My experience with one meal a day (OMAD)

Rob Pavacic

At one point in late December 2019, I became extremely sick and had lost almost 10 pounds in about 1 weeks time. I can’t remember if a back injury I had suffered from was the precursor to this weight loss, but it also occurred around that same time.

During those two weeks, it felt like my body was going into survival mode. I had lost most of my appetite. Moving too much or exercising was near to impossible. However, I began to recover quickly and decided to start dieting until I reached a healthy weight. It was at this point in time I would venture into OMAD (One Meal a Day).

Experimenting with one meal a day

Back then, I had never done OMAD or Keto before. The last time I had even aggressively dieted was back in college and highschool when I would either make egg white omelettes daily from a carton or eat hard boiled eggs as a snack. Didn’t have as much appreciation for variety in food back then as I do now. Palettes do change it seems.

One meal a day is exactly how it sounds. Essentially, OMAD is a form of intermittent fasting. You eat one meal a day to force your body temporarily into ketogenesis. How I understand it, instead of your body surviving of glucose, it starts leveraging ketones for energy.

My mistakes on OMAD

Overall, I remember that the first few days were pretty bad. Consistently, I would have hunger pangs every few hours. But after about 1 week it got easier. The biggest hurdle was suppressing your hunger. At the time I was drinking a ton of coffee in the morning on my way to work, but I was losing weight rapidly. At one point, I think 2 months in I got back to the 170 lb. range.

However, my biggest mistake with OMAD was not closely watching what I was drinking. At some point, I decided to make the switch to hot tea instead of coffee. Besides the bad breath you can experience from ketogenesis, coffee also tends be a big contributing factor. Either way, and I’m not sure why I thought this, but I falsely assumed ‘honey’ was Keto friendly (lol) and started stirring it into my tea each morning I got to the office.

Within a week or so, I had realized my mistake when a co-worker pointed it out to me. At the time, I didn’t think to look for natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit. Instead, I switched back to plain tea.

The biggest benefit from one meal a day

Trying to live on one meal a day worked wonders for me. Not only did I lose a ton of weight, but the most surprising result was my mental state.

For 2-3 months being on OMAD, I was thinking way more clearly. Typically at mid-day without OMAD, I would experience fatigue in the office traditionally right after eating lunch. I chalked it up to a few things like staring at my computer screen too long, not getting enough sleep the night before, or from the long commute I had going into work most days.

With OMAD, it felt like I had superhero powers some days. The level of focus and energy I had was extremely potent. The closest feeling I could relate it to is a pre-workout without experience some of the jitters.

What I’m focusing on now

Looking back on that time and from what I’ve learned over the last year or so, I think the root cause for not only my weight problems, but also other health issues ranging from mood swings to joint point and even back pain may have been stemming from carbohydrates and spikes in my blood sugar.

This past year encouraged me to evaluate my habits, especially with what I put into my body. I’m no longer doing OMAD (more like two meals a day), but I am watching carbs and experimenting with intermittent fasting when I can.

More to come on my current diet regimen at a later time.


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