Why one meal a day?

A place to discuss health and fitness, healthy diets. A fit body makes for a fit mind.
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Ben
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:20 pm

Feathers wrote:You don't think it would be a good way to break attachment to food, and in particular comfort eating? (sincere question, not trying to be sarcastic or anything). I'm not aiming at weight loss specifically, though obviously that would be nice.


I understand where you are coming from. You need to address the root cause of the problem which is attachment, craving and to a lesser extent - aversion. If you have a strong practice foundation then adopting the eight precepts (which includes no eating after mid-day) can be very beneficial. If you don't have a strong practice then you could end up creating more problems. As you mentioned you are not yet a Buddhist then I will recommend that while you investigate Buddhadhamma to also investigate a health & wellbeing program that includes a calorie controlled, balanced and healthy diet and regular exercise. In time, your practice will complement your health and wellbeing program by directly addressing the root causes of your attachment to food and comfort eating.
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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Feathers » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:48 pm

I see what you mean, and thank you for the kind advice. I guess if for now I look into making my evening meal a very light meal (whereas currently it's my main meal) that might be a more sensible start.
I know what I need to eat to be healthier, I just . . . don't do it. Stupid I know.

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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:11 pm

Feathers wrote:I see what you mean, and thank you for the kind advice. I guess if for now I look into making my evening meal a very light meal (whereas currently it's my main meal) that might be a more sensible start.
I know what I need to eat to be healthier, I just . . . don't do it. Stupid I know.


Its not stupid. Its actually very hard to counter a lifetime of conditioning. Buddhist practice will help you unravel your conditionings. The website I mentioned earlier has some great tools too, and if you commit yourself to using the application and expending effort in exercising and changing your diet - it will give results.
Kind regrds,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby primitiveresonance » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:05 pm

I don't think one meal a day is unhealthy. I think it is healthier than to have many meals a day. Of course some snacks may be needed if one is being very active physically.

I'm eating a good meal finishnig at 12:00am and having a salad in the evening. I have developed a clearer understanding about food and nutrition while following this one-meal-program (ok, I take the salad so it's not really only one meal). Food gives deeper satisfaction and I don't go after the taste (sensual craving) which is not the important part of eating. The actual substance that goes to the belly and is being digested is. One meal a day gives enough time for the digestion to finish the previous intake before next one. That's very good for health.

I have more energy because it is not wated in digesting too much food that would be the case with two or three daily meals. My mind/senses are more at ease and clear. Thinking is also more clear than with more food or with dead animals in my food.

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Re: Why one meal a day?

Postby amity2kok » Sat May 24, 2014 4:25 pm

Dear Friends,

This is a very interesting Question.

As per tradition, meals were taken at 6:30 am and then at 11:00 am. After that there were no meals. Understand the reason for this.

As per the Buddha, the food that we take is only for sustenance of this body. And when one is living the holy life, meditation being his major activity for the entire day, one hardly feels hungry as there is no physical labor. The above mentioned meals are sufficient for the whole day and it assists in the meditation practice.

Lay people eat in the evening / night also. It depends. If you are doing lot of physical work, then it makes sense to have meals spread across the day. But if you are not into too much physical labor then there is no need to have the evening meal. Hunger pangs will come in the evening, but they will subside after one or two hours.

I have tried it. I used to eat at 6:30 am (fruits) and then meals at 11:00 am. (That also whatever came into the plate in 1st serving only that much, I did not take second serving). During this time, i was not working, and was studying for my competitive exams. I did this for almost 6 months. It helped me immensely.

If you don't eat in the night and go to sleep at (9:00 pm), you wake up fresh in the morning (at 4:00 am) feeling light and you can meditate successfully. Then at 6:30 am you can have your breakfast, which is supposed to be a heavy meal. Then again at 11:00 am (Before noon). That's it. You are done for the day.

If one is not doing too much physical labor, then one's body does not require the night meals. It is just that one is slave of one's habit that one have to take the night meals.

