As a weight loss diet, the one-meal-a-day strategy advocates intermittent fasting.
Today, you can choose from a plethora of different diet plans. Just type “new diets” into a search engine and you’ll get a plethora of results, including the
- ketogenic diet
- intermittent diet,
- the Paleo diet,
- the DASH diet,
- the Mediterranean diet, and many more.
However, the OMAD (One Meal A Day) plan is one such diet about which several fitness enthusiasts have begun talking to you. A growing number of people are talking about how the One Meal A Day plan has helped them reach their health and fitness goals, such as slimming down and increasing their energy levels.
One Meal A Day (OMAD) is an extreme form of intermittent fasting (IF). In case you haven’t heard, intermittent fasting involves skipping meals for 15 to 18 hours a day and instead using that time to do other things, like exercise or catch up on sleep. It’s reasonable to assume that OMAD is a variation on IF, in which you’re allowed to skip meals. It’s true that there is one meal a day where you can eat as much as you want without worrying about your weight.
I don’t see why somebody would choose to fast all day and eat only once. The reason for this is that many people claim to have had significant physical transformations. In addition, it’s a practical eating plan for folks who are constantly on the go or who struggle to control their food desires. There is a HUGE notice warning readers that science does not support this diet regimen.
How does OMAD aid in losing weight?
Both OMAD and intermittent fasting come in a wide variety of forms and can be done in various ways. Fasting can take several forms, such as eating only one meal per day or only consuming a little amount of food at each meal. A calorie deficit is created by this diet, which may result in diminished body mass. One of the many potential health benefits of fasting is a reduction in risk factors for cardiovascular disease, as well as a lowering of blood sugar and inflammation.
One meal a day is one of the most extreme forms of intermittent fasting, especially when compared to other fasting regimens like the 16/8 technique, which comprises eating windows of 8 hours and fasting windows of 16 hours. There are diet plans out there that just recommend eating once a day. The Warrior Diet is an extreme version in which a person consumes only one meal per day and alternates between long fasts and brief times of eating. Those adhering to OMAD typically skip breakfast or lunch in favour of dinner, however some do the reverse. However, there are variants of this eating plan that permit two snacks in addition to the single meal. Some OMAD adherents, however, choose to forego any caloric intake outside of their designated meal time, which lasts for about an hour on average.
The key to successful weight loss is establishing an energy deficit. Either raising your metabolic rate or decreasing your caloric intake will help you achieve this goal. Any method of reducing caloric intake will result in weight loss. In general, those who follow the OMAD plan tend to lose weight because they consume fewer calories than they would on a more conventional eating schedule.
For instance, one study found that compared to those who ate three meals each day, those who consumed all their calories in a single four-hour window at night lost much more body fat. Weight loss is a likely outcome of intermittent fasting, and research has shown that this holds true even for longer fasting periods like OMAD. There is no evidence to suggest that it is more effective than other strategies of calorie restriction, such as cutting back on food intake on a meal-by-meal basis. Persons who ate fewer than three meals per day had lower body mass indexes (BMIs) than those who ate three meals per day, according to an analysis of 50,660 people. Fasting for 18 hours or longer overnight was also associated with lower body mass index and weight loss compared to shorter fasting periods. Although OMAD is associated with weight loss, the benefits of intermittent fasting are not unique to that method. In addition, people may experience unwanted side effects from extreme fasting strategies like OMAD, including increased hunger and harmful metabolic alterations.
What are the other benefits of OMAD (One meal a day)?
The advantages of the one-meal-a-day diet, according to its adherents, include, among others:
- Rapid weight loss is now an option for people.
- Since calorie counting is unnecessary, sticking to the diet is a breeze.
- There is no forbidden food.
Read this article to find out if intermittent fasting is right for you.
Few studies have shown that the one-meal-a-day plan actually works for weight loss. Although the authors of a review note several hazards, including the possibility of rebound rises in body fat, one study indicated that intermittent fasting might help people lose weight. One-meal-a-day was the subject of only one of the included research. In this trial, participants consumed all of their caloric intakes during a brief 4-hour window each night. While many people reported reductions in both fat mass and overall body weight, others experienced increases in cholesterol and blood pressure.
Meanwhile, other studies have found that alternate-day fasting is just as effective, if not more so than calorie restriction for weight reduction, maintenance, and cardiovascular risk. Autophagy, your body’s cleanup mechanism for damaged cells, poisons, and waste, is triggered by the OMAD diet and other intermittent fasting approaches. Additionally, autophagy happens in neurons in your brain, which may be why intermittent fasting diets have been found in rat studies to combat age-related neurological illnesses like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke. Results from research in rodents demonstrate that intermittent fasting improves glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity.
What are the downsides of OMAD (one meal a day)?
