The omad diet has many amazing benefits that allow us to maximize the benefits of intermittent fasting.
But, what about some of the unwanted side effects that one may experience when starting this diet?
Your body and mind need time to adjust to the extreme changes that are taking place when you change your eating habits.
Therefore, it’s very important to know some of the side effects and how to deal with them as you start your weight loss journey.
Let’s take a look at 15 potential side effects that you could have after starting the omad diet and what you can do about each of them.
Top 15 Common Side Effects Of The Omad Diet
1. Feeling Hungry
A very common side effect of the omad diet, especially when starting, is feeling hungry all the time.
This problem can become quite severe in the early days, as your body is likely to experience bursts of hunger pangs at any point during the day.
At times, these hunger pangs can be very difficult to manage and you may wonder why this is happening to you.
Simply put, your body is used to getting food at certain times of the day under your regular diet.
When you suddenly limit yourself to a particular eating window, your body gets confused.
As a result, it may start releasing a hormone known as ghrelin into your body to make you feel hungry.
Typically, this hormone level peaks around breakfast, lunch, and dinner time.
Try to have as many acceptable liquids on hand when first starting the omad diet.
Drinking plenty of fluids will help you stay hydrated as well as help you feel fuller.
Drinking plenty of water during the early days of your diet is highly recommended.
For example, you can drink 12 ounces of water when you wake up, and any time you feel a hunger pang.
Staying busy with daily activities can also help a lot. Try to plan activities with friends and family or even take up a new hobby.
After a few weeks of being on the omad diet, your body will adapt to your new eating routine, and you should feel less hunger pangs.
2. Food Cravings
The human body has a unique adaptability and its methods of taking care of you during tough times.
For example, if you are getting low on certain types of nutrients, your body will start craving foods that possess these items.
However, your body is also indiscriminate – if you eat a lot of salty snack foods, your body will periodically crave these to satisfy its need for them.
During your omad diet, it be natural that you will be cutting out a lot of types of foods.
As a result, your body will suddenly crave certain foods and may make it hard for you to resist them.
For example, you might be halfway through your fasting period when you’re hit with the desire for a slice of pizza and a bag of potato chips that is intensely strong.
The best way to avoid this problem is to eat foods that do satisfy your cravings during your eating window.
However, you should try not to eat a lot of unhealthy foods, but items that have similar ingredients.
For example, you could eat baked potatoes instead of potato chips and spaghetti instead of pizza.
While these aren’t quite the same foods, they have many of the same ingredients and tastes.
3. Decreased Levels of Energy
Food provides your body with the fuel it needs to tackle the challenges of the day.
However, your omad diet is going to concentrate all of your eating in a short window, which will initially confuse your body.
Because of this, you may find yourself running low on energy during specific points of your fasting period, particularly towards the middle and the end of the fasting point.
Like with any dietary change, though, your body will eventually rebound and adapt to this routine.
As a result, you may need to hold out a few weeks until your body learns how to provide you with energy for the whole day based on your one meal.
If you do weight training or intense exercise, try to exercise lightly during this period. Light activities such as walking or yoga will help your blood flow and to improve your metabolism.
Beyond that, you may want to schedule an extra hour or two of sleep every night.
This trick has two significant benefits.
First of all, you’ll get extra energy from sleeping longer, which may help you meet your day’s demands.
Secondly, you can add those extra sleep hours to your fasting period, which can help to decrease your cravings and hunger pangs from earlier in the day.
4. Persistent Headaches
The omad diet will cause stress on your body and mind for the first few weeks.
This stress can trigger a variety of health issues.
First of all, your blood sugar levels are going to decrease at various points, which may trigger a headache that comes and goes or persists for hours.
Even worse, stress from this diet – or life in general – may worsen your headaches and make life miserable.
Often, people experience these headaches because they aren’t getting enough water.
Most people get a large amount of their water from their daily meals and may be dehydrated by not spreading their food consumption out more evenly through the day.
Stress management is an integral part of this process.
Try to take time off from work the first week or so that you are on this diet.
Try to keep your life streamlined and straightforward during this period, including meditating when necessary, hanging out around your house, and minimizing any stressful activities.
