Is the OMAD diet safe? Here’s what an expert says

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In current years, intermittent fasting diets that limit your consuming window by extending you in a single day quickly have turned out to be more and more popular as a technique to shed extra pounds and potentially improve health.

The OMAD diet, which stands for the “One Meal A Day” food plan, is an excessive version of a time-restricted, intermittent fasting food plan. Although loads of people are gravitating towards the OMAD food plan, hoping to shed extra pounds and increase health, there are additional potential drawbacks of OMAD.

To learn extra in regards to the execs and cons of the OMAD food plan and ideas for following the OMAD food plan, we spoke with Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD/LDN, a registered dietician, and previously the Director of Nutrition at Body Beautiful Miami.

What is the OMAD diet?
The OMAD diet entails consuming just one meal a day. It entails fasting for 23 hours and having a consuming window of 1 hour or so.

Gomer stated that the OMAD food plan isn’t a “diet” within the conventional sense of the phrase as a result of a food plan containing a consuming plan, or sure meals you’ll be able to and can’t eat.

“Instead, [the OMAD diet] is specifically targeted around the timing of meals — in this case, one meal per day,” stated Gomer. “In its strictest application, people are to consume zero calories (allowing for water, black coffee, or tea) aside from the one meal they are entitled to eat for the day.”

Is OMAD good for weight reduction? What are the other benefits?
Gomer stated that whereas most people flip to the OMAD food plan as a method for weight management, there are different potential advantages as well.

“The benefit for those who are trying to normalize insulin response, lower blood sugar, and/or lose weight is that it allows that body to have a metabolic rest. When no calories are consumed, there is not an insulin response,” she acknowledged.

Gomer went on to clarify that after we eat (and particularly after consuming meals high in carbohydrates), blood sugar will increase as these vitamins are digested. This is an efficient factor as a result of cells needing glucose for power, however, they’re unable to absorb it from the bloodstream without insulin. Insulin is a hormone that’s produced and secreted by the pancreas in response to a rise in blood sugar.

“Insulin will act like a key that opens a gate and allows the cells to receive the sugar and then sends off the rest of the sugar for later use, meaning energy or fat storage in adipose, the fat cells,” Gomer explained. “When people are insulin resistant, that key gets sticky, and the cells do not get the sugar. The body senses a problem and calls out for more insulin.”

However, insulin can enhance starvation. The extra insulin that you’ve circulating in your body at any given time, the higher the prospect that you will have an insatiable urge for food.

“In the United States, an estimated 60 to 70 million people have insulin resistance, so the idea of limiting the timing and amount of insulin secretion [via the OMAD diet] makes sense for blood sugar response and weight loss,” Gomer noted.

Gomer stated that the OMAD food plan, by its very nature of eating just one meal a day, reduces your body‘s exposure to insulin and the frequency of insulin secretion, which in turn can reduce appetite and potentially improve insulin sensitivity.

Therefore, the weight loss effects of the OMAD diet are two-fold: not only does eating one meal a day typically reduce caloric intake by default because you are not grazing or consuming calories over numerous hours, but it can also help control appetite by decreasing insulin levels.

What are the side effects of OMAD?
Gomer told us the primary drawbacks of the OMAD diet are that it can potentially lead to binge eating or overeating and that it may be difficult to get in all of your nutritional needs.

Because people wait the entire day to eat and only have one opportunity to enjoy food, for some, this can psychologically trigger the desire to consume as much food as fast as they can, often at the detriment of making wise food choices. This can result in nutritional deficiencies and may not yield the weight loss results you’re hoping for, depending on how much energy you end up consuming and the place they come from.

Furthermore, the OMAD food plan is usually not beneficial for athletes or people who exercise vigorously or for longer exercises as a result it’s not normally possible to gas your body appropriately earlier than or after your exercise.

Gomer stated that, in the end, the OMAD is just too restrictive throughout and is never usually a sound method for healthy consumption.

“I believe while weight loss will happen if the person is compliant with the protocol, it will end up with overeating at some point due to the extreme restriction. The risk of the diet is that, once again, a person has high hopes of weight loss from this extreme plan and [is] disappointed when they restrict, lose some weight, and then gain it all back,” she warned. “The caloric restriction will happen when only one meal a day is eaten, but many times, a lot of junk food is craved, as the body tries to prevent this extreme restriction.”

Furthermore, Gomer believes the OMAD food plan just isn’t optimum for health as a result it normally doesn’t end in lasting weight reduction, and it might even trigger metabolic injury if adopted for a prolonged period.

“Repeated calorie restriction causes the BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) to slow down, making it harder and harder to lose weight the more restrictive diets you follow. That is why diets may work initially, but after a time, they seem to stop working,” she stated. “For example, the BMR maybe 2,000 [calories per day], but if that person diets, loses weight quickly, gains the weight back and more, the next time they go on another diet, their BMR has slowed down due to the restriction from their last diet, so now their BMR is 1,800 calories. This cycle repeats to the point where people can’t lose weight no matter how much they restrict.”

Finally, one additional downside of the OMAD food plan is just feeling very hungry and having low power many of the days attributable to rare consumption.

What do you eat on OMAD?
If you’re going to comply with the OMAD food plan, it’s necessary to devour nutritious, satiating meals akin to entire, unprocessed greens, lean proteins, healthy fats like nuts and seeds, and a few entire grains and fruits.

Is OMAD fasting healthy?
Gomer strongly encourages people to seek more healthy options for the OMAD diet.

“The best thing for health is avoiding processed foods, including packaged foods loaded with sugar, processed grains, and highly processed vegetable seed oils (soybean, corn, canola, rice bran, sunflower, safflower, and vegetable). Instead, stick to whole foods like protein, vegetables, healthy fats (like avocado and olive oil), and limited carbohydrates (whole fruits and grains) depending on your lifestyle, exercise habits, and individual metabolism,” suggested Gomer. “Avoiding fad diets, fasting, and too much restriction to avoid metabolic damage is key.”

In phrases of the timing and frequency of consuming, Gomer suggests limiting snacks and simply going for 3 meals a day if one thing just like the OMAD food plan is interesting to you for insulin causes. Finally, she suggests working with a registered dietitian and a nutritionist who might help you with your food plan and health objectives and tailor an individual consumption plan that is sensible for your body and your life.

How do I begin the OMAD diet?
Like another particular food plan, one shouldn’t start OMAD unexpectedly. The secret is to step by step and slowly begin consuming extra healthfully by eliminating processed meals and sugars. Once you remove these from your food plan, it’s secure to start consuming one meal a day.