WHAT IS OMAD?
OMAD is another option of intermittent fasting. This is when you fast for 23 hours and feast for one hour in the day. The idea is the same. You are restricting when you eat NOT what you eat. In having a short eating window, you are not eating or snacking all day long, giving your body the time and ability to burn stored fat.
HOW DO I START OMAD?
OMAD can be intimidating for some, especially if you've never fasted before. A good rule of thumb that I tell people is to not begin OMAD right from the beginning. You should first give your body some time to adjust to not eating for an extended amount of time. For example, start with a 16:8 or 18:6 regimen (See section on HOW DO I START WITH IF?). If you have never gone more than 10-12 hours without eating, jumping right into OMAD may be a challenge and you might find it harder than it has to be. Although there are some who jump right into it, make your own assessment of yourself to ensure that you are one who can begin an OMAD routine immediately.
EXERCISE & OMAD
Although you don't have to exercise while doing OMAD or any other form of intermittent fasting, it is a bonus if you do. Exercising in a fasted state can really push your body to burn more fat for fuel and energy rather than rely on carbohydrates that you might ingest prior to a workout. If you are looking to lose weight, exercising in a fasted state while doing OMAD or any other IF routine is definitely beneficial to your ultimate goal. If you're just beginning don't push yourself too hard. Start with a brisk walk, jog or low impact aerobic exercise. You'll feel tired at first because your body is not used to working hard in a fasted state. But you will soon see a significant boost in energy as your body begins to tap into fat stores to burn what it needs to get you through your exercise routine.
WHAT CAN I EAT ON OMAD?
You can eat whatever you have have always enjoyed. OMAD is NOT a diet. It is a lifestyle and with any lifestyle moderation is key. I absolutely LOVE CHOCOLATE but I can't eat chocolate cake and cookies as my OMAD meal. Can I add a piece of chocolate cake or a cookie as a dessert to close my meal? Sure thing! You have to re-program your ideas about food and un-learn all that diet mentality. Fasting and OMAD allows you to do that. Once you understand what happens in your body when you are fasting and when you feast, you get a better picture about why restricting foods is unnecessary. Now understand that you have to eat all the foods you love in moderation. Don't have burger and pizza everyday for your OMAD meal just because that is what you love, especially if you are trying to lose weight. Make sure to clean up your meals every now and then so that you can experience the full benefits of weight loss and fasting. Check out the section on "WHAT CAN I EAT?"
OMAD & CARBOHYDRATES
This is an important section that picks up from the previous section. While you can have carbs on OMAD (and other forms of intermittent fasting) you should monitor how you feel and your progress as you go along. Specifically if you are doing OMAD to lose weight, carbohydrates should be moderate. Try adding some complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, whole grains, etc... You can still have your favorite pastas and bread but try and moderate your intake of these. If you see a stall in your weight loss, this may very well be due to an excessive amount of carbohydrates in your OMAD meal.
Don’t use the excuse of “I’m having one meal a day” so I can eat all the carbs. Yes, you can totally eat whatever you love on OMAD but you’ve got to pace yourself, especially if you are trying to burn fat and lose weight.
A heavy carbohydrate meal, means heavy retention of water in and around your cells. So think about it, if you eat a meal (after a fast or as your OMAD) and its heavy in carbohydrates you will retain a lot more water than if you had a low carb meal and you’ll be more likely to begin to see a slow stall in your weight. Click here to listen to my podcast episode on OMAD & Carbs.
SNACKS & OMAD
There are so many yummy snacks that I love and that I still have. I just have them in my eating window. For example, I really love chips and guacamole or crackers and hummus. I will usually have any of these to open my window, before I have my meal. I will also always add a salad to balance it all out!
DO I HAVE TO STICK TO ONE HOUR?
The benefits of OMAD is the tight eating window. Sometimes you might be out with friends or at a party and you don't have control over the timing of the food being served. Its ok if you go over in that case, just extend your fasting time the next day. Sometimes I also might go over about half an hour or two, I don't beat myself up about it and neither should you, just be conscious about it and extend your fasting time the next day. Try not to make it a habit. Enjoy your meal and close your eating window until the next day.
KETO & OMAD
You can definitely do Keto and OMAD together. The benefits of the low carb protocol for keto can be helpful. I don't practice keto because if I want pizza or rice I want my pizza with a nice soft real pizza crust. I want my traditional rice using real parboiled or Jasmine rice. I love the option of choosing cauliflower rice because that is what I want not just because that is what I have to have. This is not a knock against keto. I think there are great benefits to practicing keto and you can definitely choose to make your omad meal a keto meal. However, remember that the benefits of OMAD allow you to not have to be so restrictive in what you eat. 😁
As always, speak to your doctor before starting any new health regimen.
Remember you are not starving yourself, you are just not eating all day long