Doing One Meal A Day (OMAD) fast requires a lot of preparation. In this piece, you will find 10 tips on how to plan your OMAD meals to make that preparation easier for you.
Here is the catch though, telling you how to create OMAD recipes or what to eat on your OMAD is important, but it’s not the whole story. Planning for your OMAD meals and your fast is about mental preparation more than anything.
These tips will be broken down into two key sections, mirroring both the physical and mental aspects of preparing for your meals. As someone who has done OMAD fasting, these tips are what helped me stick to it. Even when I found it tough.
What to Eat on OMAD?
The beauty of intermittent fasting is that it doesn’t restrict what you eat. Intermittent fasting is all about when you eat. That applies more than anything regarding OMAD meals.
Of course, if you have a specific goal like losing weight, then being mindful of what you eat is still useful. However, overall, so long as you eat within your one-hour window the contents of your diet (in moderation) are not too important. So as opposed to telling you what to eat, here are suggestions on how to prepare for the nutritional aspect of the fast.
Tip #1: Take it Slow and Keep it Slow
In the beginning, I often made the mistake of eating everything in sight as soon as my power hour started. Soon I began to realize that it was not a good idea.
Your body is craving food and eating something massive straight away shocks the system. This is where learning about food and nutrition can be important. You may want to try eating some fruit or something small to begin with. This will slowly increase your blood sugar levels before diving into a heavy meal you’ve been craving!
Keep your food intake well balanced through the hour and enjoy your food slowly. It will help to understand when you’re full and it’s time to take a break.
Tip #2: Understand your Macros and Vary Your OMAD Meal Plan Accordingly
Unless you happen to just want to eat once a day, you are likely OMAD meal planning for fitness or health reasons. Therefore, understanding how much protein, carbohydrates and fats you need in order to build muscle or lose fat is important.
There are various online tools that help to analyze your meal’s macros. When you have only one big meal a day, it will take significantly less time to log in all the ingredients to receive your macro breakdown.
So, draw up your end goals and targets, go and find out what your calorie maintenance is, and adjust what you plan to eat along with it.
Tip #3: Remember the Importance of Vitamins and Electrolytes
When you are not eating, you need to keep your energy levels up. Knowing the right vitamins and minerals to use to fuel your body is important. Taking certain supplements can give you enhanced energy and take your fasting to another level.
Our blog post on Top Intermittent Fasting Supplements can help you understand what supplements to take and how to utilize them effectively.
Tip #4: Do Your Meal Prep Either the Day Before or in a Batch for a Few Days
So many people that fail their OMAD experience are the ones that wing it and do not plan their One Meal A Day meals. It is so important to stay on top of what you are eating and your meal prep.
On some days you will be tired and won’t want to cook. On other days life will get in the way and you won’t have time to plan for a well-balanced meal you would deserve. Therefore, cooking in batches of 3-4 days is a strategy that will set you up for success.
Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail: The Mental Aspect of Planning Your OMAD Meals.
It is a cliché but it is true. If you are unable to master the mental battlefield that is intermittent fasting, it will eat you alive! Being ready to only eat in a certain window requires some mental rewiring and some lifestyle changes. Here are some tips and tricks that worked for me.
Tip #5: Find a Good Fasting App to Track Your Progress
I love seeing physical progress when I do something challenging. Having a timer or a tracker on my phone showed me in real-time how far I had come. (or how far I had to go).
It is not essential, but keeping track of your performance is a great way to make it a lot more successful.
As a bit of a technology geek, if tried and tested multiple intermittent fasting apps. If you’re curious to test some out, take a look at the top 5 intermittent fasting apps article.
Tip #6: Structure Your Other 23 Hours
Some people find fasting difficult for a number of reasons. We could argue that there are different reasons for everybody.
What I have found overall, is that people struggling with fasting the hardest are the ones that have no structure to their day. If you fail to organize your day and you find yourself with nothing to do, you leave yourself open to pick at food and thus, break your fast.
Tip #7: Mental Prep is More Important Than Food Prep
Going into a One Meal A Day plan and creating OMAD recipes without knowing what you are getting into, why you are doing it and not having the correct attitude towards it, is like going into a battle with no armor.
Preparing yourself mentally, understanding the risks and the benefits and creating structure are the key elements you need to get right before you plan any OMAD meals. I’ve gathered intermittent fasting resources that have helped me to make fasting a steady habit. It’s a good start but I encourage you to explore even further yourself.
Tip #8: Ditch bad Bad Habits Over Time
A good idea before starting an OMAD fast is to pinpoint your current bad eating habits. Changing your habits is not an easy process, so take steps to work on them before committing yourself to a drastic lifestyle change like OMAD.
I say this because OMAD fasting and figuring out what to eat on OMAD can be hard. Jumping into such a challenge cold turkey is a recipe for disaster.
For example, I always had a chocolate bar at 2 pm at work. I knew that once I began my OMAD meal plan I could not give in to that habit anymore. A few weeks before I began my fast, I started having a bar every second day, then once a week until I got used to not craving it all.
Recognizing and working on eating habits like this is crucial in ensuring your success.
Tip #9: Pick a Time When You Are Hungriest, Make That Your Power Hour!
I hate it when people say, “don’t eat after 7 pm or you won’t lose weight”. The body does not know what time it is. All it knows is that it is getting fed.
Let me stress this, eating most of your calories later in the day won’t put the brakes on fat loss, as was once believed.
What you can do is, in the weeks leading up to your fast, figure out the time you are at your hungriest and decide it will be your power hour.
When I was doing my fast, I called it my ‘Power Hour’ because I always felt strong and powerful if I managed to stay disciplined and make it to 5 pm without breaking my fast. It is a powerful feeling.
Tip #10: Always Remember Your ‘Why’
There will be good days and bad days. It is so important that you remember why you started in the first place.
Never be afraid to remind yourself why. Especially when you feel like giving up, remember that it may be tough at first but it does get better.
That is what helped me, I knew that I needed to lose weight. This was the one chance I gave myself to do it. Before you give up, always remember why you started.
How to start One Meal A Day?
A great place to put these tips into practice regardless of your experience level is through our 21-day OMAD fasting challenge.
Our challenge helps you to stay accountable and motivated through support groups, it allows you to track your progress in a measurable way with daily tasks, goals and progress tracking. On top of that, it gives you a challenge guide with a progress tracker sheet and FAQs as well as a nutrition and recipe guide to make OMAD meal planning clear and simple.
This education and accountability are the fundamental building blocks of success with OMAD fasting and it is something you get with 21 Day Hero.