Many who start looking into fitness will hear about OMAD, or one meal a day, which is very popular in specific groups of people. OMAD is supposed to have better benefits to overall weight loss and this would help build definition.
Does OMAD and working out help provide better results? While OMAD, or one meal a day, may help you eat less overall calories in a day it doesn’t give you any ability to gain more muscle nor lose more body fat. A caloric deficit is what causes overall body fat loss, this would be more of a personal preference to eating than a benefit to results.
Well if it is down to a personal preference then why would anyone choose to only have one meal a day? Would this then mean they are starving all day while waiting to eat that meal, actually the average person can go all day without issue in most cases.
What is OMAD?
OMAD is a eating style and not really a “diet” as it isn’t expressly about body fat or weight loss, it has to do with choosing to eat all your daily calories in one meal.
For many this actually comes down to making their overall life have more time as they spend less time preparing 3 meals each day and just have to spend a little amount for a single preparation.
I know that my first question was around how could you go that long without eating, what I found was that if you eat more often your body expects you to eat more often, but should you extend the time between meals your body adjusts.
This adjustment is in the hunger signals just stop being prevalent at those same times, without those signals you don’t get the hunger pangs and without hunger pangs you start to not even notice that you passed the time.
Does OMAD Really Work?
This is a loaded question, honestly any diet you do has the ability to be successful and to work for you. The thing with making the choice to do an OMAD diet is why you want to do it, it won’t “cause” weight loss.
Instead what you are wanting to understand is that maybe you are looking to limit the time you spend preparing food for the day or for the week. In this case OMAD may be a perfect choice for you, this is what you need to know about your needs.
The thing about OMAD is more centered around can you keep yourself aligned to that approach to food. This means no pre workout on OMAD, post workout, and similar snacking throughout the day.
Can I Lose Weight Eating One Meal a Day and Exercising?
Frequently you will hear how OMAD or another diet will “help” you to lose weight, while not untrue the diet isn’t what makes the fat losses occur but may make it easier to adhere long term.
So how much weight can you lose on one meal a day then if I do decide to make this dietary change? This will depend as on any diet on your caloric intake, if you eat more calories than you burn you will gain weight OMAD weight loss isn’t magic.
The main thing that ties people up is that they don’t understand how the nutrition calculator can say you eat 2400 calories but you gain weight still.
What this actually shows is that the calculator is fallible, you obviously need less than 2400, in this case each week drop 100 calories from that number to find YOUR magic number.
Then you can use that number to prepare yourself for fat loss by removing, for example, 500 calories to help you lose up to a pound of body fat a week.
How Much Weight Can You Lose by Doing OMAD?
This will largely depend on the overall body fat you have to lose and the amount of a caloric deficit you can maintain over months to years and not just days or weeks.
Lets put down the math that helps you understand what the time frame is for your overall body fat loss goals. This may help provide you context to your path and the work you have in front of you.
Body Fat Loss (LBS)
Body Fat Loss (KG)
So you can have an easier time while practicing OMAD doing a much larger calorie deficit since you can control and measure everything within the one eating window with much more consistency.
Gaining a more solid grasp on the caloric deficit and understanding why CICO does matter will be step one to a healthier life.
Does OMAD Impact Working Out?
OMAD as a diet doesn’t directly impact your ability to workout but it may influence when you want to workout as you may want a pre workout or post workout.
If you are one who favors those types of supplements you may want to look at planning your meal timing to either be before your workouts or possibly after you finish.
Many say that you have a “beneficial” or “optimal” window post workout to add protein and nutrients for quick use, I will agree that this may be beneficial but as a species there is nothing making us or requiring us.
Does OMAD Bodybuilding Even Exist?
To be successful with any attempt at an OMAD bodybuilding routing would be very difficult as you have to consume your daily protein within a single meal.
About the only way I can see this being viable is to drink protein shakes to get intake up without the full feeling, if you were to try and eat that in chicken or beef you would never make it I would bet.
Is OMAD Muscle Gain Even Possible?
OMAD and weight lifting can happen without issue but when aiming for results you would want to have enough protein available in surplus to help muscles to be able to grow larger.
OMAD muscle gain isn’t simple and it requires a lot of focus on taking in foods within your one meal that are PERFECT to help build results, this means no cheap carb filled foods without nutritional value.
OMAD and Cardio Workouts
OMAD and walking go together very well for someone looking to start losing body fat while very overweight. This would give you the maximum control over your calorie intake and allow for getting out and moving far more.
As you lose more weight and get lighter on your feet you could then look to doing OMAD and running. The running will be harder on your joints but take it slowly and run only as long as comfortable while not shortening the distance.
Do You Have to Exercise on OMAD?
Do you have to exercise on any diet? The obvious answer is no and that you could lose weight without working out due to restricted time windows dropping your caloric intake.
This isn’t a recipe for long term success and you may eventually hit a wall where you need to restrict foods to so small and amount that you find yourself binge eating, that’s a concern with OMAD dieters I have.
Can You Bulk on a OMAD Diet?
When you choose to start your OMAD diet you may choose at some point it is time to start a bulk phase and when you get there this can be a huge challenge.
You can bulk successfully with an OMAD diet but you would need to be able to eat at a caloric surplus each day within this single window to gain weight. This is very possible but incredibly difficult as your stomach may fill long before hitting caloric intake needs.
The easiest way to bulk would then be to focus on the most caloric and dense food you can and supplement it with protein shakes to help build up calories but not take too much space within your stomach.
Final Thoughts on OMAD and Working Out
I will say that the concept behind OMAD is alluring as it would cut down on my time preparing food and giving me back precious hours in my day. I can see why it is easy for people to choose to try out OMAD dieting.
I worry about building muscle and getting the needed protein and energy in within a single feeding period and the possibility that the end result after a prolonged diet would end with possible eating disorders.
This doesn’t mean that this diet is a failure as I know people that have had great success while eating a single meal each day, this really comes down to your want and fitting your actual needs.
Making sure that what you eat is highly nutritious is the best way to handle OMAD as your choice of diet so you want grass fed beef and then high quality protein shakes.
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