Can You Do OMAD 5 Days A Week?


bowl of salad on omad diet

One cool thing that I’ve realized after starting my journey with OMAD was that it doesn’t have to be done every single day to see the results. So if you’re wondering if you can do OMAD 5 days a week, here’s what I think.

You can do OMAD for 5 days a week. Having two days in a week with more calorie intake doesn’t affect the overall caloric deficit. Instead, it helps with sustainability by minimizing cravings and maintaining a lean body mass (muscle).

Losing weight is all about the caloric deficit. But to maintain the results, you need to find the approach that will be suited to your lifestyle.

if you go over the board, you will start to lose muscle mass, too. And that’s not good. Because losing muscle means you slowing down your metabolism, you’re losing strength, bone mass, and mobility.

How Many Days A Week To Do OMAD?

You can do OMAD anywhere from seven days a week to just one day a week. In general, people who are new to one meal a day usually start from 2-3 days a week. People who are more comfortable with feeling hungry can maintain up to 7 days a week.

Finding the right number will help you stay more consistent and ensure you will maintain your results. In other words, started where you’re right now.

If you’ve never done intermittent fasting in the past, then don’t go over the board. Start small and slowly progress. The beauty of this approach is that there are no rules. So think of it as an experiment, rather than arbitrary order.

picture of a omad shcedule

Can You Do OMAD 3 Days A Week?

You can do OMAD 3 days a week. Intermittent fasting is designed to teach you to eat less food and learn how does hunger feels like. Thinking of it as a practice, rather than a rule, where you don’t need to be perfect, will help to improve faster.

You can even do it once a week. It’s really not important where you start. It’s important where you finish.

Just like exercise. It doesn’t have to be done every day. It can be done every day. But it doesn’t have to be. There is such a thing as good enough. This applies to nutrition, too. Doing OMAD 3 days a week is good enough.

And trying to be perfect will only backfire in the long run. This means, if you’re aiming towards perfection, you’re already in trouble.

If you want to create long-lasting, sustainable results, then you have to understand that diet is a process.

Perfection is usually a coping mechanism and avoidance from feelings like shame, judgment, or feeling that we are not enough. So to avoid those feelings we chase to be perfect because we believe that being perfect will allow us not to feel bad anymore.

infographic of perfection

Taking a leap of faith, starting from where you’re right now, trusting the process, strive to be better, and think how I can improve, is not perfection. Perfection is “what will they think“. Big difference.

And just because some people claim that more fasting is better or longer fasts are better, it doesn’t mean it’s the only way.

What I’ve Learned From One Meal A Day?

Before I will tell you what I’ve learned from doing one meal a day, let me tell you a story.

I remember when I was experimenting with yoga and a plant-based diet. In the beginning, I was so excited that I’m getting more flexible, and I completely forgot about muscle protein synthesis and my lean body mass (muscle).

6 months later I was flexible like never before. But I was weaker at the same time.

The reason why I was weaker is that in my plant-based diet I didn’t have enough proteins. So with each month, my body was crying for proteins. I remember struggling with energy just to walk up the stairs. That’s why I felt so “flexible” and light. But in reality, I was weak.

doing omad for 5-days a week
Exploring Grenada Island in Caribbean

I was so weak that I remember going to play soccer with my buddy Alex and I was out of breath within the first minute of running.

So I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. It took me another 8 months of regular strength training and a high protein diet to get back to the starting point.

And the reason I’m sharing that with you is that I don’t want you to follow my mistake. If you’re planning to do OMAD, and you are wondering about how to do it correctly, so that you can feel good and have more energy, not less, this post will hit home with you.

Listen.

The more muscle mass you have, not only you will be able to maintain your results better (less fat quicker), but you gonna be much healthier in general.

More lean mass is not just a better-looking physique. It’s a better quality of life.

And big mistake people make on OMAD is they don’t have enough protein in their diet. They see that weight is going down on the scale. But that’s not the right way to do it.

Doing OMAD 3 days a week will allow you to ensure you’re in a caloric deficit for 3 days and for the rest of the days you eat high satiety, high-protein-rich foods.

Some people think that having muscle mass is not important. And it may not be a top priority when you’re in your 20s or 30s. But as you getting older, you want to have as much muscle preserved as possible.

What Are The Benefits Of Lean Mass?

Benefit #1: Lean Body Mass Fights Obesity

Obesity is a big health problem worldwide. And a number of studies show that having optimum lean mass can help you get lean and prevent you from putting the weight back on (source).

The more lean mass you have, the more calories you will burn.

Benefit #2: Lean Body Mass Helps You Combat Disease

You lean mass can help you with regulating cholesterol, as well as blood pressure or blood sugar levels.

It helps you stay away from trouble. Lean mass and regular exercise improve your mood, sleep quality, and emotional well-being (source).

Benefit #3: Lean Body Mass Keeps Your Bones Strong

Having optimum lean mass helps you with bone density and joint mobility. This of course lowers the risk of falls, fractures, osteoporosis, and arthritis (source).

Benefit #4: Lean Body Mass Enhances Sexual Connection

An unhealthy lifestyle and aging negatively impact sexual life. There is a number of studies that show a correlation between lean body mass, sexual desire in men, and sexual function in women (source).

In other words, there are multiple reasons why you want to keep your lean body mass high.

What Are The Benefits Of Doing OMAD 5 Days A Week?

At the beginning of my journey with OMAD, I thought this is just another intermittent fasting protocol. But soon I realized that OMAD offers so much more.

OMAD teaches you how to eat less food

This means that if you do OMAD even for a couple of months, it will recalibrate your hunger signals.

You will realize that you don’t need so much food anymore.

It help you to understand your body signals. And it help you to differentiate physical hunger from emotional hunger.

After few weeks on OMAD you will know exactly when your body is actually hungry, and when you just feel like you have a craving for some food.

In the article Is OMAD Better Than Keto I’ve explained exactly why I believe that OMAD is much better to approach for losing weight than any popular diet out there, including keto.

Any diets that are out there only works when you are doing them. Once you stop, they don’t work any more.

But with OMAD you literally learn how to listen to your body. And even if you decide to stop doing OMAD, you will have this skill of eating less food.

And this is what will maintain your results.

Take Away

OMAD works so well because it’s putting you into the caloric deficit. And regardless of what you eat, if you have sweets or not, you will lose weight. But at the same time, OMAD is very difficult because for most people is hard to stay all day without food.

You can start from literally just one day to see is this approach good for you or not. I always recommend checking the water before you dive all in. So by trying to fast for even one to two days a week will be enough for you to decide is this good long-term choice.

Go Further with OMAD

This article is part of the How To Do OMAD, which I recommend you read.

In the following pages, I show you all the related aspects necessary to design and personalize your intermittent fasting approach to fit into your lifestyle.

Next: Click here to learn more about can you do omad without keto

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

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