OMAD Diet: A Beginner’s Guide and Meal Plan

The OMAD diet, or the One Meal A Day diet, is a dietary pattern in which individuals consume all their daily caloric intake within a single meal in the evening. This means that individuals following the OMAD diet only eat once a day, typically within a 1-2 hour time frame. The OMAD diet restricts the eating window to 1 meal per day, resulting in a fasting period of approximately 22-23 hours. This dietary approach is believed to promote weight loss and improve metabolic health.

In a 2022 study by Emma C E Meessen from the University of Amsterdam, people who followed this diet for 11 days lost an average of 1.4 kg (about 3 pounds), compared to only 0.5 kg (about 1 pound) for those eating three meals a day. The study also found that fat loss was greater in the OMAD group, losing 0.7 kg (about 1.5 pounds) of fat compared to just 0.1 kg (about 0.2 pounds) in the three-meal group. The OMAD diet also increases the body’s ability to burn fat during exercise.

Table of Contents

What is the OMAD diet?

The OMAD diet is a type of eating plan in which individuals consume only one meal per day. It is commonly used for weight loss and overall health improvement. The OMAD diet involves restricting the eating window to just one hour, usually in the evening, and fasting for the remaining 23 hours of the day. During one meal, you have the freedom to eat whatever you want, but it is important to focus on nutrient-dense foods to meet nutritional needs.

What is the origin of the OMAD Diet?

The origin of the OMAD diet can be traced back to prehistoric times when scarcity of food necessitated eating only one meal a day. This pattern continued for several centuries after, with our ancestors consuming one meal due to limited availability. However, with the development of modern society and the influence of marketing, the concept of three meals a day became prevalent. Despite this shift, the OMAD diet has gained popularity in recent years, emphasizing the health benefits of consuming only one meal per day.

How does the OMAD diet work?

The OMAD (One Meal A Day) diet works by limiting your food intake to just one meal within a 24-hour period, essentially fasting for 23 hours and eating all of your daily calories in a 1-hour window. This results in a significant calorie reduction, leading to weight loss.

According to a 2009 study by Kim S Stote from the US Department of Agriculture, dietary restrictions like OMAD can lead to several health benefits including decreased plasma insulin and glucose concentrations, as well as improved blood pressure and heart rate. The study suggests that such dietary restrictions can also trigger a mild cellular stress response, which up-regulates the expression of genes that help cells cope with severe stress.

How does the OMAD diet promote weight loss?

losing weight with omad
How does the OMAD diet promote weight loss?

The OMAD diet promotes weight loss by fasting for an extended period, which causes the body to tap into its fat stores for energy. This leads to increased fat burning and potential weight loss.

How does the OMAD diet improve insulin sensitivity?

The OMAD diet can improve insulin sensitivity. Fasting helps regulate blood sugar levels and may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Improved insulin sensitivity can lead to better blood sugar control and overall health.

What are the types of OMAD diets?

The types of OMAD diets vary based on the kinds of foods consumed during the one-hour eating window. Some popular variations include the OMAD carnivore diet, OMAD keto diet, dirty OMAD, plant-based OMAD, and raw vegan OMAD, each focusing on specific food groups like animal products, high-fat low-carb foods, or plant-based options.

What is the OMAD carnivore diet?

The OMAD carnivore diet is a specific variation of the OMAD diet that involves consuming all your daily calories in a single meal consisting solely of animal-based products like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. This approach aims to maximize the benefits of both the OMAD and carnivore diets, such as improved metabolic flexibility and focus on nutrient-dense foods.

What is the OMAD ketogenic diet?

The OMAD keto diet is a specialized form of the OMAD diet that combines it with the principles of the ketogenic diet, emphasizing high-fat and low-carb foods. In this regimen, you consume all of your daily calories in one meal, aiming to enter a state of ketosis where the body uses fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.

What is the dirty OMAD diet?

The dirty OMAD diet is a less restrictive variation of the standard OMAD diet, allowing for a broader range of food choices including processed foods and sugary items. Unlike traditional OMAD, where the focus is usually on clean, nutrient-dense foods, the dirty OMAD diet permits indulgences like fast food and desserts in the one meal you eat per day.

What is the plant-based OMAD diet?

The plant-based OMAD diet combines the principles of eating one meal per day with a focus on consuming only plant-based foods. In this diet, all daily calories, nutrients, and macronutrients are consumed in a single meal that excludes any animal products.

What is the raw vegan OMAD diet?

