I think we can agree that:
We live in a fast-paced world today that demands a lot of our time. Whether it be family, job, or social activities, our time is valuable
So when we want to lose weight, we are faced with many obstacles in our daily lives.
We want something easy to follow, fits our lifestyle and actually works.
As someone who has been through the carousel of all the diet plans that don’t use these concept’s, there is an answer.
It is called the Omad Diet, or otherwise known as Eating One Meal a Day.
If you are looking for a simplified way of eating, want to eliminate calorie counting, and want to see those pounds come off, the OMAD diet might work wonders for you.
The Omad Diet can be a relief of other complicated diet plans out there that have many confusing eating patterns or instructions.
There are increasing studies that show that increasing meal frequency does not promote weight loss. There are also many other long-term studies on humans showing how fasting can be beneficial in longevity.
Let’s take a look at the OMAD diet, how it works, why it works, and whether it is the right approach for you.
So, what’s the basic idea/concept behind OMAD?
Omad is a form of intermittent fasting that can also be referred to as a 23:1. This means you are fasting for 23 hours and eating within one hour. You would not be consuming any caloric beverages or food outside of your one-hour eating time frame.
With the Omad diet, you can choose to eat whatever meal you choose with no restrictions inside of your eating window. However, it will be better for your long-term overall health, to choose a healthy balanced plate containing the food groups.
If your ready to get started right away and want a full understanding of how to succeed with Omad, be sure to get “The Complete Guide to the Omad Diet.” The book gives my easy to follow plan, recipes(to get you started), and all the necessary tools for healthy long-term success.
So, should I do the OMAD diet, and what are reasons it works so well?
It is easy
There is really no guesswork when it comes to following the OMAD diet. You basically consume all your calories in one single sitting.
No counting calories, no small sacks with nuts (or other low-cal meals), and no need to prep meals for the entire week. If you want pizza for dinner, go ahead!
Deprivation (and the concept of cheat days) is eliminated
If you’ve ever dieted and failed in the past, you will know that eventually, those cravings kick in.
Since you can eat anything, within reason of course, on a daily basis, you are in control of those cravings.
If you want a piece of pie or cake for dessert with your meal, it is possible if it fits into your eating window. If you want a burger and fries, you don’t have to wait until your next “cheat day.”
Contrary to what some others believe, you’re less likely to feel depleted or exhausted on the OMAD diet. In fact, many have reported feeling more energized. Since you don’t have that heavy lunch sitting in your stomach after a lunch-time date, you won’t have to worry about it weighing you down.
Increased energy can also lead to increased production in your work or social life.
Who doesn’t love eating their favorite “taboo foods” daily?
On most diets that you have been on in the past, you have probably had to restrict yourself to meal choices and planning.
With the Omad Diet, there are no restrictions on what you eat. You can eat all or whatever foods that you crave on a regular basis with your meal. This is one of the major physiological benefits of eating one meal a day.
By knowing you can enjoy more of the foods you love, you build a healthier relationship with food over time. You will also be more likely to have long-term success because you won’t feel deprived of all your choices.
No more yo-yo dieting
Like most others, you have probably tried countless diet plans, regimes, and eating schedules in the past. With the OMAD diet, it can not only be just a diet, but a long-term lifestyle change.
If a friend invites you out for a meal, you can go. If you want to enjoy something fun where food is involved, you don’t have to feel guilty about it.
Simply knowing you can have what you want in larger volumes, is going to help you change your mentality towards food. Food no longer becomes the enemy.
Since I’m only eating once per day, are there other restrictions?
Within your 1-hour eating time, there are no restrictions on what food or beverages you can consume.
The only restrictions will come outside of the eating window.
You might be wondering what you can drink. If you do get hungry during the day on the OMAD diet, there are some things you can do to stave off the hunger until your eating window approaches.
In terms of beverages, you can drink teas, coffee, and other liquids as well. Coffee is a great suppressant as it does help you keep hunger at bay (or any caffeine).
