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One Meal A Day Diet: Know About Its Benefits, Risks, And Much More


Diets like one meal a day or the keto diet are in trend and have been able to interest people. Let us discuss what exactly is a one-meal-a-day diet and if it is worth it.

The one meal a day diet is a radical strategy to reduce weight by only eating one meal per day. Simply put, OMAD, the one meal a day diet, is fasting for twenty-three hours in a day and then eating anything you want for one meal.

That dinner could be anything from fries and a double cheeseburger to a salad rich in whole grains, legumes, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.

The theory is that by consuming fewer calories throughout the day, you could indulge at one meal, usually a 1-hour window, while still losing weight.

One meal a day is an eating regimen that claims it might aid in weight loss through intermittent fasting.

An individual who sticks to this diet consumes only one meal every day. Usually, one could consume this meal at dinner. Therefore, they do not take in any additional calories throughout the day.

This diet plan could provide a quick solution for weight loss for some people. However, for some, the risks might exceed the advantages.

1 Meal A Day Diet

What is a One Meal A-Day Diet?

A person who follows the one meal a day diet consumes only one meal each day to lose weight. They would not drink or eat anything with calories for the majority of the day while following this diet.

This sort of fasting is intermittent. Long stretches without consuming any calorie-containing drink or food are alternated with brief window times for eating.

The diet makes use of the 23:1 method of intermittent fasting. This implies that a person only has 1 hour per day to ingest calories or twenty-three hours per day fasting.

Most adherents of this diet eat dinner and then refrain from eating for the rest of the day. However, some studies suggest[1] that having breakfast could improve the regulation of glucose.

These results are false, according to another study, which contends that for certain people skipping breakfast might be a smarter way to control their overall calorie intake.

You might learn which morning meals are the best if you want to eat breakfast and lose weight.

Benefits Of One Meal A Day Diet

  1. Weight loss

    A potent strategy for losing weight permanently and quickly is OMAD. The majority of people discover that it reduces appetite sufficiently to make eating fewer calories fairly effortless.

    Additionally, OMAD’s capacity to encourage weight loss has a hormonal component. Fasting for 23 hours a day reduces the number of storage hormones like insulin, which transforms sugar into fat and makes it simple to shift into fat-burning mode.

    Your body shall burn fat for 23 hours each day while growing muscle for one hour during the OMAD.

    The majority of people find that this diet is particularly effective at keeping their muscle mass while they lose weight.

    Intermittent fasting preserves muscle mass more effectively than an equally lower-calorie regular diet, according to one study. As most muscles burn fat while at rest, they could help[2] with weight loss even more.

    Once you have reached a fasted state, your metabolic rate might also increase. Contrary to popular belief, not eating tends to increase metabolism rather than slow it down.

    According to several studies, fasting might increase metabolism by anywhere between 3.5 and 15 percent.

    Your body can create ketones using OMAD. These energy compounds, which include beta-hydroxybutyrate, are made in fat and have several health advantages.

    The brain, which assists in regulating neurotransmission and different elements of cognitive health, benefits particularly from the use of ketones.

  2. Anti-inflammatory

    Almost every disease state has been linked to chronic inflammation. Most chronic ailments which are so prevalent in today’s world are thought to be caused by inflammation, according to experts.

    Fortunately, fasting could lower inflammation. Simple steps might be taken to achieve this goal.

    When you fast, your body is not preoccupied with nutrient absorption and digestion, and could instead concentrate on lowering inflammatory markers.

    Even your gut lining could benefit from a little rest as it regenerates quickly, which lowers inflammation, as discussed in this[3] study.

    As ketones encourage the production of new mitochondria and energize the cell’s mitochondria, entering a ketogenic state might help lower inflammation.

    Mitophagy is the name of this anti-aging and anti-inflammatory process.

    It is probably because as OMAD lowers inflammation, its lifespan-extending effects are observed. According to research, eating less regularly might extend life by as much as 85%.

  3. Improves Mental Health

    According to studies, prolonged fasts could boost your body’s production of neurohormones which directly enhance your mental wellness.

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), is hormone induced[4] by fasting. Increased BDNF levels have been linked to better mood, better cognition, and enhanced creativity.

    Another layer of mental advantages comes from the fact that many people report that OMAD keeps them alert throughout the day.

    The OMAD diet offers a simple solution if you often feel unmotivated and weary after a good lunch.

  4. Food Freedom

    This final advantage is more of a useful one. OMAD provides extremely flexible logistical and nutritional options for active people.

    The OMAD diet eliminates the need to prepare breakfast in the morning. There is no need to accept subpar meals at work or stress about finding somewhere to eat while traveling.

    Simply make sure to have one well-balanced, substantial meal every day, whenever and wherever you choose.

    Considering that they are not distracted by food during the day, many people also find OMAD to be mentally liberating.

    But once more, this only functions if you consume enough calories from healthful meals.

Risks Of One Meal A Day Diet

There has not been much study done on the effects of twenty-three-hour daily fasting. However, there could be hazards with such an intensive eating plan. For instance, a person might experience –

  • Difficulty concentrating.
  • Extreme hunger
  • Feel irritable, shaky, and weak as their sugar levels fall
  • Experience fatigue, because of an uneven supply of energy

The risk of binge eating at one meal time could rise for some persons who only eat one meal each day.

