The Most Natural Way to Eat?
Eating just one meal a day may seem like a crazy concept to you. It might even seem impossible, or too hard to keep up. In fact, it’s not only possible, it's how humans used to eat. It may not have been by choice, but early humans spent the day gathering and hunting for food, and then had one big meal at night, and they certainly didn’t have a problem with obesity.
You may have heard the term intermittent fasting. This is a way to describe diets that cycle between periods of eating and periods of fasting. Eating one meal a day would be considered a strict form of time-restricted feeding because most of the day is spent fasting with only one window of time spent eating.
How One Meal a Day Helps You Maintain a Healthy Weight
The idea behind eating only one meal a day is to eat less overall. Once the body acclimates to eating once a day, it turns to stored fat for fuel, and eventually, your body is trained to want less food.
"As a fat-burner, your body breaks free from blood-sugar swings and brain-fog, and you can actually become a more efficient mentally and physically," says Ashley Smith, a nutritional therapy practitioner in Berkeley. "It may take a couple of weeks to effectively flip the switch from 'sugar burner' to 'fat burner,' but it can be done— particularly when consuming a variety of high-quality fats, whole/nutrient-dense vegetables, and properly sourced meats."
The secret is to eat a nourishing meal and to eat until you are full. You can choose the time of day you want to eat, although it’s easier to eat at the end of your day. Most people lose weight with this regimen without having to monitor their portion sizes or count calories, but some people still keep track of how much they eat and when. It's up to you.
Can I Lose Weight Eating One Meal a Day?
Some diets claim that eating as many as six meals a day will rev up your metabolism, and keep yourself from getting hungry. The only problem is that eating constantly throughout the day may have helped led to the obesity epidemic. Eating more meals a day encourages food obsession and overconsumption. It also makes it easier to go over your daily calorie limits. The truth is it that eating six meals a day does not have a big impact on your metabolism. While it may help your body burn 10 or so more calories in a day (through the constant process of digestion), this can be offset by how many more calories you will most likely consume. Some experts say not eating for long periods of time will slow your metabolism, but it would take three or more days of fasting to have any noticeable impact on your metabolism. If you eat enough calories in a day, it doesn’t matter how you spread it out.
It seems that the more you eat, the more you want to eat. Everybody has experienced this. When you start eating more often, you feel hungrier more often as well. This leads to food obsession and overconsumption. The opposite affect happens as well. The less you eat, the less you feel like eating. When trying to lose or maintain weight, it's easier to get a calorie reduction through eating less often. In the end, eating six meals a day makes you want to eat more, and more often than not, that's exactly what happens.
Not for Everyone
Not everybody will be satisfied with a one meal a day lifestyle. Some people will prefer to spread their nutritional intake throughout the day. Eating 2 to 3 meals a day will still provide many of the same benefits.
Some nutritionists caution against restricting food to only one meal a day and warn that it may foster an unhealthy relationship with food. Some nutritionists claim that restricting meals to once a day can encourage obsessing on food. While this may be true for some, many people who have switched to a one meal a day lifestyle may also notice a significant decrease in hunger and a healthier relationship food. When eating only one meal a day, the body and mind eventually become programmed to think about food less and to only become hungry when you have programmed your body to expect food.
Other experts question the claim that eating one big meal a day helps the body detoxify.
"You do not need to skip meals to detox your body," says Jennifer Kanikula, a registered dietitian with thesofulltraveler.com. "Your liver and your kidneys are working 24/7 to naturally 'detox' you. Also, this process of eating one meal a day does not eliminate extra water unless you actually are not drinking anything else throughout the day either, which is an awful idea. Water may increase your weight temporarily if you are drinking heaps of it, but does not actually cause weight gain or bulkiness."
Many dietitians and nutritionists have the misconception that the one meal a day, and other intermittent feeding lifestyles are simply ways to skip meals. During OMAD and other intermittent lifestyles, having fewer meals a day only work to reroute when you have your energy intake. Never on this lifestyle change should you significantly reduce your overall calories for weight loss. While the liver and kidneys are always working to detoxify your system, fasting produces extra benefits because you are not constantly adding in more toxins that may interfere with the process. Drinking plenty of water will also help flush out excess water and toxins from your body.
This way of eating might not be for everyone, but if you feel like your eating plan is making you bloated or bulky, one meal a day might be something worth trying.
Here's how to do it.
Eat One Meal a Day to Lose Weight
|Tips||Why It Works|
Eat one main meal with lean protein, green vegetables, and a moderate serving of whole-grain or unprocessed carbohydrates.
Lean protein and whole-grain carbs give you fuel without unhealthy fats, while vegetables provide essential fiber for digestion.
Eat as big a meal as you want.
If you're eating nourishing, healthy food for your one meal, you can eat until you feel completely satisfied.
Eat your meal at your least busiest time of day and at the same time everyday.
When your body expects food at the same time each day it will help to suppress your appetite and curb cravings.
No need to keep track of calories.
The amount you eat will depend on you and vary each day. Consuming plenty of calories ensures that your metabolism will stay high and you'll still continue to lose weight.
Snack on vegetables and fruit when you're first starting out.
By choosing vegetables and low-sugar fruit, your body can get fiber and minerals to stay satisfied before or after your meal.
Avoid meal replacement shakes.