This stress management will ensure that your body adapts to the omad diet before headaches drive you off the diet.
5 Occasional Irritability
We’ve all been hangry at some point in our lives and have struggled to avoid being a cranky pest to our friends and family members.
This problem is likely to be even worse if you are on an omad diet.
The sensation of “hangriness” occurs when your blood sugar levels drop or if your stomach is empty and urging you to eat.
These problems often combine with cravings and low energy to create a complicated and frustrating situation.
Like with most intermittent fasting side effects, this issue should go away after a few weeks have passed.
During those first few weeks, you should talk to your loved ones about this crankiness and let them know that you might not be behaving like normal for awhile.
And, just as importantly, try to avoid situations or people that might make you grumpier, such as stressful traffic situations.
6. Acid Reflux
Your stomach continually produces acid to help you digest your food more effectively.
However, people who eat time-restricted diets – such as those on an omad diet – may have too much stomach acid, which can cause some health issues.
For example, you may notice problems as diverse as occasional burps to excessive heartburn and even very persistent pain.
This problem can also combine with issues such as constipation, bloating, and occasional swelling.
The best way to avoid these problems is to continually drink water to help your bowel move correctly and to dilute some of the acids in your stomach.
Just as importantly, try to avoid eating spicy and greasy foods during your eating window to keep yourself healthy.
If this problem occurs, you can also take medicines to help calm your stomach and avoid excessive stomach acid.
Try not to schedule your eating window several hours before you go to bed, too, as lying down too soon after eating a large amount of food often triggers heartburn.
And, as always, talk to your doctor if these problems persist or refuse to get any better.
7. Cold or Even Freezing Feelings
During an omad diet, your blood flow will increase to your fat stores because your body is tapping into these reserves for energy.
This action is excellent for weight loss.
However, this change of blood flow will potentially cause some feeling of coldness or even numbness in your extremities, such as your fingers and your toes.
You may even experience the feeling of cold throughout your whole body related to your decreased blood sugar levels.
Lower levels of blood sugar often make your body feel colder because your blood flow has decreased.
This situation is by no means dangerous or even problematic for your health but can be very uncomfortable if experienced for extended periods.
Several methods help to stave off this problem.
For example, you can sip on hot black tea or coffee when you feel cold, take warm showers, layer on extra clothes, or try to move your muscles more often.
This additional exercise movement helps to increase blood flow through your body and will naturally beneficially increase your temperature.
8. Potential to Overeat
When you first start an omad diet, you might end up overeating because you know you have to focus all of your food consumption in a short period.
This problem is a common pitfall and one that can be a real challenge to overcome.
For example, you might end up overeating on unhealthy foods because you’ve heard that “calories don’t matter” during an omad diet.
This can certainly be a big challenge for many to overcome.
There are many ways to avoid overeating and the solution can be very different for each individual.
To help you overcome this obstacle and find a solution that will work for you, I wrote this article on “The Top 25 Ways To Reduce Hunger and Overeating On The Omad Diet”
I think you will find the above article very helpful as there are many useful tips that you can use for this issue.
9. Increased Trips to the Bathroom
You may have noticed that drinking water is one of the most recommended things to do while on the omad diet.
Unfortunately, all of this water has to end up somewhere.
And this fluid usually ends up becoming an annoyance when you have to go to the bathroom two or even three times during an hour.
Thankfully, this level of frequent urination is healthy.
However, you may also find that you have more frequent bowel movements on this type of diet.
Heavy water consumption will make your feces softer and more comfortable to pass.
However, it will increase your bowel movement frequency, a problem that can be frustrating for those who aren’t used to such frequent trips to the bathroom.
This problem is not one with an easy solution.
For example, you don’t want to decrease your water intake because it helps to improve its effectiveness.
The only way to manage this issue is to plan carefully to ensure that you’re always near a bathroom.
Doing so will help to ensure that you don’t have an unfortunate accident if you are too far away from a bathroom.
10. Severe Reactions to Alcohol
I can’t stress enough that I highly recommend you cut out alcohol completely while on the omad diet.
While you might not be a heavy drinker, you might occasionally want a little alcohol with your one meal at the end of a hard work day or when hanging out with friends.