What should you eat on the OMAD diet?
There are no restrictions here. You are free to eat whatever you would like or what your cravings are.
Of course, for long-term health reasons, try to make healthy choices with your one meal a day. If you choose to eat items that aren’t as healthy a couple nights a week, make sure that you are supplementing the loss of nutritional value.
Also, be sure you are following the “4 ones” rule and consuming all your calories within one hour, or you will not see the results you are looking for.
Keep in mind that everyone is different and your body will react differently to different food choices you make. Account for this and plan accordingly.
Try to make educated decisions as you plan your meal, whether you are on the OMAD diet or a combination of other diets at the same time.
Is It a Healthy Diet?
You may find dozens of online articles, forums, and posts questioning the OMAD diet.
There are many myths out there about eating one meal a day.
History shows the OMAD diet is not a new concept or diet.
Many will still cheat on their diets following the small-meal approach. Many will also get off track even when working with a nutritionist.
Further, there is more proof and research that has been conducted showing that the OMAD diet is a healthy approach that helps the body burn more fat when trying to lose weight. You are also encouraged to supplement when doing the OMAD diet to ensure you meet your nutritional needs.
As is the case with any diet you try, there are positive and negative remarks about it. The diet plan is by no means unhealthy. However, it is not something every person can follow.
It will take dedication, and it is going to require a learning curve for you to stay on track. Planning well, in the beginning, will ensure long-term success. With this being said, it is a great way to incorporate the foods you love each day while reaching your health and body goals. You simply must try it. You can also try out other types of intermittent fasting and see what works for you.
Is it really a diet?
Many say that when following this approach to eating, they feel as if they are not dieting at all.
It is a diet because any eating pattern we choose is considered a diet. You technically are on a diet, even when eating one meal a day.
However, the simple fact that you can truly eat what you want and are not depriving yourself makes many feel they are not dieting at all. This is one of the main reasons why people find it so easy to stay on track once they begin the OMAD diet.
You can truly eat nearly anything you would like during your eating window each day and have more flexibility in food choices. You are also able to go out and enjoy meals with friends.
Like anything else, trying new things allows you to find what works best for you. The same is the case for dieting. The OMAD diet is a healthy eating plan/lifestyle that will allow you flexibility in your food choices.
It will also help you reach your goals.
For those who are disciplined, love food, and can follow the one meal a day lifestyle, it is a routine that works wonders. Just as it has for myself.
It can help you attain your diet/physique goals and is truly something easy to follow once you get the hang of it.
How long should I follow this diet?
There truly is no time frame or limit in place. If you want to try to lose a few pounds within a 3-month window, you can try the diet out for three months.
However, eating one meal a day can be much more than just a short type of intermittent fasting.
Eating one meal a day can truly become a lifestyle, just as it has for me. There are people who have literally followed the OMAD diet for years. They have maintained an exceptional physique, feel great, have the energy they desire, and state they will never go back to any other lifestyle or eating pattern.
For some, it simply does not work. Some people do not have the dedication or focus and will start picking at food during the course of the day. If this is your case, you might be best served with trying to mix things up and do a few diets or eating patterns during the course of a week. This might help keep you motivated, focused, and help you avoid those hunger pains.
The choice really comes down to you and whether you are in it for the long haul or simply trying something new. Maybe you like to mix things up during the course of a week and try the OMAD diet for a short of a period of time.
We can help in our community forums to answer any questions about being on the OMAD diet if you are just starting out or have been doing it for any length of time.
Should you exercise?
This is going to be a case-by-case answer, but I always encourage exercise for long-term health.
For some, you are already exercising and fairly active. This is where the whey protein supplement is going to come into play on the days that you are working out. It is going to give you an added energy boost, and it is going to help you regain protein losses on days where your body is depleted.
So, if you are already working out and plan on continuing to do so, then you can follow the OMAD diet and reach the goals you have in mind.
