Here is the ultimate guide to OMAD Keto!
You might have chosen this guide because you are a complete beginner to OMAD Keto.
Most likely, you are someone who wants to lose the extra body fat you have gained over the years. Perhaps you have already tried OMAD, which is short for One Meal a Day. Or maybe you have started Keto, short for the Ketogenic Diet, and you want to take it to the next level.
No matter which category you belong in, this guide is for you. Read about how OMAD and Keto work together in the first section. Then in the second section, find out how to create an OMAD Keto meal program best suited for your lifestyle.
Altogether, this Ultimate Guide will help you use the power of OMAD Keto to achieve your fitness and weight loss goals.
But before you proceed, you must ensure that you are fit for this type of dietary program. Keep in mind that extreme fasting and the keto diet are not for everyone, especially if you have pre-existing cardiovascular issues or have type 2 diabetes (1). If you do, then you should consult your doctor first.
With that in mind, here is the ultimate guide to starting OMAD Keto.
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Understanding OMAD Keto
Simply put, OMAD Keto is the combination of two highly effective and popular weight loss meal programs. OMAD is an extreme type of Intermittent Fasting. Keto is a high fat, low carb diet.
Let’s talk about OMAD first, then Keto. After that, we’ll discuss how both can work together.
How OMAD Works
When you talk about Intermittent Fasting, you’re talking about a restrictive, time-bound diet. It is known to help people effectively lose body fat. (2) Thus, it can be helpful to people who are at risk or suffer from obesity.
This is how Intermittent fasting works. First, you will need to identify how many hours in the day you can eat. This is called the “feeding” window. Then you need to identify the hours when you do not eat. This is called the “fasting” period.
Most beginners to Intermittent Fasting do the 16:8 ratio. Meaning they fast for 16 hours and feed for 8 hours. For example, your feeding window is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Then, between 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., you must not eat or drink anything at all. Well, you can drink water, of course.
If you have never tried the 16:8 intermittent fasting yet, you must try it for at least a month before you try OMAD. This is because OMAD has a ratio of 23:1. As such, your “feeding” window will only be for one hour. The rest of the day, you will be fasting.
A growing number of studies have been conducted to determine the benefits of the OMAD diet. So far, one study reveals the following benefits (3). First is it helps reduce inflammation. It also helps in the building of muscle tissue and burning of fatty tissues. This is because it increases human growth hormone (HGH) levels. It also shows promise in helping reduce breast cancer risk.
At this point, you must have some questions. One of which must be: “Do I have to follow OMAD every single day?”
Well, the answer to that depends on numerous factors.
The one determining factor is your ability to sustain OMAD. For instance, most people alternate between OMAD and regular intermittent fasting (16:8).
Some find that they can do OMAD for six days in the week, with the seventh day as their “cheat” day.
Whichever strategy you use, what matters is you stick to your routine. Because if you overeat on certain days and follow OMAD on others, the overeating will cancel out the benefits of OMAD (4). All your efforts during your OMAD days will, therefore, be for nothing.
In short, you must carefully plan your OMAD days and non-OMAD days. And you must religiously stick to your plan.
Now, the second question you might be asking is: “What should I eat during my feeding window?”
Well, in the OMAD Diet, you have two options: caloric restriction OMAD and non-caloric restriction OMAD.
In caloric restriction OMAD, you will be very careful in the number of calories you consume during your feeding window. Let’s say you want to consume no more than 2,500 calories each day. Hence, your one meal for that day should be no more than that. This type of OMAD diet is ideal for those who really wish to lose weight.
In non-caloric restriction OMAD, you do not care how many calories you consume in that one meal. Basically, you eat as much as you like. Usually, this type of OMAD diet is preferred by people who wish to gain muscle mass.
Speaking of what to eat, this is probably the best time to move on to the second half of our topic. And it is – you guessed it – Keto.
How the Keto Diet Works
The Ketogenic Diet, or Keto, is a high fat, moderate protein, and extremely low carbohydrate diet. In other words, it follows a ratio of 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5 to 10% carbohydrates.
Keto is more than just a buzzword. It is a diet that is quickly gaining popularity in scientific research. It is a therapeutic diet for those who have drug-resistant epilepsy, conceptualized by Dr. Russel Wilder in 1921. However, it has recently gained popularity as a means to combat obesity, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance (5).
