We’ve all been there. Promising ourselves that we’ll start eating healthy and then losing the battle to a delicious piece of cake or some irresistible chocolate chip cookies.
The truth is, losing weight is HARD. Especially if it involves leaving all your favorite foods behind. But what if you can eat all your favorite foods and still get the body you desire? The OMAD diet promises just that.
What exactly is the OMAD diet?
The one meal a day diet (OMAD) is incredibly simple. It allows you to eat only once a day but doesn’t restrict what or how much you eat.
We usually consume three to five meals a day. Bringing those down to just one meal a day can be a daunting task. But if the 6 meals a day weight loss diets and their annoyingly small portions never work for you, the OMAD diet is definitely worth trying out.
Is OMAD a type of intermittent fasting?
If you’ve heard about OMAD, you’ve probably heard about intermittent fasting and its benefits. OMAD is an extreme form of intermittent fasting and is also known as the 23:1 diet.
This means that the person fasts for 23 hours and has a window of one hour to consume their meal for the day.
But for beginners, 16:8 fasting is a much better choice. In this type of fasting, you just skip your breakfast and consume your lunch and dinner during an 8-hour window of eating. Once you’re comfortable with it, you can take the intermittent fasting to the next level and start the OMAD diet.
How to start your OMAD journey
You should never start the OMAD diet cold turkey. If you really want to lose weight with this diet, planning is key.
Start small by skipping breakfast every other day. Once you’re comfortable with skipping breakfast, move on to lunch or dinner. The more time you give your body to adjust to your new eating schedule, the more success you will have with your weight loss goals.
However, if you already skip breakfast anyway and want to jump straight into the OMAD diet, be warned. The first few days will be really hard.
What can you eat on the OMAD diet?
The most amazing part of the OMAD diet is that you can eat whatever you want. But should you really eat whatever you want? Probably not.
Now I’m not saying that you have to stop eating all your favorite foods. That just makes it like all the other diets out there. Instead, you can just avoid a few calorie and sugar-rich items and continue to enjoy your favorite foods throughout your weight loss journey.
Including some fresh vegetables and fruits in your meal can not only help reduce the number of overall calories you consume but can also provide your body with some essential nutrients that it needs to function properly.
When should you eat your one meal a day?
Most people prefer to eat their meal at night, but you can choose to consume your meal whenever you want.
Choosing the right time to consume your meal is very important. Once you figure out the best time to consume your meal, it will be much easier to stick to the diet and eventually see some results.
In your fasting hours, it’s wise to just stick to water and wait for your meal. You are also allowed to drink green tea or black coffee without sugar.
But if you’re one of those people who get a headache if they don’t have their usual morning cup of tea or coffee with sugar and milk, there’s no harm in consuming a small amount.
Benefits of the OMAD diet
When you eat only once a day, you will consume fewer calories and will lose weight. But following the OMAD diet has a number of benefits other than losing weight.
When you don’t eat for long periods of time, the autophagy process is activated. Autophagy generally means that the body starts cleaning old cells and replaces old or damaged cells with new, healthier cells.
Not eating for a long time also helps lower the insulin levels in the body. This can help prevent diabetes. In addition to this, fasting helps boost your metabolism and helps burn more fat.
One of the amazing benefits of the OMAD diet is that it prevents you from regaining the weight. When you only eat once a day, there is a very slight chance that you will consume excess calories. So, if you are having a hard time maintaining your weight, the OMAD diet can be your best friend.
Downsides of the OMAD diet
Sadly, no diet is perfect. OMAD diet also has its downsides. Not eating for long periods of time can result in dizziness, hunger pangs, brain fog, headaches, and irritability.
If you notice any of these symptoms and they don’t go away in a few days, it’s wise to consult a doctor and stop the diet if it’s causing you more harm than good.
When you eat just once a day, chances are that your meal is lacking in many vital nutrients that your body needs to function properly. Therefore, it is very important that you eat a balanced diet that has the right amount of micro and macronutrients that your body needs.
However, all of these downsides can be dealt with if you properly plan your weight loss journey.
The bottom line
This most likely is not the first article you’ve read on weight loss diets and it probably won’t be the last. Losing weight will always be a challenge. There is no magic pill that can help you lose all your weight overnight.
Like all the other diets, the OMAD diet has to be followed consistently to see weight loss results. In addition to the diet, exercising and eating healthy meals can help make your weight loss process faster and more efficient.
If you’re tired of eating small portions throughout the day and feeling hungry, or you’ve just hit a weight loss plateau, OMAD diet is definitely worth a try.
Urwah Zahid is an animal lover, food enthusiast, day dreamer and a passionate writer. She has done her Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Administration.