Are you interested in trying intermittent fasting with one meal a day? Do you want to know the benefits and drawbacks of the one-meal-a-day (OMAD) fast? This article will give you a general overview of this rising IF technique that thousands of people have turned to for successful results. Although it might not be suitable for all dieters, let’s dive into the specifics and find out if it’s right for you.
What Is the 23:1 Diet?
The rule is quite simple: eat one large meal in a one-hour eating window during the day. The other 23 hours are for fasting. Anyone familiar with intermittent fasting understands the timing restriction and what the general benefits are for IF. In this article, however, we’ll be focusing more on the effects of OMAD versus other forms of IF.
One thing to note is that many people use OMAD as an excuse to binge eat junk food. Sure, they still might lose weight. However, eating junk food only typically increases health issues and leads to micronutrient deficiencies that make supplements a necessity. It doesn’t have to be this way, though!
Fasting Once a Week vs. One Meal a Day
Some IF enthusiasts still like the alternate-day fasting (ADF) protocol once or twice a week for the benefits of a prolonged fast when compared to more moderate plans like 16:8.
The OMAD method will ensure that your calorie intake is lower. Those who only fast a couple of times a week usually eat a normal amount of calories on the other days.
While the weight loss rate for OMAD may be better than ADF, the former diet also opens you up to nutrient deficiencies since it’s hard to get everything you need in one hour.
Think of the fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean sources of protein, herbs, and spices that offer macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds you’ll miss out on while only eating once per day!
Pros of Intermittent Fasting With OMAD
The one-meal-a-day diet does have merit in that it is highly effective at restricting calories if you can handle 23 hours without eating. Here are the main benefits of OMAD over other forms of IF:
- Rapid weight loss
- Easy to combine with a ketogenic diet to induce ketosis quickly
- Less meal planning in general
- Easier meal prep
- Less time eating means more time for other activities
- Less dishwashing (seriously!)
Cons of Intermittent Fasting With OMAD
Like everything else in this world, OMAD is not perfect. It does come with a few drawbacks when compared to other fasting methods. Here are a few of the common problems:
- Inability to focus
- Nutrient deficiencies are probable
- Declined fitness performance
- Harder to adhere to
How Should You Implement OMAD?
So, there are some benefits and disadvantages to eating a 23:1 schedule. Intermittent fasting with one meal a day is great in moderation as a kickstart to a long-term weight loss program or a boost when you inevitably hit a plateau. It is useful when used intermittently, like ADF or 5:2 fasting.
Don’t expect to go on OMAD for long periods and expect perfect health and optimal levels of weight loss. The drastic cut in calories will lower your metabolism and reduce weight loss eventually unless you take breaks when needed.
Remember that you can bet the benefits of OMAD when you do it once a month. Even if you choose a very balanced meal, it’s not possible to cover all your nutritional needs with only one meal.
This is especially important if you have diabetes, eating disorders, or any other health problems. Before trying out such a radical change, always consult with your doctor.
- Intermittent fasting with one meal a day is effective at increasing rates of weight loss when compared to more moderate IF plans.
- There are plenty of pros and cons with OMAD, which have to be accounted for before using this dieting method.
- When used once a month as a part of a more balanced weight loss program, this is a day is a great tool.
- Just like everything else, this dietary type can be overused, and the benefits will diminish as the side effects increase.