So you’ve grown tired of fad diets, macro tracking, and spending hours in the kitchen prepping meals for a healthier lifestyle. The One Meal A Day (OMAD) diet could be your perfect solution! OMAD is a diet plan that involves eating only one meal per day, usually of your own choice.
I’ve been there. I have back-to-back clients, no time to eat, and no motivation to do anything besides work. That’s when I stumbled upon OMAD. At first, it seemed like a crazy idea. How would I maintain my energy and muscle mass if I only ate once a day?
After doing some research, the benefits quickly became apparent. Long story short, I tried it out for myself. I maintained my gains and energy and had more time to keep up with my schedule. Today I will share my experience and discuss the pros and cons of OMAD.
Disclaimer: I am not a physician. I am providing content for information purposes based on my personal experience and research and my clients’ experience. Always seek advice from your practitioner regarding medical conditions or treatment options, and never delay due diligence in taking care of your body.
What Is One Meal a Day?
One Meal A Day (OMAD) is an intermittent fasting plan that has generated a lot of buzz in the last few years. Only consuming one meal a day, of your preference, is this dietary practice’s premise. There is no exact time to eat; it’s up to you to decide what time works best for your lifestyle.
How Does it Work?
The key to the OMAD diet is to sustain your energy throughout the day while still getting the nutrients you need to stay healthy and strong. This is done by combining fasting with consuming healthy, nutrient-dense foods in a single meal. It is why focusing on quality, not quantity, is essential when planning your meals.
The way it works is simple. Pick a one-hour window where you will consume your meal. During the rest of the day, don’t eat anything else and focus on drinking plenty of water and other non-caloric beverages. Consuming one meal per day is an effective way to restrict calories and jumpstart your weight loss journey.
What Happens to the Body by Eating One Meal a Day?
The OMAD diet has many potential benefits. It can help with weight loss, improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and regulate hormones. Eating one meal per day can also help improve mental clarity and reduce stress levels. Additionally, it may help reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
The OMAD diet can also help reduce cravings and promote satiety. By eating one meal per day, you will be able to control your hunger and avoid overeating. It will help you stick to a healthy diet, even when faced with cravings.
What Should You Eat?
The biggest question you’ll get when doing one meal a day is what should you eat? The answer is simple: whatever you want. This doesn’t mean eating a cheeseburger and fries every day. It’s essential to focus on nutrient-dense whole foods and try to get as much variety into your meals as possible.
Focus on lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. It can help you stay full and energized throughout the day without feeling deprived. Additionally, get plenty of fiber and vitamins through fresh fruits and vegetables.
Foods To Avoid
The OMAD diet should not facilitate an excuse to indulge in unhealthy or processed foods. Therefore you need to avoid the following:
- Fast food
- Sugary drinks
- Processed snacks
- Refined grains
- Greasy fried foods
By avoiding these things, you can ensure that your one meal daily is as healthy and nutrient-dense as possible.
Foods To Eat
Here are some of the best foods to consume in one meal a day:
- Lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, fish, and legumes
- Nuts and seeds
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, and coconut oil
One Meal A Day and Strength Training
If you’re a strength athlete, OMAD may be an effective way to maintain your gains. Eating one meal daily can help you stay in a caloric deficit while getting the necessary nutrients to fuel your workouts. Additionally, it can help reduce inflammation and improve mental clarity, which is crucial to an effective strength training program.
But keep in mind that it may not work for everyone. Some people may struggle to sustain the energy needed for intense workouts without regular meals throughout the day. Experiment and find what works best for you.
Discipline and Willpower
Following the OMAD diet takes a lot of discipline and willpower. For some, it won’t be easy. I’ve seen a few people start and stop one meal a day multiple times before being able to go steady. That’s okay. It’s no different than any other goal in life. It just takes a little bit of dedication and the right mindset to make it work.
Who Shouldn’t Do It
Although there are many potential benefits to the OMAD diet, it is not suitable for everyone. People with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and eating disorders, should not follow the OMAD diet. Additionally, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not attempt this diet as it can be dangerous for both mother and baby.
Who Should Do It
The OMAD diet may be suitable for people who want to lose weight and improve their overall health. It can also help those looking to simplify their eating routine and gain more control over their cravings. However, it’s important to remember that this diet is not a magical solution and should commence with healthy habits such as regular exercise and stress management.
It can still be beneficial even if you only eat one meal a day, two or three days per week. Remember to listen to your body and find what works best for you.
As a hybrid athlete, my macro split differs from the typical OMAD dieter. I focus on getting enough protein and carbohydrates to fuel my workouts. Eating one large meal daily allows me to stay in a deficit without feeling deprived. Talking about one meal a day for me is easy because it has become my way of life for years.
I do it now without thinking about it. I eat one large meal on most days. There are days when I need something extra such as coconut water for hydration, a protein shake for additional fuel, or an apple for added fiber.
Two to three days a week, I eat a bowl of fruit outside my feeding window. As I said, your approach doesn’t have to be perfect. You must listen to your body and find what works best for you.
