This might sound crazy, eating once a day. I did this and here's the story of how it went down.
It's called OMAD, short for one meal a day and it's quickly grown to become somewhat of a cult following in the weight loss community.
If you've got weight to lose, how wonderful would it be to be able to eat all your favorites like deviled eggs, burritos, cheeseburgers, spaghetti with meatballs, waffles with maple syrup, chocolate cake, and more, while still losing weight?
Well you can, with OMAD.
What's the catch?
You can only eat those things once a day. But, there's the promise of losing weight. Keep reading to learn all about how OMAD works.
What is the OMAD diet?
Before getting into this, I just want to share that this is my personal experience, thoughts and opinions about OMAD. I am not a health care professional or nutritionist. Remember to consult with your doctor when you start any new nutrition plan.
With that said, here's what OMAD is about.
The OMAD diet is a lifestyle that puts no limitations on the kinds of food and the amount of food you eat, with the promise of losing weight. The only catch is, you can only eat once a day.
This is a kind of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting is about breaking your day up into an eating window and a fasting window. During your eating window, you eat. During your fasting window, you fast.
The traditional intermittent fast many people do is a 16/8 fast where you fast 16 hours of the day and eat 8 hours of the day.
Your schedule might look like this:
- 11am break your fast and eat breakfast
- 2pm snack
- 6:30pm dinner
- 7pm stop your eating window and start your fast
So in this schedule, you fast from 7pm to 11am and you eat from 11am to 7pm.
There are different variations of fasting and you can style your own intermittent fast as you wish. Some people do a 20/4 fast where they fast for 20 hours and eat for 4 hours. Some will do a 14/10 fast where they fast 14 hours and eat 10 hours.
With OMAD, it's a 23/1 fast where you fast 23 hours of the day and eat 1 hour of the day.
Your schedule might look like this:
- 1pm break your fast and eat for 1 hour
- 2pm stop your eating window and start your fast again
You can see it's a much different way of eating but, on the bright side, you can feast on whatever you want.
And, it doesn't matter when you eat either. Some people eat at midnight or 1am and lose tons of weight.
How to lose weight with OMAD?
You lose weight with OMAD by following the diet. The only restriction is the amount of time you eat in, which should be one hour during the day.
Other than that, eat as you wish.
Some people choose to combine OMAD with Keto or other lifestyles or diets and if you want to go that route, you definitely can, though it's not required to follow a diet while doing OMAD.
My OMAD journey
Does it work?
I hear it does. Sadly, I could not stick to it long enough to determine the answer to this question, for me.
This is incredibly difficult to do.
I eat three times a day with one snack on most days.
Changing to eating one meal a day was a big challenge. Not to mention, I tend to be a lighter eater so going from this way of eating to noshing on one large meal was less than ideal.
I stuffed myself feeling sick afterward and it kept me full for the rest of the day but the problem was, once I woke up the next day, I was hungry. It was breakfast time and I was used to eating breakfast.
I broke my fast at 1pm.
My day starts at 7am so from 7am to 1pm there's no food. At 1pm I eat and I'm full the rest of the day, which is good but it's still a little bit of a mind bend.
Imagine eating as early as 1pm then not eating anything else afterward. You're used to eating. It's what you do.
This proved to be too hard for me and I ended up quitting at the start of day two.
What can you eat?
On my OMAD day, my meal was salmon with roasted potatoes and spinach. I had a small slice of cake and coffee with it too. And a glass of water.
If I didn't mention this, when you're fasting you can enjoy non-caloric foods/drinks. This limits you to basically plain water, black coffee or black tea.
Some people can still have it work for them with tea and milk or cream in their coffee, lemon in their water, etc. This is called "dirty fasting" and it works for some, not all.
I didn't dirty fast during my OMAD day.
- Avocado toast with scrambled eggs and grilled veggies with a glass of milk and coffee
- Pancakes with fruit compote, big bowl of fresh fruit, a green smoothie and a cup of hot tea
- Veggie omelet with a side of hash browns and grilled veggies, bowl of fruit, cup of coffee and glass of milk
- Grilled cheese sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup and a salad, with a glass of milk and glass of iced tea
- Cheeseburger with grilled veggies or a side salad, a cup of fruit and a glass of iced tea or juice
- Grilled salmon, potato wedges and a big salad with a side of fruit and a cup of hot tea or a glass of milk
- Spaghetti with meatballs with a big salad, a cup of hot soup and a glass of iced tea
- Grilled fish, grilled veggies and mashed potatoes with a glass of iced tea
These are just some meal ideas to get you going. You can eat whatever you want and you can even include dessert or a sweet treat with your meal.
Is snacking allowed?
Technically yes but keep in mind, on OMAD you'll be eating once a day. That means in your one hour eating window, you'll likely only eat once.
If you start eating your meal at the top of the hour and you want to enjoy a small snack right before your eating window ends, technically you can do that however, you might still be full from your meal.
I think most people just stick to one large meal in their eating window but if a smaller meal and a small snack within one hour work best for you, that is an option.
When can you eat?
Again, eat any time. This really feels too good to be true but you can eat at 7am, 7pm, midnight, whenever, really.
Look at your schedule and figure out a time that would be good for you to eat.
In the beginning, if you've never eaten this way before or you have never done any intermittent fasting, it will be challenging but it gets easier.
For me, the first three days on a new way of eating or diet plan are the toughest. I feel like giving up but if I can make it and last beyond day three then, it gets so much easier.
Cravings disappear, my body adjusts.
Bonding with others in groups always helps too.
So, that's OMAD! What do you think?
The pros are unlimited food at any time you want. No more ending your food for the day at 5pm or limiting what you eat, omitting specific food groups like no carbs, no fat, does not exist on OMAD. You get this flexibility, which feels great. It's a lot different from other diets or eating plans you may have come across.
What are the drawbacks?
Well, you can only eat once. And, that doesn't work for some people. Does it work? For some, yes but, if it greatly impacts your lifestyle and makes you unhappy, that should be something to consider as well.
What do you think of OMAD? Would you try it? Comment below.