What is OMAD?
OMAD stands for One Meal a Day. It is a very popular form of Intermittent Fasting.
Basically, it is exactly what it sounds like! You eat one meal a day, then you close your eating window and you don’t eat again until the next day.
Do I have to fast for 24 hours?
No. It’s one meal a day, not necessarily one meal every 24 hours. As long as you keep it to one meal each day, you can space it however you want to or need to.
Some days you might eat earlier, or some days later. It’s all up to you.
As an example, maybe you eat early on Monday, but Tuesday you don’t feel hungry early in the day so you wait till lunch time to eat.
Or maybe you have dinner one evening and the next day you can’t wait that long, so you either have breakfast or lunch.
The point is to have one meal a day, whatever time you want.
Is OMAD literally one meal?
It is one meal, however that one meal might look like something light to start with, then a bigger meal, and maybe a snack to close the meal.
But it’s best to keep the window to no longer than an hour or so. You want to get in, and get out.
Do I have to eat Keto or low-carb for my one meal?
You don’t have to, but the lower you keep your carbs the quicker you will get back into fat burning once you start fasting again, because your body won’t have to burn through the glucose from your meal first.
Whether you choose to do keto or not, always aim for optimal highly-nutritious foods when you have your OMAD.
How many calories can I have on OMAD?
As many as you need.
Don’t count calories! Calories in/calories out is not a good formula for healthy weight loss that you can maintain.
Calories are not what makes us fat. Insulin around the clock is what makes us fat.
Instead, when you have your OMAD, eat till satisfied. Some days that will be more, and some days less, but it should balance out. Never restrict calories on purpose when you’re still hungry, that will crash your metabolism.
Will I still need electrolytes if I do OMAD?
Yes, we still suggest electrolytes. When you only eat one meal a day, you can easily get low on electrolytes. Once you start to burn the stored fat, you lose a lot of water, and with it, electrolytes.
What are the pros of OMAD?
Less radical than Extended Fasting
You get to eat something every day. Many people just don’t do well with longer fasts, and with OMAD you know that you will be eating at least once a day, so it takes some of the stress off.
It makes family meals or social gatherings easier. Sometimes it’s hard not to be able to eat with your family, or tricky when social situations come up. With OMAD you can just schedule your meal around those situations
It’s great for beginners. OMAD is a good way to step into Intermittent Fasting and start building those fasting muscles
Simple and easy
It’s easy! You only have to make one meal a day and you’re done, this can save you tons of time and planning
What are the cons of OMAD?
Slower weight loss
Weight loss on OMAD would be slower compared to Extended Fasting. For some people, OMAD is more of a maintenance plan and they need to fast a little longer to get into fat burning mode. However many still lose weight on OMAD.
Starting and stopping
Some of us don’t like having to start their fast all over again every day.
Can I do OMAD long-term?
For many people, OMAD is a permanent lifestyle.
There are two considerations to bear in mind.
Weight loss plateau
If you do the same thing over and over, your body gets used to it. And then the weight stops moving. For this reason, it’s a good idea to switch your way of eating up from time to time.
Possible vitamin deficiencies
Always aim for maximum nutritional value and nutrient diversity with your OMAD meal. If you eat poor quality foods, you may end up with vitamin deficiencies in the long term.
Is there anyone who should not do OMAD?
Some people should not be fasting, whether it’s OMAD or any other fasting schedule.
If you are pregnant or nursing you should not fast because your baby needs lots of nutrients. Likewise, children should not be fasting.
If you have been diagnosed with an eating disorder in the past, check with your doctor before fasting.
If you do not have enough body fat to burn you generally should not fast. However, as mentioned before, some people do use OMAD as a maintenance plan.
Give OMAD a try!
When it comes to fasting and weight loss plans, it doesn’t get much easier than OMAD.
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, or just maintain, give OMAD a shot and see how it works for you.
Author: Roo Black
Roo is a fasting coach with over 5 years of experience. She leads the admin team of the Official Fasting for Weight Loss Facebook group – one of the largest fasting communities on social media with over 125,000 members. We highly recommend this group for anyone who is looking for fasting advice or coaching.