The big D word – my one meal a day diet journey

I normally keep this stuff to myself and don’t share it but I thought I’d break that rule as I work towards a healthier happier mind and lifestyle.

Just over a week ago I decided to try out fasting. A week prior to that I decided to cut down on my drinking. I was drinking a little too much a little too often. Add the new mountain bike I got back in August and the long walk each weekend and I’m sure you can see what I am trying to do. You know the bid D-work. Diet. Diet, cut out the bad stuff and get back into shape! I’m just having a drink when there is an occasion now such as going out for a meal or friends coming over for dinner rather than the beer or wine routine that I had fallen into most evenings. It’s too easy to fall into this routine.

I really was not enjoying the person I was seeing in the mirror.

In September 2018 I weighed 14 stone and was fairly active but that was changing for the worst to inactive. A comfortable weight if a little more than it should be for a 6.2ft chap. Come Christmas I was sat at the 16st mark. Then around my accident late January I was 15.5st and then shockingly by June 2019 I was 18.5st. Now I know I was immobilised but that’s a big gain and sadly it continued and at my worst some two weeks ago I weighed in at 18.7st. I could also blame hotel life working away, the stress of work and personal changes but I won’t. They all still point to me. With the strongest determination and drive, I said to myself this had to change and by change I meant action. In no circumstances was I going to allow my weight to keep increasing and get any nearer to reaching 19 stone.

One meal a day diet (OMAD)

Those of you that know me will know I am a gadget man and I love my food and drink. With that in mind, I decided to find a diet that would work for my lifestyle. After lots of reading and research, I found one meal a day diet also known as OMAD. This seemed pretty easy to manage and something I know I could manage as I’ve often got by with just the one meal. The one meal a day diet involves just that. It is that simple. Eat one meal a day. So in effect fasting for two meals or 23 hours of the day. And better still you have the freedom to eat what you like (within reason) and it is absent of any need to create meal plans etc although I do plan to track my nutrition. Just because the diet permits you to eat whatever you like doesn’t mean you should. You should make sure your one meal is balanced and giving you sufficient nutrition. My plan is to stay on the OMAD diet until I reach my weight goal, to be more aware of my weight and create a structured exercise routine.

I love my tea and coffee and this is still permitted however I have decided to drink more black tea and coffee and more green and peppermint tea to avoid the milk. I’ve also massively increased my water intake and very conscious of it. The one meal I eat I am keeping under 1250 calories and ensuring is healthy and balanced but also things I enjoy. I have a treat day each Saturday where I am allowing myself to eat more of my allowance and enjoy a drink with friends if I choose to. A key part to the one meal a day diet is strong self-discipline and willpower of which I surprisingly have found I have. Early into the diet I found myself reaching for chocolate and then deciding against it. So that is the food side nailed.

Now for the gadget side. Each morning I record my weight on my Withings body+ scales. This has mostly been rewarding with the scales reporting in the right direction apart from one day where there was a small gain. These scales give you a little graph on the scales to show you your progress and it shares the data with Apple Health over WiFi. It uses bluetooth and a weight profile to know who is on the scales to avoid sharing the wrong weight if someone else uses the scales.

Graph showing my weight over the last month. The graph shows a weight of 18st 5lb on the 23rd October.
My weight a week ago reported from the Withings scales.

Throughout the day I track my food and drink intake using MyFitnessPal. This allows me to search for food to get their nutritional information and scan for products using their barcodes. MyFitnessPal then calculates my daily allowance and takes into account my fitness and activities. For example, if I go on a long walk, swim or cycle it adds calories I burn from these activities to my daily allowance. Alongside MyFitnessPal I also use WaterMinder to give me a little nudge throughout the day to drink water. I’m a big tea drinker and the app allows me to record other drinks such as tea, coffee, beer and wine. I’m working in the Netherlands at the moment and they really like their tea black. This has led to me drinking more black tea but also more green and peppermint tea. So far I haven’t had any problems holding out for my one meal. As I’m not restricting myself on what I eat I am still able to enjoy all the lovely food I was used too. I’m avoiding some foods such as bread and those high in fat and sugar to help my progress.

