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Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss: The OMAD Diet

My post and video Top 7 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight on OMAD is my most popular one hands down. It is obvious that people are looking for more information about the OMAD diet (or One Meal A Day). For this reason, I decided to expand more on OMAD for Weight Loss. In this post, I will talk about how to combine Keto and OMAD for weight loss, how to make sure you get enough calories on OMAD, and how long you should do OMAD for weight loss.

What is OMAD?

OMAD stands for One Meal A Day. It is a method of intermittent fasting that typically requires you to eat all your daily calories within an hour time frame after fasting for 23 hours. I have heard some experts recommend you fast for 24 hours before your one-hour eating window, but I don’t recommend this.

Intermittent Fasting Without Keto

I have talked about that many times before, so I am not going to dwell on it, but I want to mention for the sake of my newbie friends that OMAD is one of the best intermittent fasting methods to achieve ketosis without eating keto. If you are interested in learning more about how intermittent fasting without keto works, read my post Intermittent Fasting Without Keto: Why It Works.

How Intermittent Fasting Without Keto Works

OMAD is excellent to achieve ketosis without keto because of its longer fasting window (23 hours each day). The keto diet helps you achieve ketosis because you eat very little glucose. When your body runs out of glycogen, it starts using your fat cells to produce ketones. Being in ketosis helps you lose weight by reducing your appetite. When you fast, the same thing happens, but simply because you are not eating at all. That’s why you can get the benefits of ketosis and not count carbs while intermittent fasting.

Keto and OMAD for Weight Loss

Even though it is not essential to eat keto to see results on OMAD, many combine keto and OMAD for weight loss. If you want to jump in OMAD and have never been in ketosis before (through fasting or the keto diet), it could be a good idea. Consider the following points to decide if you want to combine OMAD and keto or not:

  • Achieving ketosis will make your fasting hours a lot easier. When your body runs on ketones rather than glucose, you notice that you feel less hungry.
  • If you have already been in ketosis through the keto diet or fasting, you are now more metabolically flexible. This means that depending on what kind of fasting experience you have, you probably will need only one day to adjust to your new lifestyle and achieve ketosis right away. In which case, the keto diet is not essential.
  • If you have never been in ketosis, it may be a bit harder to fast at first. In which case, you may want to eat keto for a few days before getting started.

If you want to go deeper in ketosis, you can always do both keto and OMAD for weight loss, but it is not essential.

How to Know If Your Are in Ketosis

With experience, you will be able to tell if you are in ketosis just by the way you feel. However, if you are just getting started, it may be a good idea to get a ketone monitor to help keep you motivated (when you see the numbers going up, it can help). My favorite ketone monitor is the Keto Mojo. It’s easy to use, affordable and you can use it to measure your glucose level as well. My affiliate link will give you 15% off, enjoy!

Should I Try OMAD for Weight Loss

If you look online, you will find that OMAD is called extreme dieting by some Websites. It is actually not that extreme. It just makes it easier to get that calorie deficit needed for weight loss. If you have been struggling to lose weight, OMAD may be the solution you have been looking for.

However, if you are new to fasting, it might be able to increase your fasting window gradually to make the project more doable. My favorite method to get started with is the Warrior Diet. For months, I stuck with it and it allowed me to reach my weight goal. I found that some days, my fasting window would just naturally get longer (up to 22 hours) without even me trying.

Read Why You Should Consider the Warrior Diet for Weight Loss for more info.

How to Get Enough Calories on OMAD

The easiest way to get enough calories on OMAD is to fill up on calorie-dense healthy fats. I have a salad that I love to make that is around 1,000 calories because of all the healthy fats in it like olive oil, avocado, hemp hearts, and olives. It’s actually pretty easy to get enough calories. It’s also why some people don’t lose weight even on OMAD.

Here’s the screenshot from MyFitnessPal:

Can You Gain Weight on OMAD?

It’s hard to gain weight on OMAD, but it’s possible if you stuff yourself with junk food during your hour-long eating window. However, you could find that you are not losing weight on OMAD. Let’s say you make the salad I shared with you and eat 200 grams of chicken breast with it. Then, you treat yourself with a nice keto dessert. You could easily eat close to 2000 calories that way. If you were to do that every single day, you could even gain weight on OMAD. Many women need around 1,500 calories a day to maintain their weight. Eating 1,600 calories a day would cause them to gain almost one pound a month.

How Long Should You Do OMAD

You can stay on OMAD until you achieve your weight loss goal. Or you can do it for a while and see how you feel. Alternate with other intermittent fasting methods like the Eat-Stop-Eat method or Alternate Day Fasting. Just make sure you don’t move on to eating three square meals a day as soon as you reach your weight loss goal. Take your time while you increase your eating window again. Do it gradually and see if you tend to gain weight back. Listen to the signals your body is sending you.

OMAD Meal Prep

Eating once a day is a surefire way to reduce your meal prep time. You can keep it simple with a salad and a protein, or you can try various recipes if you like spending time in the kitchen and experimenting with foods. If you have a busy schedule, you will find that having to think about what to eat only once a day takes a lot off your plate (haha, pun intended).

OMAD for Weight Loss

In Summary

The OMAD diet is an excellent option for weight loss. It will help you decrease inflammation, reduce your appetite, and make sure you don’t consume too many calories. Just make sure you eat enough calories from nutrient-dense foods that will nourish your body. Lastly, once you reach your goal weight and stop with OMAD, extend your eating window slowly and see what happens. Don’t get back to eating three square meals a day plus snacks and expect to stay the same weight.