If you do not work out, should you begin?
This depends on your goals, but exercise is always encouraged for a healthy lifestyle.
If you are trying to lose weight aggressively, you might want to start working out a couple times a week. It will help increase the caloric deficit each week, which in turn is going to result in more calories lost.
For a more aggressive approach, you can calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure using the TDEE Calculator to help with your planning. It will also result in more weight loss in a shorter period of time. If you are trying to maintain, you may choose to not incorporate exercise.
Choosing to work out on the OMAD diet or not is not going to hinder your progress (especially if you are just trying to maintain). But, if you do choose to work out, you will find it extremely beneficial to incorporate protein into your meal on the days you are hitting the gym. It will help your body maintain its strength and ability to work on the days you feel more fatigue.
How about incorporating more than one diet at a time?
Like anything in life, variety is the spice of life. Although some people do the OMAD diet and nothing more, you can incorporate other types of intermittent fasting. As a matter of fact, some people are far more likely to fail if they restrict their mentality and ways of training.
The best approach is to try things out and see what works for you. You can even try to mix things up if you are in a slump.
Many people confuse this one with the OMAD diet; however, they are not the same. With this pattern, you basically fast for an entire 24-hour period (no eat window) and you do this once or twice a week. Once your fast concludes, you eat a normal-sized meal.
As discussed above, this is where you consume one meal a day (anytime during the day within a 4-hour eating window). You consume your meal within one hour.
Several meals a day
If you have the patience for it, you can even do the diet approach where you eat several meals a day.
However, it is important that if you choose to mix things up or if you choose to do the OMAD diet daily, you are CONSISTENT. Consistency is also important to maximize your long-term results.
You must dedicate yourself to your goals. You must be willing to do things the right way and you must maintain the proper attitude when you choose to diet.
Lean gains or muscle building?
If this is what you are trying to do at the present moment, whether for a competition or for beach season, then the OMAD diet might not be ideal.
To get bigger, most people need to pack on the calories; in some cases, they need 4000 to 6000 plus calories. This is increasingly difficult on the OMAD diet, even for the eater with the biggest appetite. So, spreading meals out during the day is much easier to ensure the caloric intake is met. Although the OMAD diet can work, it can be very difficult to incorporate.
This is also true with the concept of lean gains. The better approach is the 2- to 3-meal-a-day eat window. Your body will get more out of this eating pattern. Again, the OMAD diet is not off limits, but it might not deliver the best results for the period of time you want to see them.
What are your goals?
For those who are trying to bulk up or make some lean gains for the summer season, you might not benefit as much on the OMAD diet. Someone simply trying to shed weight will find it more beneficial.
You might want to give the OMAD diet a try for a period of time and see how your body is going to react to it.
It is not a diet everyone can follow, and in some instances, you are not going to see the results you want to see. If this is the case, you can try mixing things up. You could approach your meal choices differently.
Dieting of any kind is difficult at first, so it’s better to have a planned approach. Also, be sure to choose an eating window that matches your lifestyle to ensure long-term success.
The Omad diet is certainly an easy to follow and simple approach that completely changed my life and I encourage you to give it a try.
Have more thoughts or questions about the Omad Diet?
Have your own success story?
Share your comments below or visit my community forums.
Hello, I have been on the OMAD plan. However I must be doing something wrong as I have not lost. Seems to me that even when I eat 2 meals and snacks my weight stays the same? I have only been doing this for a couple of weeks though.? Perhaps I am being impatient?
Jimmy Swartz says
Hi Rose and thanks so much for writing. I always encourage a structured approach to the omad diet for the best results. Here is an article that I wrote that talks about the “4 ones” rule that explains this approach https://omaddiet.com/one-meal-a-day-diet/. I think you will find it helpful and informative. Try to be consistent with your daily habits while on the omad diet and you should see long term results. Let me know if this helps or if you have any more questions! Thanks again!
