My blog post/video Top 7 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight on OMAD (One Meal a Day) ranks among my most popular ones. Someone made a comment on the video last week and it gave me the idea to create this article about what to do when OMAD isn’t working. Here’s the comment:
True right? The 7 reasons cover pretty much everything! It’s hard to know what to try first and how to overcome a weight loss plateau when OMAD isn’t working.
Today, I am going to share three simple things you can try that should help.
What It Means When OMAD Isn’t Working
Before I give you my three simple steps, I just want to say a quick word about what it means when OMAD isn’t working. I have heard women say OMAD wasn’t working for them because they had lost only 5 lbs in a month!
I feel it’ important to make sure you have realistic expectations. Weight loss takes time, particularly if you are closer to your goal weight (20 lbs or less to lose). Losing 5 lbs in a month is amazing! Not losing any weight one month is perfectly normal too! If you are enjoying OMAD, and you don’t lose any weight one month, don’t worry about it! Just keep going! If you are struggling, feeling deprived, and not enjoying OMAD, try my suggestions.
I lost over 20 lbs during perimenopause over the course of one year using the Warrior Diet. I feel amazing and I know I will keep it off because I am in love with my new lifestyle. However, losing weight is a sustainable way is a long term project. Many months, I wouldn’t lose any weight. Then, one month, I would lose 4 or 5 lbs. My average was probably 2 lbs a month.
If you would like to learn more about my experience and losing weight using intermittent fasting, check out my Intermittent Fasting 101 Workshop.
3 Simple Things to Try When OMAD Isn’t Working
I promised I would give you simple solutions fast, so here we are. If you are not losing weight, and feel that OMAD just isn’t working for your, here’s what you can try:
1. Modified Fasting
I always recommend women start with a modified fast before experimenting with intermittent fasting. Have you been around on my site before? If so, you know what I mean by modified fasting. If not, let me just explain briefly:
Modified fasting is based on the Fasting Mimicking Diet by Dr. Valter Longo. It’s a 5-day fast that requires you to severely restrict your calorie intake. You will be consuming about 40 percent your regular calorie intake and follow a specific macronutrient ratio to induce autophagy, the process by which your body repairs itself.
I offer lots of meal plans on my Website to get started with a modified fast. My two favorites are my 5-Day Smoothie Detox and the Easiest and Simplest Meal Plan Ever. Plus, my 30-Day Intermittent Transformation Program comes with a full recipe book, quick and easy meal plan, and spreadsheet to create your own if you wish.
I suggest you put OMAD aside and focus on doing two or three modified fasts once a month (which means you will be doing this for 2-3 months). During the rest of the month, experiment with intermittent fasting if you wish, but take the pressure off yourself for a bit. Don’t try to adhere to a strict fasting window like the 23:1 method. If you don’t feel hungry until dinnertime, that’s fine, don’t eat. If you feel hungry, then do eat.
In my program, I have women start with the 20:4 method four days a week. I find that’s a good way to take some pressure off and learn to listen to your body as you are getting started with modified fasting and experimenting with intermittent fasting. The focus at first needs to be healing. Stop obsessing over the scale as much as possible. Plan your two or three modified fasts and be kind to yourself. You are doing something really amazing for your body.
How to Plan Your Two Modified Fasts
I have a few pointers to give you to help you facilitate your modified fasts:
- Make sure your 5-day modified fast is sometime during the first two weeks of your cycle. It’s easier to fast at the beginning of your cycle. Many women struggle with stronger food cravings after ovulation.
- Write down your two modified fast on the calendar and pick days that are free from social obligations as much as possible. Things come up, of course, and if that happens, explain what you are doing and bring your own food.
- Do the third modified fast only if you feel you need it. If you loved your two modified fasts and could tell it was just what you needed. Do it again. If you dreaded it a bit and found it very challenging, it’s ok, you don’t need to do a third one. Two is most likely enough.
- When you do your modified fasts, work on waiting longer before having your first meal. I find it helps a lot to eat later in the day. Since you are consuming much fewer calories, waiting to eat most of them later makes you feel more satisfied when you go to bed (I know many of us struggle with evening snacking, etc.)
2. Try a Different Intermittent Fasting Method
So, OMAD isn’t working and you are feeling deprived and miserable? Well, try another intermittent fasting method. That’s the beauty of intermittent fasting! There are so many ways to implement it! Not only, you can find a method that works for you, but you have the flexibility to change things up over time if you feel like one method is no longer making you feel your best. I found that most women who hit a plateau after doing OMAD for a while benefit from Alternate Day Fasting.
Whatever you do, give it some time. Be patient! Find a method that you enjoy and can envision yourself practicing for the rest of your life. Whatever intermittent fasting method helps you achieve your weight loss goal will have to become your new way of life.
3. Introduce Some Keto Cycles to Your Regimen
I generally don’t recommend women stay on the keto diet, although I know some women love it and experience great results with the keto diet. However, I generally suggest keto cycles rather than a long-term keto diet for women. The keto diet can be an effective tool to overcome a weight loss plateau, but I like to use it temporarily. When OMAD isn’t working, trying the keto diet may help.
By now, you have done two or three modified fasts and you are experimenting with intermittent fasting. If you would like to speed up your weight loss progress or still feel like you are struggling to lose weight, the keto diet can be helpful. Again, I would suggest you try it during the first two weeks of your monthly cycle. Do a one or two-week cycle each month. I even offer an easy 7-day meal plan to help you out.
I hope you found this article helpful! I know it can feel overwhelming and frustrating to put some much effort into weight loss and not see the results you are expecting to achieve. Please remember that weight loss is a journey that ultimately you are on for health reasons. We all want a hot summer body, but the true benefits of losing weight are to increase your longevity and your overall well-being. It takes time and patience. It’s a process. I am confident that if you nourish your body with whole foods, do 2-3 modified fasts each year, and add some keto cycles into your intermittent fasting regimen, you will start seeing exciting results.