On the downside, unrestricted consumption of red meat while in the Keto diet will also increase one’s LDL cholesterol levels. This could increase the risk of developing atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease (6).
So how does keto help reduce body fat?
To understand this, let’s talk about carbohydrates first. Typically, the human body relies on carbohydrates as its primary source of energy. For your body to transform the carbs you consume into energy, your digestive system breaks them down into glucose. Some of you understand glucose as “blood sugar.”
Once carbs turn into glucose and your blood sugar rises, your pancreas will be triggered to release insulin. Insulin is responsible for turning glucose into energy that your body uses to sustain itself. It is also responsible for helping the body store excess glucose in the fat cells, muscles, and liver. These glucose stores will be used whenever your body needs more energy.
The problem is, the modern human diet consists of high levels of carbohydrates. The more carbs you eat, the more insulin your pancreas produces. As a result, your body becomes resistant to insulin. This means your body could no longer respond to insulin. And once you become insulin resistant, your body could no longer store the excess glucose each time you eat carbs.
Instead, the glucose stays in the bloodstream. This is terrible news because continuously, a high blood glucose level is linked to the progression of many diseases. These include type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and fatty liver disease (7).
The good news is that the keto diet can help you prevent or overcome insulin resistance (8). Because Keto is extremely low in carbohydrates, your body is deprived of glucose. In turn, your body will not need to produce as much insulin.
On top of this, your body will turn to an alternative source of energy. This alternative is fat. First, it will burn the stored fat in your body. And because Keto is high in fat, it will use the fat you eat for more energy. This process of using fat as an energy source takes place when your body enters ketosis. When the body enters a state of ketosis, your liver transforms stored fat into ketones. This is released into the bloodstream and is used as energy by the body. And it comes as to no surprise that this is where the word “ketogenic” comes from.
Keep in mind that too many ketones in the bloodstream are not a good thing, either (9). It could lead to the development of kidney stones, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and diseases such as fatty liver disease. Those a long-term keto diet must closely monitor their renal functions through ketone urine testing.
You must strictly follow the keto diet for at least two weeks before ketosis takes place. And to maintain ketosis, you must follow the keto diet consistently. For if you eat even just a bit more carbohydrates than what is recommended, your body will again turn to glucose as an energy source. Ketosis would stop, and you will back to square one with the keto diet.
The key is to gradually return to the standard diet after 6 to 12 months on the keto diet. This will ensure that you will not acquire the negative effects of ketones.
With all these in mind, let’s move forward. And it is combining both the Ketogenic Diet and OMAD. Is it the right diet for you? Will it help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals? Let’s find out.
Combining OMAD and Keto
Okay, so now you know that OMAD means eating one meal a day and then fasting for 23 hours after. And Keto is a diet that is high in fat, moderate in protein, and extremely low in carbs. Combine the two, and you have the OMAD Keto.
OMAD Keto means eating a keto meal once a day and fasting for 23 hours. By following both, you will drastically increase your chances of burning fat and getting into the state of ketosis. Which means you will reap the benefits of both OMAD and Keto.
Following the OMAD Keto diet requires you to commit to it fulltime. Hence, it requires tremendous levels of self-discipline and determination.
If you have trouble following regular intermittent fasting (16:8), then for sure, you are not yet ready for this.
If you struggle with avoiding carbs, then you are still not ready for this type of diet.
However, if you are determined to lose weight and burn fat, then you can definitely make OMAD Keto work for you.
Remember to commit 100 percent. Otherwise, you will have wasted a lot of time and energy. You must also consult a medical professional before you start. This includes taking the necessary tests he or she prescribes beforehand. That way, you will know whether your body is a candidate for the positive benefits of the OMAD Keto.
Now, once you have determined your mind and body are ready, you can begin. In the next section, you will find a straightforward guide to starting and sustaining OMAD Keto.
Starting OMAD Keto
Are you ready to commit to four to six months of the OMAD Keto Diet? If you are, then here are the steps you must follow.
Step 1: Determine Your OMAD Keto Plan
Strictly speaking, you have to go full Keto once you start. This means you cannot have “cheat days” that include carbohydrates. From start to finish, you must always eat high fat, extremely low carbs. No exceptions.
