Blog Nutrition One Meal A Day Diet? – Real Or Too Good To Be True?

One Meal A Day Diet? – Real Or Too Good To Be True?

Introduction To The One Meal A Day Diet

Have you ever looked in the mirror totally dissatisfied with your body and shape? Those extra pounds won’t let you sleep peacefully because you keep contemplating ways to get rid of them. Today you are lucky to get introduced to OMAD or as sensible people say – a type of intermittent fasting. This takes dieting to a very high level of willingness and power.


What Is OMAD Diet?

Almost all of us have gotten used to eating 3-4 times a day, not including snacks. Now imagine if you should go without food for 23 hours and then you’re only allowed to enjoy nutritious food for 1 hour each day. 

One meal a day diet is a strict type of intermittent fasting which allows you to eat for only one hour per day and for the rest of 23 hours, you must fast.

People dive into this sort of diet for various reasons – beginning with dissatisfaction with obesity up to challenging their willpower.

Omad Diet Rules

Yeah, I know what you might be thinking. It sounds so simple and you might think there is only one rule – eat whatever you want for 1 hour and then relax for the next 23. But….nope. It is far more engaging. Like any other diet, one meal a day diet comes with a few additional guidelines.

  • Pick a four-hour block of time within which you’re going to consume your one meal, for example, between 2 PM and 6 PM. For most people, between 4-7 PM is an ideal time to break the fast. This window gives you fuel when you need it, time to eat with friends or family, and enough time to digest before heading to bed (4).
  •  Track your calories to make sure you consume the right amount of nutrients.
  •  Exclude tea and coffee entirely during fasting hours, and stick to water (6).
  • Active life during OMAD is a top-level necessity. Walk as much as possible, workout, do yoga, fitness, cardio, or anything that doesn’t let your behind stay stuck on the sofa.
  • Your head might be spinning but try to resist the temptation of devouring junk food during that one precious hour. Yeah, I know it’s tempting but it’s advisable to eat a balanced protein-rich meal. 
  • Keep a photo journal – take one picture of yourself once a week in the same place and in the same lighting.
  • Eat slowly, without any distraction for 20-25 minutes.
  • Staybusy to think less about food.
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one meal a day diet

Can You Lose Weight By Eating One Meal A Day?

A lot of trends are whirling around weight loss. People are ready to do whatever they need to do to have magazine-like looks. OMAD has become extremely popular because the greatest potential benefit of eating one meal a day is weight loss.

To lose weight you must create an energy deficit. You can do this by either increasing the number of calories you burn or reducing your calorie intake or both. Calorie restriction, no matter how you achieve it, should lead to fat loss (3).

It all adds up. Since you have only one hour available for consuming food, you can’t physically devour the same amount of calories you would eat during the whole day. Therefore, you consume fewer calories and you achieve an energy deficit.

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Very low calorie diets can cause weight loss, but it’s not always the most sustainable way to lose weight, and you are likely to lose muscle as well as fat. This type of eating pattern tends to lead to a very low calorie diet or a very large energy deficit.)

one meal a day diet

How Much Weight Will I Lose If I Eat One Meal A Day?

You can lose several kilograms of body weight on one meal a day diet because it creates a deficit of calories. It is all about discipline and consistency. If you have decided to give this diet a shot you should remember one thing – the results don’t come magically quickly for everyone.

OMAD diet starts working from the very first day of fasting. You can lose 1-3 kilograms in the first week of doing OMAD. Reduction of carbohydrates and sodium intake from diet triggers the body to release extracellular water. That said, any changes on the scale in the first week are due to the water loss (2).

Ergo, during the first week, you will face only water loss. The less food you eat the more water your body eliminates. You’ll eventually start burning fat, but after some time.

If we talk about months, some people have lost up to 7 kg of body weight on OMAD in one month (2). For safe and sustainable weight loss, your goal should be 1-2 Ibs (0.5-1kg) per week. When you lose weight more quickly, you are more likely to regain it later. 

Another benefit besides weight loss is that some people say that they feel full from smaller portions when they get back to the normal 2-3 times eating schedule.

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one meal a day diet

What Should I Eat For One Meal A Day?

Choosing the time for an OMAD diet sounds so much easier than choosing the food you’re going to eat. Even if we don’t take any diet into account we are aware that it is a terrible idea to overeat before some activities. You might as well eat after them.