The raw vegan OMAD diet is a specialized version of the One Meal A Day diet, where you consume all your daily nutrients in a single meal composed entirely of raw, plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. This diet emphasizes unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods, and excludes all animal products and cooked foods.

What are the health benefits of the OMAD diet?

The OMAD diet, as investigated in a 2021 controlled trial, has been shown to have several health benefits. These include reduced fat mass, decreased blood pressure, lowered cholesterol concentrations, and a decrease in cortisol concentrations.

benefits omad diet
What are the health benefits of the OMAD diet?

The following list outlines 7 health benefits of the OMAD diet.

  1. The OMAD diet contributes to a reduction in fat mass.
  2. The OMAD diet is associated with decreased blood pressure levels.
  3. Lowered cholesterol concentrations can be achieved through the OMAD diet.
  4. The OMAD diet has been shown to decrease cortisol concentrations.
  5. Improved body composition is a noted benefit of the OMAD diet.
  6. The OMAD diet holds the potential for enhancing insulin sensitivity.
  7. Improved cardiovascular health is a potential benefit of following the OMAD diet.

What are the health risks associated with the OMAD diet?

The health risks of the OMAD diet include increased hunger, modifications in body composition (reduced fat mass), increased blood pressure and cholesterol concentrations, and decreased cortisol concentrations.

  1. Increased Hunger: The OMAD diet may lead to heightened levels of hunger during fasting periods.
  2. Modifications in Body Composition: While reduced fat mass is often considered a benefit, it could also be viewed as a risk depending on individual health goals.
  3. Increased Blood Pressure: Some individuals may experience a rise in blood pressure when on the OMAD diet.
  4. Increased Cholesterol Concentrations: There’s a potential for elevated cholesterol levels while following the OMAD diet.
  5. Decreased Cortisol Concentrations: Lower cortisol levels could be a risk if it leads to hormonal imbalances.

How do you get started on the OMAD diet?

To get started on the OMAD diet, follow these steps:

get strated with omad
How do you get started on the OMAD diet?
  1. Establish a fasting window: Decide on a fasting window that works for you. The most common fasting window for the OMAD diet is 23 hours of fasting and a 1-hour eating window.
  2. Determine your meal timing: Choose the time of day that suits your lifestyle for your OMAD meal. This will be the only meal you consume during the day, so pick a time when you can comfortably eat all your daily calories.
  3. Plan your meal: It’s important to plan your meal to ensure you meet your nutritional needs and maintain a balanced diet. Include a variety of foods from different food groups, such as lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  4. Gradually adjust to the eating pattern: It may take some time for your body to adapt to the OMAD diet. Start by gradually increasing your fasting window and reducing the number of meals you eat each day. Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues and adjust accordingly.
  5. Stay hydrated: Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Water helps support digestion, metabolism, and overall health. Aim to drink at least 8 cups (64 ounces) of water per day.
  6. Engage in regular physical activity: Regular exercise is important for overall health and well-being. Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine, such as walking, jogging, cycling, or strength training. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
  7. Seek professional guidance: Before starting the OMAD diet, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian, especially if you have any dietary restrictions or underlying health conditions. They can provide personalized advice and ensure the diet is suitable for your individual needs.

What foods are recommended to eat on the OMAD diet?

Incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense foods in your OMAD meal is essential; focus on lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. By doing so, you can ensure that you’re meeting your nutritional needs within the one meal you consume.

The following are the recommended food lists on the OMAD Diet.

  • Lean Proteins: Chicken, turkey, fish (e.g., salmon, tilapia), tofu
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Berries (e.g., strawberries, blueberries), citrus fruits (e.g., oranges, grapefruits), leafy greens (e.g., spinach, kale), cruciferous vegetables (e.g., broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Whole Grains: Quinoa, brown rice, oats, whole-grain bread
  • Healthy Fats: Avocados, nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts), olive oil, Chia seeds

What should be included in a grocery list for the OMAD diet?

For the OMAD diet, your grocery list should include a variety of nutrient-dense foods from all food groups, along with condiments, salad dressings, and seasonings that align with your dietary preferences and nutritional needs.

What foods are restricted on the OMAD diet?

Certain foods and beverages are restricted on the OMAD diet. Here are the foods to avoid or limit:

  1. Processed Foods: These should be avoided as they are often high in refined sugars, unhealthy fats, and additives. Opt for whole, unprocessed foods instead.
  2. Sugary Drinks: Beverages like soda, fruit juices, and energy drinks should be limited or avoided altogether. They are packed with added sugars and empty calories. Stick to water, herbal tea, or black coffee for hydration.
  3. Fast Food: Most fast food options should be avoided due to their high content of unhealthy fats, sodium, and excess calories. It’s best to prepare homemade meals with fresh ingredients to ensure a nourishing diet.

