What is OMAD diet?
The One Meal a Day (OMAD) diet is an extreme version of time-restricted eating. It is a form of intermittent fasting where you fast for 23 hours and eat for the same 1-hour gap each day. Intermittent fasting usually allows a four or eight-hour eating gap whereas the OMAD diet has a one-hour eating gap which means you fast for the other 23 hours of the day.
Intermittent Fasting have been shown to be an effective way to lose a few pounds, the OMAD diet is not recommended by the nutritionists. It can even be dangerous for people with certain health problems.
What can be eaten on the OMAD diet?
The OMAD diet does not restrict what types of food or how many calories you can consume during the one-hour eating gap. Yet, you should aim to consume the recommended amount of calories depending on your height, weight, age, and gender.
Kelsey Hampton, a registered dietician and certified specialist in sports dietetics says that, “If you only eat one time per day, you should consume the amount of calories required to meet the daily energy needs in the meal”. She also says that “Most adults should not consume less than 1200 calories per day,”.
Hampton says that “It sounds evident, but getting enough calories is extremely important because too little may compromise the immune system and breakdown the muscle mass as the body alternates to other ways to maintain energy reserves”.
He also says that “It would be best to consume the meal by following your most active time each day. It will help your body recover from exercise and replace nutrients that may have been lost during the activity”.
During the OMAD diet, it is important to maintain proper hydration. The diet allows to consume water, coffee, or tea throughout the day, but no other drinks. Beverages like low-calorie or diet drinks are allowed. It is recommended for you to eat your meal at the same time every day to confirm a consistent 23-hour fasting period.
What does OMAD diet look like?
To get some idea of what OMAD diet meal might look like, look at the two examples of a morning and evening meal along with the amount of nutrition to be consumed below:
Oatmeal (Total Calories: 680 kacl)
- a cup of oatmeal (307 calories)
- 1 cup 2% milk (120 calories)
- 1 cup fresh and sliced strawberries for toppings (53 calories)
- ¼ cup walnuts (200 calories)
Egg Omelet (Total Calories: 685 kacl)
- 3-eggs (240 calories)
- ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese (220 calories)
- 1 cup spinach (7 calories)
- 1 sliced avocado for toppings (218 calories)
Baked sweet potato (Total Calories: 467 kacl)
- 1 cup of green beans (50 calories)
- 1 ounce of shaved almonds for toppings (172 calories)
- A large baked sweet potato with butter (245 calories)
Total amount of calories included in the morning meal is 1,832 kacl.
Keto Chicken (Total Calories: 880 kacl)
- 300 grams of boneless and skinless chicken breast (429 calories)
- 1 cup of quinoa (150 calories)
- 2 cups of broccoli (61 calories)
- 2 tbsp. of olive oil to sauté broccoli (240 calories)
Kale Salad (Total Calories: 350 kacl)
- Butternut squash
- Fuji apple slices
Lentil soup (Total Calories: 309 kacl)
- 1 cup of lentil soup (169 calories)
- 1 cup of roasted Brussels sprouts with parmesan (140 calories)
Snack (Total Calories: 275 kacl)
- 1 medium banana (105 calories)
- 1/4 cups almonds (170 calories)
The total amount of calories contained in the evening meal is 1,814 kacl.
NOTE: Your body might need few or more calories depending on your age, weight, gender, and activity level. These are purely to illustrate what a healthy meal might look like and also it is not a recommendation.
These examples simply reflects popular breakfast and dinner option but you can differ the foods as you see suitable.
What foods can be eaten?
Just remember, while it may be mouthwatering to eat whatever you want on the OMAD diet, it is recommended to you focus on rich nutrient foods that ensure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals.
