OMAD is a great way to drive a caloric deficit without measuring and calculating calories. This means it is an easy and convenient way to lose weight, however, it’s not for everyone. That’s why some people may start to do OMAD every other day.
You can do OMAD every other day and still be in a caloric deficit. This means you can burn fat without fasting for seven days a week. Some people may benefit from doing OMAD every other day, especially if they feel like 7-day fasting is too much.
Regardless if you’re doing OMAD every day, or every other day, there are some things you should pay attention to.
OMAD Every Other Day
Doing OMAD every other day means you alternate your one meal a day days with eating normally. It’s a similar approach to alternative day fasting, but you’re allowed to eat one meal instead of not eating for 36-hours. This approach is more flexible and helps with consistency.
So this is a great alternative to doing OMAD for 7 days a week. It allows you to have some “freedom” and eat more. It is also great way to get used to intermittent fasting.
There are so many ways to skin the cat, and doing OMAD 3-4 days a week is a simple example. Don’t think you need to be somehow perfect to get the best results. Some people may have this mindset that you need to be either 7 days on diet or it’s not gonna work. So it’s either all or nothing.
People are losing weight by eating 3 meals a day (source). Even 5 meals a day. So reducing your menu to just one single meal is already a home run. It’s simple. But not easy.
It’s not easy because it’s quite a radical change. And multiple factors will determine your eating habits. Your cultural tradition, the way you’ve raised in your family, your top priorities, and your beliefs around food. It will all play a role in how you will behave when the food is not around.
Sometimes people do it without a second thought. They dive right in and immediately they love this approach. But everyone else will have a hard time adapting (source).
I’m not gonna lie. I’ve struggled with OMAD for the first few days. So just to let you know, this is normal. So I know that people seek out a less aggressive approach to make it more sustainable.
One Meal A Day Every Other Day
Eating one meal a day every other day is a good alternative for people how are not ready yet to commit to eating one meal a day for 7 days. It improves hunger tolerance and lowers appetite, which means you get more comfortable with eating less food.
Many people start by setting up ridiculously high expectations. The higher you set up the bar, the more disappointed you will feel when it doesn’t work as you planned. Instead, lower the bar as much as possible.
That’s why eating OMAD every other day will make it much easier for you to stay on track. The lower you set up the goal, it makes it almost impossible not to score the victory (source).
You want small results that come fast, are achievable, and visible. So if you think that OMAD for 7 days is too much for you right now, lower the bar. Look for low-hanging fruit that gives you immediate wins. Because this will motivate you to continue.
To make it even easier, don’t think about the whole week ahead. Just focus on today. That’s all you want to think about. One day at a time. Don’t worry about the end. Don’t worry about the middle. The middle is going to look totally different once you reach out there. So don’t stress about it.
Some people do the opposite and push it to the extreme.
One Meal Every Other Day
Doing one meal every other day means that you fast for the whole day and the next day you only eat one meal. That is another form of intermittent fasting, but it is not recommended to do on the regular basis or without any guidance, because it is not sustainable.
People usually want the fastest way to get the body they want. So they take everything at once.
They want to wake up at 5 am, eat more fruits and veggies, cut sugar, exercise daily, sleep 7 hours a night, do yoga, meditation, and fasting for 48 hours. They set up what I call the Big Kahuna goals, and all they see is the long-term outcome.
But that’s how you fall of the wagon (source).
The more you try to change at once, the harder it gets to stick to the plan. Because we get overwhelmed, drop all the balls, and then feel like a failure at the end. I know it may seem counterintuitive, but small changes at the time will go much further down the road than shifting your entire life around at once.
Instead, is better to set up achievable goals. This means is much better to do OMAD every day or even every other day and stick to the plan. Slow and steady wins the race (source).
One Meal Every 48 Hours For Weight Loss
People do one meal every 48 hours for weight loss benefits. However, longer fasts don’t guarantee better results. To be able to do one meal every 48 hours, you must be comfortable with your body signals and know how your body reacts without food under stress.
In other words, don’t try that if you haven’t done any form of intermittent fasting before (source). This is a form of extended fasting and it should be practiced only when you know exactly that you can handle being hungry for a long time.
