The OMAD, One Meal a Day Diet, helps people lose weight and improve their health. It is a form of intermittent fasting and is proven to be effective in top scientific research, in medical journals like PubMed and Journal of Nutrition! With that being said, there are those that do it, swear by it, and those that want to do it but hold themselves back because they are scared of it. Intermittent fasting, as it’s known, is one of the most popular ways to lose weight and feel great. It is generally easy to do and good for our health!
It sounds a lot harder than it is – here’s what to expect and why you should potentially consider it.
OMAD doesn’t have to restrict what you eat
Unlike other popular diets, you don’t have to eat specific foods on the OMAD diet. Instead, you simply time when you eat (once a day). Basically, your “diet” should consist of:
- Specific foods to ensure you get the right nutrients
- A 24 hours fast
- Eating one meal a day
Food choice is still a very important parameter, and if you choose processed foods, and make consistent poor food choices, success will not be inherent in your decision to undergo a lifestyle change to lose weight mostly as bodyfat. Just like anything, it takes dedication. Many people think the word “diet” is restricting and it holds them back. So if you’d rather take the word “diet” out of your vocabulary, you call just as easily call it an “eating pattern” or “eating window”. Words are words, and we need to see past the barriers and move with furvor towards becoming truly healthy. Life is short, so let’s enjoy it!
What foods do you eat on the One Meal a Day diet?
Like we said above, there aren’t “necessarily” specific foods you must eat, like other diets. But because you eat one meal a day, it should include all the necessary food groups, such as:
- Fruits and vegetables – Fill your plate with the colors of the rainbow including berries, green vegetables, citrus fruits, and cauliflower.
- Complex carbs – Your body needs carbs for energy, so include sweet potatoes, oatmeal, or quinoa.
- Beans, nuts, and seeds – Legumes, almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds are great options.
- Protein – Consume any lean proteins (men should consider eliminating compounds high in phytoestrogens, like soya as it has been shown to reduce Free Testosterone in men).
- Dairy – Choose dairy or plant-based dairy options.
- Good fats – Your body needs the good fat of avocados, olive oil, fish and algae oils, organic butter, rapeseed oil, and raw coconut oil. It is smart to limit vegetable oils, like corn, soya, safflower, and linseed as it has been shown that many vegetable oils are not necessarily good for our health.
Some research has shown that incorporating a more ketogenic menu in your OMAD sequence, may in fact increase your fat loss and accelerate your body condition favourably.
It is widely accepted that ketogenic follow a similar macronutrient breakdown (some flexibility between Fats & Proteins):
- 70% Fats (See Good Fats – more animal derived and marine derived fatty acids)
- 25% Proteins
- 5% Carbohydrates
The goal is to be in ketogenesis, which turns on the fat-burning engine in your body. There are an array of health benefits associated to long-term ketogenesis, we discuss further in this article.
It should be noted that we are not doctors or healthcare professionals, we report on current science and OMAD has received some positive recognition when combined with smart food choices, ketogenic and the paleo diet, inclusive.
Timing your One Meal a Day
No one says when you can eat your meal – it’s up to you. That’s the beauty of this diet. Many people choose dinner because it gives them something to look forward to each day. Dinner is also a great time to enjoy a large variety of foods, including protein.
Some dieters, though, prefer breakfast or lunch. Play with your options and see how you feel. Each body is different and you want the option that makes it as easy as possible for you to eat one meal a day.
What are the benefits of OMAD?
Despite its name and the fear it creates, the OMAD diet has many benefits including:
- Better focus – Do you have that 3 PM crash every day? If you feel like you can’t drink enough coffee or eat enough junk, this diet may help. If you choose dinner as your one meal, your body isn’t working hard to digest your breakfast and lunch, depleting your energy. You may find you have more energy and work harder when fasting.
- Little planning and tracking – How many diets have you done where you have to plan every calorie you put in your mouth, eating from specific categories and even specific foods? Maybe you did diets where you had to track every little thing you ate, including calories, ingredients, and macros. There’s none of that with the One Meal a Day diet. The freedom of eating once a day frees up your time and your mental stress.
- Perfect for the traveler. Some of us are on the road for work and good, healthy food options may not always be available. Be cognizant about what you eat. This can change your life and being on the move will ensure you burn calories all day up to you meal. This can give you a satisfying feeling too, eating once per day and fat just melts away, to say the least!
- Helps with weight loss plateaus – If you’ve hit a plateau and feel stuck, the fasting technique may help. Kicking your body into a different gear often wakes it up and for what may seem as counterintuitive, especially when incorporated with ketogenic foods, it is a solid choice that really helps you lose weight faster.
- Easier to restrict calories – If you have the willpower to eat only once a day, there’s a lower risk of eating too many calories. If you choose the right foods at your one meal, you’ll give your body what it needs and less of what it doesn’t need, helping you lose weight.
- Your health may improve – Some people see improvements in their diabetes symptoms and has been proven to reduce inflammation, improve cognitive ability and mental alertness, or provide an overall health improvement because they avoid the unhealthy foods including excessive sugar, unhealthy fats, and senseless carb binging. We can effectively create a situation where there is no room (and no need) for fast food or the 3 PM candy bar.