Even though most health professionals do not recommend eating only one meal a day. If you do choose this eating form, it is essential to ensure that you are consuming a variety of nutritious foods such as:
- Fruits: berries, citrus fruits, and bananas
- Vegetables: kale, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and peppers
- Starchy vegetables and grains: sweet potatoes, butternut squash, oats, quinoa, and barley
- Healthful fats: avocados, olive oil, and unsweetened coconut
- Legumes (Beans): peas, chickpeas, lentils, and black beans
- Seeds, nuts, and nut butters: cashews, macadamia nuts, almonds, and pumpkin seeds
- Dairy and plant-based alternative products: unsweetened yogurt, coconut milk, and cashew milk
- Protein sources: chicken, fish, tofu, and eggs
What foods should be avoided?
Highly processed foods should be avoided, such as:
- fast food
- sugary baked goods
- white bread
- sugary cereals
These types of food offers little nutritional value. Eating them too often can lead to weight gain and risk of increased disease. During the fasting gap, the OMAD diet requires people to intake minimum amount of calorie.
A strict OMAD diet means complete restriction of calories. In a strict OMAD diet, you can still enjoy water and other no caloric drinks during the fasting periods.
Some people choose to eat low calorie and high protein snacks during the day such as:
- egg whites
Most healthcare providers do not recommend eating one meal a day because it can be harmful to overall health. If you are bearing in mind to try this dietary pattern, you must consult a trusted healthcare provider to get advice before you start.
What are the benefits of OMAD diet?
Research has linked fasting to have a number of other health benefits. For example: fasting may help to reduce blood sugar and certain heart disease risk factors, including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) “bad” cholesterol.
Fasting has also been related with reduction in signs of inflammation, including C-reactive protein. Furthermore, fasting offers unique benefits for the health of the nervous system. It might slow neurodegeneration and promote long life.
Even though these potential benefits are favorable, it is important to note that these benefits are connected with general fasting and not OMAD diet exactly.
Truthfully, some research shows that the OMAD diet pattern may be more harmful to health than other diets and less restrictive fasting methods.
What are the disadvantages of OMAD diet?
Although research has related fasting and calorie limitation with a variety of health benefits, some evidence recommends that fasting for too long can do more harm than good while only consuming one meal a day.
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For instance, studies recommend that this extreme restriction may lead to increased cholesterol and higher blood pressure levels compared to normal eating patterns or less serious fasting methods.
Other studies have also shown that eating one meal per day could increase blood sugar levels, slow down the body’s response to insulin, and increase levels of the appetite (hunger)-stimulating hormone (ghrelin), compared to eating 3 meals a day.
OMAD fasting can lead to extreme hunger. Moreover, restricting calories to one meal a day may increase the chances of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), especially in those people who suffer with type 2 diabetes.
Furthermore, the possible adverse effects of eating one meal a day can lead to symptoms such as:
- low energy
Other effects of OMAD fasting
Consumption of one meal a day can also lead to disordered eating trends and effects a person’s social life. OMAD fasting is extremely difficult for most people to stick to. Also, it is very difficult to take in enough nutrients in one meal, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies, and can negatively affect the health and can lead to serious risks.
Some people following the OMAD diet pattern will binge on highly processed, high calorie foods like fast food, pizza, doughnuts, and ice cream, during their one meal.
Although these foods can fit into a balanced lifestyle, eating foods totally high in added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients will negatively affect the health in the long run.
Generally, there are benefits related to fasting and calorie limitation but the research has shown that consuming 2 or 3 meals per day is probably a better option for complete health than eating one meal a day.
Who should not try the OMAD DIET?
The OMAD diet is not appropriate for many groups of people, including those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, children and teens, older adults, and people with eating disorders and health conditions like diabetes.
These groups need a balanced intake of calories to maintain proper health. People who regularly take prescribed medications should stay away from the OMAD diet because most medications involve eating food when taking them.
According to the experts, Hampton and Rifkin “there is no enough research to mention this diet as a proper weight-loss technique”.
Hampton says that “It may be safe for healthy adult but that does not mean it is ideal”.
It is not necessary to follow the OMAD fasting method to lose weight. There are other healthier ways for people to eat while reaching their goal to lose weight.
Research and Credit by Latest Celeb