One Meal a Day Diet: The Good The Bad & The Ugly!

one meal a day diet

Written by Mike Cola

December 18, 2022

The One Meal a Day Diet (OMAD) is a type of Intermittent Fasting or Time Restricted Eating in which a person consumes all of their daily calories in a single meal, typically in the evening. This diet has recently gained popularity due to its potential health benefits and simplicity. However, it is essential to consider this diet’s potential challenges and risks before deciding if it is right for you.

A typical way of following the OMAD diet is to fast for 23 hours and take in all your calories within a one-hour eating window. Most people like to skip breakfast and lunch while only eating dinner. It’s ok to drink no calories liquids like black coffee, plain tea, and water during your fast. 

If you do the OMAD diet intermittently, it’s called intermittent fasting, but if you do it every day, it can be called Time Restricted Eating.

 

Benefits of the One Meal a Day Diet

1-Weight loss: By restricting the window of time you can eat, the OMAD diet can help you consume fewer calories and potentially lead to weight loss.

2- Improved insulin sensitivity: a small eating window has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, which can help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

3- Increased lifespan: Some research suggests that intermittent fasting may increase lifespan by promoting cellular repair and reducing oxidative stress.

4- Improved mental clarity: Some people report increased mental clarity and focus while following the OMAD diet, possibly due to being in a mild state of ketosis. Numerous people experience improved mental clarity while being in ketosis.

Ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body begins to break down fat into molecules called ketones and uses them as a source of energy instead of glucose (a type of sugar). This process occurs when the body does not have enough carbohydrates to use for energy and must turn to other sources. 

Not all people will be in a mild state of ketosis on the OMAD diet. It depends on how many carbohydrates you eat. If you follow the OMAD diet and eat whatever you want (high-carb and processed foods), you will most likely not be in ketosis. But if you eat a higher protein, all-natural diet with a bit of fruit and some vegetables, you can get into mild ketosis.  

Challenges and Risks of the One Meal a Day Diet

1- Nutrient deficiency: Consuming all of your daily nutrients in a single meal may be difficult, mainly if you are not careful about the types of foods you eat. (Many people eat whatever they want on the OMAD diet and lose weight because they are in a calorie deficit. But there may be better approaches. You will always be healthier eating healthy.)

2- Protein insufficiency: Eating enough protein with only one meal can be challenging.

3- Social isolation: The OMAD diet may make it difficult to participate in social activities involving food.

4- Hunger: Fasting for 23 hours a day can be challenging, and many people find it difficult to stick to the OMAD diet due to feelings of hunger and discomfort.

5- Decreased physical performance: Fasting for extended periods may negatively impact physical performance, particularly for athletes or those who engage in high-intensity exercise.

The OMAD diet is only suitable for some, but it can be an excellent short-term or intermittent (one or two days a week) strategy to lose weight and improve your health.  

If you are considering trying the OMAD diet, try to eat a whole food diet with nutrient-dense foods and prioritize protein within your one meal.

Best – Mike Cola

PS: I co-authored this article with GPT-3, OpenAI’s large-scale language-generation model. 

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