OMAD Diet – One Meal a Day Diet

April 25, 2024 8 mins to read
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This is a complete guide to the One Meal a Day – OMAD Diet. Everything you need to know to start the diet is contained here. The OMAD (One Meal a Day) diet is a straightforward diet and involves eating all your calories in a single meal, typically within a one-hour window. Benefits Include weight-loss, improved insulin sensitivity and gut health, as well as reduced inflammation, cellular repair and it promotes longevity. The composition of the 1 meal you eat and ensuring adequate nutrient intake is important. Integrating nutrient dense foods & supplements is key!

ATTENTION! This diet is an extreme form of calorie restriction, and therefore should only be done under the advisement of a professional to ensure adequate nutrient intake. Book a virtual appointment to get started on the OMAD diet.

OMAD DIET | Meal Time

As long as you wait at least an hour after waking, and 2 hours before bed, you can eat the meal virtually whenever you want…you may want to adjust for your lifestyle…For example you may want to wait until you are home to prepare the meal there. Or if you have a job that is physically demanding, you may want to bring a big meal to eat at your lunch during work. Find what works for you.

Eat the one meal (almost) whenever you want…just not too close to bed. And it’s best if it’s not as soon as you wake up, because when you wake, your body raises glucose to provide you with energy in a phenomenon known as the dawn effect.

OMAD DIET | Start Slow

If you’re new to fasting, ease into the OMAD Diet by gradually reducing your eating frequency. Start by skipping one meal per day, or reducing snacking and then gradually progress to one meal a day. Don’t get discouraged if you slip up…we all do. Just pick it back up the next day. If you have difficulty sticking to a diet or want more help and support, book a virtual appointment with a health coach!

OMAD DIET | Stay Hydrated

During the fasting period you can drink water and tea. Herbal teas are an opportunity to add nutrition and get even more health benefits! Burdock root tea is nutrient dense and a great option for fasting. Carbonated spring water can help when you’re really hungry!

Supercharge Fasting with Herbal Teas

Here is a list of some of the most nutrient dense teas, including some from alternative medicine, Chinese medicine, ayurvedic medicine and some lesser known exotic teas; remember to get organic whenever possible:

  1. Burdock Root Tea: Supports liver health, aids digestion, and improves skin conditions like acne and eczema.
  2. Moringa Tea: Rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, moringa tea offers numerous health benefits including improved immune function, reduced inflammation, and enhanced energy levels.
  3. Green Tea (Chinese Medicine): Boosts brain function, aids weight loss, lowers heart disease risk, and has a calming effect.
  4. Matcha Green Tea (Ceremonial Grade – Organic): Provides sustained energy, concentration support, and relaxation due to its unique blend of antioxidants and L-theanine, while also aiding in detoxification, metabolism, and cognitive function.
  5. Tulsi (Holy Basil) Tea (Ayurvedic Medicine): Reduces stress, boosts immunity, and supports respiratory health.
  6. Chamomile Tea (Traditional Medicine): Calms nerves, promotes relaxation, aids digestion, relieves stress, and improves sleep quality.
  7. Butterfly Pea Flower Tea: Known for its vibrant blue color, butterfly pea flower tea is high in antioxidants and may support cognitive function, promote healthy hair and skin, and aid digestion.
  8. Guayusa Tea: Native to the Amazon rainforest, guayusa tea is high in antioxidants and contains caffeine. It provides a smooth and sustained energy boost without the jitters and crashes associated with coffee, making it an excellent choice for sustained focus and alertness.

Add Electrolytes

Electrolyte balance can be a bit of an issue on a one meal a day diet…During fasting periods or extended periods between meals, electrolyte levels can become depleted through sweat, urine, and other bodily functions. This can lead to symptoms like fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, and dizziness. Some of the symptoms of electrolyte imbalance (deficiency) include:

  1. Muscle Issues: Weakness, cramps, or spasms.
  2. Fatigue: Feeling overly tired.
  3. Heartbeat Changes: Irregular or fast heartbeat.
  4. Stomach Problems: Nausea or vomiting.
  5. Confusion or Brain Fog: Difficulty thinking clearly.
  6. Headaches: Pain in the head.
  7. Dizziness: Feeling unsteady.
  8. Thirst: Feeling very thirsty.
  9. Tingling or Numbness: Strange sensations in the body.

