The One Meal A Day Diet (OMAD Diet) – How It Works, Health Benefits, And Safety

Eating one meal a day is a habit that many individuals swear by to lower weight and enhance overall health. The one-meal-per-day diet is also related to OMAD.

Although the things and timing of the meal will change based on individual choice, people following an OMAD diet generally restrict their calorie eating to one meal or a short window of time. The potential health benefits of OMAD are linked to fasting containing calorie consumption during the set period and calorie restriction in general.

The One-Meal-a-Day diet is an excellent version of time-restricted eating. However, unlike periodic fasting which normally allows a 4-8 hour consuming window, the OMAD diet has a one-hour consumption window. Therefore, you fast for the other 23 hours of the day.

Although a various type of intermittent fasting is an effective way to lose weight, the OMAD diet is not recommended by nutrients and can even be harmful to people with specific health problems.


How does it work?

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There are different kinds of intermittent fasting practices and various ways to complete OMAD. Examples include having only one meal and doing fast for rest of the day or eating limited food during fast. This kind of diet produces a calorie deficit, which can cause weight loss.

Other health benefits linked to fasting include the possibility to lower heart disease risk factors, lower blood sugar, and lower inflammation.

However, compared to another fasting plan, such as the 16/8 method, which involves 8-hours consuming windows and 16-hour fasting windows, eating only one meal is one of the most extreme methods of intermittent fasting every day. Some popular diets improve eating one meal per day.

For example, when following the warrior diet, a person eats a single meal every day, cycling between a long time of fasting with a short time of energy consumption.

Most people following OMAD choose to only eat dinner, even others choose breakfast or lunch as their one meal.

However, some OMAD enthusiasts do not eat anything consisting of calories during their fasting window and only eat calories during their chosen food, which commonly lasts an hour or so.

Foods To Eat During OMAD Diet

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Cabbage, Carrot, broccoli, beetroot, cauliflower, turnip, scallions, Chinese cabbage, sweet potato, purple cabbage, lettuce, bell peppers, spinach, white potato with peel, and kale.


Watermelon, High GI fruits like grapes, pineapple, mangoes, and canned fruits should be eaten in limited amounts.


Chicken breast, lean cuts of beef, fish, mushroom, legumes, tofu, beans, and eggs, pork


Full-fat yogurt, Full-fat milk, cheddar cheese, buttermilk, homemade ricotta cheese, feta cheese, and cottage cheese.

Whole Grains

Brown rice, broken wheat, black rice, quinoa, millet, barley, and sorghum.


Water, homemade electrolyte, coconut water, homemade lemonade, cold-pressed juices, and freshly squeezed fruit juice.

So, you know, you have several options to choose from and prepare tasty food at home with less fuss. However, you should know what foods to avoid to manage health.


Foods To Avoid During OMAD Diet

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Jackfruit, High GI fruits like grapes, pineapple, and mangoes should be eaten in limited amounts.


Fatty cuts of beef, bacon, and pork.


Low-fat milk, flavored yogurt, cream cheese, low-fat yogurt.

Whole Grains

White rice. Eat-in limited amounts and add at least five varieties of veggies with it to balanced GI.

Fats & Oils

Hemp seed oil, dalda, lard, vegetable oil, butter, margarine, and mayonnaise.

Nuts & Seeds

Cashew nuts

Processed Foods

Sausages, fries, salami, ranch dip, jellies, and bottled jams.



Packaged vegetable and fruit juices, energy drinks, and diet soda.

What To Add In One-Meal-A-Day-Diet

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Add 5-types of veggies.

Eat 3-types of fruits.

Add lean protein sources to your diet. However, once in a while, you can eat a controlled red meat portion.

If you eat only vegetarian, eat a good number of plant protein like seeds, nuts, kidney beans, whole pulses, and garbanzo beans.

Eat 1/2 bowl of curd or buttermilk to regulate digestion.

Have some unsalted nuts. Ensure to overconsume.

You can eat 80% dark chocolate.

