Skip Breakfast and Lunch as a Diet Method?

I got pretty severe with myself, diet-wise, about two years ago, and stopped eating breakfast and lunch. I typically don’t eat until 2 pm, and I don’t overeat when I do start eating. Since then, I’ve dropped about 30 pounds. And I’ve recently gone (mostly) vegan to see if I can bring my weight down another ten pounds over the next year.

Anyway, I hadn’t heard of anyone using this method for weight loss. I knew there are some who skip breakfast, but not both breakfast and lunch. I wasn’t even sure it was a particularly healthy method for losing weight. But then I stumbled on the following in the New York Times today:

Mark Mattson, chief of the laboratory of neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging, . . . believes there is merit to caloric restriction. It can help the brain, he said, as well as make people healthier and probably make them live longer.

Dr. Mattson, who is 5-foot-9 and weighs 130 pounds, skips breakfast and lunch on weekdays and skips breakfast on weekends.

“I get a little hungry,” he acknowledged. “But we think being hungry is actually good.”

I’m not particularly hungry on my diet. In fact, I’ve pretty much trained my body to be content right up to about 1 pm, when I actually do start to feel hungry and look forward to eating something at 2 pm (usually a salad). I’m not waiting all the way to supper time to eat. That, I think, would be unpleasant, and I’m not an anchorite.

My three typical food choices are soup, salad, and cereal, and I generally don’t drink my calories–I drink mostly water. No soda or coffee. I have a glass of wine every other day or so. Sometimes I have juice. As of about a month ago, I’ve dropped dairy products altogether. I use Flax Milk on cereal.

I eat very little bread. I feel good. I have energy. The diet is pretty much working for me. It’s nice to know that a serious researcher on aging practices something somewhat similar.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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3 Responses to Skip Breakfast and Lunch as a Diet Method?

  1. I am very similar to you! I have never been a breakfast person and try to eat only when I’m hungry. Very happy to see I’m not alone =)

  2. Staffan says:

    It seems a bit much – aren’t we as a species the type that eats a little all the time? Anyway, I could never do that. I’d get dizzy. I just watch the scales; if I weigh more than 155 pounds I either eat less or exercise more. If I weigh less than 155 I do the opposite (doesn’t happen that often though).

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      Your method sounds more sensible, but I also recall something that the historian Will Durant wrote once (perhaps quoting someone else): “If we eat three meals a day, we eat one for ourselves and two for our doctors.”

      It seems a reasonable inference that the human body evolved in an environment of feast or famine, probably not eating a full meal more than once a day.

      I’m probably not hurting myself by adopting the above diet, but if I do hurt myself in some way, there’s 7 billion people on the planet. One less person in the world. Who gives a shit?

      And if it increases my lifespan by ten years, again, who cares? The earth is 4.5 billion years old. What’s ten years?

      Don’t get me wrong, I want those ten years. But we’re all already fucked in being mortal beings. And maybe there’s no God. I’d rather God existed and I ate burgers than that no God exists and I eek out an extra ten years on our far-flung planet.

      No one gets out alive.

      –Santi : )

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