As per Buddha "Hunger is the worst illness"

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is two meal a day is harmful

Postby nintendo » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:03 pm

I heard that most of the budhist monk and nun has stomach canser due to practice of two meal a day, is it true?

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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby Hickersonia » Wed Dec 10, 2014 3:16 pm

I've not heard anything like that regarding monastics and their eating habits, not that me having not heard anything means much...

By "heard," do you mean "read?" If you have a source article you could share, I think that would be an interesting read.

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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Dec 10, 2014 4:10 pm

nintendo wrote:I heard that most of the budhist monk and nun has stomach canser due to practice of two meal a day, is it true?


Actually many monks and nuns (and some lay people) eat only one time a day (around noon or just before noon) with no detrimental effects.

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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby Spiny Norman » Wed Dec 10, 2014 5:43 pm

The obesity epidemic sweeping the western world seems to suggest that more than two meals a day is the real cause for concern. ;)
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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:21 pm

I heard that playing Nintendo causes brain damage.
Professor Ryuta Kawashima wrote:LONDON (CNN) -- Computer games stunt brain development and could cause children to be more disposed to violence than their parents, according to a new study.

According to the Observer newspaper, the man behind the study, Professor Ryuta Kawashima of Japan's Tohoku University, found that computer games only stimulate activity in the parts of the brain associated to vision and movement.
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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby soapy3 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:57 pm

I read the same thing about using social media.

On a serious note, a lot of health experts do say there is research showing that it is better to spread you calories evenly out.

I would be happy to see a trend toward more opportunities for fitness training and healthier diets being available to monks. I know about the references in the Canon about using food to stay alive, not as a form of vanity( bodybuilding, etc ). My feeling is if it is possible to use food without the ego getting involved, people can do the same thing with exercise.

There are a number of monks who have a lot to offer people, who aren't easily replaced, and who could help people for many more years to come if they had better situations with diet and exercise in their lives.

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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby SarathW » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:22 pm

With my little experience I think fasting is beneficial.
There was a good video in You Tube "Does fasting grow new neurons"
I am not sure whether it is still be available.
Please also note fasting is not only a Buddhist practice.
Many million Muslims practice fasting.

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=16953&hilit=


Eating after Midday.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=18070&hilit=

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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby Anagarika » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:32 pm

soapy3 wrote:
There are a number of monks who have a lot to offer people, who aren't easily replaced, and who could help people for many more years to come if they had better situations with diet and exercise in their lives.


Soapy, I have often thought the same. I feel as though we live in a kind of an auspicious time, with so many compelling monks and nuns publishing Dhamma talks that benefit so many (and may even save the lives or sanity of some), as well as the translators of Pali texts, and generally, monks and nuns that are just wonderful people and real exemplars of the Dhamma in their daily lives. I thought of Ajahn Chah the other day, whose diabetes, apparently, became so unmanaged that he ended up in a 10 year partial paralytic state and unable to teach. Perhaps with some attention to diet, exercise and medication, he could have taught for those 10 years that were lost.

From my own experience at a wat, any kind of exercise, other than maybe yoga in the kuti or sweeping meditation, was not permitted. I read once of a good monk that constructed a set of weights using iron bars and concrete blocks, just so that he could maintain muscle strength and a semblance of fitness. Of course, we don't want to see monks or nuns running marathons, or doing pilates, and we don't want the public discouraged by seeing monks and nuns running around like lay folk, but on some level it seems to me it couldn't hurt to allow monks and nuns some ability to privately maintain physical fitness beyond what they do secretly in their kutis.

I suppose as part of a renunciate life, one needs to let go of these concerns. At the same time, I'd hate to see any of our current favorite Ajahns go through what LP Chah went through, it such an outcome were avoidable by diet and exercise.

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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby Sam Vara » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:48 pm

Anagarika wrote:
I suppose as part of a renunciate life, one needs to let go of these concerns. At the same time, I'd hate to see any of our current favorite Ajahns go through what LP Chah went through, it such an outcome were avoidable by diet and exercise.