It is all about becoming more disciplined. That is the goal, and we aim to reach all our goals.
How many pounds can you lose on OMAD?
Like any diet, each person will have different results. The key to any diet is to burn more calories than you consume. It is simple math… energy out vs energy coming in. If you are in a deficit in calories coming in, you are on the road to lose weight. Eating one meal a day makes losing weight a lot easier because you don’t have all day to consume calories. This is mental toughness!
A study in the Journal of Nutrition showed the greater weight loss participants in fasting diets had versus those on traditional diets that ate 3 meals a day but watched their food intake. Timing your eating to ensure you are alert when you want to be alert, you are strong when you need to be strong, takes personal fine-tuning.
It may take some time to get used to it, but it is all so possible. Just within reach. Being accountable to yourself is a vital mental cue that can put you on a trajectory reaching your goals, no matter how laborious. Getting into a routine is nothing short than essential. Work with purpose, treat yourself good, eat well, exercise daily, meditate, and work to produce. We are in this for greatness! Let’s go people!
How to introduce OMAD
We aim to be successful. We aim to better ourselves, and sometimes it is also important to make daily improvements. Like in James Clear’s book – Atomic Habits, improving 1% per day would render the incumbent 37-times better after one year. That is phenomenal, isn’t it? But still, many people worry about jumping into OMAD diet headfirst. If that sounds like you, no problem! We have a clever workaround, gradually work your way in with the following steps:
- Start fasting at shorter increments, increasing the time you go without eating each day or every other day. Elongate your fasting windows and decrease your feeding windows. Keep your snacks and meals close to each other. For best results, the ideal way to time you’re eating and it should be within 90 minutes after train or exerting yourself (the times after you’ve expended a lot of energy – i.e. working out, climbing/hiking, walking, swimming…) in order to maximize essential nutrient uptake.
- Remember, everyone is different and can react differently under strain, especially under an array of psychological / physiological stressors (i.e. dieting, exercise…). As a result we react during and after the specific change process in an infinitesimal amount of unique and novel ways. Find what works for you. The goal here is to improve your ability to compress your feeding window and it should not be your principle barrier.
- Push through and before you know it, you are on track. It really can be that simple. We all need activation energy. Use this launch sequence to get up off that comfy chair….NOW! 5-4-3-2-1-BLAST OFF! The growing community is accessible to us all, so get into the forums and start by hearing what the community has to say and what you can potentially learn! Be a good student. ALWAYS!
- Challenge yourself! Make it a reality by making a quick decision on what you need to do. There are no magic pills, no cheat exercise, no bio-hacks. This is science and our body is a science wonderland. Get a group of friends and create a community of accessible people whom you can make yourselves accountable to each other and the success of the community. We are social beings, let’s start acting like it.
- Try fasting every other day in increments of 10-15 hours and see how your body feels. You can use this time to experiment with which meal is most important to you too.
- Do OMAD a few times a week as you build up your tolerance. Again, play with the timing and what you eat, paying close attention to how your body feels.
One Meal a Day is possible and it provides great results. You give your body the nutrients it needs without all the junk it doesn’t need. You make that choice. Your body focuses on the energy you provide it once a day, expending it methodically so that you look and feel your best. This makes your body run more efficiently. You are starting to feel better. You lose unsightly body fat. Who doesn’t want that?
This is now another life-skill and can have overreaching benefits if maintained and revised continually. Keep abreast of the science and keep active. Adding this to the growing repertoire of skills you mastered in life and tallies in favour of you consistently and systematically removing the obstacles in your life. Making a path for success, maybe? For your family, your business, your community, your life…
Always consult your doctor before starting any diet or prior to embarking on a crusade to change your life. You have the starting point. From here you can have optics on what you want to improve and catalogue what you are willing to do to make it a reality. Pull the trigger. Your results are your responsibility and can be a simple by drawing from your resolve-reserves and take control. Always make sound dietary choices and apply science-based concepts and embark on making impactful lifestyle changes.
Learning what is healthy and what is not, cannot be understated. Selecting for quality should be at the forefront of your evaluation criteria on what is good to put in my body. If it does not fit the simple tenants of local, good, wholesome, natural, free-range, organic, or what have you, move on and find a place that does. For hardcore OMAD-proponents, they set a standard of quality in their minds and rarely undermine their resolve (and sometimes obstinance, lol), but for good reason. They wait until they can find a good meal. Extending the fasting window is not detrimental, and has even shown benefits worthy to speak of. The bottom line is to always select top-quality from local artisan producers.
We all have heard, “we are what we eat”. That has never been more true. With things like micro-plastics and estrogen invoking substances being omni-present in foods, it couldn’t be a better time to start. Get ahead of the health curve. You can do better than that… come on!
Again, make sure you include the necessary nutrients your body needs for optimal performance. Look at a good multivitamin, apple cider vinegar, mineral salts, zinc, magnesium and potassium supplements, and that is all you need to start. By no time, you’ll find you have better focus, more energy, and a greater sense of purpose when your body isn’t always in digestive mode, using up its energy to metabolize the food you consumed. You will be surprised how much of your daily energy is dedicated to digestion alone. Free up that energy. Free up your working time. Free up more time to have more with your family!
Give the OMAD diet a try today and see how you feel!
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