One meal a day (OMAD) is a form of intermittent fasting where you fast for 23 hours with a 1-hour eating window. There is no restriction on what food you can eat during your eating window, but it is ideal to eat food that has low carbohydrates content. You should also aim to consume the recommended amounts of calories according to your age, gender, and height.
OMAD fits certain lifestyles. This is suitable for people who do not have a lot of spare time in their day to prepare meals. Since you will only eat once a day, you will only prepare meals once a day as well. On paper, this type of fasting is quite extreme and you might ask the question, will I lose weight on one meal a day? Not only will you lose weight, but you will be healthier as fasting for an extended time has health benefits.
How To Do One Meal A Day
You should take your meal during your most active part of the day. Consuming the right amount of calories according to your age, gender, and height is suggested as consuming less than the right amount may compromise your immune system. During your fast, you must also keep yourself hydrated. You can drink as much water, coffee, or tea as you want, but no diet or low-calorie beverages are allowed. It is also highly recommended to take your one meal at the same time every day to ensure the 23-hour fasting period. An example would be if you prefer to eat lunch, then your eating window should be from 12 noon to 1 pm every day.
Are There Food Restrictions During OMAD?
There are no food restrictions during your 1-hour eating window, but during your fast, you are only allowed to drink water, tea, or coffee. If you opt to go for a low-carb diet, you have to limit your carbohydrates intake to just 20 grams, and if you’re on a ketogenic diet, stick to 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. Combining OMAD with these kinds of diet is not required, but you may choose to go with a combination you’re comfortable with to lose weight quicker.
What Are The Benefits Of Doing One Meal A Day?
Less extreme versions of intermittent fasting that allow a longer eating window, such as a 4-hour or 8-hour eating window have been shown to improve glucose tolerance, increase insulin sensitivity, and aid in weight loss. As long as you do not overeat during your eating window when doing OMAD, you can achieve the same results, if not, better results as those who’ve done intermittent fasting with longer eating windows.
Another benefit is when we fast for extended periods, our bodies go into a state of ketosis. Ketosis is a state when our bodies use our fat reserves as energy. Ketosis is essential if you want to lose body fat.
The most welcome benefit of doing OMAD is the time saved in preparing meals. Since you’ll only be eating one meal a day, your meal preparation time will only be for one meal. If you used to eat three times a day, you cut meal preparation time by two meals.
Working out while on OMAD
If your goal is to burn body fat, a fasted workout is ideal. Working out when your body is in a fasted state will burn fat instead of sugar for energy. Many studies have noted that exercising on a fasted state burns 20% more fat than exercising on a fed state. In a fed state, insulin will increase in the body, and many research studies show that higher insulin levels have been shown to suppress fat metabolism.
There are also guidelines when working out on a fasted state. Workouts should not be longer than an hour, and you should keep yourself hydrated before, during, and after a workout. You should also listen to your body and adjust your workout accordingly to your body’s condition. Also, when doing weight training, you should take your one meal right after your workout.
Considerations when doing OMAD
Most healthy adults can do one meal a day, but if you have a medical condition such as diabetes, you should consult your doctor first before doing OMAD. One Meal A Day is not suited for kids, the elderly, and the aforementioned people with medical conditions.
With all things considered, you will lose weight on one meal a day compared to eating three meals a day. Since you will only eat once a day for one hour, your caloric intake will not exceed your suggested daily caloric intake. That alone can help you lose weight, but adding fasted exercise and certain low-carb diets will accelerate your weight loss.
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