Eating a really nutritious meal of whole foods is the best way to get the nutrients you need.
Tips for Starting Out
- Start by eating three meals a day and work down to two meals, and then one.
- Make sure you are consuming enough calories or you will be hungry. Too few calories and your metabolism will eventually slow down. You might lose weight, but not efficiently. This will also make maintaining a healthy weight much harder, as you'll be more prone to gain weight when you eat normally again.
- Start by eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day and your main meal at night. You can adjust the time of day when you eat your main meal later, if necessary.
- Avoid processed snacks and foods. They are addicting and they don’t satisfy hunger.
- Stick to lean proteins, fresh vegetables, low-sugar fruits, and whole grains. It's okay to treat yourself, but don't over-do it.
- Don't focus on being perfect.
- Never sacrifice health over perfection. If you feel light-headed at any point, eat!
How to Make the OMAD Diet Work for You
- Eat over the course of a few hours, rather than just one sit-down meal.
- To curb hunger, drink tea, coffee, and lots of fluids throughout the day, and keep yourself occupied! Apple cider vinegar also helps to curb hunger.
- If you're an athlete, eat something small before your workout practice, and then have your main meal at night. Everyone can tailor OMAD to their own personal life. Don't see this as an all-or-nothing, strict plan.
- The key is always to eat healthy foods that are not processed, and avoid high amounts of sugar and sodium. I generally cook my own meals, and that helps significantly. As with any new habit you want to develop in life, it will take one to three weeks to adapt. Taking a multivitamin is never a bad idea as well.
- While some people may respond well to eating once a day on an ongoing basis, others should only use this approach for one or two days a week.
- Feeling hungry is normal, but when you do feel hungry, you should eat. Keep vegetables, nuts, hard-boiled eggs, and other healthy snacks handy. Eating one meal a day may not be enough for you!
Benefits of Eating One Meal a Day
- Increased productivity
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss/better weight management
- Maintain ideal weight
- Increased mental clarity and awareness
- Increased energy
- Better health
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2013 Michelle V
Ann Marie on April 23, 2019:
Started doing this in January, and I find it's extremely easy to do. I do this Monday to Friday. I eat protein, vegetables and sometimes yogurt with small amount of granola with whip cream (as a dessert). Friday is my going out night----dinner & two drinks. Sat & Sun I eat breakfast & dinner----have real ice cream on one of those days. I do have a pretty physical job, and I also work out five days a week. Five years ago, I lost 55 pounds by eating very healthy everyday----too boring. I purposely put on 10lbs because friends/family said I was too thin. Then over the past year & half put on additional 12lbs---yikes! That's what happened when I tried to just "live & stop weighing myself". So in January, I said that's it----I'm taking it all off (22lbs), but I didn't want to give up my "friday nights out". It took 15 weeks (2wks towards the end, I remained the same), and I lost 24lbs. And I went out every single Friday and followed my schedule as I stated in the beginning. It's so much easier than any other diet plan I have tried----having tried them all! I'm 49yrs old, 5' 1", 113 lbs and feel great. You can do this-----it's way easier than you think!
Rahul Patil on March 15, 2019:
Hi there ,is that ok if i take a tea or coffee during day having milk in it .
Jay on November 12, 2018:
It seems you have not read up on the research with regards to fasting and it's benefits. I suggest you have a look into it and perhaps look up Dr. Fung who has done a lot of research into how fasting can counter act diabetes and allow the body to burn more fat. If the human species did not adapt to go without food for prolonged hours then we wouldn't be here.
Michelle V (author) from USA on October 12, 2018:
Hi Bernie, I would consult your doctor.
bernie on September 21, 2018:
can diabetics go on this
Michelle V (author) from USA on August 18, 2018:
How long it will take will depend on your own personal body. As long as you keep your diet healthy, you should reach your goals in not too long!
dannyfab on July 28, 2018:
Hi Im 51 5ft 5inches and around 87 kilos I have just started fasting on 1 meal a day. I would like to get down to around 70 to 75 kilos how long should this take. I have a healthy diet, drink plenty of water and Black coffee, no sugar during the day and eat at around 7pm. I dont eat takeaway food.
Michelle V (author) from USA on June 14, 2018:
If you've gotten to the point where you've stopped losing weight, there are a few things you can do.
The first thing is to make sure that you still have weight to lose (Are you close to or at your ideal weight?).
The second thing to do is to start monitoring how much you are eating (Are you eating more than you think you are?).
Finally you can just keep going for a few more weeks and see if anything changes (Sometimes weight loss may stall or not show up for a few weeks.).
jesse2020 on May 29, 2018:
Hello please I need help
OMAD has really been helpful I was 122kg now I’m 95
But since I got to 95kg I can’t seem to lose weight anymore either hav I gain weight.
Please what shud I do
Michelle V (author) from USA on April 14, 2018:
Hi fallenflower, I would not recommend anyone under 18 to go on a diet. OMAD is not necessarily a weight loss diet, it is simply changing the timing of when you eat. If you are overweight I would suggest cutting out processed and prepackaged foods, eat out less, eat more whole and natural foods, and increase physical activity for weight loss. Seems simple, but it really works!
fallenflower on April 11, 2018:
I'm 16 years old.My weight is 74kg and my height is 4'11.
