Odds are, you don’t eat enough protein. This simple hack can change everything. Polishing off a nice, large serving of (preferably whole food-based) protein can quell even the most ravenous of appetites. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient. Meaning that less food fills you up more. Metabolizing protein also has burns some energy, making the net calorie gain from protein the least of the three main macros (fat, protein, and carbs). Feeding your body protein switches it from cellular breakdown and recycling mode, into regeneration, rebuilding, and growth. An increasingly important contrast to the rest of your day. When you find yourself with an insatiate appetite, recollect your previous meal. Get enough protein and you’ll feel a whole lot better.
Popular among athletes, regular fasters also need additional electrolytes. I’m not talking some sugary sports drink, or energy gels. Electrolytes are a group of minerals your body needs to conduct electricity. Since your entire body and brain run on electricity, inadequate electrolyte supply causes the biological equivalent of a power outage. The major electrolytes include sodium, potassium, and magnesium. You need each of them. Salt has its place. Even more so when in the low-insulin states of keto or fasting. Insulin regulates salt storage. Without it, your body sheds too much, leaving your salt deficient. Headaches, brain fog, low energy, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness, and general feelings of malaise characterize the so-called “keto flu”. Inadequate electrolytes are one of the biggest keto mistakes. Specifically high-quality mineral salt and magnesium deficiency. They’re easy fixes. I make sure to add both and a squeeze of lemon to my morning tonic. When possible I add a small squirt of trace minerals to cover the less common electrolyte minerals.
Keto shares a lot with one meal a day. Spending 23 hours every day in a fasted state induces mild ketosis. Preparing for OMAD by eating low-carb keeps insulin low, manages cravings, stabilizes energy, teaches your body to access body fat for fuel, produces ketones, and makes the transition a heck of a lot easier. Going keto helps dust off and fire up metabolic machinery used in the absence of carbs. I doubt that I would have tried OMAD had I not already been completely fat adapted.
Imagine 3500 plus calories hitting the stomach all at once. Not a pretty picture. Nor was it comfortable to put all that down in one meal. 3,500 calories of quality food is voluminous and takes a while to eat. Maintaining (I gave up on gaining) weight and muscle required it. Needless to say, I felt bloated and not all that good for the first few days. Many people struggle with poor digestion, whether from a lack of digestive enzymes, or abnormal pH. Getting all your calories at once can overwhelm the digestive system.
Bodybuilders and diabetics share a common obsession: insulin. Depending on the crowd you run with, insulin is either a hero or villain. Insulin is the hormone of aging (or anti-aging). It shuttles calories into fat storage or the metabolic energy-producing furnace. Click To Tweet This hormone regulates your weight, body fat, thyroid, bones, brain, testosterone and estrogen, stress hormones, neurotransmitters, immune system. In short: It’s pretty important. The issue?
“80 percent of the population is insulin resistant“
Meaning that the mechanism deciding between fat and energy is faulty. Fasting, and OMAD in particular, help insulin normalize and increases insulin sensitivity. Eating only one meal per day also improves other biomarkers of the body and mind.
As with any major diet change, I lost some weight. 9.5 pounds over the three months — with zero extra effort. I’d expect similar results from breaking any familiar dietary pattern. The body responds quite favorably to variety. In the short-term, you’ll hear of people losing massive weight on just about any diet. The myopic equation of weight loss (food minus exercise) works in a vacuum, but not in the real-world. Environmental variables come into play. Using basic math that OMAD is conducive to weight loss. I burn 3,500 – 4,000 calories per day. How could I possible eat more than that in one meal? Even with ultra-processed foods (not that I recommend them), I get full long before 4,000 calories. Especially when eating clean whole foods (as I usually do). Eating to absolute satiety, I only managing about 3,000 calories per day.
OMAD does two wonders for focus and productivity:
When do you enjoy that meal? Ancient Ayurvedic wisdom would probably recommend earlier in the day. What if you workout at evening? Do you fast for many hours after working out? Do you eat in alignment with your circadian rhythm? Or do you toss all the rules out the window and eat whenever it’s convenient. Whatever you choose, stick to a similar window of time every day. That way your body learns when to produce digestive enzymes, and other necessary factors to fully utilize your only meal.
Chocolate chip cookies, cornbread (a vice of mine), sweetened drinks — OMAD doesn’t restrict foods. Even though you’ll probably lose weight by eating less, what you eat still matters. Flooding the digestive systems with a deluge of chemicals and highly processed ingredients virtually guarantee eventual problems. Before long, junk food catches up to you causing metabolic disorders, rampant inflammation, mood swings, nutrient deficiencies, and junkie-like chemical addictions. Paying attention to what you consume will help you maintain steady progress. Don’t beat yourself up about an occasional treat, but OMAD won’t bulletproof you against junk.
Control your environment. Assuming you want to succeed, your environment matters a whole lot. Specifically, the people and places that surround you. You may have willpower made of steel, but the outside influences will determine how you fare when the unavoidable craving or distraction eventually arises. Plus, why waste your finite willpower unnecessarily? By creating a supporting environment, you not only preserve willpower, but make OMAD less taxing.