OMAD. Is it effective? Is it easy?
Yes. Instead of 3, eat just 1 meal.
As the name suggests, One Meal A Day, or OMAD is a diet plan in which people eat only one meal a day instead of three meals a day. After you eat one meal, you wait almost one full day to eat the next meal, a little more than 23 hours. Throughout the rest of the day, your calorie intake will be 0, even beverages that have calories are restricted.
Like many other fasting plans, this plan is also based on the idea of calorie restriction and burning fat deposits already available in your body.
One meal a day is a type of intermittent fasting since intermittent fasting is any type of fasting that is done with an interval of eating periods in an alternating manner.
Which Meals to Skip?
While it is your choice to pick which meal of the day you are going to eat based on your convenience and preference, there are certain things to be kept in mind. Skipping breakfast has been shown to harm your blood glucose levels. Those who skip breakfast have a higher chance of having an impaired insulin response to the content of their meal afterward, as opposed to those who don’t skip breakfast and have the same meal afterward. 1* (PubMed.gov – Association between breakfast skipping and postprandial hyperglycemia after lunch in healthy individuals)
Benefits of the One Meal A Day Diet:
A lot of people have reported many benefits they have experienced from following the One Meal A Day diet like
Improvement in overall health
Reduced blood glucose levels
The logic behind One Meal A Day is that essentially the number of calories you eat should be less than the number of calories you burn to witness any weight loss.
If you are eating only one meal a day, the number of calories you eat is naturally restricted to a smaller amount. Therefore calorie burning should happen through metabolism, and weight loss should take place naturally. At least that is the reasoning behind the One Meal A Day plan.
Let’s see what science says
One study conducted published in Oxford Academic says that people who followed alternate-day fasting trials for 3 to 12 weeks saw a reduction in body weight of approximately 3% to 7% and they lost body fat by 3-5.5 kilograms on average. Whole-day fasting trials that lasted 12 – 24 weeks reduced body weight by approximately 3-9% and favorably improved blood lipids (5 – 20% reduction in total cholesterol)
Risks associated with OMAD
There has not been a lot of research to prove the major effects of the ‘One Meal A Day’ diet in the long term. However, there are certain risks and disadvantages that are experienced while following the diet.
Some of the risks involved are:
Fatigue and tiredness due to the imbalance in the supply of energy
Shakiness and irritability as blood sugar levels start dropping
Difficulty in concentrating
Clearly, it is not going to be easy to follow a diet that changes your entire lifestyle and turns your body’s system upside down. It is extremely important to consult a doctor before starting an extreme diet like the OMAD, especially so if you have pre-existing medical conditions or if you are pregnant.
Whatever research is available right now serves as proof that the simple logic of this rigorous diet is sound, and if you are following the right steps, it might be worth the effort as well.
Even if it doesn’t meet all of your expectations, at least the silver lining is that you have fewer meals to plan and you won’t have to wash as many dishes.