OMAD: The Lowdown on the One Meal a Day Diet

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Imagine a diet in which you can eat anything you want, and even as much as you want, and still lose weight!

OMAD, the one meal a day diet, is known for its many perceived benefits, but is it truly as great as it sounds?

The idea behind OMAD is that you fast for 23 hours a day and have a 1-hour eating window. While you are fasting, you are not allowed to consume any calories, this includes chewing gums, the milk in your coffee, etc.

How does OMAD work?

Intermittent fasting, even in this more extreme form, is nothing new to us. In fact, we have already been fasting for thousands of years! This can be for religious reasons, because of illness or simply food scarcity.

OMAD will supposedly help us lose weight for two reasons:

  1. It assumes you will be consuming fewer calories with less time to eat.
  2. Your body burns its fat reserves faster during ketosis.

The most important part of OMAD is its long fasting period since we can reap plenty of benefits from fasting. It is one of the things that got us this far in evolution in the first place.

Potential Benefits

omad-benefits
Photo by freepik
  • Weight loss – Obviously, the main reason people decide to give OMAD a go is to lose weight. And OMAD will help you lose weight, fast! As long as you are sensible about it.
  • Higher energy levels – Fasting can give you much higher and consistent energy levels throughout the day once your body has become accustomed to it. Your focus and productivity will also get a big boost!
  • Health benefits – In a state of fasting, our cells undergo a mechanism called autophagy where our body gets rid of dysfunctional components and regenerates itself. This can help us heal and recover from illness faster but also help with smaller issues such as making scars fade and relieving acne.

Related Article: Op-Ed: Why I Decided to Adopt a Plant-Based Diet

Potential Issues

omad-potential-issues
Photo by yanalya

Especially in the beginning stages of OMAD, you may experience many uncomfortable side effects, such as:

  • physical weakness
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • trouble concentrating
  • insomnia

These are just a few short-term issues you might come across but diets like OMAD also have the risk of inducing unhealthy eating behavior, such as binge eating. And if anything seems serious or you are feeling unwell, be sure to quit your fasting and consult with a doctor.

However, as great as OMAD may sound, it can be dangerous for some people. If you have any underlying issues, are underage, pregnant, or diabetic, it is better to stay away from such extreme forms of intermittent fasting.

Either way, always make sure you check with your doctor or nutritionist before giving it a go and decide whether or not the OMAD diet can be beneficial to you.

As a last word of advice, just make sure you use common sense.

There is no magic trick to help us instantly live longer and lose weight. OMAD relies on calorie restriction so do not overeat and make sure you get all the nutrients your body needs from your meal!

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