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Is eating 1800 kcals at a restaurant and nothing else during that day okay?


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I calculated the calories for a meal at an Italian restaurant I love and the total reaches 1800 calories. It consists of chicken cream soup with croutons and parmesan, a salad with lettuce,tomatoes,cucumbers,breaded chicken, creamy dressing and foccacia bread and cheese cake for dessert. Would it be okay to skip breakfast and dinner on the day I eat at this restaurant in order not to exceed my calorie limit? Plus, this would only happen once every 3 months. Thanks!

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What is "okay"?

If you mean morally, yes; you won't be struck down, or publicly punished for eating 18k calories at once.  Even if you mean physically, yes; your body will not shut down, you won't need hospitalization if you do this once every 3 months.

But if you mean "is this an okay strategy for my long-term fitness", NO. Your body needs fuel on regular basis and vitamins to keep it healthy. Calorie Count is an excellent tool for making better choices when you eat so you can maintain a healthy weight and still eat at your favorite restaurants.

Skip the croutons & parmesan and have cereal for breakfast. Add less dressing and foccacia so you can have veggie soup for dinner. Or eat all of this and just consider it your "cheat day". But for heaven's sakes, don't skip 2 meals!

Or eat a normal breakfast and dinner.  And take 2/3's of your meal home for the next couple of days (ask the waiter to bring you a take-home container and just immediately divide it up).

 

By your picture I would eat breakfast, lunch, and your whole dinner anyway...... No need for weight loss..

Well I have always believed that you can eat as many or as few meals that you wish in a day as long as you get enough calories and nutrients.  Is it going to really deter your health if you eat only one huge meal a day 4 times a year?  Probably not, you should be just fine.  However, can you honestly really only eat that one meal in the enitre day without going really hungry and getting really fatigued/cranky? For most people the answer is no. 

Most people (myslef included) have more than one meal because they get hungry multiple times in a day.  I think the previous posters are just concerned you may start a restrict/binge cycle, where you skip meals, then gorge, skip meals again, binge, etc.  Once your in that cycle its hard to stop. So if your confident that you can do this without any of the negative consequences, then sure go for it. 

 

 

Yes.

If it were me, I'd probably have a really small breakfast, and save a little of the salad to pack up and finish for dinner -- I know I hate it when the evening comes and I have no calories left at all.

But I have successfully lost a lot of weight and kept it off, and part of how I've done this is eating *very* lightly on days I know I'm going to a favorite restaurant. Everyone does things differently, but for me, I'm happiest when I eat small breakfasts and lunches, and save calories for the evening (in general), and particularly do this when I know the evening meal is going to be an indulgent one.

I wouldn't suggest doing it often. However, sometimes life just happens. I've gotten crazy busy and then I'm starving for something good. Just treated myself to Chipotle's around 2:30pm yesterday, after only having coffee/water in morning and being crazy busy. I consumed around 750 calories worth of Mexican food delight LOL. Finished the night with a light snack and nutrition smoothie later on. It could be worse. It's ideal to break your meals into small ones, or even just 3 solid ones, but it is what it is :)

Eating 1800 calories in ine sitting is a HUGE meal. I bet the cheeesecake has the most calories. Why not bring the cheesecake home for the next day, and have a small breakfast and dinner? :)

I guess you could. I've done it before...However, I would not recommend it. Not even on occasion.

What you're teaching yourself is that you need a huge meal to be satisfied. That is not a healthy way to think about food. Use portion control.

Eat normally during the day...and at dinner, if you want to eat 1800 calories, go ahead...but I think it's a worse scenario to actually be hungry enough for the 1800 calories from under-eating all day.

 

"I also love to go bycycling in the park, and each day I either go to the gym or cycle in the park. I cycle about 10 miles in 60 minutes.

In the evening I do some exercise (40-50 minutes) , the regular stuff, crunches and different exercise for my legs and tummy."

 

You need to be eating more than 1800 caloreies. You are young too. Also no its NOT ok to starve yourself all day to indulge in one meal. Eat normally and indulge. Then just move on. 

No.

Original Post by musiclover12438:

Also no its NOT ok to starve yourself all day to indulge in one meal. Eat normally and indulge. Then just move on. 

