How to Eat One Meal a Day – The Basic Weight Loss Plan

The above was my original video on Youtube in November of 2015. Since then, so many copycats have come along, stolen (a strong word?) my success, and went on with life as normal (on and off of Youtube). I’m not bitter in the least. Why would I be? Success is just that…success!

Here is the written version for those interested…

It violates all modern dietary advice, but eating one meal a day (OMAD) is how your hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. Your doing so will reduce your weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol, and improve your energy level and overall health. Not only that, but you will feel better and be sick less.

Here is the basic OMAD plan, the same one I used to drop 173 pounds in 10 months and 27 days. And although my plan here is tailored for larger people looking to drop 75+ lbs or more in a fairly quick amount of time, it can be tailored to your individual needs. The big change begins right here…

Initial Preparations:

* Pick a goal weight range–not a weight, but a weight range of about 15 pounds since we humans are always in a state of constant flux. This range will change as you get more confidence and approach where you first set out to be weight-wise. My first goal weight range was 245-255 pounds. It then became 225-240, 195-210, and 185-200. The latter is where I remain today.

* Do an initial weigh-in. Weigh yourself. An initial weigh-in is important since you will want to track your progress.

* Weigh yourself regularly ONLY ONCE every seven days. Don’t break this rule. Pick a day of the week and weigh yourself on that day without fail. Body weight fluctuates, so you don’t want to weigh every single day. You will psych yourself out upon seeing varying scale numbers. Remember that for every 3,500 calories reduced over a 7-day period, that generally means 1 pound of body fat lost. You lose weekly, NOT daily, so weigh weekly.

How to Eat OMAD: 

#1) Set aside a 4-hour window to eat in: You will be eating your meal within this set window. It should be the same timeframe every day. It can be morning, noon, or evening. The time selected will not change the results, but keep the same window every day. At the beginning of my journey, the eating window opened at 11 am and closed at 2 pm, although I eventually moved it to 6 pm and 10 pm. Life often gets in the way of eating, so the window is there to enable you to move around the meal time while keeping structure to your eating.

#2) Eat with “the 4 ones” in mind: 

A. Only ONE meal per day – no snacking or grazing or consuming anything with calories afterward. The next time you eat will be 23 hours later. Any medications, vitamins, or supplements can be taken with the meal. Eat whatever you want. You’ll find you crave healthier foods as time passes and your stomach shrinks, but don’t worry about that now. Just no straight-up “junk food” (i.e. foods like chips or candy that you’d never want to make a meal of anyway). If you choose to continue to eat these nutrient-lacking junk foods, you will still lose weight, but you will not feel well. Make it a point to eat the decent, normal foods that you ordinarily do.

B. Eat ONE average-sized dinner plate of food (see pic above) – this should include any desserts, sauces, etc. No eating from containers or bags. Eat only what you have on the plate. Don’t starve (there is a difference between being hungry and starving). The idea is not to starve but to shrink your stomach. In time, you will become used to eating smaller amounts. This is especially important if you are a binge eater and can consume six plate-fulls of food and thousands of calories per day. It is difficult to get more than 1,400 calories on one plate. This serves as a form of de facto calorie counting, but also invokes the fasting portion of the day to reset and regulate blood-sugar levels and metabolism. The daily fast is what separates OMAD from so many other weight-loss measures and is why people often turn to it when other methods fail them. There is a reason why every culture the world over has historically had fasting as an integral part of their regimens. It helps the mind and body.

C. Allow yourself ONE calorie beverage with the meal – this will help you get your calories (wine, beer, or milks can be considered, but juices are ideal). Drink size should generally be no more than 12 to 16 ounces. Save the calorie-free beverages for later as meal replacements. Ideally, and if possible, you want your body to associate them with no insulin production.

D. Finish within ONE hour – this means that when you sit down to eat you have everything laid out in front of you. Eat and be done with it. The sooner you are back into fasting, the better. 
#3) After the meal, have only calorie-free liquids, like water, teas, and coffee. Diet sodas and water enhancers are also an option, but teas and coffees are preferred since they aid in weight loss tremendously and have practically no calories.

Get comfortable with your beverages. They are what sustain you during the long stretches of day when you won’t be eating. Chew ice and keep your beverages handy. As I lost, I would have tall 44 ounce containers of ice water, tea with Stevia as sweetener, black coffee with packets of Splenda in the mornings, diet sodas, and MIO water flavorers. These would carry me through the day as I learned to become functional on an empty stomach.

*** If you are diabetic and have unsafe blood-sugar drops, you can use juices to raise it back up, but only if medically necessary to do so. You don’t want your pancreas active during fasting. *** It won’t take long until your blood-sugar levels will even out. Generally, it takes just under four days to see these changes, as your body should adapt quickly.

#4) At least three times a week at meals, consume 1 cup of the juice of your choice with 2 tablespoons of raw, un-distilled apple cider vinegar. If you have been diagnosed with high triglycerides or high LDL cholesterol, you can do this every day for the first month and every other day afterward. I prefer cranberry juice or grape juice since these mask the unpleasant taste of the vinegar by making it taste like wine. This is an old folk remedy but will help enormously in losing weight. I can personally attest to this fact. Raw apple cider vinegar will increase weight loss and lower cholesterol with quickly noticeable results (less than a month).

#5) Allow one splurge day per week (after the first two weeks.) At least once every two or three weeks, give your mind and body a break from the calorie restriction by allowing yourself a splurge day. For this cheat day, you will eat one meal or multiple throughout the day, but ignore the one-plate/one-beverage rules. No one should try to gorge, but it is ok if you do. The splurge will push your metabolism into high gear and help to make up for any nutrient deficiencies. Vary your splurge days, but never have more than 2 splurge days back to back unless you are close to your goal weight.

What you should expect on OMAD

The first 4 days on OMAD will be especially difficult, but your body will adjust in time. You will be hungry and it will be hard to do your usual tasks on an empty stomach, but your re-adjustment to being productive while hungry instead of full is a life change that must be made. You may suffer intestinal upheavals from this change as you quickly begin to shed water weight. You will also be prone to getting “the shakes” and feeling weak, headache-ish, and out of energy from the turbulent blood-sugar disturbances–all normal. Your body is learning to re-adjust to run on what is ON your body (fat) as opposed to what is IN your body (food).

In addition to these difficulties, those who have been consuming large quantities of fried foods may experience gall bladder pains in the form of pinches or little cramps. These come-and-go cramps may feel like you’ve been running on a full stomach and should pass within a couple of days. After the 7, 10, 15, and 30-day markers, you will not only continue to see great progress with weight loss, but you will know if you can see yourself continuing the routine. Make no mistake about it–OMAD requires sacrifice, but the amount of sacrifice required is what tells you that the method is legitimate.

OMAD has the distinct advantage of not only the fast, but provides the means to break your dependence on food cravings. Following cravings and psychological eating is what creates the need to lose weight in the first place, not eating too much at Thanksgiving dinner. And despite modern dietary advice, serious weight loss requires being a little hungry. It also requires time, as your body must recognize the need to downsize from the sustained deficit that eating once a day creates.

Your body will fight you and will resist efforts to lose at first, but your consistency will be what gives you the final victory over food and fat. Don’t give up. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says or does. For you, stick to eating once a day. Keep to that resolution and the pounds will come off.

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