OMAD - Why do people eat this way?

I am curious to hear from all you OMAD people out there.

Why exactly do you enjoy the OMAD plan for eating?

Are you simply not hungry earlier, do you think it has secret health benefits, etc?

I am never hungry in the morning but I eat a small breakfast anyway. I am normally not hungry till about 2-3pm in the afternoon but I eat a lunch just because if I don't I want to eat everything in site later. I am wondering if maybe I should give this OMAD thing a try.

- I would like to know if OMAD means literally eat all 2000 calories at one meal or say just between 4pm and 7pm.

- I assume since it's not a diet - just a way of eating - that it doesn't matter if say on the weekends you eat 3 meals a day right?

- What benefits does it give you (weight loss, health, hunger, energy, etc)?

- What downsides do you experience from eating OMAD?


  • nanastaci2020
    nanastaci2020 Posts: 1,072 Member
    edited October 2020
    It would never work for me.

    But my husband unofficially does this most weekdays. He is very much a routine oriented person, and when he is busy: he does not think about eating. He works mostly in his car, and his car is a strictly no eating zone. That plays in as well. He gets up in the morning and has coffee (black) and does his morning routine. Then goes to work. Because he does not take a break or eat in his car (self employed) he normally does not eat during the day. Then he will have a huge (often more food than he really needs but that is another topic) meal in the evening. And possibly a late night snack.

    Weekends are a different routine, so he typically eats 2 or even 3 meals on Sat and Sun.

    If not eating lunch means you would have a hard time sticking to a reasonable # of calories in the evening for dinner, then don't skip lunch.
  • paperpudding
    paperpudding Posts: 8,247 Member
    it wouldnt work for me.

    But I dont know that people need a deep and meaningful answer as to why - I guess it just suits them and their lifestyle.

    I mean, I dont have a deep and meaningful reason why I eat (usually) 3 meals and 2 snacks per day - it suits when I am hungry and how I like t o space my food and when my work breaks are and what I am used to

    and some days on the weekend I do it differently.

  • I reckon it might work for some. But I’m not willing to suffer the hunger while trying.

    I’ve tried 2 meals a day. That’s ok as long as I’m not training in the morning. I need some god before training.
  • dhiammarath
    dhiammarath Posts: 833 Member
    I don't have one meal a day as a rule, per se, but on the weekends I tend to be lazy about eating. I also tend to want to have a high-calorie coffee with my meal (pumpkin spice frap, I'm looking at you). So I have a habit of saving my calories for when we go to dinner (which usually ends up around ~4pm). Since one of them coffees is basically a meal (hello 470 delicious calories), I'll "save" my calories. Since I'm pretty sedentary on the weekends, I'm not burning a lot of energy so I don't get as hungry (I haven't eaten breakfast since I was a kid). I'll usually have a smaller snack later at night, since one meal isn't *quite* enough.

    On weekdays, I'll usually eat a light lunch because, again, I prefer to save the bulk of my calories for dinner with the husband. Ways of eating are all about sustainability and what works for your preference. Play around with what you like -- my mileage will not be your mileage, etc.

    Enjoy the journey of exploration!
  • Ddsb11
    Ddsb11 Posts: 607 Member
    I would like to know if OMAD means literally eat all 2000 calories at one meal or say just between 4pm and 7pm.

    - I assume since it's not a diet - just a way of eating - that it doesn't matter if say on the weekends you eat 3 meals a day right?

    - What benefits does it give you (weight loss, health, hunger, energy, etc)?

    - What downsides do you experience from eating OMAD?

    - One meal a day would typically mean whatever their calorie goal is, which might only be 1200 cals or 1500 or whatever. Not to include beverages with calories for an entire day, which might account for 300 calories for example. To someone like me, 900 calories for dinner would be very easy. Not sure where you got that time of 4-7 from.

    -I’m not sure what you mean by this second question. Everyone is different and apply OMAD however they want, depending on their weekly calorie goals.

    - The benefit for someone like me would be having 700-900 calories for dinner because I’m not typically hungry during the day and would prefer to have my coffee and cream Twice a day. Basically it provides more calories to enjoy at one sitting.

