One Meal A Day.
A very simple concept that appeals to many people such as myself. I have struggled with emotional, stress, and impulsive eating way too many times.
This lifestyle change is a great way for people to simplify their eating habits while still feeling full and satisfied with their meal.
Here’s why OMAD works and how to stick with it.
Disclaimer: I am not a health professional. This is for informational purposes and is based on my individual experiences. Please do your research before attempting anything.
The Basic Principles
OMAD stands for One Meal a Day.
The premise is exactly that. Eat one meal that amounts to your daily caloric needs. It’s a fusion of sorts between Intermittent Fasting (eating only in a specific period/window of time) and calorie counting (loosely speaking).
First, I’m going to define some terms I’ll be using.
BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate (amount of calories to perform normal body function like pumping blood through your body, providing energy for your brain, etc.)
TDEE – Total Daily Energy Expenditure (similar to BMR but it’s adjusted on how active you are i.e. working twice a day/heavy labor job vs a desk job/sedentary lifestyle and how many calories you need to maintain your current weight)
Calorie Deficit – any amount of calories eaten below your TDEE to encourage fat loss
UGW – ultimate goal weight
For example, according to SailRabbit, I need 1,855 calories to just live with no activity. To maintain my current weight above, I have to eat 2,152 calories.
If I eat anything below my TDEE, I am guaranteed to lose weight because that’s how physics works. (￣y▽,￣)╭
So as you can see at the bottom left in the pictures above, I decided to go with a 750 deficit. SailRabbit auto-calculates the rest of the numbers simply. But I wouldn’t read too much into them since not many people are great with the numbers game in fat loss.
This means my calorie goal for my OMAD is 1,402. Which works out for me since my ultimate goal weight needs ~1,500 calories are their TDEE. I’ll be eating like my UGW, so no need to transition to completely different maintenance calories.
It’s a great way to curb impulsive eating.
I overeat because I love feeling full, as weird as that sounds. φ(*￣0￣)
OMAD helps prevent me from eating more than once since I eat at a time I am most likely going to graze (that’s noon for me). Once I’m full, I drink water, tea, Coke Zero (yum!), or other zero-calorie beverages to hold me over the fasting period.
I rarely eat outside of the one hour I set aside for the meal. This also helps me learn what my body feels like when it is hungry versus when it’s expecting a meal.
On days when I won’t be able to do OMAD (life happens ㄟ( ▔, ▔ )ㄏ), I can know when I need to eat and how hungry I am.
Great way to experiment with cooking.
Now I’m an INFP that loves to cook. I seem to be able to cook literally (not exaggerating here) every food I don’t like to eat. I don’t even need to taste it.
And my favorite foods end up….burnt a bit. Always…
Anyway, my mom is doing OMAD but Keto style since it helps with her lack of a gallbladder. I can eat the same thing for months.
I am not joking. (￣、￣)
So to exercise the ole cooking muscle, I help cook her meals. I have to add that I very much dislike most Keto recipes because of my gourmet palette (read as pickiness).
Her food always seems to come out amazing.
Make calorie counting/management easier.
When I religiously counted my calories, it was easy at my college when I still had a meal plan. Sure their calorie counts weren’t accurate, but it was better than nothing.
After I got off the aforementioned meal plan and could cook for myself, calorie counting became slightly harder.
It was so much easier to sabotage myself due to laziness. I would guesstimate wild amounts instead of using my food scale.
OMAD make it easier and somewhat foolproof because I only cook once, so I only have to measure the ingredients once. Cook, eat and carry on with my day!
Related: Some Fitness Tips for You!
Misconceptions about OMAD
Some people (thanks to the media and mostly a lack of education for some) automatically put the “eating disorder” label on others because of their eating habits.
That is inexcusable. Real people suffering from these disorders that need help and the armchair psychologists don’t help.
As long as you eat the number of calories that suits your goals (fat loss, muscle gain, maintenance) and regularly check with your doctors (please be honest with them), this way of eating is just as healthy as the popular “5/6 meals a day” advice.
Now that my ranting is done, I just want to say “you do you” as long as you are being mindful and making educated choices.
What do you think of OMAD?
I’d love to get other viewpoints.