My current favourite Ajahns keep fit by means of rowing machines, qigong, and walking. Some monks also do strenuous work in the forest.

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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby SarathW » Wed Dec 10, 2014 9:54 pm

Monks should not do anything secretly in their kutis.
This could be very damaging.
Do not forget Big Brother is watching you everywhere.
It is a waste of time to do unproductive exercises when you are living with arms (alms) food.
:)

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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby soapy3 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:04 pm

SarathW wrote:With my little experience I think fasting is beneficial.


I do too, but eating large meals, as you have to on 1 - 2 meals a day to get all of your nutrition in one clump isn't.

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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby daverupa » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:06 pm

Science!

Lots of good information in general, but this applies directly:

This has been seen before when comparing 2 meals per day against 12, where the lower frequency appears to have better glycemic control.
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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby Mkoll » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:14 pm

:offtopic:

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I heard that playing Nintendo causes brain damage.
Professor Ryuta Kawashima wrote:LONDON (CNN) -- Computer games stunt brain development and could cause children to be more disposed to violence than their parents, according to a new study.

According to the Observer newspaper, the man behind the study, Professor Ryuta Kawashima of Japan's Tohoku University, found that computer games only stimulate activity in the parts of the brain associated to vision and movement.

And here's another study:

PLOS ONE Study wrote:Training in action video games can increase the speed of perceptual processing. However, it is unknown whether video-game training can lead to broad-based changes in higher-level competencies such as cognitive flexibility, a core and neurally distributed component of cognition. To determine whether video gaming can enhance cognitive flexibility and, if so, why these changes occur, the current study compares two versions of a real-time strategy (RTS) game. Using a meta-analytic Bayes factor approach, we found that the gaming condition that emphasized maintenance and rapid switching between multiple information and action sources led to a large increase in cognitive flexibility as measured by a wide array of non-video gaming tasks. Theoretically, the results suggest that the distributed brain networks supporting cognitive flexibility can be tuned by engrossing video game experience that stresses maintenance and rapid manipulation of multiple information sources. Practically, these results suggest avenues for increasing cognitive function.


You'll find lots of contradictory studies about the effects of video games on people, both positive and negative. Best to take them all with a grain of salt.

:focus:

As to the topic at hand...

OP, please cite a source for any outlandish claims.
Peace,
James

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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby soapy3 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:15 pm

I wouldn't have a problem with seeing monks and nuns working out, as long as they kept up certain standards of appearance. It might even be a good thing. I'm thinking of a cantor that works out at my gym and chit chats people, forming bonds.

I think one problem in this is the lay community. Ajahn Brahm often jokes about how the Sangha owns his stomach, it is difficult to refuse food and going on some Buddhist philosophy how it is important to give everyone an opportunity to give. Thing is a lot of monks are getting rich food that isn't healthy for them. The problem is how to do you bring that up with the community that the monks can't eat everything that is offered to them, and different food needs to be offered.

In the end though everyone wins.

The lay community wins with the better teachers living, and teaching longer. They also don't have the expense of catstrophic illnesses to pay for like heart attacks, diabetes etc.

The monks stay healthy, keeping their mind sharper allowing them to work on their own path more. If you believe in nibanna and rebirth, these monks could also possibly avoid the setback of dying early and time spent being reborn, retrained, etc.

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Re: is two meal a day is harmful

Postby Mkoll » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:22 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Anagarika wrote:
I suppose as part of a renunciate life, one needs to let go of these concerns. At the same time, I'd hate to see any of our current favorite Ajahns go through what LP Chah went through, it such an outcome were avoidable by diet and exercise.


My current favourite Ajahns keep fit by means of rowing machines, qigong, and walking. Some monks also do strenuous work in the forest.

If you don't mind saying, can you tell us who those favorite Ajahns are?
Peace,
James


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