What does a typical OMAD meal plan look like?

A typical OMAD meal plan focuses on one substantial meal per day that includes a balanced mix of protein, fats, and carbohydrates, along with essential vitamins and minerals.

meal plan omad diet
What does a typical OMAD meal plan look like?

The meal should meet your daily caloric needs and can be supplemented with nutrient-dense snacks or beverages if needed.

  • Day 1: Grilled chicken breast, quinoa, steamed broccoli, and a side salad with olive oil dressing
  • Day 2: Pan-seared salmon, brown rice, sautéed spinach, and a fruit salad
  • Day 3: Beef stir-fry with assorted vegetables (bell peppers, zucchini, carrots) and a side of whole-grain bread
  • Day 4: Lentil soup, whole-grain roll, and a vegetable salad with nuts and seeds
  • Day 5: Turkey meatballs, spaghetti squash, and a side of roasted asparagus
  • Day 6: Tofu and vegetable curry with a side of whole-grain rice
  • Day 7: Pork chops, sweet potato mash, and steamed green beans with a side of apple slices

What are some snack options on the OMAD diet?

Here are three snack options to consider for the OMAD diet.

  1. Almonds: Almonds are rich in protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fats. They can help keep you feeling full and satisfied between meals.
  2. Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, healthy fats, and magnesium. Magnesium is important for muscle function and bone health.
  3. Chia pudding: Chia pudding is a versatile and easy-to-make snack. Chia seeds are packed with fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

What is the recommended caloric intake on the OMAD diet?

The recommended caloric intake on the OMAD diet can vary depending on factors such as your age, gender, activity level, and weight goals. Generally, a caloric intake of around 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day is a good starting point for most individuals on the OMAD diet.

How does the OMAD diet affect carb content in meals?

The OMAD diet often leads to a reduced carbohydrate intake, as the focus is generally on nutrient-dense foods like lean proteins and vegetables. By consuming all your calories in one meal, you’re more likely to prioritize foods that are lower in carbs but higher in other essential nutrients.

What is the recommended protein content in an OMAD diet?

The recommended protein content in an OMAD diet generally ranges from 0.7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. For a 150-pound individual, this would equate to 105-150 grams of protein in one meal. Protein sources can include lean meats, poultry, fish, and plant-based options like legumes and tofu.

What is the fat content like in an OMAD meal?

The fat content in an OMAD meal can vary, but it’s advisable to focus on healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil. Portion control is key, as fats are calorie-dense, so a moderate amount such as a quarter of an avocado or a small handful of nuts is recommended. Balancing fats with other macronutrients like proteins and carbohydrates is essential for a well-rounded OMAD meal.

What is the sodium content in an OMAD diet?

The sodium content in an OMAD meal can vary widely based on the foods and seasonings chosen, but a general guideline is to aim for less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, as recommended by the American Heart Association. Therefore, your one meal in the OMAD diet should ideally contain less than 2,300 mg of sodium to meet general health guidelines.

What are some popular OMAD diet recipes?

Popular OMAD diet recipes often include OMAD Buddha Bowl, Coconut Flour Pancakes, and Coffee-rubbed Ribeye.

recipes omad diet
What are some popular OMAD diet recipes?
  1. OMAD Buddha Bowl: This nutrient-rich bowl combines a variety of veggies, protein sources, and quality fats. Pair it with Bulletproof The Mentalist Coffee and Bulletproof Original Creamer to add even more quality fats and create a balanced meal.
  2. Coconut Flour Pancakes: Perfect for keto and low-carb dieters, these macro-friendly pancakes are made with coconut flour and topped with grass-fed ghee for added flavor and quality fat.
  3. Coffee-rubbed Ribeye: Coffee can be used as an ingredient to enhance the taste and energy content of your OMAD meals. Try coffee-rubbed ribeye for a delicious and savory option. Use Bulletproof French Kick for clean caffeine or Bulletproof Original Decaf for later OMAD windows.

What are the best OMAD diet recipe books?

The best OMAD diet recipe books include “THE NEW OMAD DIET COOKBOOK 2023” by Alice O. Blume, which offers 180 recipes, and “The OMAD Diet: Intermittent Fasting with One Meal a Day to Burn Fat and Lose Weight” by Alyssa Sybertz, both providing comprehensive guides to the OMAD diet along with numerous recipes.

