Attempting to do OMAD can be exciting. It’s a new challenge you’ve decided to take on. However, now you’re thinking how in the heck are you supposed to get enough calories eating only one meal per day? I’ve had that question before I tried OMAD the first time. And over the years, I’ve learned a few hacks that let me do it easily and effectively.
And I want to share these hacks with you today.
1- Drink Bulletproof Coffee A Few Hours Before Your Meal
OMAD doesn’t actually mean not eating any calories throughout the day. There is some stuff that can be consumed during your fasting window. The most important and exciting one of these is Bulletproof Coffee. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you have to learn about it. It makes fasting much easier, let alone OMAD.
It can be a bit initimidating at the beginning to prepare it at home from scratch, that’s why I recommend trying out something that’ll make the preparation easier, with no blender needed.
I mean, this coffee is just beyond me. I’m afraid that once you try it, you’ll never want to look back and prepare your BP coffee yourself. This is how obsessed I know you’ll be about it. Have a look at it here on Amazon.
Side Note: While consuming fats during a fast can reduce some of the autophagy benefits that might be happening otherwise, it can be especially helpful for curbing your hunger throughout the day (especially if you're a beginner) and helping you get more fats and calories if you're struggling to, whether you're doing 16:8 or OMAD.
Bulletproof Coffee is rich in healthy fats, like grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and/or MCT oil. It’s allowed throughout the fast and can help you focus more and have more energy throughout the day. This makes it a snack worth trying and inserting into your OMAD days, especially if you’re feeling like you’re not getting enough calories from your meal.
I’ve mentioned drinking it a few hours before you break your fast because it’ll have smaller negative effects when done closer to the end of your fasting window rather than toward the middle of it. This results in harvesting more of the amazing results OMAD has to offer and still have an easier time doing so.
2- Eat A Tablespoon Of MCT Oil or Coconut Oil During Your Fast
If the idea of bulletproof coffee didn’t sound like something you would want to try, you can try eating a tablespoon of MCT oil or Coconut oil, preferably towards the end of your fast, as well, to have the best results possible of OMAD.
The question I ask myself to decide whether I’m eating a tablespoon of MCT oil or Coconut oil is not how many calories do I need now (because they both have almost the same amount of calories: 115 per tbsp) but rather how long do I need the energy for.
Let me explain: MCT oil has three medium-chained fatty acids that can go through your digestion tract and into your bloodstream almost without even stopping at the liver or gallbladder. That means you’ll get the energy out of them quite fast.
Coconut oil, on the other hand, has the same three MCTs, but it also has Lauric acid, which makes up around half the oil, with the other half coming from the MCTs. Lauric acid needs some more digestion and processing, meaning that it’ll take longer before it’s converted into ketones ready for the body to use.
This leads us to the conclusion that MCT oil provides a fast energy boost, while Coconut oil offers its energy in two timelines: one is instant, the other comes gradually over the following few hours.
Also read: Week 2 On Keto: Full Guide
3- Make Sure You Pan Fry Your Meal Rather Than Boil It
This is a simple tip that can guarantee you add more fat to your meal. Gram to gram, fat has the most calories between the three macronutrients.
That’s why when you’re trying to add more calories to your meal/day, consider adding healthy fats first because it’s the most reliable way to get you there.
And it goes without saying that fried food is much more delicious than boiled.
4- Avoid Drinking Water Around Breaking Your Fast
That’s a tip that helped me keep my stomach having enough room for what I’m about to throw in it. It can cause you to feel full faster if you drink water before you eat. Actually, this is a weight-loss tip, to drink water before meals so you don’t eat too much at the meal. Here, however, we want to be eating more than our usual meal. We don’t want to feel full before we get enough of our macros and micronutrients.
That being said, drinking enough water during the day is crucial. I’m only advising on avoiding it right before your meal. However, during the day, try to always keep a water bottle around. Moreover, it can be even better to add a dash of lemon and cucumber to it, as well as a tablespoon of vinegar in order to make it more fun and benefit from the detoxifying properties of the aforementioned little additions
Also read: Is Vegan Keto Safe?
5- Skip Sugar In Your Meal
This is crucial if you’re feeling hungry during the day and not being able to commit to OMAD. In order to do OMAD, you have to get your body fat-adapted. It can’t be relying on glucose (that comes from sugar) for energy. When you fast that long, your body will start going to your fat cells for energy from what is called Ketone bodies.
If you go back to eating sugar on your meal, it might not do anything for you if it’s in small amounts and your body is already fat adapted. However, if one or both of these conditions is not there, your body can get confused and it can be harder for it to tap into your fat cells for energy the next time you fast, meaning you’ll feel hungry a lot sooner.
Moreover, eating sugary foods will make you full faster when you’re eating the meal, and you’ll be much more hungry after an hour. That doesn’t happen with fat and protein.
6- Have A Bowl of Fat-Rich Salad 30-60 Minutes Before The Meal
We have already established why healthy fats are important on OMAD in curbing your hunger and helping you eat enough calories when you’re only eating one meal a day.
A healthy salad, on the other hand, is what can help you consume the micronutrients you need on a daily basis, while the meal itself, helps you meet your macros of the day. Broccoli, cucumber, olive oil, and even some cheese, can be great additions to your salad bowl.
