The Ultimate OMAD Diet Guide: Can One Meal a Day Help with Weight Loss?

This LEGO follows OMAD. Should he?

What is OMAD?

It’s a question we get a lot from our coaching clients and today we’ll teach you all about it!

OMAD stands for “One Meal A Day,” so the OMAD Diet is a form of intermittent fasting where the participant eats one single time during the day, typically for a 60 minute period.

So on an OMAD Diet, you would eat between 6pm-7pm every day. 

That’s it.

While non-caloric beverages are allowed outside of this eating window, nothing else is.

I already know your next question…

What Should I Eat on OMAD?

Outside of the eating window, there are no restrictions on the OMAD Diet.

So you can eat whatever you want on OMAD, as long as it’s in your eating window. 

Yep, if it's in your eating window, you can eat it on OMAD.

Now, as in any intermittent fasting protocol (which OMAD would fall into), it’s encouraged that you eat as healthy as possible during your eating window.

What’s a healthy diet look like? Check out our full guide “How to Start Eating Healthy” for tips on a sustainable diet.

You can also grab our 10-level nutritional system to help you adopt a healthy diet. Each level gets a bit more challenging and healthier, and you progress at your own speed to make your changes stick!

I’ll send you the 10-Level Guide when you sign up in the box right here:

Why is it that you can eat whatever you want on the OMAD Diet?

Because you have such a limited eating window (one hour), there are only so many calories one can consume in this period. 

If weight loss is the goal, you’ll end up with more leeway when it comes to your calorie intake by eating one single meal.

Which I believe will lead me to your next question… 

Can You Lose Weight Eating One Meal a Day?

People have reported losing substantial weight by adopting the OMAD Diet. 

For evidence of this, just browse the subreddit r/omad for testimonials. 

Why does OMAD help with weight loss?

The OMAD Diet works the same way all diets work: it gets you to eat fewer calories than you generally are used to.

If you usually eat three square meals a day and then cram that down to one, you are likely eating fewer calories overall.

Even if that one meal a day is a GIANT meal, it’s still probably not as many calories as you would obtain from eating unrestricted all day.

Kirby knows how to eat A LOT during his OMAD eating window.

That’s why the OMAD Diet can help with weight loss. 

Is the OMAD Diet Safe?

Probably.

Studies done on prolonged water fasts have shown fasting to be safe.[1] 

However, there are some studies on OMAD specifically that have mixed results.

  • One study comparing three meals a day to OMAD showed the one-meal group had worse cholesterol levels and blood pressure.[2]
  • Another study found that patients with type 2 diabetes had better blood sugar readings after trying OMAD.[3]

Verdict? 

You’ll probably be fine eating one meal a day but chat with your doctor before embarking on the OMAD Diet. 

Which will bring us to…

Should I Try the OMAD Diet?

Let me answer your question with a question: can you imagine eating only one meal a day for a considerable period of time?

  • Yes: then try OMAD out and see how your body responds. I’ve been practicing a less strict form of intermittent fasting for years and it helps me reach my calorie goals. 
  • No: then I would try a different strategy to try and lose weight.

As we point out in our guide “How to Lose Weight (Without Dieting),” temporary changes create temporary results.

Meaning, any weight you lose on the OMAD Diet will return as soon as you start eating multiple meals a day.

Yep, as soon as Deadpool stops OMAD, the fat he lost will come back.

This is why we encourage our coaching clients to focus on small changes and habits that they can sustain permanently.  

If you are just beginning to build healthier habits for sustainable weight loss, instead of attempting OMAD, here’s what I would do:

Make 1 change per week

Change ONE meal a week, or cut back on ONE soda. Make a change that’s so small that it doesn’t make you sad or scared. 

If you accomplish this week after week, you’ll begin to see some real progress. We’ve seen it time and time again here at Nerd Fitness.

For the Rebellion,

-Steve

PS: Make sure you check out the rest of our Sustainable Weight Loss Content:

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Photo source: Sea spray and crab claws at the Shrimp Shack.

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