After seeing many success stories of people doing one meal a day it doesn’t take long to consider and question, should you start doing it yourself? If so, can you do OMAD every day?
In general, you can do OMAD every day. This form of intermittent fasting allows you to eat once a day and fast for 23-hours, until the next day. This helps with creating a caloric deficit where the body uses fat as a source of energy.
However, doing one meal a day, every day, for an extended period of time, doesn’t mean you will get better results. Sometimes people may experience adverse results, by putting too much stress on their bodies.
Doing OMAD Everyday
More doesn’t mean better. So if you’re doing one meal a day now, and you start to see the results, you may be asking yourself do you have to do it every day to get better results.
Do you have to do OMAD every day? You don’t have to do OMAD every day to see results. One meal a day is the intermittent fasting protocol, and there is no rule of how often you need to do it. Therefore, doing OMAD for 3, 4, or 5 days a week is still beneficial.
Longer and more frequent fasts can lead to better results, but they are not sustainable in the long term. So it’s better to find a sweet spot that you feel comfortable doing, and it doesn’t create a friction with your lifestyle.
This means you would need to spend some time and experiment.
There are several reasons that will determine is doing one meal a day days a week the right choice for you or not.
It’s called the biopsychosocial model. Hard to say, but important to know.
This means everything else that is happening in your life will have an impact on your response from not eating.
Many times people are blinded by the number on the scale and are disregarding some obvious signs that can put havoc on their health.
Is It Safe To Do OMAD Every Day?
It is safe to do OMAD every day, but you need to have a strong self-awareness to know how your body responds to not eating. Self-awareness is the ability to sense our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, behaviors, and surroundings, and how they change during fasting.
In other words, you just know something is either right or wrong. You can tell if intermittent fasting makes you feel either the same, worse or better.
For instance, self-awareness is when you are feeling low and you know exactly why (because you haven’t drunk enough water all day, as you normally do).
Self-awareness is when you can immediately tell that you feel grumpy and it’s linked with your bad night’s sleep. Because each time when that happens you feel exactly the same way.
That’s a strong self-awareness. You are able to sense any changes in the body and you know why is that happening.
Let me show you some of the signs that can manifest laud and clear that doing OMAD every day is a bad idea, and what you should do instead.
Sign #1: Low Energy
Some people may manage or even thrive when eating just one meal a day. They are usually busy during the day and not having any food it’s really a big problem for them. They like to relax and enjoy their big meal later in the evening.
However, that’s not the case for everyone.
Some people may experience a dip in energy, can’t think straight, may feel grumpy and easily irritated. Those types of symptoms usually occur in just the first few days of an extended fast. So they will get better as your body gets used to not eating.
But, if you’re not feeling 100% confident that you can handle that, reduce your OMAD days and see how you feel from there.
Related article: Can You Snack On OMAD?
Sign #2: Poor Sleep
Another common problem for beginners is sleep disturbance. Changes in mealtimes and feeding schedules may interfere with the circadian rhythms. According to studies, melatonin and cortisol plays a significant role in sleep patterns and sleep quality.
The longer you stay without the food, levels of melatonin decreases, and cortisol goes up. Those changes are linked with changes in circadian patterns (source).
This means if someone is eating one once a day, initially may experience disturbance with sleep.
The easy fix for that is to move up your meal closer to the late afternoon / early evening. This way, levels of cortisol go down, melatonin goes back up and you can have a better night’s sleep.
Related article: When Is The Best Time To Eat On OMAD
Sign #3: More Stress
Some lucky souls may don’t feel like one meal a day is somehow affecting their stress levels. For everyone else, intermittent fasting can be a hard pill to swollow.
Everyone is different. This means you may be doing one meal a day exactly the same way as your sister, friend, spouse, or coworker, but have a totally different impact on your mood.
This phenomenon is called the hormesis effect.
We all need some levels of stress in our life to get some stimulus. Brief disturbance in homeostasis helps us to grow, develop and improve. For instance, when you go for a short workout, you may feel uncomfortable, but in the end, it’s good stress that helps us get stronger.
However, if you will lift weights every day for 6 hours without any rest, sooner or later your body won’t have time to recover.
So you will burn out.
Or going out in the sun for 15-20 minutes will be enough to stimulate cutaneous synthesis and pro-vitamin D production. But if you spend every waking hour under the sun exposure, it may lead to heatstroke or skin cancer.
That\’s why constant and chronic disruption in homeostasis, without us being able to recover, replenish, or heal, will make us progressively worse.
So intermittent dose of stress can be beneficial, but large dose can have adverse reactions.
Remember that stress can come form all the walks of life. If someone is currently dealing with a family loss, job loss, divorse, or finanacial problems, that person will have so much more already on the table.
This is called allostatic load.
So any additional stress that comes in, doesn’t matter if that’s in the form of fasting or high-intensity exercise, will have negative impact.
That’s why you can have two people doing same intermittent fasting approach, where one is feeling fresh and energized because of the benefits of short and temporary stress.
Where another will feel crushed and exhausted, because there is just too much going on in their life right now.
The easy fix is to take a step back and assess, how is this working for you?
Are you feeling the same, worse, or better after fasting?
Do you feel like you need a drink or eat to relax?
Are managing your personal and professional stress well?
If you notice that you already have a lot of doing on, don’t worry. Just reduce your fasting or maybe change to some less aggressive protocols that still will get your where you wanna go?
And the amount of total stress that your body has at the moment (physiological, psychological
So as you can see, it’s complicated. Doing OMAD every day is possible but is not for everyone.
You need to be fully aware of how your body feels at the moment and how not eating is affecting it to be able to determine how many days you can do OMAD.
The good news is that this will come with practice. So the more you practice, the more you put yourself out there in the water, the better your self-awareness will be.
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 every other day