Intermittent fasting is very popular. There are many options. One meal a day (OMAD) is the simplest intermittent fasting method, but it can also be one of the most extreme. This article will take you through everything about OMAD. The goal is to help you decide if intermittent fasting is right for your needs.
What Is the OMAD Diet?
OMAD stands for “one meal a daily”. If this acronym sounds familiar, it isn’t. OMAD should not be confused with GOMAD, which refers to the practice of drinking a gallon per day to build muscle. Many people use OMAD for weight loss and to improve their body composition.
In the context of the American standard diet, which includes three meals per day and snacks in between, the idea of only eating one meal per day may seem extreme. Throughout human history, eating less often has been the norm. Humans were apex predators from 2 million to 10,000 years old. They ate large prey, called megafauna. Then they fasted until their next successful hunt.
Fasting was the norm just a few thousand years ago. BBC News’ Caroline Yeldham, a food historian, explains that the Romans believed that it was healthier to eat one meal per day. “They were obsessed about digestion, and eating more than one meal was considered gluttony.”
This historical precedent continues to influence our genes today. Fasting activates many evolutionarily beneficial responses. The brain can think faster, blood vessels dilate and muscles are more resistant to lactic acids. These traits are evolutionary and make us better hunters.
This makes sense when you consider the fact that those who hunted better when hungry were able to survive and passed their genes on to us. However, failure to fast or stay in a fed state can lead to obesity, slowing down our metabolisms, and making us dumber. Science has shown that humans can survive in times of food shortage.
How to Get Started with the Omad Diet
OMAD is a more intensive version of intermittent fasting we have discussed previously. This type of IF can also be called intermittent feasting because it requires you to eat all your daily calories in one meal.
OMAD calls for fasting for approximately 23 hours per day. You can eat as much or as little as you like within your 1-hour eating window. People prefer to eat within the same time frame each day.
The popularity of the OMAD diet is partly due to its belief that you can eat whatever you like and still lose weight. However, science has shown that it is vital to replenish your body with whole foods that are healthy.
This is because fasting stimulates cellular regeneration. These hungry cells can become inflamed and develop cancerous lesions if they are fed high-carb processed junk food that is common on the Standard American Diet.
Most people with OMAD prefer to eat at midday or near the end. However, not too late that it affects their digestion before bed. Below is a chart that indicates an eating window between 7-8 and 7:45 pm, and a fasting window between 8 pm and 7 pm the next morning.
Meal timing is crucial because OMAD demands large meals. Your one meal should be eaten within a day of finishing all your activities. For example, you wouldn’t want a meal that is 3,000 calories and then jump into a run or swim.
Remember to Eat Enough OMAD
Adults need to consume 2,000 calories per day in order to thrive. It can be difficult to fit all this in one meal if you don’t eat energy-dense foods such as beef and butter. Being too low in calories can cause damage to your immune system, slow down your thyroid and make it more difficult to lose weight.
People with high-calorie needs should also avoid OMAD fasting. (Learn more about how to determine if this fasting is right. Oysters, salmon roe, quality meats, eggs, and other healthy fats are great foundations for your OMAD diet plan. Organ meat supplements can be a great way of ensuring you meet all your micronutrient requirements.
Omad Diet Benefits
Numerous OMAD diet benefits exist. Here are just a few highlights.
OMAD Diet Benefit #1: Weight Loss
OMAD can help you lose weight fast and easily. It can be used to reduce appetite and make it almost effortless to eat fewer calories. OMAD’s ability to promote weight loss has a hormonal component. Fasting for 23 hours per day keeps insulin (which converts blood sugar into fat) at a minimum. This makes it easy to get into fat-burning mode.
OMAD will allow you to burn fat for 23 hours a day and build muscle for one. This way of eating is extremely beneficial for maintaining muscle mass and weight loss. A study concluded that intermittent fasting preserves muscle mass better than a low-calorie diet. Because most muscles are able to burn fat at rest, the muscle can help with weight loss.
Contrast this with the American standard diet. This does a great deal at elevating blood sugar and preventing your body from burning fat as fuel. It’s no surprise that most people who adhere to the SAD are “skinny” at best.
When you fast, your metabolic rate can also increase. Contrary to popular belief, fasting seems to increase metabolism, not decrease it. Numerous studies have shown that fasting can increase metabolism by as much as 3.6 to 14%.
OMAD allows you to make ketones. These energy molecules, such as beta-hydroxybutyrate, are made of fat and have many clear health benefits. Ketones provide a great source of fuel for the brain, where they regulate neurotransmission and other aspects related to cognitive health.
OMAD Diet Benefit #2: Reduced Inflammation
In almost every type of disease, chronic inflammation is implicated. Experts believe chronic inflammation is responsible for many of the prevalent chronic diseases today. Fasting is a great way to reduce inflammation.
This is because your body doesn’t get distracted by digestion or nutrient assimilation, and can instead concentrate on reducing inflammation markers. Your gut lining may benefit from a little rest. It spends fast regenerating which further reduces inflammation.
