For the vast majority of people, eating less often is more beneficial than doing it more frequently. Both in terms of the physiological effects as well as the advantages in your daily life. These one meal a day benefits will blow your mind.
Enter One Meal a Day (OMAD)
One meal a day (OMAD) is a nutritional strategy that involves eating only once during the 24-hour cycle. Although it can be effectively used for fat loss, it’s not necessarily a diet but a life-style plan.
OMAD is based on intermittent fasting (IF), which is a tool for dissecting your day into 2 periods:
- Feeding window – the time period during which you consume calories and now they’re circulating the blood stream. On IF this period is limited usually somewhere between 2-8 hours.
- Fasting window – the time period during which you abstain from consuming any calories which puts you into a fasted state. This makes up the majority of the day.
The OMAD diet takes IF to its daily maximum capacity and pushes your fasting window until 22-23 hours and limits the eating phase to 1-2 hours, or just one meal a day.
The Effects of Fasting
Abstaining from eating unleashes a chain reaction of metabolic processes that trigger profound physiological adaptations that improve our health, increase fat burning and give us more energy.
Intermittent Fasting Reduces:
- Oxidative stress and inflammation throughout the body
- Potential cancer and tumor growth
- Blood pressure and blood sugar levels
- Triglycerides and LDL cholesterol
- Risk of heart and neurodegenerative disease
- The feeling of hunger
- Excess body fat because of increased fat oxidation
- Diabetes and insulin resistance
Intermittent Fasting Improves:
- Insulin sensitivity and IGF-1 – It makes you tolerate more carbohydrates and allows you to regulate your blood sugar levels a lot better.
- Human Growth Hormone (HGH) – After 14-18 hours of fasting it does so by an astonishing 1300-2000%[i].
- Metabolic rate – Your metabolism speeds up by 3-14%[ii]., not slows down, as is popular belief.
- Nutrient partitioning – You’ll absorb your nutrients more efficiently and increase protein synthesis because the body perceives fasting as a starvation signal, although the two are completely different.
- Fat burning and oxidation. You’ll utilize your own body fat for fuel at the expense of preserving more muscle.
- Cellular repair and detoxification. The process called ‘autophagy’ clears waste and protects your cells against malignant tumor factors. A short fast has profound effects on neuronal autophagy[iii].
- Mental clarity and focus. You improve your concentration and mental abilities because of increased BDNF levels[iv].
- Neurogenesis and neural plasticity. You will create more brain cells that protects against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This is also closely connected with increased mental power.
- Mitochondrial density and function. It allows you to produce more energy and do it more efficiently. You’ll feel constantly energized without having eaten anything.
One Meal a Day Benefits
But those effects mentioned above can be achieved on any other fasting protocol. However, there are some unique benefits characteristic to just OMAD.
- It’s SIMPLE. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to practice OMAD – all you do is… eat one meal a day. Once you get used to it after a few days, you’ll be amazed of how effortless it is to simply not eat.
- You save a lot of TIME. Another reason why we should eat less often. Imagine how much time you’re spending on prepping food, cooking meals, cleaning up and actually eating. A lot I would imagine. Doing it once a day is incredibly time-efficient.
- IT’S FREE. You don’t need to pay anyone to cook your meals or spend a lot of money on groceries every single day. OMAD is very cheap because you’ll be eating only as much as you need while still being able to improve your health and performance.
Burn calories not cash. #tweet that @inthevanguard
- You can eat a lot of food. Nevertheless, on OMAD you’re going to have massive meals. Because you still need energy, you’ll be consuming many calories in one go. This makes maintaining and losing weight effortless because you don’t have to deprive yourself from some of your favourite foods.
- Enjoy an occasional splurge and indulgence. Dieting doesn’t mean you have to necessarily give up your favourite foods. Thanks to the medicinal benefits of fasting, you can easily have your cake and eat it too while still getting away with it.
One Meal a Day Ketosis
OMAD can work with any diet program because the main premise is eating only one meal a day. However, the best and healthiest way to do intermittent fasting is to do it on a ketogenic diet.
While in a fasted state, your body shifts into ketosis, which shifts your body into burning fat and ketone bodies as its primary fuel source, instead of the default glucose.
Intermittent Fasting and Keto are actually two sides of the same coin and like a match made in heaven. They are physiologically almost identical but there are some unique characteristics unique solely to IF. That’s why by combining the two you put your body into its prime-primal state, in which you’re more energized, fully alert, burning fat at an exponential rate and optimizing your cellular integrity.
For OMAD to work on a ketogenic diet you would have to go through a period of keto-adaptation during which you reduce your carbohydrate intake to a bare minimum and gradually increase the length of your fasting window until you reach the point of just one meal a day.
One Meal a Day Keto Meal Plan
Starting to eat one meal a day on a keto diet right away without adapting to it initially can lead to a lot of discomfort and issues. Some of the symptoms include lightheadedness, fatigue, exhaustion, brain fog and muscle catabolism.
That’s why I recommend you to learn more about this topic before you jump in head first. This will make your life so much easier and enjoyable.
I myself have made many mistakes over the course of practicing IF for 5-6 years and Keto for nearly 2. Currently, I’m eating only one meal a day on a ketogenic menu and I’m better than ever before. Because I’m extremely efficient at burning my own body fat for fuel, I virtually never get hungry, experience muscle catabolism or tiredness. By combining these two strategies you can even fast for days without feeling any different.
To learn more about how to master the art of doing intermittent fasting on a ketogenic diet and to become the ultimate fat burning beast, check out my KETO // IF program. It teaches everything you need to know about how it works and includes a 21-day meal plan that takes you by the hand and leads you through the adaptation period by telling you what to eat, in what amounts and at what time.