What is OMAD?

What is OMAD?

Weight loss community is a world full of jargon and abbreviation. I mean, you’d see these CICO, TDEE, IF… and had no idea what these experienced dieters were talking about. And then they broke down the abbreviation, and you thought… ah… those things, I’ve done those already.

Like OMAD. Scrolling through both wordpress reader and instagram to get some inspiration of what I would cook for the day, I often come across this hashtag. I kept thinking, what the hell is this? Why are these people keep eating a massive portion of meal?

Until that moment happened, and I realised that OMAD actually an acronym for One Meal A Day. And the first thing I thought… are you MAD?

photography of lighted bridge
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As someone who grew up Catholic, and whose mum are still fasting during Lent the idea of having one full meal a day is not new to me. And once I know what OMAD actually is, I knew right there and then how unsustainable that would be for me. You know how I know this?

Because even the Catholic church has now allowed two smaller meals to be consumed during the day as long as when they’re combined together they’re not equal to one full meal. Only done on Wednesday and Friday, starts on Ash Wednesday and finishes on Good Friday. And lots and lots of reflections on your life choices which lead you to this sort of penance.

But even when I am no longer practicing, I understand that the point of Lent is as a tool to reflect, to remind you of sufferings, and hence the practice is meant to be punishing (for whatever sins you’ve done during the year).

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I am sure that it is different for everyone, but I honestly cannot see OMAD beyond the severe and prolonged Lent. So, the thought of doing something which is more punishing than the Catholic way to self torture is really not appealing to me. What I learned from practicing Lent since when I was a child… none of us lost weight with one meal a day. The deprivation of food would lead us to a binge the day after, or euphoric chocolate eating on Easter.

Of course, not mentioning about the drop in blood sugar which then made Lent even harder because all of us would be in a crappy emotional state, while feeling ill.

If you are not religious, and have no idea what I am talking about that’s totally understandable. Imagine this as an incredibly restrictive Intermittent Fasting. Instead of 16:8 or 18:6, OMAD only gives you one hour eating window. Which means whatever calories you might need, whatever nutrients you might need, you need to pack it up in that hour.

unrecognizable woman holding bottle of red juice against white wall
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Some more sensible approach to OMAD allows a certain kind of smoothies to be taken during the fasting windows to help fulfilling nutrients needs. But generally, only water and unsweetened tea or coffee are allowed during the 23 hours of not eating anything.

If you think Warrior Diet is hard… I think OMAD is mad.

I cannot genuinely see this as a possible option for a healthier lifestyle. Losing weight… probably, but I can see how easy people gain the weight they have tried desperately to lose when they stop OMAD. Because the principle is that if you are only given one meal a day, it would be easy to eat under your calorie budget, hence you will definitely lose weight.

I mean… in one meal of OMAD, you can have one McDonald’s triple cheese burger, a large size of chips, and a large vanilla milkshake. And you are still just above 1500kCal. I know that because McDonald’s UK has this nutrition calculator for their products on their website. Use it. I found it incredibly helpful to get a guilt-free well-informed treat every now and then.

classic hamburger and french fries on wooden board
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So yeah… for an aggressive weight loss method, I think OMAD should work. I just don’t think they are suitable for me. I imagine that it is easily done if you have that kind of job with long hours like chefs or nurses, as you are almost always doing something and have no time to eat anyway.

But would I do that for myself? I definitely would not. It’s not sustainable. It doesn’t make my CICO either easier or more effective. If any, personally for me it might even endangered my health because of my hypoglycaemia. So I will steer away from this.

If you want to do this, by all means do it. Many people has done it successfully, and there are plenty of support forums which can give you more information. However, I suggest you should see your GP and discuss this first before you plunged into such a life changing decision. Just in case.

Love,

Mel x

2 thoughts on “What is OMAD?

  1. Hey Mel,
    LOVE the website overhaul – it looks really inviting. Very clean and sharp, yet still pleasing to the eyes – nice job!

    This OMAD thing is something I’ve looked into myself and whilst I don’t think it’s right for me at the moment, I think you were right when you touched on those who have incredibly busy lifestyles and will be able to maintain it in the long term.

    I’ve been looking into Intermittent Fasting (just shortening my daily eating window) and following a low-carb lifestyle, it’s something that will be a lot easier to me than others. My blood sugar levels are always pretty stable and I never wake up hungry, so I can happily push back the ‘breaking of my fast’ until lunchtime or whenever I decide to eat my first meal of the day.

    Right now however, I have to take medication first thing in the morning, and I usually try to make sure that I at least have half a protein bar in my stomach to stop the meds from ‘bouncing’. So I’d have to try and find a way to either shorten my eating window at the end of the day (not really that difficult because my appetite is naturally lower) or practice trying to take my meds on an empty stomach.

    I like the concept of IF though – less time forcing your body to digest a load of food seems like an idea rooted in how we naturally evolved as a species – but OMAD would probably do me more harm than good. I’d probably end up only consuming about 800 – 1000 calories in that one eating period, which is an unnaturally low amount for me and entirely unsustainable in the long run. So yeah, not for me either, but if it’s workable in the long run for others then more power to them.

    But I kind a agree with you when you said “I think OMAD is mad.”

    I’m mad too, in my own way….but I’m not OMAD, lol.

    Have a lovely week, Mel!

    Take care

    Blue

    1. Hey Blue 🙂
      Thank you, I tried to simplify a lot of things lately, I think that works best for me. Anyway… yes… I think since human bodies are unique, OMAD could work for other people, but unfortunately not for me. LOL it does sound mad for me, but it could be MAD GENIUS for those who actually maintained it happily. Like you said, more power to them. xx

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