Experts Are Confused by This Bizarre Concept Behind OMAD Diet — Should You Try It?
With all the diets gaining the hype nowadays, we usually just choose a quick-fix – you know, the easiest and fastest way to shed the extra pounds just weeks before a cousin’s wedding or an important party. That’s probably how you came across the OMAD diet, but what really is it?
OMAD is actually an abbreviation for One Meal A Day Diet, quite similar to the famous intermittent fasting formula, wherein you are allowed to eat within an eight-hour window while fasting for the remaining 16 hours of a day.
The OMAD diet is more restrictive, though it also has time constraints. It will only allow you to eat for an hour and you will have to resist consuming anything solid for 23 hours.
While intermittent fasting has gained the seal of approval from many nutritionists, some have warned against the OMAD diet, saying that this extreme eating approach is dangerous, especially for those with preexisting health conditions.
What You Can and Cannot Eat
Unlike the ketogenic diet where you should eat low-carb, high-protein foods, the OMAD diet doesn’t have any restrictions when it comes to what or what not to consume – however, it is still advised to choose nutrient-rich meals.
The only requirement is that you meet your caloric requirements for the day depending on your age, gender, height, and weight. Registered dietician Kelsey Hampton explained that if you plan to eat only once a day, you should target the minimum calorie requirement, which, for adults, would be 1,200 calories.
A calorie deficit is strongly discouraged by experts even when you’re trying to lose weight rapidly because it could have adverse effects on your health. Apart from a lack of nutrients, your immune system will be compromised and your muscle mass will be broken down because your body can’t find another source of energy.
However, while you cannot eat anything for 23 hours, you are allowed to drink coffee, water, or tea throughout the day to remain hydrated. It is also recommended that you eat at the same time daily.
Eating one, two, or three huge meals in an hour is not just unhealthy but it can also have the opposite effect of what you’re trying to achieve. Research published in Nutrition Reviews found that this extremely restrictive diet can lead to overeating and even an increase in appetite.
Dietician Melissa Rifkin said this diet is definitely not for the kids and the elderly as well as those with health illnesses like diabetes and hypertension.
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