However, with OMAD, you can decide on how many days per week to implement it. This is based on your lifestyle and your ability to cope with the fasting period. Most people follow OMAD five out of seven days per week. During the other two days, they would have more than one meal. Often, this is in the form of both lunch and dinner.
Thus, you must determine the number of days when you want to follow OMAD. From there, you can then prepare a timetable that will help you transition from intermittent fasting to OMAD (more on this in Step 3).
Step 2: Create Keto Meal Plans
At this point, you now know how incredibly important it is to stick to Keto all the way. Which means you absolutely must not succumb to carb temptations. For this to be possible, you must be one step ahead of your cravings. And to do that, you must have your Keto meals ready.
What does a typical Keto meal look like? Well, some of the most widely recommended ingredients for healthy and sustainable healthy keto meals are the following:
Fatty Fish. This includes wild and farmed salmon, albacore tuna, Atlantic herring, anchovies, sardines, Atlantic mackerel, trout, and Alaska pollock. Fatty fish are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Which means they are a rich source of fat for anyone on a keto diet. At the same time, omega-3s help reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease(10).
Avocado. There is a big reason why so many people are into avocados these days. One is that they are rich in fatty acids, which is ideal in the Keto diet. Avocado oil helps promote healthy blood lipid profiles and support cardiovascular health as well (11). On top of that, they taste good and keep you feeling full for a long period.
Olives and Olive Oil. You can add olives or a generous drizzle of olive oil to all your Keto meals. Just like avocados, olives are rich in healthy fats. In particular, they are rich in a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid. Moreover, olive oil contains anti-cancer properties and antioxidants (12).
Low-carb Vegetables. Just because you are on the Keto diet does not mean you should avoid vegetables. They are rich in fiber and a variety of much-needed vitamins and minerals, after all. However, you must choose vegetables that are low in carbohydrates.
Examples of low-carb veggies are cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. These are known for reducing the risk of heart disease and different types of cancer (13).
Another low-carb vegetable that you can enjoy in the Keto diet is zucchini. It is rich in antioxidants, carotenoids, vitamin C, and a range of other essential nutrients your body needs (14). Keto dieters usually prepare zucchini into noodles with a spiralizer to substitute regular pasta.
Eggs. The great thing about eggs is they are cheap and easy to prepare. They also keep you feeling full for a long period (15), which is a piece of excellent news for when you are on OMAD. Eggs from free-range fowl offer more benefits than those from caged hens, as they are richer in omega-3 fatty acids (16).
Nuts and Seeds. Sprinkle your OMAD Keto meals with nuts and seeds because they are rich in healthy fats and fiber, yet extremely low in carbs. The best nuts and seeds for the Keto diet in terms of low-carb content per ounce are flaxseeds, Brazil nuts, chia seeds, pecans, walnuts, macadamia nuts, sesame seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and pistachios.
Cheese. A sprinkle of cheese on your meal is a great way to add more fat. At the same time, the cheesy flavor will help you get rid of any carb cravings. The best cheeses in terms of nutritional value are Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano (17). They are rich in probiotic bacteria, vitamins, minerals, fat, and lipids. They are also rich in calcium, which is good for your bones.
Ricotta cheese can also be a part of your Keto diet. Aside from being delicious, it also helps increase skeletal muscle mass (18).
Of course, there are plenty of other great ingredients to add to your Keto diet. Occasionally, you may enjoy high-quality poultry and red meat products. However, make sure that most of the protein in your meals are made with fatty fish. This way, you could minimize the negative effects of the Keto diet on your cardiovascular health.
Now, with this broad range of Keto-friendly ingredients, you can come up with hundreds of delicious dishes. Gather a week’s worth of recipes for your meals and then build up your collection from there. With these recipes, prepare a meal plan that you strictly follow each week. Prepare your meals ahead so that you will not resort to buying non-Keto dishes when you get hungry.
Also, you must know what to order in times when you have to eat out. Identify restaurants in your area that serve keto-friendly meals. Carefully order from the menu meals that are extremely low carb, such as by checking the seafood and meat section.
When it comes to drinks, stick to black coffee and unsweetened tea. When the desire for fizzy drinks kicks in, have some sparkling water with berries. Fresh or frozen blueberries, for example, are delicious, low in sugar, and rich in antioxidants. In fact, they can even help in lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (19).