Can I ask why it *isn't* ok? I mean, on one hand, I think the question is kind of silly ... The OP will do what she wants, and will find a routine that works for her.  Maybe she'll try it, and find that she's so hungry by the time she goes out that she eats seven pieces of cheesecake, and won't do it again.

But if it works for you to conserve calories on occasion, what isn't ok about it? Why the vehemence? I know it works for me. I mean, isn't that sort of Thanksgiving in a nutshell?

 

No, it's not really good for your body to go the entire day without food until dinner time.

When I want to eat a really delicious and calorie packed meal, I work my butt off at the gym that day to give myself extra padding. I'll do 1.5 hours to 2 hours of cardio so I can eat light throughout the day (like a low calorie, high fiber cereal with a banana and almond milk for breakfast, and a salad for lunch and fruit as a snack) and not feel guilty about indulging.

 

I think the problem I would have with this method is that I would soon learn to hate this day, as the day I have to suffer all day long for 1 good meal.

I'd be more likely to enjoy the take-home-box route. Plan to take half the meal home as leftovers, then you can enjoy it twice!

For what it's worth - I agree with Frank. While it's good to be conscious of your health, and to not over indulge frequently, you don't look like you need to be quite so restrictive. Enjoy yourself a little!

Original Post by rachelwert:

No, it's not really good for your body to go the entire day without food until dinner time.

Can I ask where this information is from? I've never seen a reliable study demonstrating that it isn't good for your body to occasionally eat one meal a day. Does such a paper exist?

Original Post by asparagusnpie:

Original Post by rachelwert:

No, it's not really good for your body to go the entire day without food until dinner time.

Can I ask where this information is from? I've never seen a reliable study demonstrating that it isn't good for your body to occasionally eat one meal a day. Does such a paper exist?

There is enough information out and about in regards to how the body works to suggest that going 24 hours without a meal is not great for the body and that there is more chance of storing calories you do take in. I notice it myself if I forget to eat for the day (after breakfast) then my next meal is around 10pm or something. I very rarely lose weight the day after, despite the fact I have gone well under on my calories.

 

What would (to me anyway) appear to be the sensible option would be to realise that you are going to go over for the day and plan for it.

Have a smaller than usual breakfast, snack on strawberries (or celery or something), avoid soda/juice etc, have around 150-200 calories for lunch (home made chicken salad with maybe 50-70g chicken), again if you want a snack in the afternoon make it something like strawberries/celery etc and then go out for dinner.

 

You will probably end up at 2500 for the day, but it is once in 3 months and your body will cope with it.

 

In two weeks I plan on having approx 800-1000 calories of pasta for my dinner and i will probably make sure that I have a cycle and drop 400-600 on that ride and basically decrease other intake for the day and I will be under. If you did plan on exercising the morning after or something it would certainly help.


Most of all, don't be extreme about it. Don't be "I don't care" cause that is how most people got overweight and don't be obsessive.. it is okay to not be under calories every single day.

Original Post by lennzac:

Original Post by asparagusnpie:

Original Post by rachelwert:

No, it's not really good for your body to go the entire day without food until dinner time.

Can I ask where this information is from? I've never seen a reliable study demonstrating that it isn't good for your body to occasionally eat one meal a day. Does such a paper exist?

There is enough information out and about in regards to how the body works to suggest that going 24 hours without a meal is not great for the body and that there is more chance of storing calories you do take in. I notice it myself if I forget to eat for the day (after breakfast) then my next meal is around 10pm or something. I very rarely lose weight the day after, despite the fact I have gone well under on my calories.

I have done a reasonable, though certainly not thorough, search of the literature and have found no studies suggesting this. I'm really academically interested in this stuff -- so if you guys have studies that support (or refute) it, I would love to read them.

I guess I feel slightly frustrated by people on this site bandying around opinion as if it is fact. I *totally* agree with people who say, 'Hey! This didn't/wouldn't work for me, because ..." But I *don't* think there is enough information out that suggests going 24 hours without a meal is detrimental. (And, in fact, the OP was suggesting a large meal at lunch, I believe, so presumably not 24 hours.)

Not that it is or isn't true, but why pose speculation as fact?

Original Post by asparagusnpie:

I have done a reasonable, though certainly not thorough, search of the literature and have found no studies suggesting this. I'm really academically interested in this stuff -- so if you guys have studies that support (or refute) it, I would love to read them.