What are the best OMAD diet apps with recipes available?

Here are five apps that can be used for the OMAD diet.

  1. Fastient: Fastient is an intuitive app that allows you to track your fasting progress and take notes on your mood and experiences throughout the day, making it ideal for the OMAD diet.
  2. Zero: Zero is a popular fasting app that provides visual graphs and reports to track your progress in the OMAD diet. It also offers audio content and guides to keep you motivated and informed.
  3. MyFitnessPal: While not specifically designed for fasting, MyFitnessPal is a comprehensive app that allows you to track your daily calorie intake and monitor the nutritional value of your OMAD meal to ensure you are meeting your dietary needs.
  4. Life Fasting Tracker: Life Fasting Tracker is a user-friendly app that offers personalized fasting plans and allows you to create custom fasting schedules tailored to the OMAD diet. It also provides a supportive community to keep you accountable.
  5. FastHabit: FastHabit is a simple and straightforward app that helps you establish a fasting routine for the OMAD diet. It offers customizable fasting plans, reminders, and progress-tracking features to keep you on track with your goals.

How difficult is it to cook your own meals for the OMAD diet?

Cooking your own meals for the OMAD diet can be as easy or as challenging as you make it. It ultimately depends on your cooking skills and preferences. While cheat days are not recommended on the OMAD diet, you can still find ways to enjoy your favorite foods within the framework of the diet.

Are cheat days allowed on the OMAD diet?

Yes, cheat days are technically allowed on the OMAD diet. However, it is important to practice moderation when indulging in cheat days. Overindulging in unhealthy foods can derail your progress and make it harder to reach your goals.

How does alcohol fit into the OMAD diet?

Alcohol can be challenging to incorporate into the OMAD diet due to its impact on overall health and weight loss goals. It contains empty calories and can disrupt the body’s metabolism, making it harder to burn fat and lose weight.

What are the best meal delivery services for the OMAD diet?

Here are the best meal delivery services for the OMAD diet that offer pre-prepared meals tailored to your dietary needs.

  1. Freshly: Freshly offers fully prepared meals that are single-serving and ready to heat and eat, making it a convenient option for those following the OMAD (One Meal a Day) diet. With a focus on healthy, whole ingredients, Freshly provides nutritious meals that cater to different dietary preferences.
  2. Blue Apron: While Blue Apron is primarily known for its meal kits, it also offers a selection of prepared meals that can be customized to fit the OMAD diet. Their recipes include a variety of options, including low-calorie and plant-based meals, allowing you to enjoy a balanced and satisfying meal.
  3. Snap Kitchen: Snap Kitchen provides chef-curated meals that are designed to support different dietary needs, including the OMAD diet. With a range of portion sizes and customizable options, you can enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal without the hassle of cooking or meal planning.
  4. Trifecta Nutrition: Trifecta Nutrition specializes in delivering fresh, organic, and pre-cooked meals, making it an excellent choice for those following the OMAD diet. Their meals are carefully crafted to provide balanced nutrition, and they offer a variety of options, including high-protein and low-carb meals.
  5. Home Chef: Home Chef offers both meal kits and prepared meal options, allowing you to choose what suits your OMAD diet best. With a variety of recipes and customizable plans, Home Chef makes it easy to enjoy a delicious, portion-controlled meal that fits your dietary preferences.

What restaurants offer OMAD-friendly meals?

Here are five fast-food restaurants that serve healthy foods for the OMAD diet.

  1. Chipotle: Chipotle Mexican Grill offers a variety of customizable bowls, salads, and burritos with organic ingredients and a range of meats and veggies, making it easy to create a nutritious and satisfying OMAD meal.
  2. Subway: With its wide selection of fresh vegetables, whole-grain bread, and lean protein options, Subway is a great choice for OMAD dieters looking for a healthier fast-food option. Their sandwiches and salads can be customized to fit your dietary needs.
  3. Panera Bread: Panera Bread focuses on serving healthier options like soups and salads made with quality ingredients. Their menu includes a variety of nutritious options, making it a suitable choice for OMAD dieters looking for a balanced meal.
  4. Wendy’s: Wendy’s offers a range of salads, grilled chicken options, and wraps, making it possible to find a nutritious OMAD meal that still satisfies your fast-food cravings. They also offer customizable options, allowing you to personalize your meal.
  5. McDonald’s: While known for its traditional fast-food menu, McDonald’s has incorporated healthier options like salads made with chicken, vegetables, and fruit. Their grilled chicken options and customizable menu make it possible to create a healthier OMAD meal.

