The diet industry is a multi billion dollars industry due to the fact that Americans prioritize physical appearance. The reason one meal a day diets are so popular is that this diet not only benefit people with a finite plan to follow, but also limit them to eat once.
Any diet chart is prepared to offer optimum level of nutrition based on dietary needs to stay top of game. One meal a day diet or OMAD in addition takes into consideration that you will be having only one meal in entire day.
A diet keeps things simple, with little to no room for guessing what one can and cannot eat. A diet is one of the only ways those wanting to achieve certain health goal. Such as lose weight, muscle gain, speedy recovery from prolonged disease etc.
From low carb to no carb, low fat to high protein, one meal a day diet to detox diet, there are so many dieting options available that claim to be beneficial in their separate ways.
No matter what macro or micronutrients we eliminate from our diet, the most effective diets are ones that promote calorie restriction.
For example, any intermittent fasting helps to lose weight because our bodies or metabolisms behave differently due to a change in our eating schedule or pattern.
What is the one meal a day diet, and how does it work?
One of the more extreme forms of intermittent fasting is the one-meal-a-day diet (OMAD), which is quickly gaining popularity due to its potential to promote weight loss, along with other health benefits.
One meal a day diet typically means dieters will limit their food intake to one meal a day. But, this diet can also refer to eating only within a short window of time once each day.
The fundamental idea behind the OMAD diet is calorie restriction leads to weight loss.
Although there being multiple ways a person can follow this diet. Many people choose to eat breakfast or lunch as their only meal, while some only choose to eat dinner.
This could be due to the fact that dieters feel they have more willpower to get through the day fasting, while finding it harder to avoid food at night. This approach also helps them to go to sleep more easily without feeling starved.
The way one chooses to implement OMAD diet boils down to personal preference.
Even if they decide to incorporate a snack or two outside of their meal window, they will still lose weight! Simply because they will be eating fewer calories than they would following a traditional meal schedule.
After knowing all these, an obvious question, how one meal a day diet any different than intermittent fasting?
The difference between one meal a day or OMAD and intermittent fasting is, one meal a day is about limiting your food to once in whole day, while purpose of an intermittent fasting diet is to minimize the eating window as a whole, thereby limiting potential calorie intake.
What to eat when following one meal a day diet?
- Broccoli – Just one cup of broccoli is packed with protein, fiber, and vitamin C, along with other critical vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants.
- Bananas – One banana contains about 24 grams of carbohydrates that are essential for energy and digestion. They are also low in fat and high in potassium and antioxidants.
- Unsweetened yogurt – One cup of yogurt will provide your body with about half of its daily requirements for calcium. Yogurt is also high in B vitamins that aid with cell metabolism and energy levels.
- Sweet potatoes – One cup of sweet potatoes contains over 6 grams of fiber to promote fullness and gut health. They are also very high in vitamin A which is essential for a healthy immune system.
- Avocado – Avocados are high in heart-healthy fats that are important for “good” HDL cholesterol levels. They are also high in insoluble fiber, which helps control spikes in blood sugar.
- Chickpeas – Chickpeas are a good source of protein and fiber, which work together to help reduce and control appetite. They are also high in manganese, which is vital for bone, brain, and nervous system health.
- Cashews – Cashews are high in unsaturated fats that are linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. They are also high in copper, which helps the body form red blood cells and the bones to absorb iron.
- Tofu – One cup of tofu contains about 20 grams of protein, along with high levels of manganese and calcium. Consuming soy foods like tofu is beneficial for heart health and healthy cholesterol.
What to avoid eating in OMAD diet?
- White bread – White bread is full of refined carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain because not only does the surplus of sugar gets stored as fat in the body, but it can cause cravings due to spikes and crashes in blood sugar.
- Fast foods – Fast foods and junk foods, such as chips, are high in sugar, fat, and calories, which are not only linked to obesity and health concerns but lack critical nutrients and vitamins.
- Sugary baked goods or drinks – Excessively sweetened foods and beverages, such as soda, lead to weight gain and cravings and put consumers at high risk for blood sugar problems and heart disease.
Benefits of one meal a day
Weight loss – One meal per day works to promote weight loss because our insulin levels decrease between meals. Insulin is responsible for bringing sugar into our fat cells if we do not use that sugar immediately for energy. This means that intermittent fasting allows our insulin levels to go down for long enough that we burn off fat because the sugar that is stored in our fat cells can now be used as energy.
Reduced inflammation – Inflammation can lead to various diseases such as heart disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome, arthritis, cancer, and diabetes. One study shows that intermittent fasting such as OMAD leads to a reduction in cells in the blood called “monocytes” that cause inflammation, thereby reducing the risk for these diseases.
Helps people with diabetes – People with Type 2 Diabetes experience high blood sugar levels because the insulin in their bloodstream does not move enough glucose into the cells for energy. The body does not require insulin between meals, so intermittent fasting allows the fat cells to release excess stored glucose in the bloodstream.
Reduced heart disease risk – Intermittent fasting reduces “bad” LDL cholesterol linked to heart disease. On OMAD diet, the liver converts fatty acids to ketones to provide energy when glucose runs out. This use of fat-derived energy helps promote weight and fat loss while lowering LDL cholesterol.
Side effects of the diet
- Low energy
- Slower metabolism
Tips for getting the most out of one meal a day diet plan
To follow the one meal per day diet safely and effectively, dieters should ensure they are getting at least 1,200 calories per day. This will help maintain energy levels as well as keep the metabolism and digestive systems functioning.
Always choose a nutrient-dense meal, paying attention particularly to getting sufficient levels of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Stay well hydrated throughout the day and try to avoid excess sugars and alcoholic beverages.
As with any diet changes, pay close attention to how you feel each day. Eating one meal a day might work well for someone yet cause health issues for others.
If your energy levels are so low that you are having trouble getting through the day. Level up to your caloric intake or widen your eating window. Even better consult a nutritionist or healthcare provider to help you modify this diet in a way that works for you.