OMAD diet: one meal a day to lose weight, does it work?

If you’re looking for a diet to help you achieve your health goals, chances are someone you know has told you that they practice intermittent fasting.

There are many ways to practice intermittent fasting, but the general idea is to set strict times when you don’t eat, and eat as you normally would outside of it. of fasting. You can choose to fast every other day and eat every other day. You can choose a “food window” each day and fast outside of that window. You can fast two days a week and eat normally the other five days, in an approach called “5:2 fasting.”

Today, a new type of fasting is gaining traction: the OMAD diet, for One Meal A Day or “one meal a day”. Simply put, the idea of ​​the OMAD diet is that you get all of your daily calories and nutrients in one meal a day.

What is than the OMAD diet?

On the OMAD diet, you are fasting, except when you eat your only daily meal. Overall, it is a time-restricted, calorie-restricted diet.

Generally speaking, OMAD is a version extreme fasting. For this reason, some experts may argue that consuming only one meal a day is unnecessary to reap the benefits of fasting.

How the OMAD Diet Works

The OMAD diet can be followed in two different ways: They can eat only one meal a day, or choose a short food window in which they consume one meal and limited snacks per day. But practicing the OMAD diet every day is not recommended, so some people practice a less extreme version of intermittent fasting (IF) on other days of the week. For example, a person can practice OMAD one or more days a week and then follow an IF program 18/8 (where she fasts for 16 hours and eats for 8 hours ) the rest of the week.

Is the OMAD diet safe?

This diet may be safe if it is is practiced correctly, and if you make sure you consume adequate calories and nutrients when you eat. Overall, JI diets (including more extreme versions, such as OMAD) are not likely to cause harm in adults who are of a healthy weight, overweight, or suffering from obesity.

But OMAD is a restrictive food approach that will not necessarily please everyone. If you’re following the OMAD, you’ll need to be careful not to overeat or binge on unhealthy foods during your main meal. You may also find it difficult to fit an entire day’s calorie intake into one large meal, or feel uncomfortably full after eating so much at one sitting. There is also a lack of research on the long-term effects of OMAD. Also, OMAD can be dangerous for certain groups of people. These include pregnant or breastfeeding women, young people under 16 years and people with eating disorders or with a history of eating disorders.

Another warning

If you are taking medications that must be consumed with food, reconsider OMAD. Not taking medications as prescribed could negatively affect absorbability and increase your risk of side effects. Examples of food-dependent medications include aspirin, some NSAIDs, some steroids.

This diet is also not recommended for people living with diabetes who take insulin should not follow this diet, as OMAD can affect blood sugar levels. In general, people with diabetes should eat balanced meals regularly throughout the day. Going for prolonged periods without eating can lead to harmful drops in blood sugar followed by subsequent spikes once a larger meal is inevitably consumed.

Finally, if you often have gastrointestinal problems intestinal (GI) problems, such as bloating or stomach pain, OMAD may not be right for you. This diet requires you to eat a lot of food at one time, which can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

OMAD Diet: Plan it Right

Yet many people who do not fall into these categories will decide to follow the OMAD diet. If you are one of these people, know that careful planning is essential. If you’re going to give it a try, you still need to make sure that you’re doing your best to eat a balanced, nutritious diet and that you’re still consuming enough calories for the day if you want to stay healthy. Fasting alone will not be beneficial if do not carefully construct the meals you eat during this time frame.

Always consult your physician before beginning any new regimen, particularly if you are managing an underlying health condition or taking medication, or if OMAD represents a drastic change in your way of eating.

If you’re interested in OMAD but haven’t tried other JI types yet, start slow, suggests Shapiro. “Start with a fast of 12 hours, then move to 14 Where 16 hours. Then try the OMAD diet for a few days once your body gets used to it.

What to eat while on the OMAD diet

The single meal you take on the OMAD diet may contain between 1 500 and 2 2020 calories or even more depending on your weight, height and health goals. It must not contain less than 1 60 calories.

The challenge is to ensure that all necessary food groups are present. To achieve this, fill your plate with whole grains, lean proteins (like fish, poultry, or tofu), vegetables, fruits, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Vegetables, fruits, grains and proteins should each make up about a quarter of your plate.

Here’s what your day might look like: a day where you follow a traditional diet and another for a balanced OMAD meal:

Traditional balanced diet

Breakfast: Flakes oats with berries and nuts

Lunch: Green leaves topped with quinoa, vegetables, avocado and chickpeas, all drizzled with a vinaigrette.

Snack: carrots, red pepper strips and hummus.

Dinner: Piece of salmon served with broccoli

Dessert: Dark chocolate


A meal, example of lunch:

1 turkey sandwich with 2 slices of white bread, 4 slices of turkey, 2 slices of cheese, half an avocado, lettuce and tomato.

2 boiled eggs

1 banana

1/3d e cup of dried fruit mix

1 smoothie with 1 cup of vegetables, 1 cup of berries, 2 tablespoons of almond butter, 1 /3 cup of raw oats, and an almond milk base

1 square of dark chocolate

A meal, example of dinner:

60g of fish , chicken, turkey or tofu

2 cups of cooked whole grains/starches (rice, pasta or potatoes)

2 cups of cooked vegetables

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 avocado

1 cup fresh fruit

1 cup Greek yogurt + 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Alleged benefits of eating one meal a day

There is not enough research on the health effects of eating just one meal a day. However, emerging research on intermittent eating provides some clues about the potential benefits of this type of diet. blood, reduce inflammation and lead to a ketogenic state in which your body burns fatty acids for energy, suggests a review by 16 studies published in August 2020 in The American Journal of Medicine. This may be particularly beneficial for heart health, as IF may help reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, and improve blood sugar control, the authors conclude after reviewing the human studies.

However, these findings come with important caveats. The authors point out that there are no large randomized controlled trials investigating how IF habits affect cardiovascular disease. They conclude that more research is needed, particularly to determine which specific diet is best and how long it takes to follow a diet to achieve these benefits.

Effect of OMAD on weight loss

If the program is followed correctly, you can lose weight with OMAD. You will see weight loss due to calorie restriction, healthier food choices, and proper use of energy,” says Shapiro.

But losing weight with OMAD n is not obvious. If you eat the wrong foods and consume unhealthy junk foods during your eating window instead of nutritious foods, it can be very unhealthy.

In a systematic review of 27 studies on the weight loss effect of JI, people lost from 0.8 to 13 percent of their body weight on this food plan, according to a February review 2020 in Canadian Family Physician. There are a few limitations. Most of these studies were generally short-term (less than six months in duration) and some had small numbers of participants.

Other types of FIs that may be safer

If you are determined to try JI, consider giving yourself a wider feeding window. Many people get great results with time-restricted eating, with windows of at 16 fasting hours, as this limits additional caloric intake while allowing your body to burn its own fat for fuel, and allows for balanced meals.

Other popular varieties of JI with wider feeding windows than OMAD include:

The 5:2 fast, where you eat normally for five days and then fast (or eat very few calories) for two days.

overnight fasting, where you stop eating after dinner and start eating again for breakfast the next morning (at least 12 hours later)

Alternate fasting, where you alternate fasting days and non-fasting days.


The OMAD diet may be a very It’s popular to practice Intermittent Fasting (IF), but it’s not a surefire way to achieve your health goals or improve your health issues. The most important thing is that you listen to your body’s needs. Find a diet that works for you. Make sure he has fits your lifestyle. If OMAD makes you feel good, keep going, but make sure you do it in the healthiest way possible.

Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES can the information given replace the advice of a health professional.

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