Since I have been creating a fair amount of content around the OMAD Diet (One Meal A Day), like Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss: The OMAD Diet and Top 7 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight On OMAD, I thought it would be helpful to talk about the results women are getting using this intermittent fasting method.
What Is OMAD?
As a quick reminder, OMAD stands for One Meal A Day. This intermittent fasting method would be the equivalent of the 23:1 method, which means fasting for 23 hours and eating for one hour. Many people mistakingly use the term OMAD to refer to the Warrior Diet. Read Why You Should Consider Trying the Warrior Diet for Weight Loss.
Benefits of OMAD
I go into all the benefits of intermittent fasting in my post Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss: The OMAD Diet. However, I would like to highlight some added benefits specific to OMAD. First, it cuts down on food prep time. You need to prepare only one meal a day! Moreover, fasting for 24 hours has been shown to boost intestinal stem regeneration.
Your gut health affects every other aspect of your well-being, from mood to weight.
How I Created this Collection of Stories
I asked a group of women with lots of experience with fasting to tell me their stories if they had experience with OMAD. What I will share in this post are the responses I received. I have been doing the Warrior Diet myself, so I can’t speak from personal experience. However, I can tell you that the Warrior Diet has been allowing me to lose about one pound a week. Plus, I love how I have been feeling. I feel energetic, I don’t feel very hungry most days, and I enjoy the food freedom I get to have during my eating window. For more info, read Why You Should Consider the Warrior Diet for Weight Loss.
How Many Pounds Women Are Losing?
Generally speaking, confining all your eating to one hour will create a greater calorie deficit than having the ability to eat for 6-8 hours each day. So, most women are losing weight pretty fast on the OMAD diet. While I lose around one pound a week with the Warrior Diet, the average woman loses 2-3 pounds weekly on OMAD. One woman said she lost 3 lbs in a week when it normally takes her a month to lose that much. Another woman lost 30 lbs in her first month!
Do They Keep the Weight Off?
Some call the OMAD diet an extreme diet. I guess you could say it is. Eating only one meal a day is not for the faint of heart. And like with most extreme diets, it may help you achieve your goal weight, but you might also gain the weight back when you stop. That was true for some of the women who told me their stories. If you don’t want that to be your story, keep reading.
How to Start Increasing Your Eating Window After OMAD
If you want to maintain your weight loss results, you must increase your eating window gradually when you stop doing OMAD. In your first week, you could do the Warrior Diet (a four-hour eating window). Pay attention, and see if you are gaining any weight or inches. Don’t eat if you are not hungry. If you gain weight, be even more careful not to eat too much but keep the four-hour eating window. Stay there until your weight is stable. If you don’t gain any weight, congratulations! If you wish, you can move on to a six-hour eating window.
A Long-Term Success Story
One woman who interacted with me said she lost her extra weight 3 years ago! She is still at her goal weight and maintaining a BMI of 18! She is still doing the OMAD diet 3 years later, but she eats lots of calorie and nutrient-dense foods. The story serves as a good reminder that whatever you do to lose weight, you will have to keep doing it to maintain the weight loss.
How Do They Feel?
Most women feel amazing. Some women find they don’t perform as well during their workouts. That was also my experience when I started intermittent fasting. I think a lot of that could be attributed to not being metabolically flexible. If your body is used to using glucose for energy and nothing else, workouts will feel harder. With time, you will become more metabolically flexible and find that you can perform well during your workouts.
Some women experience some of the negative effects of fasting, like hair loss, low sex drive, or the interruption of their cycles. If that’s you, cycling is probably your best option. You could try to persevere with OMAD but include more carbs, as I talk about in my Step-by-Step Protocol for Women. You could also pick an intermittent fasting method with cycling, like the Eat-Stop-Eat Method or the 5:2 Method.
To learn more about your fasting options, don’t forget to watch my Intermittent Fasting 101 Workshop.
What About Menopausal Women?
Menopausal and perimenopausal women often have more difficulty losing weight. Furthermore, they tend to accumulate more belly fat. This is often caused by insulin resistance, which will be improved through fasting. There is no reason menopausal women cannot succeed with the OMAD diet. In fact, for many, it will be the answer they have been looking for.
How to Get Started With OMAD
If you are new to fasting and are considering doing OMAD, I recommend starting with some other forms of fasting to practice. I love the 5:2 Method for beginners. Other forms of modified fasting based on the work of Dr. Valter Longo are other excellent options. You could also start with the 10-Day Challenge Diet Plan or the Keto diet for 7 days. These options will help you become more metabolically flexible and make the OMAD Diet more achievable.
If you are ready to jump right in, here are a few pieces of advice I learned from the women who shared their stories with me:
- Focus on nutrient-dense foods, particularly healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocado, and vegetables.
- Make sure you eat enough calories, but not too many. I often recommend a calorie deficit of around 500 calories a day. Use My Fitness Pal if you need to. You can also determine your caloric need using an online calculator.
- Relax and enjoy the journey! Feeling deprived and unhappy about your lifestyle can only be detrimental. Make sure you enjoy whatever weight loss diet you do for the long haul.
- Experiment and experiment more. Keep in mind that you can always switch things around. Listen to your body and keep experimenting. For example, I started with modified fasting. Then, I did the 5:2 Method, the Eat-Stop-Eat Method, and the Warrior Diet. I don’t know what will be next. I might just maintain the Warrior Diet indefinitely, but that’s the whole point. Remain flexible!
OMAD Results Video
The OMAD diet may be the intermittent fasting method needed to achieve your weight loss goal fast. It comes with many benefits other than weight loss, and it’s a great way to completely makeover your health. Remember that no weight loss approach will help you keep the weight off if you go back to your old lifestyle, including OMAD. Moreover, although OMAD is effective for most women, some struggle to get the desired results. That’s why it’s important your remain consistent and persistent.