Is this diet safe for someone my age? And if I do it everyday,how many pounds may I lose by the end of March?
Michelle V (author) from USA on March 28, 2018:
I definitely not recommend omad to a growing child. The idea of omad is that you do not need to eat many meals a day for optimal health. You can receive benefits through eating less times a day, but should never drastically cut calories for weight loss. If you or anyone is struggling eating one or two bigger meals a day, then it may not be the right eating pattern for you.
Sevyn on March 23, 2018:
Hi! My friend who is 11 is trying this and has been doing it for 3 days and says that she will eat only one meal with hardly to no snacks during the day. Day 3 was hard on her and she has been having a headache annoying her throughtout the day! Should she continue?
queen on March 14, 2018:
I started omad Monday 3/5/18 and today is 3/14/18 I started at 167 pounds now I am down to 163 pounds, I Have lost 4 pounds in 9 days. My goal weight is to get down to 150 pounds by march 31st! I drink coffee and water and lunch I eat whatever then I workout for an hour a day cardio and weights. I’m happy that the pounds are falling off, I have tried 3 meals a day but that’s more stressful. I’m content and will continue to follow this plan until Im down to 145 pounds.
jesse2020 on March 09, 2018:
When I started OMAD in last September I was 122kg in December I was 98kg.
Now I'm 95kg in March. I was really expecting to lose than 3kg .
I won't lose hope
I will Keep going till I get to 75kg
BarryLincoln on February 27, 2018:
Since I retired 15 years ago have eaten OMAD, occasionally a grilled cheese sandwich or something sounds too good during the day, maybe 6 times a year. I love REAL mashed potatoes and eat until I'm stuffed at dinner. Always have a midnight snack, that really irritates my wife. Will eat 2-3 chocolate covered twinkies, couple cookies, 3 small milky ways, or cut back to 1 twinkie and some chips w/hot cheese dip and a layer of milky way's. mmmmmmm.
Sure it sounds bad but, I stay pretty healthy for an old man.
Plenty of exercise in the summer, not enough in the winter, near the Canadian Border.
5' 8" tall, always weigh 160-170. Right now 165. Just don't feel like eating during the day. I always said,, hardly anyone ate 3 meats a day 150 years ago and before, unless they killed a large animal. Then they had to eat it fast. If a time traveler from 1850 landed here he would wonder how so many people got so fat.
I do believe many people are predisposed to gaining weight. My wife eats a small meal 2 or 3 times a day. Overall she eats a lot less than me and much healthier. She battles weight constantly. I must be immune to it? Either that or, there is something to waiting until dinner time to eat?
Michelle V (author) from USA on February 20, 2018:
Hi Neev25, I would suggest tracking what you are eating for a few days. Sometimes we consume more than we think.
Reduyan on February 18, 2018:
I am 15 years old. Can I do this diet?
Neev25 on February 15, 2018:
Hi Michelle B: Its been almost like 3 months I am following the OMAD plan and I have lost almost 13 kgs in 2 months...
but from past 30 days there are no changes in my weight... I am quiet confused and worried... could you please suggest on this...
Gibguy on February 07, 2018:
I can''t tell you how much OMAD has helped me to change my life around.
I've been on OMAD regimen now for four weeks.
It's been hard because I love my food but I am used to it now..at last..
The trick is to keep the food very interesting and full of flavour herbs and spices are a great way to make food enjoyable and interesting..Boredom and repetition is the killer..must keep food interesting
My appetite and food cravings have almost gone in fact I now feel full with much smaller portions
I eat at midday and mostly fresh roasted lean meats Fish eggs freah vegetables and Salads
I am 59 ,My start weight was 18 stone 9 lbs I have lost over 42lbs in weight so far
I exercise ,mostly intensive walking for about an hr a day circa 4 miles
I feel renewed .much more energy and awareness has returned..life is changing for the better
I have actively avoided complex carbs ,Bread Rice Pasta Grains etc
Rejected all forms of sugar additives ,sweets cakes cereals bisquits etc
I drink mostly water and coffee no alcohol no diet drinks no fruit juices
Food now tastes wonderful , eating a variety of meals is key,explore and discover new realms of cooking.
Supermarkets are nightmare..I can't believe the amount of sugar and fat we are encouraged to eat is incredible and it's all rubbish.
Try it believe me it works and it will completely transform your life and the ones around will be astonished how much you will change for the better
Michelle V (author) from USA on February 07, 2018:
You're welcome DAshley123, the good thing about omad is that you get to feel full! Try expanding your eating window if you can't get enough calories in!
DAshley123 on February 06, 2018:
Hey Michelle! I just started this way of eating about 2 days ago. It's a little hard but I'm adjusting. Thanks for your info. The hardest part so far is trying to find foods I like (many are healthy) to add up to 1500 calories. Jeez! I can't eat that many vegetables. I'm afraid of slowing my weight loss down by now consuming enough calories. Anyway, thanks for your page. I'm finding it informative.
Michelle V (author) from USA on February 06, 2018:
Hi Lloyd, thanks for your input! I don't vilify fat if it's the right kind of fat. Diets high in saturated fat can lead to heart disease as a lot of research has shown. You can still lose weight by eating a high fat diet, but I would recommend eating a diet low in saturated fat for health reasons.
