man eating a big pile of pancakes

How to start the omad diet


The OMAD Diet also known as the one meal a day diet is an intermittent fasting schedule that involves 23-hours of fasting accompanied by a 1-hour eating window. This schedule is considered an extreme version of intermittent fasting due to its short eating window. On the OMAD diet, you have all your food in one big meal. The main difference between OMAD and other schedules is its short eating window.


Schedules such as the popular 16/8 intermittent fasting, you get an 8-hour eating window that’s sufficient for most people. With alternate-day fasting, you have a full day to eat all your meals after the 36-hour fast. Health experts caution against this intermittent fasting schedule due to its short eating window. You’re likely to miss out on required daily calories and other nutrients.


However, many supporters of this diet praise it for its quick weight loss effects pus its overall health benefits.  In this post, we share with you how to start the OMAD diet. Here’s everything you need to do;


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woman with a clock

How to start omad diet

  • Start slow.
  • Choose your eating time.
  • Consume enough calories daily.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Willpower and discipline.
  • Eat at the same time every day.


1. Start slow.

Are you just getting started with intermittent fasting? If so, then start slow. Allow your body to get used to going for long hours without food. This reduces the risk of any adverse side effects once you get started on the OMAD diet. There are two ways you can go about this;


  • Start with 12-hours of fasting. Do this for a couple of days. As you get comfortable add more time to your fasting hours. You can do this every daily, every 3 days, or just add more time every week. The goal is to add more time until you can go 23-hours before food.


  • Try fasting for 23-hours once every week or just two times every week. This is an easy way to introduce extreme fasting to your schedule without too much stress on your body.

empty plate with fork

2. Decide on your eating time.

Deciding on the best time to break your fast before getting started is a good way to prepare yourself mentally. Most experts recommend that you break your fast after the most active part of your day. For example, if you like to work out at the gym. It’s better to break your fast after your workout rather than before your workout.


You will be able to replace all the lost nutrients not to mention the hunger you feel after an hour at the gym. Overall, this is a great way to avoid breaking your fast when you feel hungry after being active.


3. Eat your meal at the same time every day.

As this is a 23-hour fast, choose a set time and stick to it. Eating your meal at the same time every day allows you to maintain your 23-hours of fasting. If you choose to break your fast at noon every day, then make sure you’re able to stick to this timeframe both on weekends and weekdays. If you choose to eat at another time, you will find that on some days you’re breaking you’re fast earlier and not accomplishing your 23-hours of fasting.

A healthy plate of food

4. Eat the right foods.

Whatever food you choose to eat should be able to sustain you for 23-hours. Instead, opt for high-volume filling foods. Make sure your meals have a nice balance of high-protein foods, healthy fats, complex carbs, and vegetables. These foods will keep you full for hours and make your OMAD experience very enjoyable.


While it might be tempting to eat all the junk food you were craving during your fast, resists the urge.  French fries might sound like a good idea but they will leave you hungry after 2-hours making you miserable during your fasting hours.


5. Make sure you’re consuming enough calories.

As a general guideline, adults need to eat at least 1200 calories of food per day to maintain good health. Depending on your lifestyle, weight, height, and age, you might need to eat more. Because you have such a limited amount of time on the OMAD diet, you want to ensure that you’re eating enough calories.


Try tracking calories and macros to ensure you’re on the right track. Apps such as Myfitnesspal make the process much easier and faster. Your meal should also be balanced with protein, fats, and carbs.

woman drinking water

6. Stay hydrated.

According to this guideline, women should aim to drink about 11.5 cups of water while men should aim to drink about 16 cups of water daily. Drinking enough water when you’re fasting allows your body to maintain body function and is a great way to stop those hunger pangs.


Not all your water has to come from plain drinking water. Zero-calorie drinks such as coffee and tea are also allowed during your fast. If you do choose to drink coffee or tea, they have to be plain with no added creamer, milk, or coffee.


7. Discipline and willpower.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the OMAD diet is committing to it. It’s not easy going for 23-hours without food voluntarily when we’re all so used to snacking every 2-hours.


You will need a lot of willpower not to break your fast at the slightest sign of hunger. Discipline and willpower, like any other muscle, is strengthened over time. You will not always resist the urge to eat but the more you fast and complete your 23-hours, the more your willpower grows.

man with a big stack of pancakes

Final thoughts on how to start the omad diet.

One meal a day diet also know as OMAD is an extreme intermittent fasting schedule that calls for 23-hours of fasting and 1-hour of eating. With this eating approach, all your daily food is consumed as one meal at either breakfast, lunch, or dinner.


To get started with omad, slowly introduce it to your schedule especially if you’re new to intermittent fasting. Next, make sure you’re consuming enough daily calories to maintain your health, stay hydrated, and finally, eat the right food when breaking your fast.


While most healthy adults can start the omad diet. It’s considered an extreme intermittent fasting schedule and not suitable for children, the elderly, and those with medical conditions.

How to start the omad diet