Can the OMAD Diet Help You Live Longer?


We owe it to ourselves and our body’s to do everything we can to live as long as possible. The one meal a day diet has grown in popularity over the years as many people believe the diet helps them live longer. Here is all you need to know about the OMAD diet and how it can impact your longevity. 

How to Live Longer

The key to living a longer, healthier life is making healthy lifestyle choices. This extends beyond just eating healthy. There are many things that impact your longevity and by living a healthy lifestyle you can ensure yourself the longest, happiest life possible. Here are some ways you can improve your longevity:

  • Avoid overeating - Reducing your caloric intake can increase your maximum lifespan
  • Eat plant-based foods - Studies have linked a plant-rich diet to a lower risk of premature death as well as a reduced risk of cancer, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, depression, and brain deterioration
  • Stay active - Exercising for as little as 15 minutes per day can increase your lifespan by an additional three years. On top of that, your risk of premature death may decrease by 4% each additional 15 minutes of daily physical activity
  • Don’t smoke - On average, people who regularly smoke live 10 years less than those who never pick up a cigarette
  • Drink moderately - Contrary to popular belief, drinking a glass of alcohol a night can actually be good for you. However, constant binge drinking can have a massively negative impact on your longevity
  • Fast - Fasting is a great way to lose weight and increase your longevity. Diets such as the one meal a day diet (OMAD) and the fasting-mimicking diet can help you achieve this

Keep in mind, these strategies work best when paired with one another. If you don’t smoke at all but drink alcohol frequently, you are still hurting your longevity. If you exercise frequently but eat processed foods regularly, your longevity is at risk. 

How to Start The OMAD Diet?

Before starting the OMAD diet the first thing you should do is consult with your doctor to ensure that it is safe. Depending on your health, your doctor may advise against only eating one meal per day. If you are preparing to start the diet, here are three things that you need to keep in mind:

  • Don’t just eat anything - Many people think that since you only eat one meal per day, you can eat whatever you want. You should strive to make your one meal a balanced and micronutrient meal for the sake of your overall health
  • Avoid if you’re an active lifter - If you train frequently, you may notice a loss of strength when on the OMAD diet. If you’re trying to increase your overall strength you may want to employ a less-extreme diet
  • You can improve your willpower - When following the OMAD, you will be testing your willpower. It can feel rewarding following the diet and showing discipline

It’s important to reiterate one thing, you shouldn’t eat anything you want just because you technically can. It’s important that you get the proper nutrients you need especially since you’re only eating one meal per day. 

How Do You Eat One Meal A Day?

How you go about eating only one meal a day will depend on your personal preferences and your willpower. Some people choose to follow the diet for a week while others only eat one meal a day for a month. It’s important to note that you may not enjoy the diet at first and it will take some getting used to. 

It will also require some tweaking as you figure out how to build the diet tailored to your needs. First things first, you should figure out what time of the day you want your meal to be. Some people can’t start their day without a meal so they choose to eat a big breakfast for their daily meal. Others can wait until dinner while others choose to eat it in the middle of the day.  

Can You Lose Weight By Eating One Meal a Day? 

You can lose weight by eating one meal a day. In fact, you can lose weight with any fasting diet as fasting can induce bodily functions such as ketosis and autophagy. These processes are induced when the body doesn’t get certain nutrients, mainly carbohydrates.

Your body goes into ketosis when your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. Instead, your body will burn fat and create ketones which they use for fuel. During autophagy, your body will remove molecules and dysfunctional parts, replacing them with newer, healthier components. 

How Much Weight Can You Lose on One Meal a Day? 

It’s important to note that the OMAD diet is a recent trend, therefore there aren’t too many studies that examine the impact of the diet on weight loss. However, one study looked at the effects of an intermittent fasting diet with a four-hour eating window. The results pointed to the fact that the diet did indeed promote modest fat loss. 

However, the reason why it showed weight loss results may not be for the reason that you were expecting. Those involved in the study reported that it was difficult to consume such a big meal in one sitting. This leads to a calorie deficit by itself. 

Can I Eat Anything on OMAD?

Many people feel that one of the many OMAD benefits is that you can eat whatever you want. The idea is that since you aren’t eating any other meals, it will be nearly impossible to eat a meal so big that it ruins your calorie deficit. This leads people to believe that they can eat whatever they want. 

However, many experts recommend that your one meal a day meal plan should include healthy, nutritious meals. One of the biggest drawbacks of the diet is that it makes it difficult to get the amount of nutrients that your body needs. That’s why many people pair the OMAD diet with a regiment of supplements. 

Does it Matter What Time You Eat on OMAD?

One of the most common questions asked when it comes to the OMAD diet is whether or not it matters when you eat. Keep in mind, the diet includes a 23 hour fasting period so it’s important that you time your one-hour eating window at the right time. It’s recommended that you consume your one meal after your most active part of the day. 

This will ensure that your body gets the nutrients that it needs to recover from your activities. Some people believe that they need to eat before their active time, however, experts suggest that working out on an empty stomach can actually be beneficial. It may require some trial and error to find the right time of the day to eat your one meal. 

Is Eating One Meal a Day Bad For You? 

Fasting can improve your longevity, something we’ve already mentioned, so does that mean that the OMAD diet is definitively healthy? Some researchers and experts suggest that the OMAD diet poses more risks than benefits. Here are some of the risks involved with the OMAD diet:

  • Feeling extremely hungry or binge eating
  • Shakiness or physical weakness
  • Fatigue, or low energy
  • Brain fog, or trouble focusing

Studies have also found that eating once a day can actually increase your blood pressure and cholesterol. This is most likely due to the fact that many people who practice the OMAD diet eat highly processed foods or foods with too many carbs for their one meal. It’s highly recommended that you speak with your doctor before beginning the diet. 

How Long Should You Do The OMAD Diet? 

The OMAD diet should not be a permanent diet. This is because it’s very difficult to get the nutrients that you need for your body to function properly. When it comes to fasting in general, most experts recommend that you only practice it in short spurts. 

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work? 

Intermittent fasting is the most popular method of fasting as it’s viewed as one of the most realistic and simple fasting methods. Unlike most other weight loss programs, intermittent fasting doesn’t restrict your food choices or intake. Most people on this dietary pattern focus on only eating between six and eight hours per day. 

Intermittent fasting can help induce autophagy throughout your body. This process can help improve your overall health while also increasing your lifespan. This is because autophagy can occur when fasting, reducing your calories, or reducing your nutrient intake. 

Autophagy Supplements

OMAD can help induce autophagy but you can expedite the process by pairing the OMAD diet with autophagy inducing supplements. One of the best supplements to take to achieve this is spermidine supplements. Spermidine can help induce autophagy but it can be difficult to get your recommended daily intake of spermidine through your diet. 

We have mentioned how difficult it can be to get the nutrients you need when on the OMAD diet. This is why supplements are an important part of the process. You can maximize the results when you pair the diet with spermidine supplements. 

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  • Don Moxley - Director of Applied Science

    Don Moxley is the Director of Applied Science at Longevity Labs. Moxley draws upon his career as an athlete, a sports scientist, and an instructor to lead and educate on the science of autophagy and longevity.