In this article I will be answering the big question of how much weight can you lose on one meal a day?
On average, you can lose around 1 lb to 2 lb of body weight per week on one meal a day. Some people see extreme progress that ranges from 1.5 lb to even 3 lb per week. The rate of progress will depend on the factors like age, gender, physical activity, and stress levels.
The reason why one meal a day may sound so appealing to people is that it offers relatively quick results in favor of weight loss. But that requires hard work and a lot of self-awareness.
How Much Weight Can You Lose On OMAD?
You can lose 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of body weight on OMAD because it creates a caloric deficit where the body switches from using energy from food to stored body fat. This process takes time, and to lose weight on OMAD you need to find ways to stay consistent.
Consistency means you don’t focus on the results. Instead, focus on the behaviors that will guarantee your results. The process will take time. So don’t stress or panic if you don’t see the results in the first week.
It’s like thinking of graduating from college in the first year. Nobody does that. Instead, everyone is thinking on what can be done today.
Things that will speed up your weight loss process on OMAD, and keep your focus on the day:
- Get physically active everyday (walking, light stretching)
- Eating slowly without distractions (spend 20-25 minutes for your meal)
- Keeping a food journal to improve self-awareness (write down your thoughts and emotions)
- Stay busy (do something to keep yourself not thinking about food)
- Healthy kitchen makeover (organize your kitchen and get rid of trigger foods)
- Keep photo journal (take a picture once a week, ideally in the same place with the same lighting and write down the date)
- Take body measurements (use skinfold calipers or measuring tape)
How Much Weight Can You Lose On OMAD in First Week?
You can lose 3-7 lbs in the first of doing OMAD. Reduction of carbohydrates and sodium intake from diet triggers the body to release extracellular water. Therefore, any changes on the scale in the first week are due to the water loss.
So any weight loss results that you see on OMAD in 1 week it’s usually the water loss. When you reduce food intake, the body eliminates excess water due to the reduction of carbohydrates, and as a result, you see the weight drop on the scale. But this is only temporary.
The same effect you can notice on ketogenic diets. Within the first week, people lose plenty of weight, but in reality, this is just the water loss. The actual body fat will take much more time than a week to start coming off in a way so that is visible.
Carbohydrates intake retain water in the body. This means that for every gram of carbohydrates you will retain around 3-4 grams of water, and once you reduce the intake, that extra water goes away (source).
This is well known fluid manipulation technique used by pro bodybuilders where they reduce carb intake just before the competition, so the extracellular water expels from the body.
48-24 hours before the competition they bring carbs back up so the muscles can absorb all the glucose together with water, and in the results, they appear to be bigger (source).
That’s why people get discouraged. They see weight loss “results” in one week, and they believe it will be like that all the way through. But a week after they see minimum results and think it’s something wrong.
How Much Weight Can You Lose On OMAD In A Month?
You can lose up to 15 pounds of body weight on OMAD in one month. The average weight loss on one meal a day is 2-3 pounds per week. Some people may even lose 3-4 pounds per week if they stay consistent. The more consistent you are, the more weight you will lose.
It also depends on how often you’re doing OMAD. If you’re eating one meal a day every day, you will get faster results. But faster doesn’t mean you can sustain that pace (source).
Slow and steady wins the race. So you should focus on organizing your surroundings and environment to support your goals.
Study shows that modifying your environment to support your weight loss program leads to substantial results.
This includes having your home, workplace, and daily behaviors organized in favor of fat loss and are identify any triggers that can cause unwanted behaviors (source).
So sometimes is easier to change and tweak your environment and lose weight while doing OMAD, than to have iron willpower. So you want to make OMAD easier than it is. Because eating one meal a day is hard.
What results can you see in the first month? You can see good weight loss results in 1 month on OMAD because it’s enough time to see visible changes. OMAD starts working within the first 12-hours of fasting, but it’s impossible to see any changes on day one. However, one month is already enough to start seeing the progress.