It is recommended that you do not start the Keto diet unless you have prepared fully for it. Once you have a meal plan and the right ingredients to follow it, then you are ready.
Step 3: Start the Keto Diet with 16:8 Intermittent Fasting
At this point, you must have already started on the Keto diet. At best, you must be on it for about two weeks.
Now before getting into OMAD Keto, the next step is to allow your body to get used to less extreme fasting. Try following 16:8 thrice a week for the next three weeks while on the Keto diet. This will condition your body to adapt to the fasting periods.
For example, you can start your fast at 5 p.m. and end at 9:00 a.m. At 9 a.m., you can have your first meal. At 1:00 p.m., you can have your second meal. Your final meal can be somewhere between 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. That way, your fast can effectively start at 5:00 p.m.
On regular days, you can eat past 5:00 p.m. But once you reach 5:00 p.m. the following day (fasting day), you must not eat anything until 9:00 a.m. the next day.
Track your fasting days carefully using a timetable. Here is an example of a thrice-weekly 16:8 fast on Keto:
|1||Fast||9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. -feed|
5:00 p.m. – 9:00 a.m. (next day) – fast
|2||Regular||9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. – regular Keto meals|
|3||Regular||9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. – regular Keto meals|
|4||Fast||9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – feed|
5:00 p.m. – 9:00 a.m. (next day) – fast
|5||Regular||9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. – regular Keto meals|
|6||Regular||9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. – regular Keto meals|
|7||Fast||9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. – feed|
5:00 p.m. – 9:00 a.m. (next day) – fast
Step 4: Gradually Increase Your Fast Window
After two to three weeks of strictly implementing a thrice-weekly fast, you can increase it to four or five times per week. See how well you respond to this.
Then, you can increase the fast period and reduce the number of hours in your feeding window.
Try using the following scheme to transition up to OMAD Keto:
|Weeks||Fast and Feed Ratio||No. of Fast Days per Week|
|4 to 6|
1 to 3
As you increase your fast period and decrease your feed ratio, you must also adjust the types of meals you have.
For instance, from three Keto meals a day with 16:8, you can skip breakfast and just have lunch and dinner.
Once you hit week 10, you can have just had a big lunch and then a heavy snack before the end of your feed window.
By week 13, you can just have your one meal per day. Most dieters find that a big, fiber- and fat-rich Keto lunch at 1 p.m. is the best option. The rest of the day, they just drink water, especially when they start to feel hungry.
Step 5: Sticking to OMAD Keto
If you stuck well to your Keto meal plans and followed your fasting timetable, you will eventually reach OMAD Keto. And when you do, you will find that your body does not need to be fed so many times a day to sustain energy. That said, there are ways for you to sustain it:
Schedule Your OMAD Strategically. Depending on your lifestyle, you can schedule OMAD on less busy days. If you are like most, OMAD can fall on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. On other days, you can follow 16:8.
Prevent Keto Flu. Keto flu is commonly experienced when the body starts to burn fat instead of glucose. Symptoms include nausea, dizziness, irritability, and headaches. You can avoid this by drinking bone broth and adding more electrolytes to your system. You should also include some light exercise, drink plenty of water, and eat some low-carb vegetables.
Maintain a Strong Mindset. There will be times when you are tempted to go back to a high carb diet. However, you must know how to resist the urge constantly. Regularly listen to podcasts of people who successfully follow the Keto diet. Avoid restaurants that serve high-carb meals. Stock up your kitchen with purely keto ingredients. Remind yourself each day why OMAD Keto is vital to your health and lifestyle.
Monitor Your Weight and Blood Ketone Levels. While on OMAD Keto, you must visit your doctor regularly to ensure that the diet does not put you at risk of health issues caused by ketosis. You should also periodically check your body mass index and weight to ensure that you are hitting your goals.
Through careful and meticulous planning, you will make OMAD Keto work for you. There is no denying it: starting OMAD Keto is going to be tough. Stick to your guns, though. With the guidance of a medical professional, of course. Because after your body adjusts to the system, you will realize that it makes your life so much easier. Mealtimes become so much simpler. You will lose excess weight. And you will feel great, inside and out!
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