For other sweet treats, choose sour cream and fruits or yogurt. Or make some brownies that consist of healthy components and less sugar.

Keep hydration from the fasting phase.

You can utilize 3-4 cups of green tea during the fasting phase.

If you work out, ensure you eat an egg before working out and provide electrolyte reserve by using coconut water after a workout.


Should You Workout During On The OMAD Diet? 

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Originally, when you do fasting for more time, you will not get the energy to exercise, Additionally, mental fatigue will not make you put effort need for your exercise.

Do a stretching workout or yoga to keep muscles active.

When you get the habit of intermittent fasting, you slowly add muscle toning exercise to prevent skin sagging.

However, make sure to consult an expert trainer to plan a workout that suits your health and body.

Whether you are following the OMAD diet or not, do meditation every day. You can do it the traditional way or while consuming a walk or running.

The One Meal A Day Diet: Benefits

Weight loss

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You must produce an energy deficit to lose weight. You can do this by increasing the calories to burn or lower calorie expenditure. Calorie limitation, no matter how you get it, will lead to fat loss.

Individuals using the OMAD method are prone to lose weight simply because they are consuming fewer calories than they usually would during a normal eating pattern.

For example, a study about healthy adults found that moderate calorie consumption to 4 hours in the evening leads to especially higher body fat than when eating 3-separate meals in the day.

Research has also shown that periodic fasting, like more fasting like OMAD, is likely to weight loss.

However, it does not seem to be more potent than the old way of calorie restriction like lowering calorie consumption like reducing calorie eating at each meal.

A study that combines 50,660 individual revealed that those who eat 1-2 meals every day has a yearly reduction in the body mass index related to those who eat 3-meals every day. The study also showed that an overnight fast of 18 or more hours was combined with decreased bodyweight, related to shorter fasting time.

However, these weight loss benefits are linked with intermittent fasting in common and not just the OMAD. Additionally, extreme methods of fasting like OMAD may cause side effects that people need to consider like raised hunger and metabolic changes.

OMAD Is Simple

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OMAD is a well-known intermittent fasting approach. It serves to simplify life. It helps to improve everyday life performance.

You don’t have to hurry for breakfast in the morning because of protected time, you can check the news in peace or do meditation. You get from your lunch hour without any distress.

It does not need to negotiate over lunch or cheat over diet.

There is no food coma in the early afternoon if you work in a home office or self-employed, you can end work at 3 pm

However, you can enjoy your dinner with the family.

You need to cook once a day at most in short, OMAD sets new standards for intermittent fasting simplicity. When you no longer need to plan a day around meals, new worlds will open up.

When it is about dietary rules, simple is better. And OMAD is possibly the most straightforward fasting strategy around.

Regain control about eating habits and not the other way round.


Promotes Type II Diabetes

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Genetics, obesity, and poor lifestyle are principal reasons for type 2-diabetes. Researchers observed that patients with type-2 diabetes who followed seasonal fasting were able to decrease weight, had calorie reduction, and decrease glucose, and control insulin levels post meals.

As intermittent fasting has been indicated to enhance insulin sensitivity, individuals with a BMI over 25, type-2 diabetes, or prediabetes who are not on medications for reducing blood sugar can try it.


Benefits to Protect The Heart

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The best part of periodic fasting is that it serves to lower visceral fat and decrease bad cholesterol, which in turn, advances heart health.


Hinders Weight Regain

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This is what keeps intermittent fasting and the OMAD diet aside from another diet. Of course, weight loss is a journey with more ups and downs. But if your balance going on the OMAD diet 2-times a week, you will be less inclined to regain the weight you lost.


Energizes You

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Indeed, discontinuous fasting will keep you invigorated for the day. The fundamental justification for this is that as you dispose of the irritation instigating fat stores, your body begins working better. This, thusly, helps keep your cells dynamic and brings down your weakness levels.


Does Not Deprive You

When you are following the OMAD diet, you will not experience deprivation. You will have a nutritious, filling, and tasty meal that will prevent junk food addiction. You have to follow the food to avoid list so that you do not need to be at risk of kidney, liver, and heart.