    - No downsides if it fits your lifestyle. Numerous issues if it doesn’t.

  • Dante_80
    Dante_80 Posts: 466 Member
    edited October 2020
    OMAD has been the main way for gaining most of the weight over my years of yo-yo dieting. Eating once a day, take-out junk food, at ludicrous quantities...and taking the rest of the day off to digest it lol.
  • Noreenmarie1234
    Noreenmarie1234 Posts: 7,438 Member
    I don't eat once a day usually 2 meals but my first is <200 calories so kind of similar. I eat 2100-2300 calories in a span of 3ish hours at night right before bed. It just works for me personally. I am a volume eater, so prefer to eat this way. Also, I am not hungry at all throughout the day and my body has adjusted to this way of eating. (Been eating like this for like 10 years)

    Another reason it works for me is I get a lot more done during the day when I am not thinking about food or taking time to eat a whole meal. I prefer to go to work, be productive, get all my tasks and jobs done for the day, then finally relax and eat before bed. If I eat too much too early on, I feel distracted during the day and am not motivated to work out or do much of anything.

    I also hated feeling hungry a lot which I do when I eat throughout the day vs a main large meal at night. And then I can't concentrate at work when I am too hungry until I eat and it made me less productive. It is nice not to have to worry about bringing a big lunch or taking time for breakfast or to prep so many meals and snacks. I am not the type of person who can work while eating a snack or pay attention to a conference or anything while eating.
  • MarttaHP
    MarttaHP Posts: 68 Member
    I consume all my daily calories within a 2-3 hour time period starting from 7 pm. I managed to drop weight from normal weight to slim normal weight doing this last year. I'm still doing it because I simply like eating big meals (I also eat mostly low-calorie, high volume foods like veggies and fruits and low-fat dairy, so yeah, my meals are BIG) and have been maintaining for over a year now. I still count calories though. Actually I started using MFP again when I began eating this way, because I wanted to make sure I neither ate too much nor too little.
    - I would like to know if OMAD means literally eat all 2000 calories at one meal or say just between 4pm and 7pm.

    I've seen some weird "rules" about OMAD on the internet where you "have to" consume all the calories within an hour, and have a plate with a certain diameter, and only have a food pile on said plate of a certain height. I guess by these definitions (that I'm pretty sure someone just pulled out of their butt) I'm not doing OMAD. But basically I eat all my food in one go.
    - I assume since it's not a diet - just a way of eating - that it doesn't matter if say on the weekends you eat 3 meals a day right?

    As long as you stick to your calorie deficit it doesn't matter when or how many times a day you eat. It hasn't been proven that fasting or time-restricted eating has any type of extra weight loss benefits. Me, I eat a small breakfast if I have a run that's 2 hours or longer scheduled. (Other than that I don't eat before exercise and feel just fine.)
    - What benefits does it give you (weight loss, health, hunger, energy, etc)?

    As I mentioned above, it worked very well for me for weight loss. That's probably due to my personal psychological and maybe physiological quirks, and I imagine it wouldn't work for many. I usually don't get hungry during the day, or if I do, coffee or another hot beverage helps. I don't think that for me it's had any other of these numerous benefits that some adherents tout, though.
    - What downsides do you experience from eating OMAD?

    Well, I like eating this way too much, so it has dampened my enjoyment of having lunch socially. If I eat with other people, I'd rather it be later in the day just so I can stick to my habits.
  • spyro88
    spyro88 Posts: 472 Member
    edited October 2020
    It wouldn't work for me, but I can see why some people might like it. It's simple and means you don't have to spend a lot of the day thinking about food prep or planning your activities around eating.

    The number of meals per day that we eat is really only a cultural thing. I probably like to have 3 meals a day because that's what I did as a child, what most people I know do (so fits in well socially), and so it's what my body got used to. In the past there probably wasn't enough readily available food to do this and I don't think there's any reason a human body couldn't get used to having one meal a day/ only eating within a small window of time, as long as there's enough energy.
  • NovusDies
    NovusDies Posts: 8,940 Member
    I fell backwards into it. I did not try to do it I just kept eating less dinner until I realized I didn't have to eat it at all. I was already skipping breakfast.