I did OMAD first time just over a month. I don’t know how much weight I lost but I was happy with my results after one month. It helped me to eat less, even after I came back to regular eating.
As a result, I was eating 2-3 meals a day but with significantly less food because I was getting full. And that’s the biggest takeaway I got from doing OMAD for 1 month.
OMAD Results After 3 Months
My results after doing OMAD for 3 months were a combination of one meal a day and normal eating. On some days I would eat just one meal, but on other, I would eat as regular meals. The most important for me was food choices, where I was eating more satisfying foods.
This means I would eat meats that are high in fat, like pork chops, porks neck, pork joint and they would keep me full for the entire day.
I was eating slowly and timing my meals to make sure I spend at least 20-25 minutes. This way I was fuller with less food.
I kept journaling my food intake and focused on how I feel when I’m not eating. This helped me to tune in to my body signals, and realize that hunger is just a feeling. And it’s not an emergency.
Here you can see my picture of doing OMAD for 3 months. As you can see, I’ve even managed to put on some muscle.
For the best weight loss results on one meal a day, you need to stay consistent and be able to tolerate stress without eating. People who want to do OMAD need to feel comfortable with eating less (or none) food and be confident they can live their lifestyle, despite being hungry.
This basically means that one meal a day is not for everyone. If you find yourself reaching out for food under pressure, during emotional situations, or you simply cannot cope with the day when you hungry, then this blog is right for you.
OMAD is hard to do because it requires more “skin in the game” comparing to the other intermittent fasting approaches.
People quit OMAD for several reasons. And usually, it’s because they are used to eat food not only to satisfy their physical hunger. But to satisfy the emotional hunger too (source).
Tips On How To Stay On Track With OMAD
To stay on track with OMAD you can start by organizing your environment to support your goals. This means to create a list of things that you know are triggering your unwanted behaviors, together with a list of things that you know that trigger your best behaviors.
In other words, what causes you to binge? Because usually, food is not the problem. The problem is the problem. You should start with the identification of your triggers. One of the exercises I do with my clients is the traffic light system.
This is very simple way to keep you focused and create consistency while doing any form of intermittent fasting, especially OMAD.
Think of a traffic light on the street. You have red, yellow and green. So write down three lists and mark each list accordingly.
The red list means stop, unsafe to go. Yellow means caution. Green means “safe to go”. You can apply this to situations, thoughts, emotions, food, people, and the environment.
Those are the situations, people, places, or events that spin your dials. You become the worst version of yourself. Those are the situations that you do things that you don’t want to do, say or think.
For instance, if you have a certain food in your house you always seem to overeat. Or if you go out to a certain place you always seem to drink more.
Yellow lights are the situations, places, people, or foods that can be either good or bad. For instance, shopping in the mall at 10 am may feel relaxing but at 5 pm is really stressful. Or working with X person may feel like a blast but with person Y you just hate your life.
Green light situations are always awesome. They never trigger any problematic thoughts, behaviors or mindsets. In fact, green light situations, foods, people, places and environments tigger you to make a better choices.
Maybe even without you realizing it.
For instance, it can a meeting with a certain person, or eating at some specific restaurant, or listening to your favorite music while you working out, or 10-minute yoga that stretches out the anxiety.
Once you’ve your red, yellow, and green lists, you can now easily identify all your good and bad triggers. This will help you make better choices and avoid losing control even when you’re on OMAD. Therefore you can stay consistent.
Several factors will either enhance or slow down your weight loss results on OMAD. It will strongly depend on your gender, age, physical activity, stress, motivation, mindset, and having too high expectations.
Some things are out of your control, like gender or age. But things that are in your control are usually the ones that move the needle the most. So focusing on your daily behaviors will allow you to get more momentum, reduce stress and direct your energy on your goal.
Go Further with OMAD
This article is part of the OMAD: What To Eat To Stay Full For Longer
In the following articles, I show you all the related aspects necessary to get started with OMAD and knowing what to eat for the best results.
Learn More: Click here to learn more about omad meals