But what does a one meal a day diet plan look like? Let’s check it out:


We will start with the simple stuff – drinks. Some people allow themselves a cup of sugar-free coffee or tea during the fasting window. However, it is so much better to consume only plain water. As we all know, water provides hydration and a slightly filling feeling. Be prepared to drink more water than usual to help control your hunger. Especially at the early stages.

The Food You Can Eat During Omad

We are human beings who need nutrients. That is why nutritious food during an OMAD diet will meet the body’s essential nutritional requirements. Aim for your one meal to be balanced and include foods from the following groups: 

  •  Vegetables and fruits.
  • Dairy and dairy substitutes.
  • Protein sources – chicken, fish, tofu, eggs.
  • Seeds, nuts, and nut butter.
  • Legumes.
  • Healthy fats – avocados, olive oil, or unsweetened coconut.
  • Grains (preferably whole grains).


A Shortlist Of The Best Healthy Recipes For One Meal A Day

  • Breakfast Buddha Bowl

Vegan-inspired bowls with a mix of veggies, greens, beans, brown rice, barley, herbs, and spices. Put a poached egg on top and enjoy the fresh taste of paradise in your mouth

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Here is the information about the number of calories and nutrients you’ll gain if you enjoy this healthy dish (3):

Calories: 584

Nutrients: Total fat – 36%, protein – 17%, carbs – 47%

Read More: Keto OMAD Meals: Can This Unexpected Combo Fast-Track Your Weight Loss In A Healthy Way?

  • Smoked Salmon With Rice And Salad

This is a perfect choice for your lunch. Smoke a slice of fresh juicy salmon, boil rice and prepare a fresh veggie salad as a side dish. You can eat it with water or freshly-squeezed juice. 

Here is the information about the number of calories and nutrients you’ll gain if you enjoy this healthy dish (3):

Calories: 891

Nutrients: Total fat – 59%, protein – 23%, carbs – 18%

There are tons of healthy and nutritious meals for the OMAD diet. You won’t have a problem finding a meal to your desire and mood. 

What Food Should I Avoid During A One Meal A Day Diet?

  • Junk food! Do you like French fries? Or maybe you don’t mind cola with two hot dogs? Lemme tell ya “you don’t need this sort of food freedom”.
  • Sugary drinks and alcohol – yummy but nope! Yeah, we all adore the taste of that sweet-sour substance but remember that alcohol and sugary drinks are the sources of “stupid unnecessary calories”.
  • Sweets. Replace cakes with fresh berries and yogurt. Replace chocolate bars with low carbonated oat cookies. You will feel the same pleasure but the result is gonna be so much better.
See also
Best Foods To Break A Fast: Top 14 Foods That Make The Fast To Feast Transition Smooth

one meal a day diet

Can An OMAD Diet Be Harmful To My Health?

Every diet leads to some consequences and the one meal a day diet is not an exception. Eating once a day, losing a couple of kilos per month, and still feeling great sounds too good to be true.

For example, on a daily basis, a person may:

  • feel very hungry
  • experience fatigue, due to an uneven supply of energy
  • feel shaky, weak, and irritable as their blood sugar levels fall
  • have difficulty concentrating (5).

For some people, eating only one meal per day may increase the risk of binge eating during a single mealtime. According to some research, in a few cases, following a restrictive diet can even increase the risk of developing a long-term eating disorder (1).

If you have any medical condition, for example, diabetes, then this OMAD diet is not a healthy option for you. People with diabetes or low blood sugar need to eat meals regularly throughout each day to maintain a steady blood sugar level (7). This or any restrictive or fasting diet is also not appropriate for pregnant women. That is why it is highly recommended to speak to your doctor before changing your eating habits.


Yeah, One meal a day diet is challenging but not for everyone. But once you’ve decided to alter your eating habits you need to do 3 things first:

  1. Speak to your healthcare provider and check whether your body is ready for it;
  2. Create a diet plan to make this challenge less exhausting and stressful;
  3. Avoid devouring junk food and sugary drinks since they bring you “wrong calories”.



This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Dietary Restriction Behaviors and Binge Eating in Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder: Trans-diagnostic Examination of the Restraint Model (2015,
  2. How much weight can you lose on one meal a day? (2021,
  3. Myfitnesspal calories tracker (2022,
  4. OMAD. Should you do the one meal a day diet? (2022,
  5. Should I eat just one meal a day? (2020,
  6. What I learned from eating one meal a day for 28 days? (2022,  
  7. What to know about type 1 diabetes? (2021,
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