OMAD helps me stay lean and maintain my fitness levels, so I recommend that most athletes try it out. If you are into bodybuilding, it will help you stay lean year-round while cutting down on the work you’ll have to do to prepare for a competition.
OMAD has simplified my life and made it easier to manage my appetite and stay on track. I also have more time in my day to not focus on meal prepping or thinking about what to eat. I usually eat between 12 and 130 each day. I’m an early riser. I get up at 4:30 am. OMAD enhances my focus and energy first thing in the morning, letting me finish most of my work before lunch.
I know we mentioned some of the benefits of one meal a day before. But let’s dig a little deeper.
Mental Clarity and Focus
Eating one meal a day can help you to stay focused throughout the day. By eating one meal a day, I can get more work done and stay on task longer.
OMAD can help reduce the number of calories you consume in a day. This can result in weight loss over time.
More Time and Energy
Reducing the number of meals you eat throughout the day will give you more time and energy to focus on other things. It can help you become more productive and efficient in your day-to-day activities.
Eating one meal a day can help reduce the amount of inflammation in your body. This is due to the fact that you are eating fewer processed and refined foods that can cause inflammation. You also give your body more time to repair and heal instead of digesting food around the clock.
Improved Mental Health
OMAD can help improve your mental health. Eating one big meal is more satisfying than eating several smaller meals throughout the day, which can help keep your cravings at bay. It can help improve your overall mental health and well-being.
OMAD slows down the aging process. Giving your body more time to rest and repair can help reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Eating one meal a day can give you more dietary freedom. You don’t have to worry about meal prepping or planning your meals in advance. Plus, you get to enjoy your favorite foods without worrying about calories.
I know there are so many benefits to OMAD that you might not care about the downside. But they are just as important. Let’s take a look.
Eating one meal a day may result in you not getting enough calories and nutrients. You need to ensure that your one meal is packed full of all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs.
OMAD can cause digestive issues such as bloating and indigestion. It is especially true if you are not used to eating this way.
Lack of Variety
Eating one meal a day can lead to you always eating the same foods. You’ll experience a lack of variety in your diet, leading to a lack of essential nutrients and vitamins.
One meal a day can be hard to follow when you are out with friends or at social events. It could lead to feelings of isolation and make it hard for you to connect with others.
The OMAD lifestyle can trigger your body to release stress hormones, which can work against you if you are trying to lose weight or build muscle.
Hunger! Eating one meal a day can lead to feelings of hangriness throughout the day. It could be hard to manage and cause you to overeat when you finally eat.
OMAD can lead to nutrient deficiencies. It can cause you to feel tired, weak, or experience other symptoms. Prolonged nutrient deficiencies can can onset dis-ease. It’s essential to monitor your diet and ensure you get enough vitamins and minerals. Supplementation is your friend in this case.
Other Options if OMAD Doesn’t Work
So OMAD doesn’t work for everyone, and that’s okay. Here are some other options to consider if you find that OMAD isn’t working for you:
This diet allows you to fast between 12 and 24 hours at a time. You can do this one or two days per week and normally eat the other five days.
Regulating Portion Size
If you don’t want to commit to a strict diet plan, just focus on regulating your portion size. Eat larger portions for breakfast and lunch, and reduce the size of your dinner.
Reducing Evening Snacking
If you find yourself snacking in the evening, try eliminating this habit. Start with switching out the potato chips for celery. It will help reduce your overall calorie intake and help you reach your health goals.
You can’t out workout a bad diet, but exercise can help you reach your health goals. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate daily exercise to help burn calories and build muscle mass.
Keeping a Food Diary
A food diary can help you stay on track and monitor your progress. It will also allow you to see which foods work for you and which do not. Some foods cause you to feel bloated and uncomfortable, so tracking this will help you make better food choices.
Having a support system is vital when trying out any new diet. Find someone to help you stay motivated and on track with your goals. As a mental performance coach, I can help you stay focused and accountable on your journey to success. Contact me today to get started. Take my free health assessment here to get started. I’ll be in touch with you shortly after.
Eating a Balanced Diet
Finally, make sure that you are eating a balanced diet. Get enough protein, carbs, and fats in your meals to keep your body functioning optimally. Try to include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your meals and reduce your intake of processed foods.
Talking to a Doctor
It is always important to see a doctor or at least get regular bloodwork done to ensure that imbalances are not present. Talk to a doctor before beginning any diet plan. They can provide individualized advice and help you make the best decisions for your lifestyle, especially if you are currently managing a chronic illness and taking medications.
It is possible to follow an OMAD diet if done right. Just know that this lifestyle may not work for everyone. Consider some of the other options outlined above, or contact a professional for advice and guidance to ensure you do what is best for your health and fitness goals.
With the right approach and consistent effort, you can achieve amazing things. Be sure to stick with it and stay focused. You can do it!
Don’t play with your body. You only get one.
Peace and Blessings