Have you been reading a lot about the OMAD diet in the press and on social media? I’ve been quoted in two publications about it this week alone – here is the Reader’s Digest article. It seems this fad diet is trending hard and fast!
The image above is my face whenever I’m asked whether I recommend it. Lol, actually that is my middle daughter when she was 2 years old. But her posture and face express perfectly how I feel about this horribly restrictive fad diet.
OMAD (which stands for “One Meal A Day”) is an extreme form of intermittent fasting – think intermittent fasting on steroids. Whereas a typical intermittent fasting diet schedule is 16:8 (aka a window of 16 hours fasting and 8 hours eating), OMAD allows for only 1 meal per day and involves all sorts of wacky rules:
- The meal must be eaten within 1 hour, during the same 4-hour time period each day
- The meal must be eaten on a standard 11-inch dinner plate
- Food can be piled no more than 3 inches high on the plate
- No foods are off limits.
I definitely don’t recommend it for sooooo many reasons! Here are three:
- Extreme fasting diets like this are unlikely to provide a wide enough range and adequate amount of nutrients nutrient deficiencies negative health effects.
- It’s too restrictive and difficult to maintain as a long-term lifestyle, which means that rebound weight gain is likely. Yikes.
- Such extreme restrictions are likely to foster an unhealthy focus on and relationship with food, which can significantly reduce overall quality of life. I mean, I don’t know about you but if I were only allowed to eat during 1 hour of each day, I would be downright hangry and day-dreaming about food ALL. THE. TIME. Not fun!
It’s important to mention that there is compelling evidence that intermittent fasting in general (with a gentler 16:8 schedule) may offer some health benefits, which include weight loss, improved blood sugar regulation and prevention of some chronic diseases, but the science isn’t settled yet as the research is still emerging.
Bottom line – diets don’t work! If weight loss is a goal, adopting healthier habits that you can sustain as a lifestyle is the way to go.
Cheers to your good health,