Michelle V (author) from USA on January 27, 2018:
Hi Deadlegend, no problem, your comments have been great!
Deadlegend on January 25, 2018:
Hi Michelle, thanks for starting this page/blog and I hope you don't mind me using it. I just think that the whole concept of intermitted fasting is fascinating and it has really helped me in such a short period of time, the results are crazy good. Its kinda like a wanna shout it from the rooftops.
Deadlegend on January 24, 2018:
Marion, hi there, your story sounds like a real hardship and its unfortunate and just wrong that in this day and age anyone anywhere in the world should have to go without food. Everybody's story however is different, we are not starving ourselves we eat well its just we choose to do so once a day. If you are a person who skips breakfast but eats lunch and dinner are you equally stupid? Me I choose to eatbone less time a day than those people and find I am less hungry during the day than I ever was...I dont eat half the amount if chocolate and crisps (chips) that I used to and my energy levels are through the roof..this is not a plan for all and won't suit everyone but we are by no means stupid to try to improve our own life's.
Marion on January 24, 2018:
By necessity I followed the "One Meal A Day" diet, because I lived in Asia, and I had to sacrifice my food to feed my children. I was constantly hungry, as well as worried that I wouldn't be able to feed my children. This a STUPID STUPID STUPID "Diet"!!!! This is Starvation. I am acutely aware of the nutritional requirements of people for their genders, age, activity levels; although I've been forced by circumstance to adhere to the "Once Per Day" diet by abject 3Rd World Poverty, it's INSANE to actually choose this as a lifestyle.
Deadlegend on January 23, 2018:
Lynette wood, I'm not a doctor, not even close, I have read a lot and utubed much more Lol, if you have diabetes please please please consult your doctor...convince him and it might take some convincing. That this is what you want to do.
If your taking insulin injections they, from what I've heard and read will need to be monitored and adjusted during fasting as too much insulin is as bad as too little....with you all the way girl.
Deadlegend on January 22, 2018:
Hi all, I've been on omad now for 22 days and loving it, I won't lie first few day (as I went cold turkey) where hard, but I was focused and determined and that's what got me through. Now the weight is falling off, but in a steady healthy way. I eat at dinner time, chicken, meat or fish with plenty of veg. I avoid potatoes but once a week have a large portion or pasta or rice. Why? Cause I love chilli and spagballs, its that simple..... This is a lifestyle not a diet so enjoy what you eat but mostly try to keep it healthy and you'll reach your goals..and eat lots and lots and lots and enjoy a pudding at the end of the meal. Then don't eat again for 23 hours....food tastes 100% better.. Loving it!!!
Michelle V (author) from USA on January 22, 2018:
Hi Lynette, I'm sure everyone's interested to hear your experience!
Neev25 and slimIn2018 I've been meaning to write a new article on a sample meal plan for OMAD. In the meantime eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean meats are generally suggested. What you should eat depends on your own personal health and goals. A physician, nutrition coach, or dietitian can best help you determine your needs.
slimIn2018 on January 19, 2018:
Want to start this life style tomorrow. Can you give me a sample meal for the first week. I am 46 and trying to lose 61lb
by june 2018, currently weigh 245.
love the post. Really need to Start asap.
Neev25 on January 17, 2018:
Hey Guys... I am following this one day meal plan from past 50 days and the results are just amazing... I have lost almost 12 kgs, thank you so much for the wonderful plan...
I have 1 question: Can I add rice and meat in my meal...
LynetteWood on January 09, 2018:
Well, it sounds good, encouraging, simple, easy, too good to be true. I am 59 years young, diabetic 2, morbidly obese 145 kg at 165 cm. At the moment I can't exercise much because a dented knee cap I had at age 15 is just starting to cause issues. Go figure.
Thing is, I don't like the idea of cramming so many calories I need, or not need, into just one meal. Also, how would I get the nutrition I need in one meal. Saying all that, I am willing to give it a go starting today the date of 10 th January 2018. I will login and let you know if any ones interested. What have I got to lose?......
Michelle V (author) from USA on January 04, 2018:
I hope you like my new edits! Just to clarify while some experts think that eating one meal a day increases food related thoughts and obsession, I find that eat less often actually makes me think about food less often. The opposite is true for me as well. The more often I eat, the more I think about food. So if you are interested in converting to an OMAD lifestyle try it for a full week an see how you respond. If you feel it is making you more obsessed with food then it might not be for you. Also remember that eating one meal a day does not mean that you eat one standard sized meal. It is best if you eat larger sized meal until satisfied.
Michelle V (author) from USA on December 31, 2017:
Hi Robert, you can drink as much water as you like. In fact the more water you consume the better. As far as what to consume, I suggest eating whole foods that are fresh and not pre-made. It will help you to eat less and be healthy on the inside as well. Consult a physician if you have any health concerns on what you should be eating. Hope that helps!
Michelle V (author) from USA on December 31, 2017:
Yes have your meal when it's convenient for you! It doesn't change the benefits either way.
Michelle V (author) from USA on December 31, 2017:
Hi Jesse, That's awesome!