It Is Amazingly Cheap

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If you begin with OMAD, you will see one thing: The sudden reduction in weekly grocery bills.

Do the following expressions of common wisdom seems familiar to you?

You must consume eat at least 6-times a day.

Eat many small meals to reduce weight

Snacks are good and healthy for weight loss

Never avoid breakfast

If many meals a day boost something, then it is the revenue of the food industry. Do you love to pre-cook many times a day? Sooner or later, because of less time, people will choose to processed food substitutes.

Therefore, one meal a day not only comfortable but also affordable.

Accordingly, you will soon know that one natural meal a day does not expensive because the real cost drives are snacks and other ready-made food.

In comparison to other diets, OMAD also provides the benefit that you do not need to eat expensive food all day. Grass-fed and organic products are desirable, but expensive for everybody.


Boosts Productivity

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OMAD diet helps to meet the urge. One of the purposes for this is that with the fasting time, the adrenaline increasing raise, we do not become tired.

Nature has predicted mechanisms for meal scarcity. Because it is much more in the interest of nature that we can then go and search for food to survive, the body raises specific hormone secretion, which also promotes metabolism.


Fasting Promotes Autophagy

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Fasting triggers autophagy, a natural cleansing method that restores broken cell components with new and drains toxins from the body. Accordingly, autophagy is one of the health benefits of fasting.

Since fasting helps to detox, it also prevents diabetes, cancer, liver, and autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, it helps to slow down the again process and better for longevity than the normal 16/8 intermittent fasting.

It Improves Basal Metabolic Rate

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Scientists have shown that more time fasting promotes the basal metabolic rate a long time back. Hence, that fasting slows down metabolism is a myth. As already given, the body increases hormones like adrenaline and the growth of human hormones during periods of fasting.

Therefore, your body stimulates metabolism to be able to search for food for a longer time. And this raises the ability for fat burning for energy.


OMAD Diet Increases Insulin Sensitivity

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Because of the flawed definition of a healthy and western diet, insulin resistance is affecting almost pandemic proportions. Since particularly refined carbohydrates and sugars activate the storage hormone insulin production, astronomically high insulin levels are the result.

The body saves itself from hormonal threat by lowering the insulin sensitivity of the cells. However, insulin resistance refers to that the body requires to secrete even more insulin for induing vital functions. As a result, the risk of chronic ailment dramatically increase like



Diabetes and cancer

Cardiovascular diseases

Metabolic syndrome and obesity


Fasting records are an effective treatment for insulin resistance, but its effects have been known for more than 100 years.

Furthermore, recent research shows that intermittent fasting can be a safe cure for insulin resistance.

Research shows that a regular OMAD diet can manage insulin sensitivity and not just lower insulin levels.

Science shows that the Intermittent fasting technique can change insulin resistance and even type-2 diabetes, which diet alone commonly can not.


OMAD Benefits to Build Muscle

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Opposite to what most people think, fasting does not atrophy the muscles.

An essential reason why our body goes under ketosis is to save muscle mass. Many of the metabolic pathways focus on saving muscle at all costs. The misconception that fasting lower muscle mass increase because if we fast for more time, protein is broken down and changed into glucose. However, this not muscle protein.

However, this is not the protein of muscle. In opposite, the body focuses on defective proteins of the intestinal mucosa, and skin, which need to replace.

Hence, to save lean mass, your body releases the counter-regulatory hormones.

One of this human growth hormones or somatropin. During fasting, the release of the growth hormone reaches peak levels to make sure that you do not lose muscle. Therefore, OMAD saves not only lean mass but also bone mass.

Accordingly, fasting is one of the efficient natural growth hormone activators. In short, fasting is anabolic biohacking. Therefore, exercise, fasting, and fish or meat are effective combinations for building muscles.

They provide the following things to build muscle mass:

Growth hormone



Healthy fats

In your 23 hours OMAD fasting time, growth hormone is high and the body can stimulate muscle protein more specifically.