Thanks for sharing such useful information. I’m doing 16:8 from 8 pm to noon, working out in the morning (jogging/gym). I want to start OMAD but my eating window should be around dinner time as I have to eat with my family. Can I still exercise in the morning? My working schedule does not allow me to workout in the evening
Jimmy Swartz says
Hi Thrmfs and thanks so much for writing! Yes, you can still exercise in the morning. Be sure you are drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day before and after your workout. Here is an article that you might find helpful in which I talk about exercise while on the omad diet https://omaddiet.com/omad-exercising-training-tips/. Please let me know if you have any more questions!
Thanks Jimmy for your reply
Jimmy Swartz says
No problem at all! Glad I could help.
Is it okay if i dont do exercise?
Jimmy Swartz says
Hi Kevan and thanks for writing! While exercise is not a requirement for the omad diet, I always encourage it to maximize weight loss results. Many studies also show the benefits that daily exercise can give you in your long-term overall health. I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any more questions!
Hi Jimmy. I’ve tried and dedicated myself to this diet for 3 months, and the results I got from it is overwhelming. I’m 49 years old, 5’10 and my starting weight was 205.3 lbs before I began the omad diet. After 3 months following this diet I reached my goal weight at 165 lbs, it definitely changed my life. I’m blown away from the results I got from OMAD, but I want to know if you have any advice or suggestions to help me to maintain my weight? I don’t want to go back to my old habits ever again. Let me know. Thanks.
Jimmy Swartz says
Hi Bill and thanks so much for writing. Congrats on your weight loss! I always love hearing about omad success stories. For maintenance, I would advise that you keep a journal of your daily habits. This will make everything much easier when you need to make adjustments. It’s always beneficial to incorporate exercise into your schedule (if you’re not already doing so) as this will also help with not only maintenance but long term health as well. I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any more questions!
Thank you for the helpful advice, Jimmy. I’m on my 4th month now following this diet and I want to continue doing it. I get such amazing results from OMAD and it is the reason it keeps me motivated. I am doing light/moderate exercise whenever I have free time, but I don’t want to lose anymore weight after reaching my goal. It’s a new challenge for me now trying to maintain it. I always eat clean as much as possible because it makes my fasting window a lot easier throughout the day.
Hi Jimmy. I have a question that I’m concerned about while in fasted state. Is drinking coffee (black) and green tea really allowed? I’ve always been a coffee drinker and always drink it black as well. I know it’s an appetite suppressant, but I did research and found out it is not recommended while you are fasting for 23 hours. Is this true? Let me know. Thanks.
Jimmy Swartz says
Hi Bill. Black coffee and green tea are allowed while in a fasted state. I highly recommend green tea while on the omad diet as I talk about the benefits it has in this article https://omaddiet.com/omad-green-tea/. I hope this helps. Thanks again for writing!
Fi P says
Thanks for your great website.
I’ve been on OMAD & Keto since February and I’ve lost 25kgs since then. It has literally transformed my life (and my brain and mental state) and is the only thing that has ever managed to free me from my addiction/slavery to food. I’m very thankful that I stumbled upon OMAD and I feel so good I don’t want to stop just yet (another 10kg to reach my main health goal).
My issue is, I just had a routine colonoscopy and endoscopy and I was extremely surprised to be told i have a stomach ulcer. I’ve never had any issues like this before. Indeed I’ve been vegetarian and highly plant based since I was very young. The biopsy results showed the ulcer is very acute, meaning it has only formed in recent months. It also showed it’s definitely not cancer and is not caused by the H.pylori bacteria, which means, the specialists tell me, that it’s because i’m producing too much acid in my stomach.
This is perplexing to me because I have an alkaline water machine, and drink loads of water day and night (nothing but water and fermented green tea), I drink a glass of mineral water with fresh lemon in the mornings & the evenings, (my feeding window is 2-5pm), I make my own pickles (so i know they are from good whey or AC vinegar and don’t have nasty additives), eat a lot of goats milk kefir (probiotics) daily, keep myself in ketosis easily (testing every other day) with good fats and proteins all in the right proportions and just generally should not be acidic or producing acid!