RobertKStephen on December 26, 2017:
Hi, Michelle, nice job on the common sense! So, here we go on your proposal - day one! A couple of questions - you mention getting rid of excess water, though I've heard often enough not to skimp on it, that the more the merrier, and 2l per day minimum is desirable. And that's my usual consumption; should I take it easier on the water?! Question two is regarding what I'll eat on that single meal. Living alone, and being practicality-oriented (if it's troublesome to prepare out wash up I won't do it) I'm planning to alternate Brazilian rice and beans with pasta and whatever sauce. Clearance on that? Starting at 93kg for 1.77m . Metric not imperial, and yes, I look and feel like crap.
Neev on December 15, 2017:
This is really awesome... started this plan 20 days before & I lost total 6-kg
I have one question, I work in very odd shift times every week, so can I have my 1 meal any time as per my convenient.... waiting for your reply....
bobcat on December 15, 2017:
do you think you lose more weight with the one meal a day/one plate or the three day diet
jesse2020 on December 12, 2017:
after 3months on this diet
im glad to inform you that the diet really works
and have lost 24kg
i was 122kg
sophie96 on November 19, 2017:
Hi, any suggestions on how do I stop myself from getting hungry rest of the day?
Jazz on November 17, 2017:
I have tried it and lost 11 kgs in 3 months..was doing 30 to 45 mins of walking/jogging 5 times a week..
Michelle V (author) from USA on November 15, 2017:
Hi Facundo, the number is going to be different for everyone depending on your goals. Just remember that if you're eating to maintain you will feel really full after eating. You might want to eat over the course of a few hours rather than just one sit down meal if that helps.
Facundo on November 14, 2017:
Hi. One question, what would be the suggested amount of calories that i should eat in this one meal. Im 24 yo. 80kg 1.84 mts and i work out daily. Im asking cause even when i eat until im full the amount of calories its less that 1.500 and im worried is not enough
Deekshi on November 13, 2017:
How many days it may take to loose 5kg
Michelle V (author) from USA on November 12, 2017:
Hi Leia, yes you can have an apple. I usually suggest fruits and vegetables before your meal when first adjusting.
Hi Sara, that seems like a lot but anything is possible. It depends on how much you weigh and if you have a lot of "water weight" to lose.
sara on November 10, 2017:
is it possible to lose 20 kg in 1 month? will waiting for reply
leia on November 10, 2017:
is it ok for eating apple beside the one meal? just incase if you're craving . really hope u can reply to this
Johnc655 on October 26, 2017:
A big thank you for your article.Really thank you! Cool. gfeacfafkeee
Vitto on October 19, 2017:
30 years on one meal a day and perfect results so far
Michelle V (author) from USA on October 17, 2017:
Hi jesse2020, yes you can eat chocolate! It all depends on what particular goals you have, and if eating chocolate doesn't trigger you to overeat.
Pradosh on October 12, 2017:
Eating one meal a day surely works. Worked for me. I am on keto diet and have been eating a big meal before bed comprising of fats and protein. No carbs. I have significantly reduced tummy which i was not able to since a year of gyming. Also hunger has come down drastically compared to 6 meals a day i used to have once upon a bad time. :P
I am enjoying it. Carbs are villain, Fats are hero and Protein sweet Actress. :P
jesse2020 on October 10, 2017:
have been eating one meal a day around 2 0r 3 in the afternoon and the drink just water.
im asking if it is okay to eat chocolate once every week or every 2weeks.
await your reply
Chris Wager on September 27, 2017:
Best thing to ever happen to me is start eating 1 meal a day.
Michelle V (author) from USA on September 25, 2017:
Hi MM, glad you are liking the results! The best way to curb hunger that works for myself is (1) Drink tea, coffee, and lots of fluids throughout the day, and (2) Keep yourself occupied!
MM❤️ on September 23, 2017:
So, i am planning on doing this. Really excited because of all the results i have heard so far. This post motivated me even more, but i have a question.. Since i know i am gonna be hungry first week or maybe even more, is there some effective way to kill hunger without eating any food? e.g. some drinks or something to kill that appetite? Thank you!
vickyallum84 on September 22, 2017:
I have just started the one meal a day diet a few days ago. Previously I was doing the 5:2 diet but do find that fast days on 500 kcal can be difficult, moved over to this and it seems easy. I have actually started to enjoy the feeling of hunger because I know my body is burning fat. It is also a more manageable diet when you have children. You know you only have to wait till tea time to have a nice meal.
Michelle V (author) from USA on September 20, 2017:
Hi Lee, I think as long as you are healthy and not underweight you should be fine. Yes, sometimes when you are not used to being thin, you can sometimes feel you are too slim when you're perfectly healthy!
Lee on September 15, 2017:
have been eating 1 meal a day since April last year. It was totally unplanned and mainly due to a life change mental health problems where my whole eating habit changed.
I was 16 and a half stone since I was 17 I am big boned and 6f 3" I did used to drink a lot of beer and aside from a bit of a belly was slim.
I am now just under 15 stone have hardly any body fat whatsoever and have lost 4 inches off my waist, neck was 18 half now 16 half inches ,
The thing with me is I cant help feeling like I am ill sometimes I ache so bad, have had full bloods done everything is ok, I actually feel a lot better when waking, previously I would wake feeling so sick, now I'm up and feel great for the most part.
the one thing because none of this was planned is the worry it caused watching weight fall off until I became convinced I was seriously ill and now I cant seem to get back into how I ate before and gain weight.
