The thought of eating one meal a day seems like a daunting task to many. This has become commonly known as the OMAD diet and has steadily increased in its popularity over the last decade. Whilst this is not a mainstream way of eating it has definitely grown in popularity as intermittent fasting has grown. I tried eating one meal a day at start of this month as part of getting ready for a holiday. I did this over a 10 day period but only last 5 days. What was the killer of the diet plan in the first try? The weekend.
How does OMAD diet work?
Simple you simply eat all your daily calories as one meal. This is typically consumed at night time after your day of activity and work. During the fasting state of when you are not eating you are able to consume as much zero calorie beverages as possible. So water of course, black coffee and tea. It has been suggested that it can even be more beneficial to just drink water. I have no actual data on this rather anecdotal evidence I have heard.
Is eating one meal a day hard?
It sounds impossible but I did notice that just after 3 days it was actually rather easy and in fact gave me moments of mind clarity toward the afternoon and felt ultra productive. The thing I noticed initially was actively knowing that you were not eating. It was still part of the psyche which made it top of mind.
The hunger pains will come obviously as your body is used to getting calories at certain times so this will cause the regular pains. The best thing to do in this case is to drink a shit load of water and realise it is ok to feel hungry. I believe its all in the mind. So with the right attitude and will power getting through the first few days can be tough but it does become a lot easier.
How much should you eat on the OMAD eating plan?
You should eat what you normally do in a day in one go. Wow! You’re probably think thats a hell of a lot of food in a short window. But the reality is if you don’t eat the amount of calories required you may feel lethagic due to not having the right amount of energy in the body.
For those of you who are a little beefier like myself. Calorie reduction and OMAD is not so bad as you will be able to draw energy off the fat reserves you still have on your body. It will just accelerate the weight loss of both OMAD and calorie restriction.
Should I exercise while I am only eating one meal a day?
If you are not doing any extreme calorie restricting, then not a problem at all. When I did my first trial I still went to the gym and did my regular routine and felt better than usual to be honest.
If you are calorie restricting I would suggest treading lightly and maybe some light exercise like walking will not be bad but definitely don’t go to hard if restricting your calories.
The best thing to do in this instance is go slow at first and just see how the body will handle it but I wouldn’t shy away from exercise if this is something you regularly do and you maintain calorie intake.
My next effort at OMAD Diary
As mentioned earlier I tried eating one meal a day previous to my holiday, at that time I weighed 112.8 kgs and after 2 days I had dropped to 109 kgs. Two days later I was up to 109.8 which seemed odd but after some reading and realising that the initial adjustment was most likely a whole bunch of water weight. After Day 5 I hadn’t weighed as I basically failed to maintain the regime.
Right now after probably the most hedonistic 10 day fiesta in Bali including 3 nights at an all inclusive restaurant (I made the most of it by the way, cocktails all day) I jumped on the scales of my first day and I am back to 114.2 kgs. I was actually expecting to be higher than that, so I’m actually surprised that I didn’t balloon right out. I have an amazing ability to put on and lose weight extremely fast. My record to date was my honemoon to the USA where in a 4 week window I was actually able to put on a whopping 11 kgs.
Below is my next diary of round 2 of the OMAD Diet Plan.
After a whole bunch of indulging over the last few weeks, having probably hit the alcohol everyday for the past 16 days, not only am I eating one meal a day but I am going to have a crack a sobriety. Today was very very easy to say the least. It must be all the back log of calories I have been consuming over the past couple of weeks but alas I made it through the day without actually feeling any hunger pains. At this stage I have not felt that clear of mind, but I am still getting off jet lag, plus a horrible start to working week. A whole other story. Looking forward to Day 2 and my first weigh in on Day 4 I think I will do.
Have to admit once again I did not have any real hunger pains until around 5pm on the drive home. Was a breeze of a day until some crazy stuff went on in life when me and my wife finalised a purchase of a new house. So while we had dinner, I couldn’t hold back and break my sobriety rule and have a couple of drinks in celebration. So my fast started a little later than usual at about 11pm. So a little bump in the road to success but very much worth it!
This day was super easy, nothing to really report. Slight hangover.
The excitement over the easter long weekend is on me. It all starts with the exicting non related AFL premiership rematch. For this I will be indulging in something hearty, Domino’s vegan pizza. Again this day was fine not a worry in the world. I also did have a beer with my brother during the footy, so sobriety fail once again.
Weigh in day! So after 4 full periods of the OMAD I jumped on the scale and happy to report that I am now back to 111.4 kgs. So I have lost 2.8 kgs in 4 days of OMAD. That again is not a bad result for 4 days of ultra intermittent fasting.
So Day 5 it would seem was the end of this next attempt as the Easter Weekend got way out of hand hanging out with my parents in law at their country ranch. The wine and been was flowing in celebration of purchasing out property.
So it would seem attempt number 3 is on the cards. This time I think I need to at least get 2 weeks in. In the meantime I will just return to my general intermittent fasting of 16-8 during the week.