Sometimes, excessive restriction and consuming way too less calories might lead[5] to an increase in bad cholesterol levels and increased blood pressure.

According to some studies, adhering to a restrictive diet could potentially raise the likelihood of developing a long-term eating disorder.

The following are additional issues that might occur:

  • A person might begin to lose muscle mass as they approach semi-starvation.
  • Compared to different types of fasting, their appetite throughout the fasting period might eventually increase rather than diminish with time.
  • As they get hungry rapidly, the individual could find it challenging to eat at a single meal time.
  • If someone adheres to this diet long-term, nutrient shortages could develop.
  • Instead of decreasing, body fat might rise due to excessive stress.

How Does One Meal A Day Diet Work?

There are numerous varieties of OMAD, as well as numerous sorts of intermittent fasting practices.

Examples include eating only once during the day and going without food for the rest of the time, or eating only once when fasting.

A calorie deficit is produced by this kind of diet, which could result in weight loss. Fasting might[6] also lower risk factors for heart disease, lower sugar, and decrease inflammation, among many health benefits.

Eating only one meal a day, however, is one of the most extreme forms of intermittent fasting when compared to fasting regimens, such as the 16/8 technique, which entails eight-hour eating windows and sixteen-hour fasting windows.

Several well-known diets promote having one meal per day. For instance, a person who practices the famous Warrior Diet consumes only one meal each day, cycling from brief bursts of energy consumption and long stretches of fasting.

The majority of people who adhere to the OMAD diet only eat dinner, while some might have breakfast or lunch. Some variations of this eating plan permit one meal plus one or two snacks.

However, some OMAD follower only eats during their designated meal, which usually lasts an hour or so, and avoids anything containing calories during their fasting window.

Is One Meal A Day Diet Safe?

If followed with care and correctly to receive enough nutrition and calories from your meals, this diet could be safe.

According to a review published in the 2016 issue of Annual Review of Nutrition, intermittent fasting diets, including more extreme variations like OMAD, are generally unlikely to affect persons who are obese, are overweight, or are at a healthy weight.

However, OMAD is a limited dietary plan that might not be appealing to everyone. You must be careful not to overindulge or overeat harmful foods during your main meal if you are following OMAD.

Additionally, it could be difficult to consume a day’s worth of calories into one substantial meal, or you might discover that you feel uncomfortable after consuming this much food at once.

Thus, even though it is good to follow calorie-restricted diets and fasting patterns, a good flexible diet strategy that has[6] moderate meals like thrice or twice a day may be better for overall health.


Even if eating only one meal a day is a common weight loss strategy, it is probably not a good idea for your overall well-being.

Although fasting in general, especially extended fasting, could have several positive effects on health, people might get the same health benefits via much more long-lasting techniques.

If you are currently eating more than you need to and wish to stimulate weight loss, more sustainable diets include adhering to a low-calorie, healthy diet or 16/8 intermittent fasting.

Because of their extreme nature, OMAD dietary patterns are generally discouraged by healthcare professionals.

Making sustainable, gradual lifestyle and dietary adjustments is the best way to start losing weight.

Those who are interested in fasting should look into less stringent options. Additionally, if a person has a medical issue, it is advisable to speak with a nutritionist or physician about safe weight loss strategies.


Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.

  1. Hitomi Ogata , Yoichi Hatamoto , Yusuke Goto, et al. Association between breakfast skipping and postprandial hyperglycaemia after lunch in healthy young individuals. Randomized Controlled Trial Br J Nutr. 2019 Aug 28;122(4):431-440.doi: 10.1017/S0007114519001235. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31486356/
  2. K A Varady. Intermittent versus daily calorie restriction: which diet regimen is more effective for weight loss? Review Obes Rev. 2011 Jul;12(7):e593-601.doi: 10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00873.x. Epub 2011 Mar 17. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21410865/
  3. Maria M Mihaylova , Chia-Wei Cheng , Amanda Q Cao, et al. Fasting Activates Fatty Acid Oxidation to Enhance Intestinal Stem Cell Function during Homeostasis and Aging. Cell Stem Cell. 2018 May 3;22(5):769-778.e4.doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2018.04.001. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29727683/
  4. Bruno Lima Giacobbo, Janine Doorduin, Hans C. Klein, et al. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Brain Disorders: Focus on Neuroinflammation. Mol Neurobiol. 2019; 56(5): 3295–3312.Published online 2018 Aug 17. doi: 10.1007/s12035-018-1283-6
  5. Kim S Stote, David J Baer, Karen Spears, et al. A controlled trial of reduced meal frequency without caloric restriction in healthy, normal-weight, middle-aged adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Apr; 85(4): 981–988.doi: 10.1093/ajcn/85.4.981
  6. Adrienne R Barnosky , Kristin K Hoddy , Terry G Unterman, et al. Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings. Review Transl Res. 2014 Oct;164(4):302-11.doi: 10.1016/j.trsl.2014.05.013. Epub 2014 Jun 12. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24993615/
  7. Antonio Paoli, Grant Tinsley, Antonino Bianco, et al. The Influence of Meal Frequency and Timing on Health in Humans: The Role of Fasting. Nutrients. 2019 Apr; 11(4): 719.Published online 2019 Mar 28. doi: 10.3390/nu11040719

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