So my question to you is, have you heard of this before in the OMAD community? I’ve tried to find info on stomach ulcers related to OMAD but i cannot find any. However I have read that fasting for long periods can play havoc with the stomach acids, so it sort of stands to reason the OMAD might have given me this ulcer. But i’m surprised I cannot find any info /experiences about it from anyone else.
If you have experience with this, have heard of it, or have any insights, I’d really appreciate it, with thanks,
amanda robinson says
I strength train two days a week in the afternoon. I eat my meal in the morning including a protein shake. Do I need to have it before my workout? It would be hard for me to switch up my time for eating.
Jimmy Swartz says
Hi Amanda and thanks for writing! You can have your meal whenever will work best for your training schedule. You might find this article helpful https://omaddiet.com/omad-exercising-training-tips/ where I talk about how to plan your meal around your training schedule. Please let me know if you have any more questions!
Linda Austin says
Hi. Thank you for the information. How consistent must the 1 hour eating window be in terms of time of day to eat. I have 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 PM as options but it changes sometimes daily. So will 20-24 fasting hours still be effective for the health benefits?
Jimmy Swartz says
Hi Linda and thanks for the question. The more consistent you are, the more consistent your results should be. In order to maximize the benefits of intermittent fasting, it is very important to be as consistent with your eating window as you possibly can be. I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any more questions!
Upasana Thakran says
Well. I found this very motivating… I want to shed few pounds and m gonna start from Tom. Wish me luck… Will soon update my results.
Jimmy Swartz says
Hi Upasana and thanks for writing! I am happy to hear that you found this motivating! Good luck and keep me updated on your progress!
Karen Anderson says
Can u change your eating time for special events.. say my normal is 12-4.. but family is going out one eve to eat.. can I change the time for that event?
Jimmy Swartz says
Hi Karen and thanks for writing. To maximize your results on the omad diet, you want to be consistent as possible. However, it’s ok once in a while if you have a special event if you have to change your eating time. Please let me know if you have any more questions.
I’ve been OMAD for 14 months and love it. The only time I had to do something else was when I became ill and couldn’t eat a big meal, but once I was well again, I went right back on OMAD. It’s been wonderful for me and my husband.
Jimmy Swartz says
Hi Yolanda. Thanks so much for writing and letting me know how the omad diet is working for you. Keep me updated on your future progress!
Thank you, Jimmy. I will try to remember to do that.
Hi… I started OMAD on Dec. 13th, hope i can lose weight after a month.
Hi Jimmy, thank you for this inspiring work and motivating guidance. I desperately need to lose some 30 kgs which i gained over the past 2 years. I was wondering how much time did it take you to see the amazing transformation. Also wanted to ask if you abstained from any specific type of food? i guess i have to cut down on sweets and fried stuff, but it is very difficult to stick to low-carb/keto meals. Also what did you do about portion control? thank you so much!
Helen Gardner says
In answer to your 2 questions:
1. I’d like to see testimonies of people doing the omad diet that formerly had a problem with overeating. I honestly don’t know if its possible to get those types of testimonies. Also plenty of positive & motivational articles.
2. I find that the most challenging part of the omad diet is pacing myself to eat slower & enjoy my meal. Also not eating too much at a sitting. And reducing carbs, especially bread as I tend to put on weight when I include bread in my meal. It seems I can eat other types of carbs like legumes, quinoa, starchy veggies etc. without much of a probkem in that area.
Thanks for all you do.
Have tried omad off and on for a few months. It does seem to work for me. I would like to mention that I think a bigger concern for omad and exercise is the energy/passing out factor. Some people just can’t do it. So, I think that is more concerning than gains or losses. Just a suggestion. Like your site, though.