Like autophagy, this renewal process builds muscles more robust than before.


Improve Memory and Cognition

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Fasting is a sign to the body that no food is perceived. Counter to popular thought, your body does not shut down as a result.

For example, it turns on the turbo boost. As a result, the body excites the sensitive nervous system, loosens adrenaline, growth hormone, and cortisol.

In short, the body pushes as much energy as possible into your bloodstream to fuel running food. Hence, adrenaline, cortisol, and growth hormone make us seek food.

Therefore, several individuals report more cognition and focus during fasting.

Accordingly, one research discovered no decrease in activity and cognition in subjects, although they are almost nothing for 2-days.

Furthermore, the primary reason for the productivity drop in the afternoon is the breaking of the fast. Because eating makes the body unwind, the sharpened focus sinks.

Additionally, fasting raises the brain-derived neurotrophic factor, even enhance cognitive function.

Since BDNF is a neural growth hormone, it is responsible for the formation of the neuron in the brain. Therefore, high BDNF levels are linked with more intelligence, memory, and mood. When you release BDNF, your brain can create new nerve connections. For this reason, fasting can increase memory and prevent Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

One Meal a Day: Dos and Don’ts

Every diet plan has its own rules that one needs to follow to gain increased health benefits. And when it is regarding weight loss, you need to be extra cautious about what you eat. Whether you opt for a keto diet, OMAD diet, or Low carb diet, you need to read their guidelines properly before starting it.


Stay hydrated

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Eat only once when you are following the OMAD diet, but that does not mean that you will not even have water for the remaining day. Stay hydrated to lose weight. Therefore, drink more water. You can even have tea, coffee, and other calorie-free drinks when following this diet.


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Dieting is important for weight loss, but working out is equally essential. One meal a day diet works best when combined with a strength training workout. Workout while fasting promotes performance and overall strength.

Eat all food groups

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During the OMAD diet, you can eat only once a day, but you have to fill your food plate with all types of foods. Eating protein or carbs will not help. Instead, make healthy food choices and add food from all the food groups. I will fulfill the need for vitamins and nutrients in the body.

Avoid junk food

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You are indeed free to consume whatever you like in the eating window, but remember that it should not consist of junk food. Even the OMAD diet suggests making healthy food choices. Therefore, cookies, shun fries, and sugary foods during this diet.


Stop if feeling sick

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If you are feeling sick during following this diet plan then stop instantly. Following the diet even when feeling sick can make your condition worse. In case you are feeling weak, dizzy, or feeling headaches, then eat something.

Do not follow this diet if you are experiencing medical health.

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If you are experiencing diabetes or another severe medical health state, then do not follow this diet without your physician’s permission. Fasting can change the blood sugar level and harm your health.


Since the human body responds differently to different diets, you must talk to your physician or a registered dietitian before following the OMAD diet. Furthermore, pregnant women and lactating females should avoid this diet.

The Science Behind The One-Meal-A-Day Diet

A less extreme type of intermittent fasting that makes a 4-8hours eating window indicated to improve glucose tolerance, help weight loss, and promote insulin sensitivity. Yet, eating one large meal can cause the opposite effect of dieting in the first place.

According to one study in Journal-Nutrition-Reviews from 2015 caution against the extreme diet like OMAD because it can lead to abnormal appetite and fat percentage of the body beyond where you were when you began the diet.

This diet can make you sick and weak. You may do overeating, which can cause a surge of insulin and make feel unwell.



Can I eat any Food on OMAD?

Technically you can eat any food during OMAD. But since it is a fasting method, it works best with a less carb diet like keto. These methods target body fat for energy.

Is One Meal A Day Diet Help In Weight Loss?

Eating one meal a day is a good way to burn body fat for energy because you will fast 23 hours a day. Therefore, you can reduce weight on this diet.

To conclude, the OMAD diet is an effective and refreshing diet that prevents weight gain and result oriented. Nothing better than any diet that benefits to control weight loss. Therefore, take your physician’s advice, restock your kitchen and refrigerator and improve health.

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