The Night Diet


I’ve had no breakfast and my stomach is shouting about it. I drink water all morning and ‘lunch’ is a cup of tea with two sugars – for energy. By 3pm I feel very weak, grouchy and have a headache. Out for dinner, the first mouthfuls taste so good. But after a small portion of rice and a few prawns I’m feeling rather full. However, I still scoff two cold sausages and some chocolate when I get home at 1 Opm.

Forget three meals a day. Can one big meal in the evening help you lose weight? Ellen Burney tries it


My stomach growls during the night. Wake up feeling bloated after eating so late. Not as hungry as yesterday, but it’s only 10am. By 4pm, I’m feeling so wretched that I’m tempted to eat something, but I resist. Out to dinner at a Greek restaurant, I devour my order of pitta, lamb, rice and vegetables.

Worry about how to have five pieces of fruit and veg a day when I only eat once. Have salmon, salad and a chocolate mousse for dinner (not a huge feast, but I feel guilty eating so much so late) but am too full to eat the mousse. Wake up all through the night. Because my body is having a boost of energy only once a day, it seems to go into overdrive.


Fed up, so have some toast for breakfast. Can only manage a slice. My stomach must have shrunk. By 4.30pm I’m starving but hold out until dinner when I have chicken, vegetables and yesterday’s mousse.


Get drunk after work on an empty stomach and don’t eat at all.


Due to yesterday’s misdemeanors, I feel I am owed lunch. I fast through the evening but come bedtime I fret about tomorrow’s fast and feast on a large bowl of noodles around 11pm. Bad sleep once again.


Wake up feeling hungry and depressed. My skin is dull from lack of fruit and vegetables but on the plus side I slip into my skinny jeans, even though I am feeling bloated. I have lost two pounds!


Starting weight 8 stone 7 pounds Finishing weight 8 stone 5 pounds Physical effects xMy skin looked very dull after a week as I wasn’t able to work enough fruit and vegetables into my one meal. The diet also disturbed my sleep as I’m not used to eating that much, that late. Mental effects I’m so used to thinking that bingeing at night is bad that I felt guilty for stuffing myself – even though I hadn’t eaten all day! There’s no doubt that my appetite decreased over the week so I’m not surprised that I lost weight.

The nutritionist says…

‘This way of eating might suit some people – but it clearly wouldn’t work long-term for Ellen. It takes four hours for your food to digest, so if you eat a heavy meal at 8pm it’s bound to disturb your sleep. Starving all day and feasting after dark also upsets digestive enzymes as you are releasing too much insulin at one time. The other problem with this way of eating is that, for some people, stretching the stomach to accommodate a huge meal actually makes them want to eat more over time, rather than leSs.’

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