One Meal a Day Myths – Explained
There are plenty of myths out there in regards to eating one meal a day that often leave people skeptical.
Have you been uneasy about trying the omad diet because you are scared it will ruin your metabolism, deplete your muscle stores or leave you starving with no energy?
Well, you wouldn’t be alone – because, despite its growing popularity, eating one meal a day is surrounded by myths.
Many dieters mistakenly believe that fasting causes muscle loss, or that eating frequent small meals is the key to fat loss.
Some still believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
These common misconceptions can stall your progress and keep you from reaching your weight loss goals.
So, here are some of the most widely spread one meal a day myths:
1. Slows Your Metabolism
If you’ve been dieting for a while, you might have heard that skipping meals slows down your metabolism. This is just a myth.
Fasting actually increases metabolic rate by as much as 14 percent.
There is no need to eat five or six times a day to keep your metabolism up.
Energy expenditure begins to decrease after 72 to 96 hours of fasting. However, most people only fast for eight to 36 hours, which has no negative impact on metabolic rate.
Additionally, your body is forced to use stored fat for fuel while in a fasted state, which leads to weight loss.
2. It Causes Muscle Loss
Many bodybuilders and athletes eat every two or three hours to keep their muscles in an anabolic state. They claim that muscle tissue needs a steady supply of protein and carbs to grow and recover from training.
While it’s true that prolonged fasting may trigger catabolism, most IF protocols involve short fasting periods of up to 36 hours. Thus, you’re unlikely to lose muscle in such a short time. After depleting its glycogen stores, your body will burn fatty tissue, not muscle.
Studies like this one show no muscle or fat loss with a change in calorie intake or meal frequency.
If you’re concerned about muscle loss, take BCAA supplements while fasting.
3. Leads to Nutrient Deficiencies
The main point of eating one meal a day is to teach the body to eat in certain windows rather than frequently throughout the day.
Contrary to popular belief, fasting doesn’t deplete your body of vital nutrients.
The body isn’t that fragile, even if you went 24 hours without eating.
As long as you are including the food groups during the feeding window (and supplement as needed), it’s unlikely you will experience nutrient deficiencies.
After a few days of fasting, your body becomes more efficient at using the nutrients and calories from food.
4. Skipping Breakfast Leads to Weight Gain
Many will say that skipping breakfast will lead to being hungrier in the day and that it will lead to weight gain.
This report, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, showed not eating breakfast had either no or little effect on weight gain.
It also showed that missing breakfast did not cause people to consume more calories during the day.
A similar study also found no advantage to either eating breakfast or skipping it.
In short, these studies conclude that the myth of skipping breakfast leads to weight gain is simply untrue.
5. Sends Your Body into “Starvation Mode”
Efficient adaptation to famine was vital for survival during human evolution. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors did not have access to food around the clock – like we do.
The human body has an amazing ability to adapt to stress and caloric restriction.
Skipping a meal or two won’t cause your body to enter starvation mode and burn fewer calories.
Research shows that fasting for short periods of time increases energy expenditure for up to 36 to 48 hours, which in turn promotes fat loss.
6. You Will Be Hungry all the time
Many feel that eating one meal a day will only lead to a constant feeling of hunger.
When there is a change in the system, this will be normal. Especially in the beginning of fasting such as eating one meal a day. The type of food you are eating can also cause a feeling of hunger.
Eating foods high in fiber can help you feel fuller for longer periods of time.
This sense of hunger can also be in the mind. I used to look at the time and feel I had to eat because it was just that time.
Many will also feel hungry, but it’s only because they are thirsty. This sense can also lead to overeating when it’s time for your meal.
7. Increase in the Hormone Cortisol
Cortisol (a steroid hormone) regulates the immune system and maintains blood pressure. It also breaks down proteins, lipids, and glucose. Elevated levels of cortisol may lead to depression and lethargic behavior.
Cortisol will typically follow a diurnal variation. This is where levels peak in the early A.M and decline by evening.
This study was conducted in regards to Ramadan fasting and found the average cortisol levels to remain unchanged after 24 hours.
8. Brain Needs – Poor Concentration and Memory Loss
This myth mainly comes from the brain needing glucose or blood sugar. While this is true, it also gets energy from proteins.
The human body is very good at regulating itself for everything it needs. This is the way it is designed.
A big reason why this is also believed is the focus on hunger. In turn, this creates something called a “Placebo effect.” Many get the mindset of not being able to make it throughout the day.
9. You will gain all the Weight Back
If you have ever done a crash diet, you most likely followed the diet and gained all the weight back again.
There is a common reason and thinking in this:
“You just go back to eating the same old way” some will say.
This thinking stems from most who have been on long-term weight loss plans. They will get complacent, drift away from the protocol, or decide they don’t want to do the maintenance program forever. It becomes a mindset, but not because the diet wasn’t effective.
This same concept applies to eating one meal a day. If you drift away from your consistent habits, you will gain the weight afterward.
The truth is that sometimes the maintenance can be harder for some people because it is for a greater period of time.
This is where it’s important to have motivation and discipline to keep yourself on track.
10. You will negatively affect your health
A big myth is that you are endangering your health. Sometimes you may hear someone say, “that isn’t healthy,” because they feel you’re not eating enough.
They believe that when you finally give yourself a chance to eat, you are gorging on food and eating too many calories.
However, this is not true. Those who eat one meal a day ensure they get their daily nutrients.
The Omad diet does not reduce fluids either. People are allowed to drink when they want to and encouraged to stay hydrated.
Conclusion-One Meal a Day myths
As you can see, there are many myths about eating one meal a day. The most important thing is to never let this kind of information keep you from attaining your weight loss goals.
The fact is, eating one meal a day is effective when done right so be sure you do your homework and start off on the right foot.
If you have any more questions about eating one meal a day, be sure to read the Faq.
What have you found to be a myth of eating one meal a day?
Leave a comment below or visit the Omad Diet Community Forums.