I'm in i dilemma I also wanted to have a flat stomach and look better than I did at 16-161/2 stone, and I do. I just think we are embedded with weight loss is bad, despite how we are losing it, if that makes sense, every single day people I see regularly will comment how much weight I have lost and it send me into a panic.
reading this makes so much sense and makes me feel a little more focused on what has been achieved here albeit unplanned.
Also recently read I should be getting 2500 calories a day to maintain weight just makes sense if you are eating once in any 24 hours your body begins to use fat reserves and weight falls off. This makes sense but even after speaking to an ex gym fanatic who was 18 stone no juice natural and is now 15 stone he said he went through the same thing worrying , is this like some kind of body dis morphia reversed, think there is definitely physiological attachment. not dissimilar to a slim person thinking they are overweight, a slim person thinking they are too slim and ill?
Donna on September 10, 2017:
This way of eating is the way to go. I started one meal a day a few days ago, and I love it. Before I used to be so hungry all of the time and snacking. But now my body only gets hungry during 5 or 6. Six meals a day is a waste of time. The more the person is snacking, the more they are training the body to want to eat.
I believe that as long you are eating enough calories for your body, then it is fine. It's about the calories.
Michelle V (author) from USA on September 08, 2017:
Hi Karie, the best way in my opinion to get over emotional stress eating is to get to the bottom of what's cause you stress. Then work to fix that problem or find another way of coping. You have to understand that you can't control your feelings, you have to feel them and accept them. You also have to love yourself enough to not be controlled by them. Eating patterns are habit. Once you allow yourself the time to develop a new habit (OMAD), you'll see how easy it becomes over time and you won't even feel like eating when going through your emotions.
KARIE on September 05, 2017:
IM KIND OF NEW TO THIS OMAD. ANY ADVICE TO AN EMOTIONAL STRESS EATER? I DONT EAT MUCH REALLY BUT I DO EAT WHEN IM BORED OR JUST FEELING SAD. & WHEN I FINALLY DO EAT ITS NOT ALWAYS THE BEST OPTIONS. BUT DEFINITELY MY FIRST MEAL OF THE DAY. ITS HARD FOR ME BECAUSE I DONT HAVE THAT FAMILY/FRIENDS SUPPORT. IM ALWAYS TRYING TO LEARN ON WAYS TO STOP LETTING MY EMOTIONS GET THE BEST OF ME BUT I ALWAYS FIND MYSELF FAILING. MEAL PREPPING IS SOMETHING I AM TRYING TO DO RIGHT NOW AND I AM GOING TO STICK TO IT FOR AS LONG AS I CAN. I FIGURED SOME PROFESSUIONAL ADVICE WOULDNT HURT.
IM 230 PDS/// 5'4 //22 YEARS OLD :(
IM JUST WAITING FOR THAT ONE DAY THAT I WILL BE HAPY WITH MYSELF, AFTER 22 YEARS I THINK I DESERVE TO BE HAPPY IN MY OWN SKIN FOR ONCE.
Michelle V (author) from USA on September 04, 2017:
Hi Timeno1990, yes you can gain or maintain weight on OMAD. It all depends on how many calories you consume during your meal. My suggestion would be to find out how much energy you are currently burning daily on average, and initially track your calories to make sure you are eating that much. Don't be surprised if you feel very full during your meal, that's actually normal when eating to maintain.
Johnny-Z on August 30, 2017:
Started 2days ago before reading this article... After reading it, motivated to try for at least 1 month.. No harm in trying:)
tanisha on August 29, 2017:
started today! will give an update in a week :) fingers crossed
Timeno1990 on August 27, 2017:
Michelle, everyone is covering the benefits of OMAD based on the desire to lose weight. My situation is totally different, I have always had a super fast metabolism and I actually am considered under weight for a 27 year old man of my height, but I'm healthy. I want to start OMAD because of the convenience. I am very active, running a business all day everyday, I want to be able to stop taking a break every 4 hours to eat. Being someone as active as I am (burning calories all day) and being too thin to chance losing weight, my question is, is it safe for me to switch to OMAD? And can I do it without losing weight?
Ashleen Darbey on August 20, 2017:
Starting tomorrow and can't wait ! I did this before and felt great and lost 20 lbs. the first week was tough but after that felt great
Yondy on July 30, 2017:
I do feel better mentally and physically. After two kids my life is changing . Thanks Michelle . The other diets don't work this is it. I drink lots a water in the day and have a balanced meal in the afternoon and a bit of walking in the evening . When I get up in mornings my energy levels r up .
Michelle V (author) from USA on July 20, 2017:
Hi Lucy, I will write an article in the upcoming week about meal examples. For now, eating chicken and tuna as protein is just fine, and with OMAD you don't have to go low-carb to lose weight. I don't believe in low-carb anyway so eating whole grain bread, pasta, and rice is just fine!
Lucy Gracey on July 18, 2017:
I would really like to give this a go but the only meat I eat is chicken and the only fish, is tuna. Could you possibly give me a few examples of main meals? I understand there should be the protein and the veggies, what could I have as whole grain carbs?Thank you so much. ☺
firstname.lastname@example.org on July 18, 2017:
I HAVE TRIED IT AND I STARTED 3 MEALS AND DOWN TO 2 MEALS FOR ONE MONTH AND FROM 76 KG I 'D DROP 5KG SO I'M NOW 70KG AND WILL TRY TO DO 1 MEAL A DAY. I FEEL GREAT NOW BECAUSE I FEEL LIGHTER AND LEANER. THANKS TO INTERMITTENT FASTING IT REALLY HELP IN OVERALL OF MY BEING.
