December 26, 2018
Intermittent fasting was one of the biggest diet trends that provided people with an ironclad solution for weight loss in 2018. To round out the year, another form of intermittent fasting is being introduced to the mainstream: the OMAD diet.
OMAD stands for “one meal a day” and succinctly describes the diet: eatingone meal daily — during a specific one hour period of the day — and then fasting the other 23 hours. Consistent with other forms of intermittent fasting, fasters are “allowed” to drink black coffee or other non-calorie beverages during their fasting time — but nothing else, according to Women’s Health.
On OMAD, participants are instructed to eat their one meal within one hour of their four-hour window every day, Jen Oikarinen, a clinical dietitian with Banner University Medical Center Phoenix, told Women’s Health. "Consistency is emphasized in the OMAD diet."
Women's Health explained:
OMAD dieters are supposed to adhere to a set of rules known as the "4 ones," says Oikarinen. So if you're on the OMAD diet:
• You should only be eating one meal per day
• You can only eat within one hour of your four-hour eating window
• You must eat off an 11-inch diameter plate
• Your meal shouldn't be more than three inches high on your plate (so...a mountain of french fries is definitely off limits)
Sure, OMAD eating seems like an eating free-for-all that allows you to eat whatever you want while still losing weight — which is what weight loss dreams are made of — but you should strive to make your one meal balanced and micronutrient rich for the sake of your overall health. You only have one chance per day to knock it out of the nutritional ballpark, so you want to get in as much nutrient-dense food as possible, Healthline recommends.
Obviously, OMAD is essentially a starvation diet — therefore making it very different from many other forms of intermittent fasting — and is not for everyone. Because you're not consuming as many calories with just one meal as you would by eating eating three or four times a day, weight loss is inevitable. Plus, this nearly constant calorie-deficit will free long-term dieters from meticulously logging foods, according to Healthline.
Unless you're a person that often experiments with diets in a safe and healthy manner, the OMAD diet is best avoided. But if you're looking to benefit from the weight loss that comes along with intermittent fasting, there's plenty of information on more approachable forms of fasting here.