My dinner captured in MyFitnessPal

In terms of exercise, I am trying to walk for an hour each day which I typically do at lunch or in the evening depending on work. At the weekends my daughter and I go on a nice long walk which usually involves a National Trust property or estate. I record these using the Apple Health app or Strava. My exercise plan involves me swimming every other day and cycling every other. When swimming or walking I use my Apple Watch to track my exercise. I also try to close all the health rings throughout the day. When I’m out cycling I use my Wahoo Elemnt with their ANT+ sensors of my bike for cadence, speed and I also have a heart rate monitor. Once I’m back Wahoo shares the data with Apple Health and Strava. I also track my sleep with Withings Sleep Sensor which is placed discreetly under the mattress. It means you can just forget about tracking your sleep when your home without having to rely on wearables and is very accurate. Strava, Apple Health and MyFitnessPal are at the heart of my tracking. I really enjoy the kudos my friends give me on Strava.

All the gear and no idea.
The fun side of exercise – me falling off my mountain bike. #NoPainNoGame

I’m just coming up to a full week and I’m sat at 17st 12lb (8lb loss) and feel so much better in myself. I don’t feel sluggish. I feel more flexible and committed to my plan. My sleep has improved slightly but my ankle and leg give me so much pain I don’t sleep very well as a result. Within two weeks I suspect I will reach my first goal losing a stone and quickly homing in on the sub-seventeen mark. I suspect later in the month I might have a little blip as I have a bucket list trip to New York for my birthday. I’m under decided whether I will keep up my OMAD diet or not but the plan is to try and get my weight down to 13 or 14 stone and keep it there.

Wish me luck!


A diet like this is not for everyone. I’ve shared some interesting articles on the one meal a day diet that both praise it and caution of it. Please seek professional and medical advice if you plan to diet.

Framing an #IOT thing of beauty

A picture can tell a thousand words. That’s just what I wanted to achieve by placing my Raspberry Pi into a picture frame. This all started with a long trip to IKEA over the weekend. One of those trips where you get to the car and realise you have way too much to fit it all in the car. During this long trip, I spotted a thick picture frame. My mind jumped at the thought of placing a working Raspberry Pi within it. Well, this evening I decided to give it a try and went about trying to house a Raspberry Pi in the picture frame and succeeded.

I researched how others might have tackled this. My searches returned examples where people have made a digital picture frame as opposed to housing or framing a Raspberry Pi in a traditional picture frame. Bizarrely the one example I did find, Digital PI-cture Frame by David Park was from IKEA Hackers. Great minds! This, although some years old was what I had pictured in my head.

IKEA Ribba picture frame

I love my tech and whilst I appreciate the clean, tidy and organised side of life. Sometimes I hate hiding things away too. This isn’t just any Raspberry Pi, this is one that is the hub of our home automation. One that should be out on display for everyone to see.

I was really torn whether I should house a Raspberry Pi 3b or a Raspberry Pi Zero within the picture frame. They are both absolutely beautiful and remarkable devices. In the end, I decided on the Raspberry Pi (RPi) 3b as it is such a significant device to our home. I may add another frame to house a RPi Zero for another project in a few months. For now, the frame currently sits on my desk but I plan to hang this on a significant wall in the house and make a feature of it including some internal lighting.

A picture frame as a Raspberry Pi case

The list below is a summary of bits I used:

  • Picture Ribba frame – IKEA £3.50
  • Black backboard – cut from a recycled notepad
  • Mounting nuts/bolts – taken from a spare Raspberry Pi case


For those wanting to know what that other bit is that is included in the picture frame. It’s a RF transmitter (315MHz). This RPi runs OpenHab where I have some rules that trigger my projector blind to come down or go back up when using my Logitech Harmony remote. Personally, I think the picture frame looks better for having something alongside the RPi rather than having it sat there by itself. I’ll have some more posts on this topic very soon!

My Raspberry Pi at work sending RF codes