7- Always Have A Wide Variety Of Healthy Fats & Oils In Your Kitchen Cabinet
This is a tip for your next grocery store visit. Make sure you always have enough of your favorite healthy fats always there in the kitchen. As you might have noticed, fat can be a really helpful way to make OMAD more achievable and more efficient. Having olive oil, MCT oil, and coconut oil always available at hand can be a smart thing to do if you’re planning to be doing more intermittent fasting in the future.
8- Make Sure Your Meal Is Prepared At Home
Since you’re only eating one meal a day, it’s critical to know what has gone into that meal. The macros and the micronutrients are crucial to trace on OMAD. Don’t obsess over every one or two grams. But you have to have a good understanding of what you should be eating to know if you’re eating close to that or not. And that’s very hard to know at fast food places or traditional restaurants.
And if you were to actually know what’s been put in there, it’s probably more carbs and sugars than you should be eating on OMAD.
That’s why I always recommend preparing your one meal a day at home.
C’mon. It’s only one meal a day. It’s tailor-made for lazy people. You can’t be lazier than that.
9-Find The Balance Between “Not As Many Calories As Before OMAD” And “Not Too Few Calories”
You don’t need all the calories you once needed before intermittent fasting, which makes it easier because you’re not supposed to eat in one meal an-entire-day worth of calories.
Think about it this way: It’s somewhere in the middle between what you normally eat in one meal and what you eat in the entire day.
Now, you can adjust it toward the end that better suits your desired outcome. If you want faster weight loss, eat a little bit less, focusing on enough protein, vitamins, and minerals.
What Happens If You Eat Too Few Calories On OMAD?
Eating fewer calories than needed can help you lose weight and won’t have negative effects on your health if you’re getting the nutrients your body needs. However, going to the extreme and consuming too few calories, leads to slower metabolism and heavy hunger, which can lead to binge-eating.
What Happens If You Eat Too Many Calories On OMAD?
Eating more calories than your body needs on OMAD will lead to weight gain. Whether that gained weight is fat or muscle depends on how active you were, how hard you are challenging your muscles, and how much protein you consumed.
- Doing Intermittent Fasting Without Skipping Breakfast
- Does Sleeping Count While Intermittent Fasting
- Red Meat VS Chicken On Keto
- Protein Shakes & Ketosis
- Consequences of Too Much Protein On Keto
- 23 Ways of Inserting Egg White Powder Into Your Diet
- Kim, I., & Lemasters, J. J. (2011, February). Mitochondrial degradation by autophagy (mitophagy) in GFP-LC3 transgenic hepatocytes during nutrient deprivation. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21106691.
- Zhu, Y., Yan, Y., Gius, D. R., & Vassilopoulos, A. (2013, November). Metabolic regulation of Sirtuins upon fasting and the implication for cancer. Current opinion in oncology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24048020.
- Johnstone, A. (2015, May). Fasting for weight loss: an effective strategy or latest dieting trend? International journal of obesity (2005). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25540982.
- Barnosky, A. R., Hoddy, K. K., Unterman, T. G., & Varady, K. A. (2014, June 12). Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings. Translational Research. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S193152441400200X.
- Mattson, M. P. (2005). Energy intake, meal frequency, and health: a neurobiological perspective. Annual review of nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16011467.
- Nair, K. S., Woolf, P. D., Welle, S. L., & Matthews, D. E. (1987, October). Leucine, glucose, and energy metabolism after 3 days of fasting in healthy human subjects. The American journal of clinical nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3661473.
- Stote, K. S., Baer, D. J., Spears, K., Paul, D. R., Harris, G. K., Rumpler, W. V., Strycula, P., Najjar, S. S., Ferrucci, L., Ingram, D. K., Longo, D. L., & Mattson, M. P. (2007, April). A controlled trial of reduced meal frequency without caloric restriction in healthy, normal-weight, middle-aged adults. The American journal of clinical nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2645638/.
- Arnason, T. G., Bowen, M. W., & Mansell, K. D. (2017, April 15). Effects of intermittent fasting on health markers in those with type 2 diabetes: A pilot study. World journal of diabetes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5394735/.
- Brandhorst, S., Choi, I. Y., Wei, M., Cheng, C. W., Sedrakyan, S., Navarrete, G., Dubeau, L., Yap, L. P., Park, R., Vinciguerra, M., Di Biase, S., Mirzaei, H., Mirisola, M. G., Childress, P., Ji, L., Groshen, S., Penna, F., Odetti, P., Perin, L., … Longo, V. D. (2015, July 7). A Periodic Diet that Mimics Fasting Promotes Multi-System Regeneration, Enhanced Cognitive Performance, and Healthspan. Cell metabolism. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4509734/.
- Finnell, J. S., Saul, B. C., Goldhamer, A. C., & Myers, T. R. (2018, February 20). Is fasting safe? A chart review of adverse events during medically supervised, water-only fasting. BMC complementary and alternative medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5819235/.
- Kahleová H;Lloren JI;Mashchak A;Hill M;Fraser G; (n.d.). [Frequency and timing of meals and changes in body mass index: Analysis of the data from the Adventist Health Study-2]. Vnitrni lekarstvi. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27921420/.