The OMAD Diet: Risks And Benefits Of Having One Meal A Day

Updated on June 24, 2020

Today, there are thousands of people who take care of their health and body. They try to trim off unwanted inches and improve their health status by means of regular training sessions and starvation. But have you ever dreamed about a weight loss method, that would allow you eat your favorite foods and maintain healthy weight? And what if such method really exists? In this article you will find an answer to these questions. Read on and figure out whether the OMAD diet can help you achieve your goals.

What is the OMAD diet?   

The OMAD diet (One Meal A Day diet) is quite similar to fasting. However, the premise is that you shouldn’t eat 23 hours a day. At the same time, you have a possibility to eat everything you want. Your meal can even include your favorite pizza or burger, or a delicious salad, packed with nutrients, but you can eat these foods in a just one meal.

The major idea of this dietary plan is that you should significantly cut your daily calorie consumption. You can have one meal a day to enjoy (let’s call it a “1-hour window”) and this will help you to keep desired weight. The majority of the OMAD diet followers stick to the following schedule: they don’t eat at night and in the morning, and have their one meal in the middle of the day. In this way it is easier to stick to a restrictive nutrition plan.

The OMAD diet benefits     

According to some experts, a long-term fasting can bring a bunch of benefits to your body. It strains your body cells and in this way promotes their elasticity. This process is known as hormesis, which in turn uses stresses to strengthen you. Moreover, the supporters of this nutrition plan claim that having one meal a day has a wide range of other benefits for your body:

·        Get anti-aging effect from your diet

Such an eating plan activates the process of autophagy. In other words, your body starts eliminating toxins, waste, and harmed body cell. Plus, this process helps to prevent medical conditions, neurologically connected with age, such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s diseases.

·        Boost your metabolic rate

By eating only one meal a day you can boost your metabolic rate. It happens because your body gets more tolerate to the feeling of hunger and burns fat much longer. According to the animal studies results, intermittent fasting stimulates insulin function and significantly lowers blood sugar levels. In this way, such a type of nutrition helps to prevent obesity and diabetes.  

·        Plan your meals easier and faster

For some weight-watchers planning their healthy meals every single day is quite stressful and time-consuming. It’s quite hard to plan 5 meals a day, especially if you spend the whole day at the office. That’s why planning only one meal day will save your time and make your life much easier.

·        Simplify your weight control

By sticking to the OMAD diet, you will restrict your calorie intake naturally and will control your weight much easier. You just won’t consume your usual amount of calories by eating only one meal a day.

Are there any possible risks?

The OMAD diet has not only benefits for your health, but possible risks as well. Moreover, this nutrition plan is not for everyone and its safety lacks factual evidence. This diet has to many common features with a disordered diet. The OMAD diet has a bunch of risks for your health, and it is important to take them into account before starting it.

·        You neglect your body’s signals

When you can eat only one time a day, you will probably eat as much as possible during your 1-hour window, and this is not quite good for your body. You won’t just understand your body’s signal whether you are full or not. Besides, there is a high possibility of overeating.  

·        The diet can lead to Nutrients deficiency

It is a well-known fact that your body needs to consume healthy food-groups to get all necessary nutrients in proper amounts. You should eat grains, nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and veggies, dairy and other healthy foods for your body to function properly. If you eat only one meal a day, it won’t bring you necessary amounts of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. Besides, the followers of this diet tend to make less-than-healthy eating choices for their 1-hour window. In this way they get even fewer nutrients.

·        You may experience increased cholesterol levels

Such types of nutrition are associated with increased LDL cholesterol level, which is actually opposite to what you want to get.

·        The diet may slow down your metabolic rate

Many researchers claim that the stricter your calorie restriction is, the slower your metabolic rate gets. Such an effect can stop you from achieving your fitness goal. Moreover, it can cause weight gain.

Some tips for your success

Having only one meal a day can be rather challenging. It can be quite a hard task to prepare only one meal, that would provide your body with all essential nutrients in necessary amounts. Moreover, your body will let you know that you should stop fasting. Below you will find a list of tips, which will help you to understand whether you can continue or it is better to quit. Read on!

1. Listen to your body

This diet belongs to the most restrictive meal plans, and that’s why it is so important to listen to your body. You shouldn’t gobble your food down during your 1-hour window, you should eat slowly and carefully and pay attention to your body’s reaction. Take your time and eat your meal slowly.

2. Be careful

If you feel that this type of nutrition is too tough for your and you are ready to stop your fasting, it is better to do it. Go and prepare some healthy and nutritious meal (it is better to avoid junk food). If such a long period of fasting doesn’t make you feel comfortable, it is better to take care of your health and quit the diet.

3. Stay calm

Fasting is a challenge for everyone and can lead to high stress levels, which will make your diet unbearable. That’s why make sure to manage your stress and practice some activities that may help you (yoga, meditation, walks and more).  


Does this diet help to slim down?

By decreasing your calorie intake and boosting your metabolism, this diet can help you to lose weight. However, keep in mind that your results also depend on the foods you decide to eat during your 1-hour window. It is better to consult a health professional and get some tips in order not to harm your body.

Is it necessary to count calories?

Your only task is to eat only one meal a day during 1 hour. You shouldn’t count your calories while sticking to this dietary plan, because your calorie intake will be extremely low.


In conclusion, the OMAD diet isn’t suitable for everyone. This nutrition plan is far from being risk-free. Before starting this diet, it is crucial to consult a professional dietician in order to avoid unwanted consequences for your body. Remember, that your major priority is your health.


The article cannot and does not contain medical or health advice. This information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. The use or reliance of any information contained in this article is solely at your own risk!

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