There are other ways to lose weight, apart from eating one meal every 48 hours. Here’s what you can do it instead.
One day I got an interesting question from one guy about what I would do if I had to drop over 100 pounds. I love this type of question. Cause personally I’ve struggled for many years with my own weight. So I know exactly what to do.
And if I’d be in a situation today where I need to lose 40, 60, or even 100 pounds, I would start from one thing only. Making my health my top priority.
Cause at that point, it simply doesn’t matter what you do. If your health isn’t your number one priority right now, then non of the ninja tricks will actually work.
For instance, if my top priority is work, then I will find any excuse to be busy at work, and compensating with my own health. I wouldn’t take time to prep my meals, or to spend some time exercising, or simply just down regulating from stress.
Because I value work more. And even if I say I want to lose weight, my behaviors will drive me to what I value the most.
Or if my top priority is to be present at every social party, even if I do some workouts here and there, and eating healthy meals, because I value party more, then I’ll spend every free time surrounded by booze, late nights, and junk food.
That’s why if I am in the position to lose 20, 50, or even 100 pounds I would start first from my values and priorities. Because if I don’t change that, then I’m in that loop of never-ending frustration and constant disappointment.
And even with real intentions of making a change, I will still be in the same place. That’s why people gobble all the information that is out there. How many carbs, how long should I fast, can I have sugar in my coffee, etc
But it doesn’t move the needle. So if that’s something you see in yourself. I would suggest starting first with honest self-assessment. What is your top priority right now? You must first decide what is most important for you. And once you decide, then stick to it.
Moving on. Here are some good examples of how to lower the bar to make it more sustainable and start the process and achieve your goals within the reach.
OMAD On Weekends
You can do OMAD on weekends and still get the results that you want. Doing OMAD on weekends is an alternative option for people who are busy during the week, yet still want to start one meal a day intermittent fasting. This will allow you to experiment and improve your hunger tolerance.
Intermittent fasting on weekends will also help you to experiment with hunger without consequences. If during the week you need to be sharp at work, then OMAD may lower your performance. But on the weekend is different.
Doing OMAD on the weekend will help you see how you handle the hunger, and identify your weaknesses aka blind spots. Everyone has some weaknesses.
For me, OMAD was like an ice-cold shower. Because I’ve never experienced real, physical hunger before, it was like a wake-up call. And as soon as I reached day one, my whole body started to scream.
I got emotional, I couldn’t think straight, and all I could think of was food. It was like a tsunami of different emotions that I felt all at once. I was out of sync. I couldn’t recognize what exactly I feel. So I started to use a journal.
I was writing down exactly what I feel, and how my body reacts to the lack of food at specific times of the day. What are my thoughts, physical sensations, cravings, etc.
I’ve tracked everything to learn as much as I can. Soon I’ve discovered that all those tsunami emotions were just temporary moments. And the more aware I got of them, the easier they felt to manage.
It may sound a bit strange to you. But remember that I come from a family where we never discuss our emotions. We always used food as a substitute for any uncomfortable feelings. My mom jumped on every diet bandwagon, where she would gain and lose weight over and over.
Feeling sad? Eat. Feeling lonely? Eat. Food wasn’t just to eat. It was a substitute for therapy. When you grow up in a place like this you will have a much harder time tolerating the hunger.
So taking away this food was like a thermal shock. That’s why I know many people have the same exact problems. They get punched in the face with all this emotional cocktail and they freak out.
So if you can relate, use a food journal. Write down everything that you feel. You will be surprised by the information you can learn about yourself.
Fast During The Week Eat On Weekends
Intermittent fasting during the week and eat on weekends is good to approach for people who are ok with eating less during the week but who like to enjoy their life during the weekend. This way is also beneficial because intermittent fasting for 5 days will reduce enough calories to get results.
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. In other words, you don’t need to be perfect or follow some one size fits all program to see the results. There is no such thing as the only way to get results (source).
In reality, you can apply those steps to your OMAD practice regardless if you’re doing it every day, or every other day. So have a go, try it and stay consistent. Some habits will take more time to master, but remember that this is not a weekend event. It’s a long process.
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.
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