What Is The Trending OMAD (One Meal A Day) Diet And Is It Safe? Nutritionist Explains

Many diets remain trendy because of their purported weight loss benefits. One of them is the OMAD or One Meal a Day diet, which essentially involves eating a full meal once a day and fasting or eating minimally for the rest of the day. Food eaten and meal times vary depending on personal preference. The popularity of the OMAD diet increased when several celebrities, such as Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen, revealed that they follow such a dietary pattern.

Last year in an episode of the ‘Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend’ podcast, Chris Martin shared that he only eats one meal a day and stops eating anything after 4 pm. “Actually I don’t eat dinner anymore. I stop eating at 4[pm] And I learned that from having lunch with Bruce Springsteen,” he shared. ”I was lucky enough to go there for lunch the day after we played Philadelphia last year. I was on a very strict diet anyway. But I was like ‘Bruce looks fitter than me’ and Patty [Springsteen’s wife] said that he is eating only once a day. I was like, ‘Okay, there we go. This is my next challenge.

However, is such a diet safe and healthy? Read on to find out what the experts say.

Understanding the OMAD Diet

Suhani Jain, certified nutritionist and diet consultant at BloomWithin, explains that the OMAD diet is considered an extreme approach that revolves around consuming all of our daily calories and nutrients during a single meal each day. “There are a few ways to follow this. We can eat one meal a day, or choose a short meal period – say an hour – to eat one meal per day and limited snacks.”

Do nutritionists recommend this diet?

In general, “we do not recommend following it every day, but rather combining it with a less extreme version of intermittent fasting on a few days of the week, depending on your ability and environment,” says nutritionist Suhani Jain. Tells.

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What does the research say?

A study published in 2007 The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted an 8-week long study in which subjects (healthy, normal weight adults) consumed all the calories needed for weight maintenance in either 3 meals/day or 1 meal/day. The researchers found that when eating once a day, people had “significant increases in appetite; significant modifications in body composition, including reductions in fat mass; significant increases in blood pressure and, overall, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol concentrations.” “, “And a significant reduction in cortisol concentrations.”

Although there are many studies on the weight loss benefits associated with intermittent fasting, there is little evidence to support that eating once a day can help with weight loss.

Who should avoid the OMAD diet?

Nutritionist Suhani says OMAD can be unsafe and some people should avoid it:

  • This includes pregnant or lactating women, people under 18 years of age and those who have an eating disorder or a history of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia nervosa, malnutrition, etc.
  • Furthermore, diabetics need to stay away from this diet as it may make it difficult to keep their blood sugar levels low and stable.
  • People experiencing gastrointestinal (GI) problems like bloating, upset stomach or any kind of food allergy and bloating should also avoid it. They will need to eat a lot of food at one time which will increase their GI discomfort.
  • It would be unsafe for people who are taking medicines that should be consumed with food like- aspirin, some NSAIDs, steroids etc.

Drawbacks and health risks associated with the OMAD diet

Following are the potential health risks shared by nutritionist Suhani Jain:

  • Eating the entire day’s food in one go can be difficult and inconvenient. With so much in the stomach at once, it’s likely that not everything will be digested properly and there may be a lot of bloating, flatulence and discomfort for some time.
  • Hunger levels may get out of control during the waiting period and may lead to overeating and cravings for less healthy, comfort foods.
  • You may also experience fatigue due to an uneven supply of energy and may feel shaky, weak, irritable and have difficulty concentrating.
  • If this diet is followed inappropriately for a long period, nutrient deficiencies may occur.
  • The body may begin to lose muscle and overall tone, entering a state of semi-starvation.
  • It can also have negative effects on genes that help regulate our body clock, sleep-wake cycle, and metabolism.

Consultant nutritionist Rupali Dutta agrees that “this diet is not healthy as severe calorie restriction will have a detrimental effect on nutrient intake and lead to malnutrition. Gut health will also be affected.” About the right and healthy way to lose weight, nutritionist Rupali Dutta explains, “Healthy weight loss requires reducing calorie intake and increasing activity, eating healthy low-fat, low-sugar meals made from fresh ingredients instead of short-term unhealthy ones.” Should be chosen as a lifestyle.” Option.”

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