Intermittent fasting is currently one of the most popular trends in health and fitness and for good reason. For one, it’s proven effective in aiding weight loss. It also simplifies people’s lifestyles by eliminating the need to prepare three (sometimes more!) meals a day and frees up the time they spend cooking and eating, so they could spend it on other more important things, like having an extra thirty minutes a day for a morning run!
Most people ease their way into intermittent fasting by simply skipping breakfast and following the 16:8 protocol, where you fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8-hour window, whereas some choose a stricter regimen and do 18:6. But did you know that you can take this further by following an even more stringent 23:1 fasting protocol? We know; who would want to punish themselves like that, right?
We’re kidding, of course. After all, the One Meal a Day (OMAD) diet is not some scary, dangerous fad that claims to make you lose ten pounds in ten days, but is actually a pattern of eating that takes the benefits of intermittent fasting up a notch.
The longer we fast, the more we enjoy its many amazing advantages. So if you’re currently already reaping the benefits of fasting, here are five reasons why should you consider switching to OMAD and improving your body and your life.
- It speeds up your metabolism. Many people have come to believe the myth that skipping meals causes metabolism to slow down as the body adapts to save energy. Well, guess what? The opposite is actually true: fasting for short periods (8 to 36 hours) increases metabolism by as much as 14%, which means the body becomes 14% more efficient in converting food into energy. The faster your metabolism is, the quicker the body expends calories and, as a result, the time it takes to digest food is reduced. This means you feel satiated faster and stay full much longer than someone who eats three times a day!
- It burns more fat. When the body is in a fasted state and uses up its glucose stores, it switches to ketone bodies for energy. Where does the body get ketones, you ask? From body fat! That’s right: the liver produces ketone bodies from fatty acids so the body has energy to use in the absence of glucose, a process known as nutritional ketosis. This optimal fat burning state is why more and more people choose to work out during their fasting period. The longer you fast, the more fat you burn.
- It helps muscles recover more quickly. Fasting is known to increase human growth hormone levels by as much as five times. This is especially helpful for people who love being fit and active as it helps speed up muscle recovery, so it’s no wonder many professional athletes do OMAD.
- It improves your relationship with food. One contributing factor to the modern obesity epidemic is an unhealthy relationship with food. There are many reasons why people develop damaging eating habits, a lot of which are psychological and emotional. The strict eating schedule of OMAD may feel daunting to many, especially those who have come to rely on food for comfort. However, people who do OMAD report a better appreciation for food as it helps them make more mindful choices about what and how much they eat.
- It simplifies your life. Do you ever feel tired just thinking about what to eat next? OMAD eliminates the unwelcome stress of having to decide three times a day and leaves you with a better problem: what to do with all the extra time you suddenly have. Imagine being able to get up for work thirty minutes later than usual because you no longer need time for breakfast. You also get one hour during lunch to do whatever you want. Finish that book you’re reading, take a walk around the block, or get more work done on that project you’re working on.
Ready to board the OMAD train yet?
Remember: enjoying your every meal is key. To make eating healthy easier, add some superfoods to your daily meals, like barley grass and spirulina. This is a quick and easy way to make OMAD work even better. You can also add healthy fats to your meals such as olive oil, butter, and animal fat, which can help you feel satiated more quickly, reducing the chances of overeating.
OMAD may seem intimidating at first because it entails an enormous change to something as established as our eating habits. So, if you’re new to intermittent fasting, we highly suggest easing your way into it by skipping breakfast and eating only two meals for a week, following a 16:8 protocol. The following week, do 18:6, still eating twice a day. Finally, on the third week, eat only within a one hour window. This would give your body plenty of time to adjust, building a solid, foolproof foundation for longer fasts.
Resting energy expenditure in short-term starvation is increased as a result of an increase in serum norepinephrine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10837292
Fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in man. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3127426
Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23171320Why Some Top Athletes Only Eat One Meal a Day. https://primedlifestyle.com/2018/01/07/why-top-athletes-only-eat-one-meal-a-day/