Will Eating Only One Meal A Day Help You Lose Weight? Answering Your OMAD Questions

omad and weight loss

Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: February 22, 2021

One of the main diets out there is the “One Meal a Day” diet (OMAD).

This is a diet that has been making the rounds for a long time and is cited as being a good option by many people. However, is this true or is it a myth?

Should you be thinking about going down this path and getting on the OMAD diet?

This guide is going to take a look at what the OMAD diet is all about, how it works, and whether or not it is a good fit for your body when attempting to shed fat.

Losing Weight By Eating One Meal Per Day

Let’s begin by understanding what this type of diet entails.

In general, the concept is just as the title suggests. You are going to look to eat one meal per 24 hours and get all of your calories, nutrients, and energy from that specific meal [1]. The goal is to avoid eating during other times of the day to let the fat-burning process kick in.

During other times of the day, you would consume water as a way to stay hydrated and feeling full.

Pros of Eating One Meal Per Day via the OMAD Diet

1. Easier to Lose Weight

The goal is to lose weight and in that sense it does help.

The logic behind it makes sense even if there are major negatives that will get in the way of your quality of life.

If your goal is to shed weight, eating a single meal is going to make things simpler. You are going to know exactly how many calories are going into your body during that meal and you will have more control over it too.

This is good for those who don’t do as well when they are eating a lot of meals during the day and start to lose count.

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2. Reduces Inflammation

Research done into the OMAD diet states inflammation levels can go down across the body when eating one meal per day [1].

The reason for this has to do with less wear and tear on the digestive system. This makes it easier for the body to remain in a relaxed state as it digests the food. Otherwise, a lot of people will continue to eat during the day not letting the body catch up.

This can cause inflammation to rise as the body has to focus on digesting food all the time.

3. Easy to Understand

This is an underrated advantage when it comes to the OMAD diet.

In general, you are not going to have a lot of trouble getting a hang of what to eat. It is a simple diet to follow and that is a good thing for those who want to keep things as straightforward as possible.

Knowing you only have to eat a single meal per day makes it easier to prep for the rest of the week. You are not going to be creating a long list of meals because you don’t have to.

Cons of Eating One Meal Per Day

1. Low Blood Sugar

This is a concern that leads to people fainting as they are walking or jogging around.

When the blood sugar levels drop, your body is going to give out. This is essential for the body staying healthy and when you are not eating enough, your body will let you know this is a major concern.

A lot of medical issues can arise from this if you are not careful. Most people that go on the OMAD diet don’t look into this factor and the sudden change in their eating habits makes a dent in how they feel.

2. Low Energy Levels

This is one of the biggest complaints associated with the OMAD diet and why it is not always a good idea for the average person.

In general, you will need a certain number of carbs to stay fresh and that is where you are going to get your energy from. When you are not eating enough or only eating a single meal, this means all of the energy is going to come from that meal.

This is just not a good enough source to stay fresh and you are going to feel it.

If you try to do a physical activity, it will become an impossible task after a while. You are going to feel sluggish and your focus is going to be off as well.

This is why most athletes will avoid a diet like this because it is unsustainable and may cause them to fall while moving around.

3. Irritability

This is not always going to be seen and it will depend on the individual.

For the average person on the OMAD diet, you are going to start seeing a change in your disposition. You are not going to be as willing to do things as you might have been in the past. This has to do with not having the ability to concentrate as well.

A lot of people go through this issue because the change is a dramatic one.

If you were someone that was eating a lot in the past and had to make this type of change, you will feel it immediately. It is not going to feel natural and the one meal you are getting will start to weigh on you after a while.

It is essential to think about this because your mood impacts everything else in your life. This includes your overall quality of life too.

4. Digestive Issues

The real problem tends to involve your digestive system.

Yes, it is going to have a good time going through a single meal. This means you will have more than enough time to get the food through your digestive system. However, this also means your digestive system is going to be doing nothing for the rest of the day.

Drinking water is just not going to be enough and that is going to get in the way of your ability to stay fresh or healthy.

A lot of people start complaining about stomach pain due to the OMAD diet. This has to do with not getting enough food going through the digestive system.

Final Verdict

The main question you are going to have will involve whether or not it is a good idea to eat one meal a day to lose weight.

In general, this is not a good idea even if its premise makes sense.

Yes, you are going to see a natural reduction in weight by cutting your diet down to a single meal. However, this also includes several other hurdles including not knowing how much you need to stay healthy and then feeling sluggish all day long.

There is a reason humans eat multiple meals during the day and that is to stay feeling energetic. Otherwise, you are just not going to feel as good as you need to.

For those who are exercising during the day and/or on the move, this is just not sustainable. You are going to burn too much energy and water is not going to make up for what you need to stay healthy or fit.

In my opinion, it is better to focus on other types of diets that are more focused on cutting calories and eating the right way over the long-term, but OMAD has definitely worked for a lot of people, so if you like the concept it may be worth more investigation on your part.

The OMAD diet is a unique principle but one that is going to be challenging for most people and will quickly venture down the path of starvation if you aren’t careful.

References

1. https://www.healthline.com/health/one-meal-a-day
2. https://www.dietdoctor.com/intermittent-fasting/omad