From the popularity of my posts, I can see that you all want more information on the OMAD Diet. In this post, I decided to go through some of the main one meal a day health benefits.
One Meal A Day Health Benefits: How Intermittent Fasting Can Change Your Life
One benefit of going through the health benefits of the One Meal A Day (OMAD) Diet is that it will help keep you motivated when the going gets rough. However, if after a month or two, you just can’t see yourself doing this intermittent fasting method long term, you may need to consider other options. I will talk about that in the next section of this blog post.
1. Ketosis Without Keto
The ketogenic diet is all the rage right now. No wonder why! When your body runs on ketones for fuel, you feel amazing! More energy, more focus, better sleep are some of the benefits that many experience. However, this extreme low carb diet is not for everyone. Many women will find that it affects their hormonal health long term and that it is too restrictive to keep up.
How Long You Need to Fast to Achieve Ketosis
Did you know that intermittent fasting alone can be enough to achieve ketosis? Feel great and lose weight by going in and out of ketosis each day! Once you have been in ketosis, it is easier to get back in. Keep that in mind. The first time around, you may need to fast longer. With practice, you will notice you are in mild ketosis (0.5 mmol/l) around lunch. By dinnertime, you will most likely notice that your ketone level is over 1 mmol/L. This should be enough to help regulate your appetite and help you feel amazing!
Read my post Step-By-Step Protocol to Fasting and Women’s Health for more information on how women can fast and practice the ketogenic diet safely.
If you don’t already have a ketone monitor, check out this affiliate link for the Keto Mojo. It will offer you a 15% discount. You can use the Keto Mojo to measure your ketone and your blood sugar levels.
2. Intestinal Stem Cell Repair
An ever-increasing number of studies point to the importance of gut health. Gut health affects your mood, your sleep, your metabolism, allergies, and pretty much everything else. That is why the fact that fasting helps promote intestinal stem cell repair is so exciting.
How Long to Fast to Heal Your Gut
The exact number of hours you need to fast to start the process of intestinal stem cell repair will vary from one person to the next, but some studies point to a 24-hour fast. For this reason, Dr. Mindy recommends that you practice the OMAD diet by fasting for 24 hours and eating during one hour after. This method will move your one-hour window each day. Of course, there is no way to know for sure how long YOU need to fast to see some intestinal stem cell regeneration, but I suspect that 23 hours would be enough to get some of the benefits. It’s up to you to set your own OMAD schedule, but that’s something to consider.
3. Fewer Calories Without Counting Calories
One of the main benefits of intermittent fasting is the fact that it helps you lose weight almost effortlessly by naturally decreasing your calorie consumption. The problem is, many people try intermittent fasting for weight loss and think it doesn’t work because they only try the 16:8 method. Although the 16:8 method has many health benefit, it is easy to eat too much during an 8-hour window, so you may not see the weight loss you are hoping for.
The OMAD method, on the other hand, is incredibly effective for weight loss as it will be pretty hard to eat too much during a one-hour window.
Read my post Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss: the OMAD Diet to learn exactly how you can make sure you experience all the One-Meal-A-Day Benefits.
4. Greater Food Freedom
Hand-in-hand with fewer calories comes food freedom. Of course, I always advocate a nutrient-dense whole food diet, but it is nice to treat yourself to some of your favorite “treats” without feeling guilty because you worry they will hijack your weight loss efforts. One of the many One-Meal-A-Day benefits is that overeating during your one-hour window is so difficult, you will most likely be able to enjoy the foods you want without guilt. Moreover, the fasting will reduce cravings and regulate your appetite.
Most women lose at least 3 lbs a month on the OMAD diet. If after a month, you don’t see any weight loss, consider reading my post Top 7 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight on OMAD.
5. Improved Insulin Sensitivity
When you don’t eat, your body doesn’t need to produce insulin. This comes with many health benefits, including reducing your blood sugar and certain heart disease risk factors like your LDL cholesterol. High blood sugar is due to your body not being able to effectively transport from your blood to your cells. Fasting helps improve your insulin sensitivity, which means it helps your body become more efficient in processing sugar.
Insulin resistance is associated with many health problems some more serious than others. Most of us as we age become somewhat insulin resistant. We may experience poor sleep, lack of energy, and food cravings. However, on a more serious level, insulin resistance may cause heart attack, stroke, cancer, kidney disease, and eye problems.
6. Better Sleep
Fasting for at least 12 hours a day will help improve your circadian rhythm, which means deeper and better sleep. It’s a good idea to avoid eating at least 3 hours before bedtime. Not only will this help improve your sleep but it will help eliminate late-night food cravings with time and practice.
Routine eating patterns help your body adopt a consistent sleeping schedule and may reduce nighttime awakenings.
7. More Energy, Greater Focus, and Productivity
It’s obvious that better sleep will help improve your energy, focus, and productivity. However, there is more to it. Your improved insulin sensitivity as well as your body running on ketones will also contribute to these benefits. Moreover, fasting helps your body create more brain cells.
Intermittent Fasting and Neurogenesis
One particular study showed that intermittent fasting stimulated the production of new brain cells or neurogenesis. It goes hand it hand with the observation that fasting stimulates autophagy. Your body repairs and regenerates itself when you fast, and that includes brain cells.
Not only does fasting increase the rate of neurogenesis, but it also boosts the production of a protein called BDNF. BDNF boosts memory, improves your mood, and helps you learn faster.
8. Reduced Inflammation
Not only fasting is associated with a reduction in inflammation markers like the C-Reactive protein, but it also helps strengthen your immune function.
How OMAD Improves Your Immune Function
Fasting for roughly a day increases your T-Cells’ effectiveness in killing pathogens and cancerous cells. Fascinating, right Furthermore, fasting decreases white blood cell counts and, in turn, stimulates the production of new white blood cells.
9. Promotes Longevity
Switching from glucose to ketones for fuel is one of the main mechanisms behind the benefits of intermittent fasting on health, aging, and disease.
Longer fasts (2 days or more) enhance human growth hormone (HGH) secretion. However, a lower body fat percentage also helps increase human growth hormone production, which hopefully will be one of the One-Meal-A-Day benefits you will achieve. Studies have shown that abdominal fat in particular decreases HGH production.
Lastly, fasting aids cellular repair and improves metabolic health, which will contribute to improved longevity.
What to Do If the OMAD Diet Isn’t Working
If you are not experiencing the benefits you were hoping for after one month on the OMAD Diet, here’s what I recommend:
- Do a modified fast. As you know, I am a big proponent of modified fasting a few times a year. When I use the term “modified fasting” it refers to a fast that includes plant-based nutrient-dense foods and severely restricts calories to promote autophagy. Check out my easiest and simplest meal plan here.
- Troubleshoot OMAD. You may want to look into some possible factors that could contribute to your lack of results. To help with that, you can read Top 7 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight on OMAD.
- Experiment with other forms of intermittent fasting. OMAD is not the best intermittent fasting method. In fact, there is no best intermittent fasting method. You need to try various methods until you find what works for you. Read How to Decide Which Intermittent Fasting Method is Best for You.
One Meal A Day Health Benefits Video
Most of the One-Meal-A-Day benefits we just talked about apply to any type of intermittent fasting. However, OMAD has the added advantage of a longer fast, which often mean more time for your body to heal and repair. It’s not to say that OMAD is the right intermittent fasting method for you. Make sure you listen to your body, see how you feel, and keep experimenting.