However, alcohol consumption while doing the omad diet is a tricky balancing act.
Simply put, you’re eating less food, and the alcohol will take up more space in your stomach as a result.
Even worse, you’re likely to have a higher blood alcohol level even hours after you took your last drink.
The best bet here is to cut out drinking as much as possible to avoid any issue.
For example, you may limit yourself to no more than one or two drinks per week with your one meal to avoid complications.
You may even want to give up alcohol entirely during this period.
Talk to your doctor about help with alcohol withdrawal, including medicines that may help you if you experience any adverse reactions after quitting.
This can be a very common side effect for those who are new to the omad diet. This side effect can happen to especially those who start the omad diet after eating a lot of carbs.
This can also be caused by a sudden drop in insulin levels. This will signal the kidneys to excrete excess water. This can result in unwanted watery bowel movements.
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12. Weaker Athletic Performance
While some studies show that athletes may see performance boosts after finishing an intermittent fast, those who try to work out during a fast may experience adverse side effects.
Protein helps to rebuild your muscles while fiber will boost your metabolism.
However, your body is going to have lower levels of these nutrients during your fasting period.
As a result, you may find your exercise is more sluggish or ineffective compared to when you ate a traditional diet.
Even worse, you could discover that your workout leaves you worn out more quickly and that you don’t notice any gains after each routine.
Try to focus on foods that are rich in protein to help avoid this problem.
Also, be sure that you are timing your exercises to your eating window.
13. Relying Too Much On Coffee (Caffeine)
Many people on the omad diet will drink a lot of coffee to try to control hunger and stay energized.
While this can be effective, drinking too much caffeine will certainly bring a lot of side effects.
Symptoms of drinking too much caffeine include:
- Dizziness, nervousness, headache
- Feeling shaky or having jitters
- Insomnia or difficulties sleeping through the night
- Abnormal heartbeat or racing heartbeat
- Increased blood pressure
Many people make the mistake to stop drinking caffeine too quickly.
Therefore, when they experience withdrawal symptoms, they go back to drinking caffeine right away which starts the cycle all over again.
The best way to cut down on caffeine consumption is to slowly cut down while on your diet.
Begin to substitute your caffeinated drinks with water.
Water is an excellent choice because it will satisfy your body’s need for liquids. It will also naturally flush the caffeine from the body as well as keep you hydrated.
For coffee drinkers, gradually switch from regular to decaf.
Alternate slowly at first by reducing your caffeine consumption over a 2-3 week period. This will help you change your habit by avoiding withdrawal symptoms.
14. Brain Fog
This side effect can usually be attributed to having low sodium levels.
When you begin fasting on the omad diet, your insulin levels will begin to drop significantly.
This sudden drop signals the kidneys to release excess water since insulin causes water retention.
When the body rids itself of excess water, we lose electrolytes in the urine.
Eating less will also cause a decline in the consumption of electrolytes.
As our bodies try to regulate these electrolyte levels, this sudden change can throw off the body’s homeostasis.
- Try adding a small pinch of natural salt in a glass of water or under your tongue. Try this a few times a day.
- Drinking bone broth
- Drinking Pickle Juice (without sugar)
Here are some recommended top choices below for dealing with these issues:
15. Bad Breath
Many people will also know this as keto breath.
The tongue becomes white and you develop the taste of acetone in your mouth.
Acetone is a by-product of fatty acid metabolism.
As your fat loss begins to slow down, your breath will tend to improve.
- Brush your teeth more frequently throughout the day
- Use a tongue scraper
- Drink more water
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There are still many unknown side effects that you may experience while on the omad diet. Like all diets, what solution works for one person, may not work for another. If you find yourself dealing with an unbearable issue or side effect, it’s always best to talk to your doctor. That way you can ensure that you are doing everything properly to ensure your long-term health.
Men’s Health: Side Effects of Intermittent Fasting
Bro Bible: Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting
Livestrong: Intermittent Fasting Do’s and Don’ts
Medical News Today: Intermittent Fasting
Center for Discovery: The Dangers of Intermittent Fasting
Burn Bootcamp: Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting
Harvard: Intermittent Fasting