Supplementing daily (sodium, potassium and magnesium) can be beneficial, because electrolytes help maintain: proper hydration, nerve function, muscle function, and overall body balance. You can get an electrolyte drink mix like Dr. Wallachs ElectroFuel, or you can go more natural by simple adding a pinch of celtic sea salt or baja gold sea salt to a glass of water once per day; probably the more affordable solution long-term.

OMAD DIET | Plan Your Meal

In order to pack all your calories into a single meal and still satisfy your nutrient needs, include nutrient dense foods like grass-fed meats, healthy fats, complex carbs and adequate fiber. Protein takes longer to digest which means you feel full longer, so try to make sure your meal includes lot’s of protein and healthy fats. You have a one hour eating window – if you want to snack then make it healthy! Snack on things like mixed nuts, or even hard boiled eggs; easy to batch prepare ahead of time.

Add Nutrient Dense Superfoods

In order to ensure adequate nutrient intake, add in super-foods like (organic) moringa, spirulina, organ meats (beef liver especially), organic eggs, wild caught fish, etc. Supplements are also very useful, and can fit all budgets. As a nutrition professional, one of my go to supplements for clients on the OMAD diet is a Dr. Wallachs plant mineral complex (100% all-natural) which contains roughly 72 of the 91 essential nutrients vital for optimal health.

Make It Tasty

I really like the idea of motivating and rewarding yourself for sticking to the diet! The last time I did the OMAD diet, I ordered all the ingredients I needed to make a giant healthy grass-fed bison burger myself for my one meal, cut it up and put it in containers in the fridge. So all I had to do was pop a few frozen burgers into the oven wait 30 minutes and it only took me 5 minutes to make my burger. I gave myself an extra little treat like some dark chocolate or yogurt with berries for desert.

OMAD DIET | Meal Prep

Prepare meals ahead of time to ensure adequate nutrition and resist the temptation of fast food or takeout, when you get hungry. Here are a few quick tips for meal prep success:

  1. Plan Ahead: Take a few minutes to plan your meals and make a grocery list.
  2. Batch Cooking: Cook big batches of basics like grains and proteins for easy mixing and matching.
  3. Storage Solutions: Get good containers for portioning and storing meals.
  4. Prep Ingredients: Wash, chop, and portion out ingredients ahead of time.
  5. Keep it Simple: Stick to easy recipes with fewer ingredients for quicker prep and cooking.

Hunger Pains and Poop

Hunger can say a lot about your current health status…if hunger pains are extreme, things like parasites or fungal overgrowth may be the culprit! This is because candida feeds off sugar, and parasites leeach nutrients from the food you eat; they can figuratively hijack your hormones to make you more hungry! Book a virtual appointment to work with a nutrition expert to test for these & fix if necessary. Your bowel movements & stool can provide insights into your gut health; Check out the Bristol Stool Chart!

Journaling and Tracking

Use a journal to Track: how you feel, your energy levels, hunger levels, bowel movements and any changes in your body composition or overall health. This can provide insights into your health issues, and is incredibly valuable info, especially helpful if you’re working with a nutritionist, dietician, naturopath or health coach! You can purchase my Printable Food Journal in my Shop. It has all the prompts already there, making it easy for you to track all the important stuff, everyday.

OMAD Diet Printable PDF

Conclusion

The OMAD Diet is not that complicated; it’s simply only eating one meal per day! The tricky part is ensuring your meals leave you filling full, and still meet your nutritional requirements…That way you don’t feel unwell or get sick, and are encouraged, rather then discouraged, to stick to the diet plan…at least until you reach your health goals. I highly recommend you book a virtual appointment to work with a professional, it makes the diet a lot easier, and gives you the tools to be successful.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any health care agency or government entity in Canada or the United States.

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