While studies have linked fasting and calorie restriction to numerous health benefits, excessive restriction (such as eating only once per day) may actually be counterproductive.
Studies have shown that compared to typical eating patterns or less extreme fasting approaches, the such severe restriction can increase total and LDL “bad” cholesterol and blood pressure. It has been demonstrated in other research that compared to having 3 meals per day, eating only one may increase fasting blood sugar levels, delay the body’s response to insulin, and increase levels of the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin. This can cause severe malnutrition.
Furthermore, persons with type 2 diabetes, who may be more susceptible to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), may be advised against a one-meal-a-day diet. Symptoms of eating only once a day include nausea, dizziness, irritability, low energy, and constipation, among others.
Many people, such as those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, young children, the elderly, or those with eating disorders, should not follow the OMAD diet. One-meal-a-day diets are also associated with an increased risk of developing disordered eating behaviours, as well as having negative effects on a person’s social life and being extremely challenging to maintain for the vast majority of the population. In addition, getting all the nutrients you need from a single meal is challenging at best. This puts you in danger of developing vitamin deficiencies, which can have major consequences on your health.
Finally, some people who adhere to the OMAD eating plan will overindulge in highly processed, calorie-dense items like fast food, pizza, doughnuts, and ice cream for their one meal of the day. While some of these foods have a place in a healthy diet, the long-term effects of a diet heavy in processed foods, sugar, and other unhealthy elements should be considered. The benefits of fasting and calorie restriction are real, but studies suggest that having two or three meals daily is better for your health than eating one.
How to follow the OMAD diet and its tips and tricks?
It’s not easy to fast for twenty-three hours. Even more difficult is ensuring that you get all the nutrients you need in a single meal. Your body can also send you signs when it’s had enough. Warning signs and transition advice for the OMAD diet are provided below. See your doctor before making any drastic changes to your daily routine or diet.
Spend your one meal wisely
Can I get by eating only once a day? Is it possible to lose weight while eating a healthy diet? Yes, if your meals are well-rounded and include a variety of different foods and a wide spectrum of macro and micronutrients. You can’t get all the nutrients you need by gorging on just one food category. Be aware of your macros and try to keep your major meal under your carbohydrate limit if you are following a ketogenic diet in addition to an OMAD schedule.
Lie about the chronology
Fasting: eating ratio of 23:1 is not required to follow OMAD. Try eating slowly over the course of more than an hour if that’s how you feel most comfortable handling a big meal. After a particularly strenuous workout, if hunger pangs manifest themselves at hour 22, give in to them. Keeping your cool and keeping your life on track are more crucial than meeting a rigid deadline.
Pay attention to what your physical being is telling you
Some people’s bodies just don’t agree with extreme fasting, even with well-balanced nutrients, and that’s fine. Do not push a plan without listening to your body’s instincts if you have a faster metabolism, regularly deal with mental stress, or love strenuous workouts. The stress of fasting causes the body to produce more of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. If you have trouble falling asleep, wake up too early, or feel weak and exhausted all the time, your body is trying to tell you that it needs more consistent stimulation.
Go out on a high note
It can be challenging to adjust to a regular schedule after using an OMAD. If you’ve been eating sparingly all day, you might be craving a massive dinner as soon as you get home. However, if you have a history of eating disorders or regularly gorge on junk food, this approach can really be counterproductive. Fill your plate at fast-breaking with meals high in nutrients that can help you achieve your health and well-being goals. It’s reasonable to pause your fast if you’re having trouble maintaining a healthy diet simultaneously.
Women need to be especially careful
Intermittent fasting, according to the available research, can wreak havoc on a woman’s insulin sensitivity. Excessive fasting in rodents also leads to suppression of reproductive hormones in the brain, according to the literature. It’s important to visit a doctor if you have any significant shifts in your cycle or if you see any bad changes in your mood.
The effects of fasting on the body are not limited to those that are visible
Eating only once a day might be mentally draining. Remember that more strenuous fasts do not yield greater results, and take care of your stress levels through activities like yoga, meditation, or exercise. It’s fine to experiment with various fasting methods or to not fast at all, so check in with yourself often to determine whether your schedule feels right.
The Bottom Line
As the name implies, the one-meal-a-day diet entails eating only one meal every day and abstaining from food for the other 23 hours. Some people may find success with this diet plan, but it may not be risk-free for everyone. Evidence for the beneficial effects of intermittent fasting is mounting, but there is scant support for a diet consisting of just one meal each day. More research is needed to establish whether or not this diet is healthy and helpful for weight loss. Making manageable adjustments to one’s diet and routine is the best place to start for anyone looking to reduce weight. Those who are interested in fasting may want to look into less stringent options. If you have a medical problem and are trying to lose weight, it is recommended that you speak with a doctor or nutritionist about safe weight loss methods.