Make Your One Meal a Day (Omad) Eating Window Work for You
This quote from Bruce Lee sums up how one should look at any eating plan (especially Omad):
“Absorb what is useful, Discard what is not, Add what is uniquely your own”
Each individual will always have a different situation or circumstance where something may not work for them like it would for someone else. Therefore, there is not an optimal 4 hour eating window that will work for everyone. Consistency is the key. If you start “stretching the window” if won’t be long until you start having this mindset for other factors of your meal.
Things to consider when choosing your Omad Diet Eating Window:
- daily type of activity/exercise regimes
- current state of health
- how you deal with hunger
- lifestyle stress issues and energy levels
- Work Schedule
- Social Activities
- Family Life/Schedules
- How Disciplined are you?
Daily Type of Activity/Exercise Regimes
Consider what times of the day you currently exercise or can fit exercise into your schedule. Exercise is always encouraged with eating one meal a day, so if you can build an eating window around your fitness schedule, that is always ideal. Also consider which times of the day you find yourself to be the busiest, or have the most activity. This will allow you to make sure you aren’t interfering or disrupting your eating window during high activity points in the day.
Current State of Health
Do you suffer from an illness or disease that prohibits your activity at any point in the day? If so, you are encouraged to seek a qualified medical opinion before starting any intermittent fasting program such as one meal a day. You may be required to have your meal during a point in the day because of certain medical reasons, prescriptions, or any other regime related to your state of health. Your top priority should always be the awareness of your general health.
How you Deal with Hunger
This is a subject where everyone will be different. Some get very hungry in the early afternoon, where others may get hungry in the late evening. Some prefer to eat their one meal in the morning. The point here, is try to make your eating window around a time that you usually feel hungry. This will only help you in the long run and especially when you are first starting one meal a day. If you do this, it will be easier to control the temptations of eating out of your fasting window.
Lifestyle Stress/Energy Levels
Have you found yourself less productive at certain points of the day because of lack of energy, lack of focus, or other stress related issues? Consider these factors when choosing your eating time. These are issues that could constantly derail the consistency you are trying to achieve. For example, if you are typically busy in the afternoon and your one meal a day could be a way of relieving some of that, plan around those hours. If you work out at any point in the day and know that you get really hungry afterwords, incorporate your eating window around that schedule as well.
Building around your work schedule will be crucial to your success. Figure out an optimal break time or certain point in the day in which you can take a break and enjoy your one meal. I understand many may work different shifts or schedules and having the exact same eating window may be impossible for some. I understand this quite well, as I worked many different schedules myself. Try to stay as close to your eating window as you can, if you find it impossible because of work issues. The key here is consistency. The more you can stick to designated eating window, the more success you will have in the long run. Use the 4 hour flexibility of the eating window as best as you can when trying to stay within your working schedule.
Are you a social butterfly? If you are involved in a lot of events, activities, or organizations, consider these days and times in your meal schedule. My typical eating window was from 3-7. I usually liked to eat my one meal a day around 4. If I knew I was going out to dinner with friends later in the evening, I would wait until that arranged time. Use your eating window flexibility when you have unexpected or planned social events.
Consider what times during the day you have family events or typically enjoy spending time together. Talk to your spouse or other family members about what time of the day would work best for your one meal a day. If you can have one your one meal at the same time as your family, this will always make it easier. Having family support is a very important part of your long term success with omad.
How Disciplined Are You?
In the dieting world, there is nothing more important than discipline. The strength of your discipline can be the difference between you reaching for that snack or throwing it away. Consider the times in the day where you feel you would benefit the most with your one meal and not struggle with discipline.
The Difference Between Will-power and Discipline
Many use the terms Will-power and Discipline interchangeably, but in the dieting world, they have different meanings.
Will-power: the action in which a person decides on and initiates action.
Discipline: Training one’s self to accomplish something in a habitual and controlled way.
Discipline is what will keep you going once you are fired up. Will-power, is what will get the motor turning.
If you’ve ever started a diet and fallen off the wagon after a few weeks or months, you have have experienced an unsuccessful transition from will-power to discipline.
With this being said, a lack of discipline is often the sole cause of dieting failure.
The Mistake Most People Make when choosing their Eating Window
We are all attracted to the idea of fast weight loss. But, this is also a reason why so many fail to plan properly. Choosing the right eating window will be very important to your overall success when eating one meal a day. Eating erratically throughout the day at various times will certainly not give you the long term success you are looking for.