Last Updated on April 8, 2021 by Lori Geurin
You’ve likely heard of intermittent fasting, but there’s a new kid in town that is all the rage, called OMAD. It stands for ‘one meal a day.’ In this post, I’ll share about OMAD health benefits and precautions that are important to be aware of if you decide to try this fasting schedule.
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I’ve been doing OMAD on and off for a while now. And my husband, David, has been practicing OMAD for a few months. He usually does it a couple of days a week and has noticed several benefits, including
- weight loss
- improved body composition (in his words, “I feel less fluffy.” Love that!)
- fewer cravings for sweets
- increased energy
You may be asking yourself how this is possible…especially in such a short time. And that is what I’m going to share in this post.
That and a few other savory nuggets I hope you’ll enjoy…
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What Is OMAD Intermittent Fasting?
OMAD is a form of intermittent fasting. You may have heard it called the One Meal A Day diet. Simply put, you eat one meal a day and fast for the other hours.
During the fasting window, you can have non-caloric beverages. Water is best, but unsweetened tea and coffee are okay too.
You may be familiar with other intermittent fasting schedules like the 16:8, the 18:6 or the 20:4. These ratios show you the hours you spend fasting in relation to the hours you spend eating (your eating window) based on a 24-hour day.
For example, a 16:8 fast means that you fast for 16 hours and eat all of your meals for the day within the 8-hour time frame.
For OMAD the ratio is typically 23:1 (fasting for 23 hours and feasting for 1). But So now that we’ve covered fun facts about intermittent fasting schedules, let’s jump into some of the impressive benefits of OMAD.
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OMAD Fasting Health Benefits
There are some compelling benefits of following an OMAD fasting schedule. Here are a few.
- weight loss – People have reported losing incredible amounts of weight with the OMAD diet. Feel free to take a look at this Reddit link for so many testimonials.
- autophagy (in overdrive!) – One of the coolest things about fasting is that your body turns on this amazing natural process of cleaning out old, damaged cells and producing brand new healthy ones. Recent studies suggest autophagy may even increase your lifespan.
- saves money – Because you eat less food your grocery bill goes way down. This is always a perk!
- less hunger and cravings – I know this sounds too good to be true, but trust me on this one. I was skeptical at first too! (You can read about how intermittent fasting cured my hypoglycemia here.)
- saves time – As you might have guessed, when you’re only eating one meal a day your time spent in the kitchen prepping food for meals is greatly reduced.
- increased energy and focus – Who doesn’t love being more productive? When you’re OMAD-ing you don’t have to deal with that after-lunch brain fog that results when your body is busy digesting your meal.
For more on the health benefits of intermittent fasting check out 9 Health Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting.
(You may want to learn about clean fasting to improve your fasting results.)
OMAD Fasting Precautions And Safety
Though intermittent fasting is a healthy practice that can be done by many adults, according to Dr. Eric Berg, there are some people who should not fast. They include the following:
- babies and small children
- women who are nursing or pregnant
- thin people with neurodegenerative conditions
- people who have a recent history of eating disorders
It’s also important to mention that, although OMAD has some pretty great benefits, it’s obviously a more extreme form of intermittent fasting and not for everyone. I have read a few posts from women who have experienced hormone issues and hair loss they believe was connected to prolonged OMAD so this is definitely something to be aware of.
Personally, I haven’t practiced OMAD long enough to be able to recommend it for the long-term. I’ve used it more occasionally to alter my intermittent fasting schedule because I don’t want it to be the same every day.
However, I’m currently reading Delay, Don’t Deny and the author, Gin Stephens says she’s been practicing OMAD for a long time and loves it. There are many other people who are living the OMAD lifestyle and loving it too.
I really like Gin’s take on OMAD because it’s not a strict 23:1. It’s based upon the concept of one meal a day but she listens to her body’s needs (great advice for us all) and if she’s feeling hungrier one day she might add a snack or extend the time she’s eating.
OMAD Research Findings
I couldn’t find a whole lot of research on the long-term effects of OMAD, but I did notice a couple of things worth sharing. On a positive note, one study found that type 2 diabetes patients saw improved blood sugar counts after trying OMAD. (1)
Another study compared two groups of people. One group ate one meal a day and the other ate three. The research found that the people in the one meal a day group had worsening blood pressure and cholesterol readings. (2)
I have seen some awesome OMAD health benefits for myself and my husband when it’s used less frequently. (And it sure is nice to have fewer dishes to clean up.) It has obviously helped so many people lose weight, lower their insulin levels, and upgrade their overall wellness.
As I mentioned earlier, my experience with OMAD is not a consistent daily OMAD. Even so, I need to mention a couple of concerns I have about using OMAD long-term…
If you’re doing OMAD every day it could put you at risk for nutritional deficiencies and have some unwanted consequences if your nutrition isn’t en pointe. And this is especially true if you are already dealing with a chronic illness.
Talk to your doctor so they can guide you based on your specific health requirements.
Summary – OMAD Fasting Benefits & Precautions
I hope this has given you valuable info about OMAD. I’m passionate about sharing the amazing impact intermittent fasting has had in my life and in the lives of so many other people and recognize the value of OMAD.
I’m pro intermittent fasting all the way!
I just want to caution you to be aware that OMAD is not for everyone because it is more extreme. As always, listen to your body and consult with your doctor before making changes to your diet or eating schedule.
I would love to hear about your experience if you’ve done OMAD.
I wrote an eBook all about my experience with intermittent fasting. This method allowed me to burn fat, lose weight (the effortless way) and be healthy….without feeling hungry – even curing my hypoglycemia. If you’d like to learn how I accomplished these great results, you’ll want to check out my book HERE!
Have you tried OMAD? What do you think of these OMAD benefits and precautions?
The information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose, or cure any disease or health problem. Please talk to your doctor about OMAD and/or Intermittent Fasting to learn if they might be a good option for you.
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