Michelle V (author) from USA on July 14, 2017:
Hi Maxine, yes your one meal should generally be a combination of 2 or 3 meals so that you are not starving. It's ok to have minimal snacks (fruits/veggies), but once you get more accustomed try drinking only water and herbal teas outside of the meal for even better results.
Michelle V (author) from USA on July 14, 2017:
Thanks Kiwi Jane, that's really helpful!!
Michelle V (author) from USA on July 14, 2017:
Thank-you for sharing Brian!
Brian on July 14, 2017:
Two months today since starting one meal a day. (207 lbs at start)
Male in 60 th year. (5 ft 8)
Lost 13 lbs the first month and 10 the second month.
This month my goal is 9 lbs. Next is 8 lbs for a total of 40 lbs in 4 months.
I eat my meal between 6 and 8 pm ...including something sweet and have a 20 minute excercise program daily.
Before I started my joints were sore especially in the morning.
Now have no pain at all , psa is below one and cholesterol is down.
It takes determination especially when others around you are eating, camping , travelling etc. But it is well worth it.
Save money ...better health...as good as quitting smoking.
Kiwi Jane on July 09, 2017:
Technically, I suppose I 'graze' ... but it IS a single meal! Judge for yourself :) I rarely eat meat (except weekly steamed oily fish which I nibble on) so put everything I need: raw eggs, fruit (whole - skin, pips'n'all in most cases), veggies, nuts, grains, whey powder et al; in a Bullet-blender with water, varying the combinations for a good balance. I keep it in the fridge and slurp a mouthful when I feel the need. Start time doesn't matter but I always finish by 3pm. As it becomes too much, I reduce the volume. I drink lots of water and herbal teas too. Dropped 18kg (40lbs) over 12 months (having yo-yo'd since puberty - I'm 62 now). No hunger, no bloating, more energy, better sleep ... all good! Have been at my ideal weight for nigh on 12 months but maintain the same regimen and remain the same weight ... my body is smarter the I am! (No surprise there!)
Maxine Elliot on July 08, 2017:
If you snack while on the one meal a day, wouldn't that be considered a meal? Would you make your one meal a day meal be very large and therefore more of a couple of meals in quantity?
Michelle V (author) from USA on July 01, 2017:
Hi Emma, thanks for sharing your experience! I'm a big advocate for drinking lots of fluids before your meal!
Emma Lea on July 01, 2017:
Thank you for sharing and providing a platform for us to share our experiences. Hubby and I just stared OMAD this week and we like how we feel. I take in about 1 gallon of water/teat/coffee zero calorie fluids. And when I feel like my energy is low or I need a little something I warm up chicken broth and eat it with a soup spoon. It does several things, the salt seems to have a rejuvenating affect, the warm liquid is soothing, eating with the spoon satisfies my mental desire to eat and makes me eat slower so my headspace can register "I'm ok".
I just convinced hubby to try the chicken broth as well and he said it really helped.
Michelle V (author) from USA on June 26, 2017:
Hi Emma, you could eat something small before your practice, and have your main meal a night. Everyone can tailor OMAD to their own personal life. Don't see this as a all or nothing strict plan. You still get so many benefits just from cutting down the amount of times you are processing food everyday.
Phillip H on June 25, 2017:
Been doing this for 4.5 months.
It's amazing I have lost 40 pounds so far!!
Push through the hunger it's totally worth it!
RICO Cook on June 20, 2017:
Yes I did it before for 30 days and I like it but I started craving for pizza and beer and got off of it I am going back on it next week on Monday but I'm eating two meals a day now and nothing but vegetables and fish and I'm looking for a female partner that we can switch recipes and have a good day
emma s on June 19, 2017:
I am a 16 year old gymnast. i practice 4 hours a day 5 to six days a week. is this a healthy diet plan for me. i definitely would not want to go the whole day without food before practice, but if i eat before practice, how am i supposed to recover from my workout. i think that this diet does not take into account the energy and calorie requirements of high level athletes
Steve T on June 17, 2017:
Look I'm going to be very serious ...I've been doing this on and off whenever I've felt that I've let my body down and your own body will give you subtle feelings when it's time...maybe you just walked up a flight of stairs and was out of breath or you can no longer see you penis when looking down. Come on people I'm being so serious that I be been doing this for the last 12 years on and off that I know that food is a drug just like drugs...go ahead and laugh at me but believe me if your body knows that you have access to double cheeseburgers with fries and a shake it likes it a lot . Think about it being a hit of cocaine! You did it yesterday and now your body wants it again! Your body knows it has access to these cheeseburgers and fries so it wants you to eat more if you've got the resources to acquire them.
Back in the caveman days we didn't have MacDonald's to satiate our desires? Do it learned how to conserve energy. This meaning when food is plentiful....we eat our asses off, but if not we go into a survival mode to conserve all our nutrients until other good sourced present themselves!
We as humans won't die if we don't eat for a very long time @ three to four weeks! so don't go more than three days in a fast and I'm sure you'll be o.k.
