December 27, 2018

What is the OMAD Diet?

how does the OMAD diet work?

One of the biggest diet trends of the year was intermittent fasting, which involves cycling between periods of starvation and indulgence as a means to throw your metabolism a curveball and keep it guessing. This way, your metabolism doesn’t become accustomed to a consistent eating pattern and stays at peak efficiency at all times.

Just like with any diet that becomes popular, many spin-offs come to capture the attention of dieters and make a buck with a hot new program. I talked about another variation of intermittent fasting with my write-up on the Snake Diet in this post, and today I’ll fill you in on another form called the OMAD diet.

Does the OMAD Diet Work?

A new diet was introduced the mainstream this year in the form of the OMAD Diet, which is an acronym for One Meal a Day. You can get the gist of the diet based on its name alone – there is nothing clever here and it’s very easy to understand. More specifically, it involves eating a single meal during a specified one hour of the day and then fasting for the other 23 hours each day. During the fasting hours, according to Women’s Health, you are still allowed to drink black coffee and other beverages that have no calories (like water). This is consistent with other intermittent fasting plans.

With this diet, you have a window of 4 hours each day in which to take your one-hour meal break. It is best to keep this time range consistent each day and try to eat at roughly the same hour. One of the biggest mantras of this diet is consistency.

Guidelines of OMAD Diet

Aside from preaching consistency, there are four guidelines in this diet that they refer to as the “Four Ones”. These include:

  • Only eating one meal per day
  • You can only eat your meal within one hour, during the four-hour eating window you have determined
  • You must eat your meal off an 11-inch diameter plate
  • Your meal should not be more than 3 inches high on your plate

While a meal piled three inches high on a plate that’s about a foot wide makes it seem like you can just freely gorge yourself during your one meal, that is not the intention.

It is more to set an upper limit on how much you are allowed to eat. For the sake of your health and reaching your weight loss goals, it is recommended that the meals are balanced and rich in nutrients.

You only have one meal per day to get your nutrition, so make sure to load it up with food that is dense in nutrients with essential vitamins and minerals.

Does It Work?

Plain and simple, this is a starvation diet. If you are limited to one meal per day, your calorie intake will be lower and there is no other result than losing weight. It can be an effective diet, but it is certainly not for everybody.


While you’ll lose weight, there is a lot to dislike about this diet. One of the biggest risks of this diet is malnutrition due to not getting the nutrients you need on a daily basis since you are constricted to one meal. You have to be smart with what you include in that meal! The malnutrition from this diet can lead to mood swings, muscle loss, and hormone imbalance, among other issues. For women, it can even disrupt or completely stop your menstrual cycle.

My Advice

If you don’t eat much, of course, you will lose weight. But is it worth the risk to starve yourself like that and put your health in jeopardy? There are so many other diets to follow that lead to healthy weight loss, as I compiled in this post here:


T.J. LaPanta is a Florida based aspiring comedian and health nut.
When he's not trying to hack his way through a post-graduate degree, he's slaving away in the kitchen, working out, or trying to score a date.

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