Unless you've been living under a rock the past few years, you've probably heard of…
OMAD (one meal a day) is an incredibly powerful fat loss diet, and has the potential to really change your attitude towards food, traditional eating, and your entire lifestyle.
The OMAD diet truly is fat loss on auto-pilot. It’s great.
You probably have a lot of questions in regards to the sustainability of only eating once a day, or perhaps whether ot not it’s too difficult to do every day. Let’s delve in a bit deeper…
What Is OMAD?
The very quick answer, is that OMAD means eating one meal in a day.
This can be any time of the day, but I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to start your day with a huge meal at breakfast and leaving zero calories for the evening. Which leaves us with lunchtime or dinner as the best choices for most people.
The OMAD diet could also be called a 23:1 fast, or if you’re being really anal, a 23.5:0.5 fast. And like with all other forms of Intermittent Fasting, there are ZERO rules on what foods you can or can’t eat. But of course not eating sugar or junk food, while instead choosing to eat the caveman foods etc. are still good ideas.
If you’re worried about how to go such a long time without food
Benefits Of The OMAD Diet
There’s so many benefits to OMAD it’s unreal. The fat loss stuff is obvious, but there’s a ton of ‘fringe benefits’ that are unique to this Intermittent Fasting schedule.
Let’s have a look:
Automatic, Faster Fat Loss
OMAD fasting truly does make fat loss automatic. I mean seriously, try eating a calorie surplus in one meal.
Just TRY to eat >2.5k calories of quality food in 30 minutes. It’s just not gonna happen.
What WILL happen, is that you’ll get very lean very fast, and you won’t even notice it (after the first few days of adapting to the new fasting schedule).
This study shows the difference in rates of fat loss between eating three meals a day, and one meal a day (the latter of course being far faster).
And then another study showed very promising results for type 2 diabetics and blood sugar levels (although you should definitely consult your doctor first if you’re a diabetic).
Sustainable Fat Loss
Now you weren’t expecting this were you?
But it’s true – if you can build an OMAD lifestyle, then you really are onto a winner as far as long-term fat loss is concerned. Why?
Because you have ultimate freedom. It’s on another level from ‘normal fasting’. You eat nothing for most of the day, and then during your OMAD feast, you have ~1700-2500 calories to eat. You lose fat AND you get to completely enjoy your meals, your social life etc.
It literally doesn’t matter if you’re travelling, or if you’re entertaining clients, or if you’re out at a fancy-ass restaurant etc., you’ll still enjoy the overall experience AND lose fat. It’s the best of both worlds.
And it’s enjoying the process that makes the OMAD diet such a good long-term health strategy.
Only eating once a day will save you A LOT of time.
Think about how much time you’re wasting cooking multiple times per day. Washing dishes multiple times per day. Preparing food multiple times per day.
Or going out to the shops more often than necessary. Or just simply eating all the time.
OMAD cuts out all of this crap, and condenses it onto 45 minutes or less. Plus it just makes everything so easy – no more calorie counting, Tupperware’s or “ummm should I or should I not?” questions throughout the day.
This is time that you can put into training, making money, your family, your social life, or your hobbies. Time is everything.
One Meal A Day Means No Snacking
A huge % of the population has issues when it comes to snacking, and their waistlines suffer as a result of this.
The OMAD diet completely obliterates this. You eat once a day, and that’s IT. No snacks, no temptations, no tricky decisions.
Another reason OMAD is so effective when it comes to losing your bad snacking habits, is because the feasts are so filling, that you wouldn’t even dream of snacking.
Every calorie you eat while snacking, is a calorie you’re stealing from your high protein, high micronutrient feast. You appreciate this more than ever when following an OMAD schedule.
Improved Cognitive Function
To an even greater extent than Intermittent Fasting, and there’s definitely no more ‘midday slumps’. People generally report sky-high energy and almost scary levels of alertness.
This is especially true if you take electrolytes during the morning (which is highly recommended for an OMAD diet) so that you avoid the #1 risk with only eating one meal a day – light-headedness.
Understandably, people get a little concerned when they hear things like ‘only eat one meal a day’, especially when they’ve been told to eat breakfast and three square meals for their entire lives.
Is It Healthy?
Yes, lowering your insulin levels (and also body fat levels) is one of the healthiest things you could possibly do. All you’ve got to do with the OMAD diet is ensure that you’re taking electrolytes during the fasting window, and then making sure your actual OMAD meal is healthy.
Of course, OMAD won’t be healthy if your one meal is pizaa and fries every day – not advisable. But fish, eggs and veggies for example? Perfect.
Won’t You Struggle To Get Enough Protein?
This can be a problem, because the fact that you can’t cram tons of calories into your mouth in a 30 minute period also presents a double-edged sword. Namely, hitting 150g or so of protein can be tricky.
So my suggestions in this regard are to prioritise protein above all else (which means meat and/or whey protein), stop snacking, and to have a protein shake shortly after your OMAD meal.
This way you’ll be able to get at least 70-80g from meat, and then a further ~50g+ from the shake afterwards. Problem solved.
Can An OMAD Diet Cause Digestion Issues?
It can do with some people. But 9/10 times, this is because they went from one extreme (eating 24/7) to complete, 100% OMAD.
So I suggest you avoid this, and perhaps start out with something close to 16/8 fasting, but with a smaller-than-usual meal at lunchtime, just to ‘ease’ your stomach into a smaller eating timeframe.
Won’t It Affect My Training?
If you train in the morning and then you leave your main meal until the evening, then it can potentially damage your recovery and also your energy levels during that workout.
So, the best thing you need to do is take your electrolytes (I know I keep saying this) for energy reasons, and also BCAA’s so that you can recover from your morning workout without breaking the fast or ruining any of the benefits.
OMAD Results In 90 Days
Your One Meal A Day results will depend on the quality of the food you eat and also your training, diet, supplements etc. But I’m going to talk about some results you can expect, as I’ve literally seen these with my very own eyes (and you can too).
In literally less than three months, you could lose 34 pounds in an enjoyable and sustainable fashion.
Robert, 43, made an impressive transformation (dropping 34 pounds) over a 90 day period. You can see in the picture linked, that his entire physique has changed, AND his face is a lot leaner (one of the most underrated benefits of fat loss imo).
So there’s some pretty nice fat loss results right there, and I highly recommend sticknig to one meal a day long-term, if you’ve always had difficulties with your weight.
What exactly did he eat?
There’s many different ways to do this depending on your goals (muscle and lifting goals do change your macro requirements), but Robert is a prime example of how flexible you can be with the OMAD diet, and how you can realy enjoy yourself in a calorie deficit. To quote him:
“I eat between 5 – 6 pm.
I alternate between beef, chicken, pork and fish with different veggies and a piece of garlic bread. Usually a side of red seedless grapes as dessert.“
Your OMAD Diet: Top Tips
Some of the best things I can recommend if you’re trying OMAD, are:
- Have plenty of black coffee with your electrolytes before training every morning, as this will both help with your training, and your appetite staying low.
- Drink lots of sparkling water throughout the day, as this will REALLY help you to combat any hunger and burn maximum fat.
- Consume herbal tea (and especially green tea), as this not only healps with appetite, but will boost your metabolism and supports inflammation-reduction ,which is at the heart of all diseases.
- Have canned fish available as snacks (while you’re cooking your OMAD meal) – this ensures you’re getting your protein and essential fat minimums.
And if you’d like to get a personalised Intermittent Fasting meal plan, with all your macros, calories and meals completely written out for you, read more here.
*Note: Make sure you send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org saying that you would like an OMAD plan (as opposed to a 16/8 plan).