    I am not fond of trying to figure out what to eat next so there is a peacefulness to only dealing with one meal a day. For me it was 2 or 3 courses. The first course was often breakfast-y. The courses made it easier to make sure I was getting a variety.

    I was not hungry except right before I ate. I was also never more than lightly active and I was quite heavy. As the weight continued to decrease and my activity increased OMAD was not sustainable so I ditched it.

    I would not recommend it. I have actively tried to talk people out of it. I think you almost certainly have to pair a volume eater, a mostly sedentary person, a person who understand nutrition, a person with enough fat stores, and a person who does not get miserably hungry for this to be sustainable. I was a all of the above. While I do not think I am a very special snowflake I doubt I am super common either. I am still a volume eater and I understand nutrition but I am no longer the rest so I don't even try.
  • Dogmom1978
    Dogmom1978 Posts: 1,580 Member
    OP OMAD works the same as any other diet plan for weight loss. You eat in a calorie deficit. It doesn’t magically increase the amount of weight someone loses.

    That said, if you aren’t hungry and would rather save your calories for later in the day, go for it. I’m starving when I wake up, then hungry again about 3-4 hours later, so it would never work for me. I know that and so I don’t do it.

    There is no RIGHT way to lose weight, other than eating in a deficit. Whatever works for one person may not work for another, but if both people eat in a deficit, they will both lose weight.

  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,881 Member
    OMAD usually means everything within an hour, not necessarily at one meal (but I expect it would take some time to eat all your daily cals).

    Some people like it, they find it an easy way to limit cals and yet still have a big meal.

    I'd hate it, as I couldn't eat healthfully, and all the protein, veg, fiber I like to get in a day in one meal. But it works for some others.

    If limiting cals to 4-7 or some such appeals to you, why not do that and not worry about whether or not that's OMAD. It's an extremely narrow eating window, and in general all time restricted eating (of which OMAD is one version) tends to work if the eating window chosen allows you to be satisfied and naturally reduces cals consumed or makes it easier to stick to a particular cal goal. Beyond that--and those things don't result for all--there's no benefit.
  • LIFOtheparty
    LIFOtheparty Posts: 24 Member
    It sounds like a way of eating that would be best suited to those who are naturally not hungry throughout the day or who have really busy schedules and often forget to eat. It doesn't sound sustainable if you're trying to force yourself into that way of eating simply to lose weight. At that point, it toes the line a bit too closely with disordered eating in my opinion. Ideally, you should eat when you're hungry and stop when you're full. If you're not hungry until dinner, fine. But I don't think that's most people.
  • Go_Deskercise
    Go_Deskercise Posts: 1,630 Member
    edited October 2020
    So this is what I do on Fridays right now but not intentionally ...

    I don't work on Fridays anymore due to Covid but my husband still does. I wake up and I get started do anything I need to do that day (vacuuming, dusting, laundry, yard work, running errands...etc.) I get so wrapped up in what I'm doing and I don't have my husband there to stop me for lunch, so I normally forget to eat. He gets home around 5:30-5:45 so that's when I start dinner and eat with him. So I wind up eating omad
  • LiLee2018
    LiLee2018 Posts: 1,357 Member
    I tried it. I'm still part of an OMAD group.
    What I've seen is that it does help those that stick with it to lose weight/control weight a bit better. They get to still eat what they want, but since it's all in one big meal, they're not eating in a surplus and still get to eat whatever.
    It's just a way that works for them.
    For myself... I found myself WAY too obsessed with food when I was doing it. Physically, I was ok. The hunger pangs you get pass and it's really not difficult to do physically. Mentally though.. food was ALWAYS on my mind and I always got obsessed with making my meal 'worth it' and got upset if it wasn't.
    If I naturally OMAD every once in a while b/c I'm busy, ok, but I just can't get myself to do it again. Just not something that works for me.