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A big breakfast, filling lunch and hearty dinner — with a few snacks in between to keep us going. That's the way most of us eat.
After all, we're often told three meals a day is the best way to keep our energy up.
Wisdom - Head - Rise - Diets - Michael
But now conventional wisdom is being turned on its head with the rise of scientifically-backed fasting diets, such as Michael Mosley's 5-2 Diet, which advocates two days a week of consuming just 800 calories, and diets where meals are replaced by 'slimming shakes'.
Going hungry even has the royal seal of approval: Prince Charles, who looked slim on the beach in the Caribbean recently, aged 70, is said to swear by 'saving himself' for his evening meal, and skipping lunch.
Diet - Meal - Day - Meal - Day
Now there's an even more extreme take: eating a balanced healthy diet, but having just one meal a day. One Meal A Day (OMAD) fans have created numerous groups and followers across social media, with women in their 40s and 50s using it as a means of staving off a middle-aged spread. But is it really safe?
Not according to nutritionist Dr Deborah Pufal, of the University of Huddersfield, who says: 'This is yet another diet that involves fasting and is unsustainable for long-term weight loss. During the menopausal years women deposit more body fat around the stomach. Worryingly, the temptation is to embark on very low-calorie diets for cosmetic reasons — not health ones.
Mentality - Order
'The modern mentality that a diet must be extreme in order for it to work is also harmful.
'So many women fall into this trap and while they will lose weight, they'll be walking around in a state of starvation,' she says.
Meals - Day - Diets - Calcium - Iron
She warns that restricting meals to one a day will also mean diets lack calcium and iron.
'If we don't get enough iron we feel tired. It's easy...
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