I guess I feel slightly frustrated by people on this site bandying around opinion as if it is fact. I *totally* agree with people who say, 'Hey! This didn't/wouldn't work for me, because ..." But I *don't* think there is enough information out that suggests going 24 hours without a meal is detrimental. (And, in fact, the OP was suggesting a large meal at lunch, I believe, so presumably not 24 hours.)

Not that it is or isn't true, but why pose speculation as fact?

The problem you have there is that you are then asking people to go and chase the facts of the situation for you. I honestly cannot tell you where I have got half or a 1/10th of the information I have on any particular topic, I would happily take a stab you don't either. I used to work in the fitness industry, perhaps I read it then, I read a lot now, perhaps I read it recently. The truth is that regardless I bet you would be able to find evidence either side of a flip of a coin. I mentioned that I notice an impact myself as well, I can guarantee there would be people who find a different one. All forum comments are opinions and if they all came 'sourced' they would be basically quotes of sources pointing to mainly other peoples 'opinions'.

There are certainly schools of thought out there suggesting that skipping breakfast has a negative impact. No I think it would be safe to make the assumption that this is because your body has been the longest number of hours you are likely to go without food, not because your most important meals are when the sun is still rising.

The likely impacts of a single day in 3 months... Not really much. My opinion was that eating balanced food on the day was the better option.

If you are looking for a weight loss forum to become a submitted paper, complete with resources you are going to be searching a long time to find that.

Original Post by lennzac:

I used to work in the fitness industry, perhaps I read it then, ...

Btw just an fyi, that was not at all suggesting people know everything when they work in this industry, nor do doctors or scientists or any particular people. This is literally saying that I read a lot on fitness during this period of my life and may have read something then. Also the last 18 months I have been right back into fitness etc and with the internet at my hands perhaps it was during this period.

Anyway just wanted to clear it up, as that sounded like "I worked here, so I know" which I absolutely am not.

Original Post by lennzac:

All forum comments are opinions and if they all came 'sourced' they would be basically quotes of sources pointing to mainly other peoples 'opinions'.

There are certainly schools of thought out there suggesting that skipping breakfast has a negative impact. No I think it would be safe to make the assumption that this is because your body has been the longest number of hours you are likely to go without food, not because your most important meals are when the sun is still rising.

The likely impacts of a single day in 3 months... Not really much. My opinion was that eating balanced food on the day was the better option.

If you are looking for a weight loss forum to become a submitted paper, complete with resources you are going to be searching a long time to find that.

I agree -- you're right. This is an internet forum ... If people don't want to back up their statements, they totally don't have to. I guess in my field -- medicine -- everything *is* evidence based. Or, if one diverges from evidence-based practice (either into a realm that is unstudied, or in an area in which one disagrees with the literature), you preface your action/recommendation by saying it is based on anecdote.

I do want to stress, though, that little is actually known about the science of nutrition/weight/etc. The breakfast studies you mention, for example, have major confounders -- it isn't at all clear that it is the prolonged fast that causes more people who skip breakfast to be overweight. (Do overweight people skip breakfast in order to lose weight? Are the lifestyles of people who have the time to eat breakfast more conducive to weight loss? Were the groups economically stratified?)

Anyway, I'm really not trying to cause a fuss, and I do agree with you that I shouldn't hold these boards to a high standard. Truthfully, I just think people should couch their words as opinion. But I have no desire to be bombastic about that, though I may have been. Apologies.

 

On one hand, I've read about people engaging in "intermittent fasting" - I'm not up on the details, but at least some days would be spent not eating and then having one large meal.

That said, I believe that this style of eating is not appropriate for certain people. People who have shown indications of disordered eating, and might be more susceptible to getting into a starve/binge cycle - this probably isn't for them. It's also more of a lifestyle, rather than just a way to splurge at your favorite restaurant.

So for the OP, no, I would say that you should plan on eating at least light meals (or heavier meals if want), but definitely don't skip them altogether.

Also, is 1800 your maintenance or weight loss target? If it's for weight loss, then you certainly don't need to forgo other meals. But even if it's maintenance (which I doubt - that would be a low maintenance target), eating a few hundred above your burn for a day won't even put on half a pound. Is it really worth skipping 2/3 of your meals?

21 Replies (last)
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