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Intermittent fasting, Weight Loss

Is an OMAD Fasting Approach Right for You?

November 06, 2023

If you explore intermittent fasting for health benefits, you may hear about the OMAD (one meal a day) approach. I get a lot of questions about this one, as it’s not easy to do. It’s also not something you should jump right into. That said, the OMAD approach can be very good for your body. Here’s what you should know about the OMAD approach. 


Is doing an OMAD good for you? 

Intermittent fasting, including the OMAD approach, has many potential health benefits. That said, you should always consult with a health professional before beginning to fast. Some of the potential health benefits of an OMAD include:

  • Weight Loss – By eating just one meal a day, individuals often consume fewer calories overall, which can lead to weight loss. This is because there is a restricted eating window, making it more difficult to overeat.
  • Improved Insulin Sensitivity – Intermittent fasting approaches like OMAD can improve insulin sensitivity, helping to regulate blood sugar levels. 
  • Increased Autophagy – Autophagy is a cellular process where the body breaks down and removes damaged or dysfunctional cellular components. Some research suggests that intermittent fasting, including OMAD, may stimulate autophagy, which could have potential health benefits.
  • Potential Cognitive Benefits – Some people report increased mental clarity and focus when practicing intermittent fasting. This may be related to the way fasting affects brain health and function.
  • Potential Longevity Benefits – Certain animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting might have a positive impact on lifespan. However, more research is needed to determine if these findings extend to humans.


How can you possibly eat just one meal a day? 

I’m not going to lie. You’ll be hungry. But, it’s also not as difficult as you might think, as long as you work your way up to it. Like anything else, you shouldn’t go “all-in” immediately. Start intermittent fasting slowly, and work your way up to an OMAD. I recommend patients begin with a 12-hour fast for the first week. Then, bump up your fast time to 14-hours, and then 16-hours. Build on this each week until you get used to it. 


How many hours of fasting is an OMAD? 

I consider an OMAD to be a 20-hour fast. So for example, if your last meal was at 7pm, you would achieve an OMAD if your next meal was at 3pm (i.e. 20 hours between meals).


How do I know if an OMAD is right for me? 

Talk with a health professional to determine if intermittent fasting is right for you. While the potential health benefits are numerous, there are other things you must keep in mind. For example, when you are in your eating window, make sure to choose foods that are high in protein, vitamins and minerals to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs. A doctor or nutritionist can guide you to be sure you reap the health benefits of fasting, without any of the pitfalls. 


At Innovative Vitality, we often recommend intermittent fasting to our patients, particularly those who are working to regulate blood sugar levels and lose weight. Our team takes the time to guide and educate our patients. We meet with patients far more frequently than a typical medical pratice, allowing us to help them every step of the way.