Doing OMAD But Not Losing Weight (Explained)

Weight loss can be done through many modalities like calorie deficit, exercise, or both. One meal a day (OMAD) is one way to drive energy restriction without necessarily spending time counting calories or weighing food portions.

In this series of articles I will answer the most important questions about losing weight with OMAD and most importantly, why is OMAD not working for me.

In general, you’re not losing weight on OMAD is because you’re overeating without even realizing it. You’re too early in the process and you don’t see the results yet. Or you have unrealistic expectations for the amount of weight that you can lose.

But there is so much more to understand about this question. Apart from reading each of the sections below that answer the most common questions, please be aware that each paragraph offers a more in-depth guide on how to troubleshoot those problems.

OMAD Not Working

In general, the reason why OMAD is not working is that people eat more than they thought they are. Stress, distractions, and unwanted emotions can trigger overeating. And one day a week of impulsive eating can hold you back with your results.

According to studies, more than half of the lost weight is usually regained after the first two years, and 80% within the first five years. (Anderson, J W et al.  2001).

This happens because people eat food not only to satisfy their physical hunger. They eat food as a way to feel good and relieve stress.

This guide will help you learn more about:

  1. Is OMAD for everyone and who should avoid it
  2. Why it’s not working and what you can do about it
  3. How long it takes to work and what you should expect
  4. Can you gain weight on OMAD and what to do when it happens
  5. Overeating on OMAD and what to do about it
  6. What happens after you finish with OMAD and
  7. Science-based methods to help you maintain your results

The stuff that I’m gonna share with you can be done by anyone, anywhere, and it’s free. It’s literally a rip-off from all the people that I had the privilege to work and learn from. And now I want to share that with you.

Does OMAD Work For Everyone?

Generally, OMAD isn’t for everyone, especially for people who need to be under medical suprvision or within strict dietary guidelines. People with type 1 diabetes, seniors, pregnant women, and people who need to take medications together with their meal should look for alternative ways.

The good news is that there are several other methods to reduce food intake, without doing one meal a day. Evenly effective are alternative day fast, time restrictive feeding, and 5:2 intermittent fasting. They all can be used, modified, and personalized to fit into each goal and health condition.

I’ve written a simple guide that includes scientific references for people with type 1 diabetes, seniors, teenagers, and pregnant woman that shows what fasting could work best.

Read more: Click here to see the guide on does omad work for everyone

Why Is OMAD Not Working For Me?

It can feel really discouraging when we put so much work and hope into something that doesn’t seem to work. But the good news is that there are only a handful of reasons why OMAD is not working. And all of those reasons are in your control

  • We eat too much food without even realizing it. It happens all the time. Eating mindlessly, surrounded by distractions and tempting foods that shouldn’t be around.
  • We drink too much alcohol. Alcohol is bad news for weight loss.

NOTE: I won’t cover here how alcohol affects your gains. I’ve already covered that in my article “does alcohol kill gains“, which I recommend you read.

  • We have too high expectations. We see people lost a lot of weight in the first week. And after comparing ourselves to others, we feel like something is not right.
picture of the graph

Luckily, I’ve written a full article about all those reasons in detail and how to overcome this problem. So you can dive into the meat and bones of why OMAD is not working.

Learn More: Click here to learn more about why is omad not working for me

How Long Does OMAD Take To Work?

In general, OMAD starts to work within first 8-12 hours after your last meal. Once the body enter the ketosis, it already switches from using glucose to fat as a energy fuel. However, to see the sivible results it may take couple of weeks.

The period from you starting doing OMAD to seeing first results I call ghost town. Its because there is like nothing is happening, despite you put in the works. So you just need to be patient for few days.

There are several ways to stay patient while doing OMAD:

  • Staying busy during the day. It will help you not to think about food so much.
  • Focus on the body cues and the emotions that you feel around the food.
  • Journal your journey. It will help you to stay focused.
  • Stay hydrated. With less food you your body will need more electrolytes.
how long until omad works

I’d like to show you my full breakdown of how long it takes to see results on OMAD and I hope it will clarify more questions that you may have.

Wanna know more? Check out my article how long does omad take to work

Can You Gain Weight On OMAD?

When you gain weight on OMAD it is almost certain that you’ve overeaten. So now, instead of feeling bad about it, your job is to figure out what trigger made you eat more. I call those moments “blind spots”.

This is important because once you can identify your blind spot, next time you will be ready. Some things that trigger us include:

  • Social environment
  • Stress level and allostatic load
  • Hormonal differences
why gaining weight on omad

But you can start by improving your self-awareness. To help shed the light on what needs to be done, I’ve done the full guide on that topic.

Learn More: Click here to go to the full guide on why am I gaining weight on omad

Overeating on OMAD

In general, OMAD can help with overeating because it allows to only eat once a day, which reduces gastric capacity due to lower volume of food. After couple of weeks, the body adapts to new energy intake and stays full with less food.

Is OMAD good for binge eaters? OMAD is good for binge eaters because it helps to restrain from food. With long-term intermittent fasting, the body accustoms to new ways of eating, reduces food cravings, lowers the appetite, and increases satiety with lower food volume.

What happens if you overeat on OMAD? Generally, when you overeat on OMAD your body will get tired and sleepy because of excess food consumption. Eating too much food only once a day may lead to a temporary increase in glucose and insulin levels, which can cause tiredness and sleepiness.

does omad make you feel tired checklist

Right now, I invite you to read my article where I explain more in detail about overeating on OMAD and give practical tips on how to stop overeating.

Learn More: Click here to go to the full article on can you overeat on omad

Will I Gain Weight After OMAD?

In general, you won’t gain weight after OMAD, as long as you create the right habits and learn skills while you’re on the diet. People who are gaining weight after OMAD just go straight back into their previous habits, without adopting new lifestyle pracrices.

  • Eating slowly
  • Eating mindfully
  • Eating until you’re satisfied
picture of two tanks

You can check out all list of skills and tips that will help you build the foundation and drive you towards the goals, even after you finished with OMAD.

Learn More: Click here to go to the full list on will I gain weight after omad

How to Maintain Weight After OMAD

Intermittent fasting is a great tool, but most people won’t stick to it forever. And that’s ok because IF is not the only way to maintain weight loss. Here I wanna share with you 11 tips that are evergreen and will be valid regardless if you ever plan to get back to OMAD or not.

This last guide is about things you can do to help you maintain weight loss after OMAD. In this article, I will talk about things like:

  • Food journaling
  • Emotional eating
  • Self-compassion
  • Self-awareness
eat slowly to maintain weight after omad

Learn More: Click here to see the full list of how to maintain weight after omad

Take Away

Doing one meal a day can be an effective way to put the body into a caloric deficit which leads to weight loss. However, this approach can be really hard for some people.

Go ahead and bookmark that page because you may need to come back to it as you go along with the recommendations.

Go Further with OMAD

This article is part of the One Meal A Day Diet, which I recommend you read.

In the following pages, I show you everything there is to know about OMAD, benefits, tips, and how to do it properly.

Next: Click here to learn more about how to stay motivated on omad

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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