“One Meal A Day” OMAD diet promises weight loss – but
WHAT if we said there was a super-simple way for you to lose weight? And what if we told you that it involved eating whatever you like with no calorie restriction?
Well, meet the OMAD diet.
That stands for One Meal A Day, and it’s an extreme version of intermittent fasting that involves eating for one hour only in a whole 24-hour window.
you’re allowed to eat whatever you like within that hour without calorie restriction but when you’re not eating, you’re only allowed to drink calorie-free beverages like black coffee and water.
Followers claim that it speeds up weight loss and saves loads of time and effort which can then be put towards other things. People claim to eat their one meal somewhere between 6.30pm and 9.30pm and typically have “fish, chicken or steak with a salad, spinach, asparagus or Brussels sprouts”.
People also have mixed berries or some dark chocolate for dessert and sometimes drinks red wine.
“During the day, they feel so much more focused…they have this very focused point of the mind in terms of this drive.”
“The time back from breakfast and lunch allowed them to focus more on what their day is.” People also claim to sleep better as a result of not eating much.
So to clarify, OMAD is about eating what you want for one meal a day and then fasting for the rest of the time. And that, apparently, will help you to slim down.
Does OMAD Diet really work?
Well, even if you ate a big old takeaway for that massive hour-long blowout, the chances are that you’d still be consuming fewer calories throughout the day. But as with any highly restrictive diet, there’s a massive risk of disordered eating.
Ignoring your hunger cues and binging out on mega-calorific grub when you do have the chance to eat can seriously mess up your relationship with food. Which is why we stressing the importance of the food quality you’re consuming during that hour.
Whatever diet you wish to follow or however many times per day you want to eat, the most important message is to eat real food – this is absolutely vital to good health as it provides nutrient-rich foods our body recognises.
We aren’t supposed to snack throughout the day and that the typical Western diet is highly processed but nutrient-poor. As a result, more and more of us have nutritional deficiencies and diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, and insulin-resistance-related metabolic disorders.
Intermittent fasts need fat
You could certainly not do an OMAD diet on processed or low-fat foods! But it is do-able, and the key is to eat real food that’s high in fat.
“Those who opt for intermittent fasting or OMAD, tend to eat a diet of real food and most have come from low carb or ketogenic way of eating so are already fat-adapted.”
Their diet tends to be very nutrient dense with lots of healthy protein and healthy fats. But lower in carbohydrates in order to feel satisfied during the day. As carbs drive our hunger/cravings by stimulating a hormone called ghrelin. So for many, this diet works well for them often in the short term to boost weight loss or to improve health.”
Rebalancing blood sugar with OMAD Diet
Every time you eat, you stimulate an insulin response. So, fasting can help to rebalance your blood sugar and insulin levels.
But I am more a fan of low-carb, high-fat diets with some intermittent fasting rather than going very long hours of not eating. Sometimes it is necessary for me to go longer, especially if I fell off the low-carb wagon.
Although you can do fasting for one, two, three days at a time, most people tend to opt for a 16-hour fasting window. Eating their last meal in the evening and fasting until late morning/lunch.
This helps to balance blood sugars and allows the body to heal and works very well on the low carb way of eating. Some take this further and do opt for the OMAD.
Whatever diet you wish to follow or however many times per day you want to eat. The most important message is to EAT REAL FOOD. This is absolutely vital to good health as it provides nutrient-rich foods our body recognises.
“Don’t fear fat – get the essential fats into your body (they are called essential for a reason!). Enjoy food as nature intended.”
Listen to your body’s cues
The real issue with diets is that they tend to be unsustainable. We’ve forgotten how to listen to our bodies and what it needs to get through the day.
We overeat then starve ourselves – completely ignoring any hunger or fullness cues. Humans adapted to be able to go for long hours between meals but today, we graze from breakfast ’till supper. If we just cut out the snacks, we’d be better off.
And don’t forget that food is supposed to be social. We celebrate, commiserate, spend time together through the power of food.
Not eating at all except for one hour a day could be really isolating. Unless you always make sure that the hour falls when you’re able to eat with other people. And that could mean moving that hour around, which in turn would mean extending or contracting your fast.
Many weight-loss experts claim that going back to fasting is key.
It’s worth saying of course, that if you have any history of disordered eating, fasting won’t be for you. If you don’t and you can’t be bothered to count calories or eat certain foods. Then restricting the amount of time you’re allowed to eat in might be quite handy.
“One Meal A Day” OMAD diet promises weight loss – but?
Maybe you wonder why there is “BUT?” at the end? Well, I and many professionals do not advice to keep OMAD for longer than 3-4 weeks at a time. The reason for this advice is simple. If one keeps eating once a day for longer periods of time, it will become a calorie-restricted diet. Which means that your body will get used to the low-calories intake and will slow down your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Therefore, it is in the best interest to mix OMAD with two meals a day (16/8 Fasting Protocol) after about 4 weeks of doing OMAD diet.