Inflammation can be reduced by entering a ketogenic state. Ketones nourish your mitochondria and encourage a new mitochondrial generation. Mitophagy is an anti-inflammatory and anti-aging process. OMAD’s ability to reduce inflammation is probably why it seems like it extends its lifespan.
OMAD Diet Benefit #3: Improved Mental Health
Research shows that prolonged fasts can increase neurohormone production, which directly affects mental health. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is one such hormone that can be stimulated by fasting. John J. Ratey, a Harvard neuropsychiatrist, calls it “Miracle Gro for the brain”. Increased levels of BDNF have been associated with better mood, higher cognition, and greater creativity.
Many people find that OMAD helps them feel sharp and alert throughout the day. This adds another layer of mental health benefits. The OMAD diet is a great option if you feel tired and demotivated after a healthy lunch.
OMAD Diet Benefit #4: A More Youthful Appearance
OMAD is also well-known for its ability to reverse the biological clock. People report that daily fasts make their skin plumper and brighter. Recent research shows that this isn’t just a hunger-induced placebo effect.
A recent study showed that fasting for up to 24 hours can increase anti-aging hormones such as human growth hormone (HGH), by anywhere from 1300 to 2000%. This hormone is essential for the structure of muscle fibers, connective tissue, and skin. This hormone is likely to be responsible for the brighter, smoother skin that many people with OMAD notice when looking in the mirror.
OMAD Diet Benefit #5: Dietary Freedom!
This benefit is more practical. OMAD gives busy people a lot of flexibility in terms of dietary and logistical planning. OMAD allows you to eat wherever you want. You just need to ensure that you only eat one well-prepared meal per day, wherever and whenever you like.
People find OMAD to be mentally liberating because they aren’t distracted by food throughout the day. This only works if you are getting enough calories from whole foods. It’s not worth ordering half of Mcdonald’s menu.
Drawbacks to the OMAD Diet: How to Avoid These
Some people may find the OMAD diet difficult to follow. The main drawbacks of the OMAD diet include undereating, high-stress hormones, and possible fertility problems. Diabetes patients may need to eat more often than OMAD allows.
It can be difficult to eat between 1,500 and 2000 calories in an hour. This is especially true if you are trying to eat low-fat or plant-based meals. Choosing healthy fats and nutrient-dense foods makes OMAD more feasible. OMAD may not be right for you if you are very active or have high caloric needs. It is very likely to cause undereating. It worked for Herschel Walker, an ex-MMA and NFL star.
Potential Drawback: Stress Hormones
Your body may experience hormonal changes when you make the transition to OMAD. Your body might produce stress hormones such as cortisol when making the transition to OMAD. This is in order to make it possible for your body to use protein for fuel.
Cortisol-related changes may be more dangerous for women. There are many alternative strategies for intermittent fasting that can be used for women if OMAD is too stressful.
Women who are pregnant, or planning to get pregnant, may prefer to wait before trying OMAD. Intermittent fasting can cause hormonal and energy deficiencies that could be dangerous. Fasting does not seem to have a negative effect on male fertility.
Is the OMAD Diet Right for You?
Is OMAD right? If you can apply any of the following, then OMAD is probably right for you:
* You are over 50
* You enjoy big meals
* Brain fog is a condition that causes brain fog.
* You are trying to lose weight
* You have a slow metabolism
* You suffer from chronic aches or pains
* You are trying to achieve new levels of performance at school or work
If you are looking for something more, OMAD might not be the right fit if:
* You’re underweight
* You are young and active
* You can’t stomach big meals
* You have a fast metabolism
* You are pregnant, nursing, or trying to get pregnant
* You have high cortisol levels or other hormonal issues
Omad Diet Meal Plan
As mentioned, eating OMAD-style meals means big meals. It is important to ensure that you get at least 1500 calories per day. This OMAD meal plan will make it easier to eat largely. Enjoy!
- Day 1: King salmon;
- Day 2: Eggs with cream Fraiche butter;
- Day 3: Coconut manna dessert;
- Day 4: Coconut manna dessert;
- Day 5: Beef shortribs;
- Day 6: Russet potato;
- Day 7: Asparagus and tallow.
Other Suggested Foods:
- Greek frittata made with feta cheese,
- Pork belly and mushrooms,
- Berries with creme fraiche,
- Tuna Salad with homemade oil mayo,
- Deviled eggs with anchovies,
- Macadamia nuts,
- Bison Burger with 2oz liver blended,
- Swiss cheese and creme fraiche,
- Sweet potato with butter,
- Arctic Char with butter, parmesan,
- Asparagus w/tallow and parmesan,
- Salmon belly with creme,
- Fresh oysters,
- Dark chocolate.
OMAD – The Takeaway
OMAD-style intermittent fasting or feasting? It is an effective way to boost vitality, activate cellular renewal, and improve body composition. Its greatest virtue is its simplicity. It can be combined with the right foods to help you get rid of your carb addiction and regain metabolic control. Combining OMAD with keto can make it even more effective.