Chris Martin eats one meal a day – here’s what it does to your health

Coldplay front-man Chris Martin sparked an online debate today as he revealed he only eats one meal a day.

The singer, 46, also admitted that he stops eating after 4pm daily meaning that he skips dinner.

There are a substantial number of studies dating back at least a decade that suggest intermittent fasting — or keeping eating to a strict time window — may prolong someone’s life, trigger weight loss and lower their risk of diseases including diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Scientists suggest that the benefit is because restricted calorie intake lowers inflammation levels in the body, as well as giving cells time to flush toxic products out of the body that could be damaging.

However, in recent years a small body of research has emerged linking the trend to a shorter lifespan and higher risk of heart disease. Experts suggest this may be because intermittent fasters eat more in one go, which they said could damage cells.

Chris Martin, 46, made the shocking admission to only eating one meal a day during an appearance on Conan O’Brien’s Needs A Friend podcast

Experts say that intermittent fasting is still better than overeating, most likely because it makes someone less likely to be obese. However, the benefits have not been proven beyond doubt.

Martin also did not reveal what he eats, although he did joke that it was normally a flank of buffalo and steroid sauce.

However, he did say that he is a terrible cook — saying he had to call the fire service the two times he tried cooking over the last decade.

His motivation for the strict diet plan came from when he had lunch with 73-year-old Bruce Springsteen and noticed he was ‘in better shape’ than himself. 

Other celebrities that have signed up to the diet in the past include Mark Wahlberg, Chris Hemsworth and Hugh Jackman. 

Supporters of intermittent fasting have highlighted a number of touted health benefits from the diet plan.

They include a major Canadian meta-analysis released in 2020 which analyzed 27 trials of 27 trials which found people who used the plan could lose up to 13 percent of their weight without serious adverse effects.

Another meta-analysis published in 2015 from researchers at Salt Lake City, Utah, suggested that the plan left people less likely to develop coronary artery disease or diabetes.

Research has also found that the habit can boost cells sensitivity to insulin, which may be because less of the hormone is released daily, further cutting the diabetes risk.

Piles of papers in mice have shown that the diet plan can raise longevity, with researchers suggesting that periods with no food may enable repair and maintenance mechanisms in the body.

Studies in mice have also suggested that the diet reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. They found that this may be because of lower inflammation levels and the fact that it flushes more beta-amyloid proteins out of the brain.

These benefits are, however, yet to be confirmed in humans — with some studies now suggesting the opposite.

One paper released last year that followed 24,000 Americans over 40 years old warned that those who ate one meal per day were 30 percent more likely to die from any cause in 15 years compared to those who ate three.

This held true even if people exercised, ate healthily and rarely smoked or drank alcohol, the researchers claimed.

Scientists suggested this was because fasters ended up consuming a large amount of food in one go, which over time may damage the body’s cells. 

They added, however, that it was still too early to say conclusively that intermittent fasting played a role in an early death.

Another suggested that intermittent fasting for weight loss was no more effective than restricting your calorie intake.

And a third carried out in mice suggested that skipping breakfast could raise the risk of developing heart disease or cancer.

Experts have previously warned that people should be careful when opting to fast intermittently.

Kim Pearson, a nutritionist in the UK, told the website: ‘Generally, men find time-restricted eating easier to do than women on a consistent basis.

‘With women, their appetite will fluctuate quite significantly throughout the month.

‘So, in the lead-up to their period, they tend to get a lot hungrier and the body’s calorie requirement increases.

‘A lot of women tell me that fasting in the week before a period is a struggle. For people that are particularly stressed, it can add to this.’

What is intermittent fasting?

Intermittent fasting involves switching between days of fasting and days of eating normally. 

Intermittent fasting diets fall generally into two categories – time-restricted feeding, which narrows eating times to 6-8 hours per day, also known as the 16:8 diet, and 5:2 intermittent fasting. 

The 16:8 diet is a form of intermittent fasting, also known as Time Restricted Eating.

Followers of the eating plan fast for 16 hours a day, and eat whatever they want in the remaining eight hours – typically between 10am and 6pm. 

This may be more tolerable than the well-known 5:2 diet – where followers restrict their calories to 500–to-600 a day for two days a week and then eat as normal for the remaining five days.

In addition to weight loss, 16:8 intermittent fasting is believed to improve blood sugar control, boost brain function and help us live longer.

Many prefer to eat between noon and 8pm as this means they only need to fast overnight and skip breakfast, but can still eat lunch and dinner, along with a few snacks.

When you do eat, it is best to opt for healthy options like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

And drink water and unsweetened beverages. 

Drawbacks of the fasting plan may be that people overindulge in the hours they can eat, leading to weight gain.

It can also result in digestive problems over the long-term, as well as hunger, fatigue and weakness.