But if you feel hunger pains then yes it a little like a sandwich about 200 Cal's and you'll be fine!
Believe me people,. I know for a fact that humans can get by on one humongous meal till your hearts content and then take on they day and stay at a normal weight!
Try it you won't die I promise!
Michelle V (author) from USA on June 16, 2017:
Hi Elizabeth. I think it depends on what you are eating, and how much. Generally I feel more energized, have a positive mood and feel alert while fasting during the day. But eating less food in general can make anyone a little cranky!
Elizabeth on June 13, 2017:
Is this really healthy for both body and mind? Are there any physiological effects? I ask ask my husband has lost some weight, he thinks much more than he actually had but his behaviouris so much different. I'd genuinely appreciate your thoughts.
Shawna Ann on June 10, 2017:
Starting today. Only eating once a day around 4pm. I'll update how it goes for week 1.
Karen on June 02, 2017:
I started this way of life mid January. 4.5 months later I have lost 18 kgs which is just short of 40lbs. I don't count calories for my evening meal at all. Also one day a week I eat whatever I want at whatever time I want. I don't let it interfere with social activities either. If the ladies want to go to lunch or bring in a cake for a special occasion - I am there stuffing my face. I would say I eat once a day most weeks 6 days of 7 but on occasion 5 and I am still getting great results. I feel better look better. I think if you still allow yourself to be social (but not too social) and stick to it most days you will get life changing results
Lynne gough on June 02, 2017:
Eighty four year old lady can vouch for the one meal a day, fit well look and feel years younger, only started a year ago results fantastic , listen to your body the wisdom is there not with the doctors .
Live Long on May 15, 2017:
I typically eat one meal a day on a raw vegan diet and it works extremely well for me. Everyone should give it a try.
Jacob on May 13, 2017:
I did this. or something close to it. last week i was out all day. and ate around 6pm. then me and my friend came to our minds that it might work. feast like a king but once a day. i am starting to notice a HUGE difference in one week. i haven't took my weight yet. but my friend who i did not see me a week ago noticed i am thinner. tis WORKS.
eat it mid day. i get up at 9. eat at 5-6pm sleep at 12-1am. why mid day?. this way you don't feel super hungry during the day. also no or little hungry at night.
I also noticed this. after the 2nd day. my meal at 5-6pm feels like a normal sized one. i don't feel starvation. and i ate today at 7.
calorie math for no brainers. and geniuses:
i used to eat the same amount at lunch and dinner. not counting breakfast. my one meal a day = lunch or dinner only.so my calorie intake has decreased to 50% at least. timing is the game of this one.
good lady. please spread the word. i am thinking of making this my everyday life habit. i don't even think about it these days. it feels super normal . i ate at 7 today and now it is 2 am. i still feel 0 hunger. if me. a guy with no self discipline can do it. then a gorilla or even a rabbit can!.
Michelle V (author) from USA on May 10, 2017:
That's great Erin, thanks for sharing!
Erin on May 08, 2017:
I'm starting my third week of OMAD and so far I'm down 6.2 from 218 to 211.8 this morning. I've been super conscious of how I've felt over the two previous weeks but other than feeling hungry at times, I have not been light headed or felt any fatigue. I still get in my gym time with my sister and I walk my dogs but I have desk job so I'm sedentary most of the day.
If I have a snack I stick to carrots or an apple. I love that I don't have to try to track all my calories in three or four meals. I naturally ate like this when I was younger, I just wasn't that hungry throughout the day. But with family pressure to eat more I got in the habit of eating more throughout the day which has led me to gain a significant amount of weight.
Over the last several years I tried to restrict and count my calories and exercise more all the things that you are traditionally supposed to do but it never really worked for me and when I would get down to 190 my weight would become stagnate.
Michelle V (author) from USA on May 08, 2017:
That's great Clay! Some may think one meal a day is a starvation diet, but it's really life-saving.
Clay on May 03, 2017:
I have a desk job and activity level has dropped to basically nothing. I started the one meal a day one month ago to the day today. I'm 37 years old and by far the biggest one of my friends. I started at 333 pounds and I'm now at 305 and feel like I'm 20. My energy level is huge, I used to come home and couch it, now I can't sit still get bored need to do something, take dog for walk or just play in garage. I also have sleep apnea and high blood pressure, high blood pressure gone and sleep apnea has improved
RooseveltPaul from England on May 01, 2017:
Thanks for making this Blog, for what I have read so far I love it, I just started the one meal plans and so far I am feeling positive about it especially after what I read.
I'll keep you posting in a few days.
Michelle V (author) from USA on April 18, 2017:
Hi Gurps, yes it is easier to cut down the number of meals gradually. Even when cutting down to two meals a day, you will still receive the benefits.
Gurps on April 16, 2017:
I'm doing one meal a day for insulin resistance, my question is how do i start it? I went from having 3 meals a day to just one in 2 days, i felt good for the first 2 days (maybe increased adrenaline), now i'm feel hungry and have brain fog.
Should i have started with 2 meals then worked my way to one meal?
Michelle V (author) from USA on March 16, 2017:
Hi Raebo, that's great, do what works for you! I do believe that our ancestor's lower lifespans were due to other reasons than the way they ate. There have been many studies showing that humans and other animals have longer life spans directly related to eating less, and less frequently.