How effective is the OMAD diet for weight loss?

The OMAD diet is effective for weight loss, according to a 2009 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The OMAD diet led to significant modifications in body composition, including reductions in fat mass, without affecting overall body weight. However, it also led to a significant increase in hunger and changes in some cardiovascular disease risk factors. Therefore, while the OMAD diet can be effective in modifying body composition, its long-term sustainability and effects on cardiovascular health are areas that require further investigation.

How much weight can you lose on the OMAD Diet?

According to various reports, individuals on the OMAD diet can initially lose around 1-2 pounds per week. This weight loss is due to the caloric deficit created by limiting food consumption to one meal a day. However, long-term sustainability and individual results can vary, making it crucial to consult a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.

How sustainable is the OMAD diet in the long term?

The sustainability of the OMAD diet in the long term is subjective and can vary from person to person. According to anecdotal reports and limited studies, some individuals have successfully adhered to the OMAD diet for periods ranging from 6 months to several years. However, dropout rates for restrictive diets like OMAD can be as high as 65% over a one-year period, indicating challenges in long-term sustainability for some people.

What are the exercise recommendations while on the OMAD diet?

While on the OMAD diet, it’s recommended to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week, spread across most days. Strength training exercises like weightlifting should be incorporated at least two days a week. High-intensity interval Training (HIIT) is also recommended as it helps in burning more calories in a shorter period of time and boosts metabolism.

What do reviews say about the OMAD diet?

The reviews of the OMAD diet vary. Some users have found success with the diet, finding it sustainable, convenient, and effective for weight loss. They have reported eating a well-rounded meal with protein, carbs, vegetables, and fruit during their one meal.

Are there any success stories from people who have done the OMAD diet?

Yes, some people claim to have had success with the OMAD diet, while others may not find it sustainable or effective for their weight loss goals. One individual highlighted potential benefits of the OMAD diet, such as having a designated mealtime and not having to worry about making excuses when going out for dinner or brunch. 

Who are some famous people who follow the OMAD diet?

Here are five famous people who follow the OMAD diet.

  • Chris Martin: The Coldplay frontman is known to follow the OMAD diet as a way to maintain his physique and fight against middle-aged weight gain.
  • Bruce Springsteen: Even at the age of 73, Bruce Springsteen has maintained his physique through the OMAD diet, which involves eating just one meal a day and fasting for the remaining 23 hours.
  • Rishi Sunak: The UK Prime Minister has revealed that he occasionally follows the OMAD diet as a means of weight management and maintaining focus.
  • Jennifer Aniston: Jennifer Aniston, a high-profile celebrity, is also a fan of intermittent fasting, including the OMAD diet. She has credited this approach to helping her maintain her weight and overall well-being.
  • Elizabeth Hurley: The actress Elizabeth Hurley popularized the OMAD diet in the early 2000s. She admitted to limiting herself to one meal a day and going to bed hungry as part of her weight management routine.

How is the OMAD diet different from other diets?

The OMAD diet is unique in that it restricts all daily caloric intake to just a one-hour eating window, unlike other diet plans that allow for multiple meals and snacks throughout the day. This form of time-restricted eating is more extreme than other intermittent fasting methods like the 16/8 or the Warrior Diet, which have longer eating windows.

The OMAD diet also places less emphasis on the types of food consumed and focuses more on the timing of the meal, making it different from diets like Keto or Paleo which have specific macronutrient guidelines.

How is OMAD different from intermittent fasting?

The OMAD (One Meal A Day) diet is a form of intermittent fasting but is more restrictive, limiting all caloric intake to a single one-hour eating window per day. In contrast, other intermittent fasting methods, such as the 16/8 method, allow for a longer eating window, typically 6-8 hours. Because of the extreme time restriction in OMAD, it usually results in a more significant caloric deficit and requires more meticulous meal planning to meet nutritional needs.

How does the Warrior diet compare to the OMAD diet?

The Warrior Diet and the OMAD diet both fall under the umbrella of intermittent fasting but differ in their eating and fasting windows. The warrior diet typically involves a 20-hour fasting period followed by a 4-hour eating window, allowing for some flexibility in food choices and timing. On the other hand, the OMAD diet restricts all eating to a very narrow window, usually one hour, requiring more strategic meal planning to meet nutritional needs.