make you healthy, or thin. I have been hugely overweight and vegan. I have been unhealthy and vegan. I'm not fat now, I'm not thin, but I'm healthy and I'm vegan. But beware believing you're eating healthy just because you cut out dairy! Losing weight is hard work and you need to be able to fit your lifestyle around it to do it successfully in my opinion. I couldn't 'splurge' once a day like this, but I do eat out on special occasions and enjoy it, and I home bake and eat birthday cakes and so on. Why not?
Allytta Allytta 8 years
i'm doing the vegan thing, cause i hear i could lose weight more easily plus it's Lent now... so two bird with one shot. i splurged in Mcdonald's my 4 day in to the Lent :D but i was away from home... i prepare all my meals at home usually. splurging once a day is too much, i think once a week is a bit much, but depends how big the splurge is. if just 20gr of chocolate then it's OK. if you want to do the whole dinner - once in 3 weeks i'd say... i'm of to eat my cabbage and bananas now...
almostloli almostloli 8 years
i can't do this.. once i pop i can't stop
divinedebris divinedebris 8 years
I understand this but I'm not into splurging every evening. I think it's ok to eat not so great once or twice a week but no more than that. I would rather feel better the next day and then go overboard most nights. :) I little indulgences are fine though. Small bowl of ice cream here or there can do wonders for me.
fauna fauna 8 years
I have lost over 50 pounds slowly. Personally, everytime I took an "all or nothing" attitude to my plans to get healthy I failed - and ended up putting more weight on in the process. I have lost my weight eating bacon everyday for breakfast (a small "center-cut" portion), and indulging in 100 calorie packs, and of course one or two "super bad" meals per week. My weight loss has taken time...over two years in the making and I still have 10 pounds to go, but I never feel deprived and I am in the best shape of my life. Basically, small changes add up and you don't need to kill yourself trying to maintain or lose weight. No such thing as a quick fix, and no such thing as a "perfect" diet.
mem952 mem952 8 years
i have two meals a week which i consider "treat meals". apart from that i eat healthily. i think this diet is whack. counting foods like lean meat, fish, eggs, low fat dairy products as splurge food seems to give off pretty mixed messages. i say keep the diet message simple. also, i like the idea of more food at the beginning of the day and tapering off to have a small dinner. i think this is more healthy than 'splurging' at the end of the day when your body is winding down.
syako syako 8 years
I like the idea. I think the best part of it is the more you do it and the more healthful your "day" diet gets, you'll find yourself not wanting to have a terrible all-out splurge meal at dinner. While you may include some more fats or meats in your dinner, you won't drizzle everything with sugary syrup or what not.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I would eat too much on the splurge meal, especially if it were dinner.
mod16 mod16 8 years
my splurge is on low fat yogurt
pamlarouge pamlarouge 8 years
And did anyone else notice how delectable those crepes in the picture look? YUM! Thanks Fit, now I have pancake cravings :)
pamlarouge pamlarouge 8 years
I think this is a good idea, but I have to go with a lot of the other posters and agree that for me this would be better as a weekly plan, rather than a daily plan. I run and do Pilates 6 days a week (20-30 minutes running, 10-20 minutes fast paced strength)-running seriously helps minimize my appetite, but I always get some serious cravings for sweets, especially things like ice cream, chocolate, cookies, etc. I usually get these cravings in the evening, after dinner, and I allow myself one treat per day, and usually one free meal a week. I also make sure that I don't keep a lot of bad snack food in the house, since I know that if a serious craving hits, I won't be able to eat just one serving. But indulging myself is the only way I can stick to a healthy diet-as much as I love healthy food, I love other delicacies as well, such as a Mars bar ;)
LilyLyra LilyLyra 8 years
No way. Indulge for me means eating so so much more than I really need.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 8 years
I used to eat like this, but it was too much. About a month ago I started limiting my splurge meals to once a week. I've dropped the ten pounds I gained since college. I'd only gained a pound or two a year, but that kind of slow-n-steady gain adds up over time. I didn't want to keep going in that direction.
ellenp1214 ellenp1214 8 years
i lost 25 lbs over a year ago with this same idea. during the day i would eat just enough to not be really hungry and then i ate a large dinner (though i have naturally healthy tastes for the most part, so this was never a pizza binge!) and usually dessert too. it worked really well for me for a lot of reasons. it helped shrink my stomach, helped me gauge how much food i REALLY need to not be hungry, helped me realize that there will always be more food.
Shadowcat14 Shadowcat14 8 years
Just tried and I feel ill now
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 8 years
For me, I splurge usually once, rarely twice a week. one meal a day seems too high for me, and honestly I don't crave unhealthy foods that often.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
As for me, this tactic would be ineffective. Besides, I've lost my appetite for high-fat, high-sugary foods. I don't need to splurge anymore, as I have no cravings for them.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
Well, I don't splurge.. I personally don't believe in it and I never feel deprived or anything. I prefer to always eat healthy. I enjoy eating foods that taste good are good for me. It would make my tummy feel horrible afterwards anyway. For me, I'd have more fun splurging on a pair of new shoes! ;)
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
I prefer to do the Abs Diet thing where you get one free pass meal a week (for me its easier to indulge weekly than daily). I feel like it gives me more to look forward too and forces me to plan my meals better (which is sometimes hard when all I want to do is "just pick something up later"). Plus I enjoy my greasy-fried-way-too-big meal much more because I don't feel guilty at all knowing I've been good all week.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I couldn't do it, I'd just indulge all the time and not get anywhere [my problem is portion control and cravings, not indulging in the wrong things]. I do have an all-or-nothing attitude when it comes to weight loss/exercising + eating healthy...I mean really, it's a choice between living [like really living, enjoying life] or dying. That's how serious it's gotten, and there's not much leeway in that! However, because I do have cravings and certain things I like that are kind of unhealthy [and I AM trying to live it up, after all!], I allow myself one "indulgence" per meal on one day, or one per day, depending on what it is. I don't really eat chocolate or candy, and I really like a lot of healthy foods. Otherwise, I'll shut the cravings up with a fruit or some water and exercise!
reallysparkle reallysparkle 8 years
I sort of like to live the same way, but a bit less extreme. I know that i'll always eat more at dinner, and I value dinner the most, so I try to eat healthy during the day. I like dinners to be healthy too (for the most part), but I definitely usually eat more than I should. I am trying to lose weight and have a hard time striking a balance between eating the "right" kind of snacks and portion sizes, etc. Argh. lol.
kclulu kclulu 8 years
I don't believe in an all or nothing philosophy but I really just enjoy eating healthy foods too so I don't really feel like I am depriving myself by eating healthy. I eat everything in moderation so I don't really exclude things from my diet. If I do eat something that has more calories or fat than normal I just tighten up what I eat and exercise a little more for the rest of the day and into the next. But really thats one of the best benefits of exercise, you can eat more!
michlny michlny 8 years
Healthy eating is a lifetime commitment to better health, feeling great and looking good. If you feel deprived most of the time, you are just setting up for failure. The key is to figure out how to be healthy and happy and satisfied.
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