My 30-Day OMAD experience: How cutting down to one meal a day transformed my mood and productivity

Imagine being able to unlock more mental clarity and focus simply by cutting down to one wholesome meal a day. 

Is that possible? 

That is the question I set out to answer over the last month. 

Why OMAD?

Before my OMAD (One Meal A Day) experiment, I was a regular three-meals-plus-snacks kind of guy. I was always on the go, and food was my constant companion. It was my morning pick-me-up, my afternoon stress-buster, and more often than it should have been, my late-night comfort.

But as I found myself more and more often opting for convenient, AKA unhealthy, options to save time, I started to wonder if there was a better way to fuel my body.

And that’s when I stumbled upon the OMAD approach: eating just one meal a day. I thought: “What if I could eat one big but healthy meal a day? Surely, this would help me to be more productive as well as reduce my late-evening pizza intake”. 

It seemed like a radical departure from everything I knew about nutrition and even societal norms around eating. But it intrigued me enough to give it a shot.

As a side note, unlike many people who decide to do intermittent fasting, my primary goal was not to lose weight. Eat more healthily, sure, but I wasn’t planning on losing 10 pounds in a month or anything like that. Did I lose weight? 

Yes – see the final section for details. 

Embracing OMAD: The transformation

Deciding to adopt the OMAD diet was the easy part. Putting it into practice? Not so much. 

My first few days were a struggle. My stomach growled, and my mood swung from optimistic to irritable within minutes(just ask my wife!). I did question if the diet was really for me, but I persevered.

The turning point came around day five. That’s when I noticed that my energy levels were more consistent throughout the day. I felt sharper, more focused, and surprisingly, I stopped thinking about snacking in the evenings, which often was the case in the first few days.

By week two, my productivity had soared. The time I’d usually spend preparing and eating meals was now dedicated to getting more done. 

Challenging the norm: The power of one meal

The idea that we need to eat multiple meals per day is ingrained in our society. We’re conditioned to believe that skipping meals, especially breakfast, is detrimental to our health and productivity. 

But my OMAD journey challenged this notion.

While it’s true that our bodies need regular fuel to function optimally, it seems the frequency and quantity of that fuel can vary. For me, one substantial, nutrient-dense meal a day provided all the sustenance I needed.

Best of all, after an adjustment phase, I found that able to maintain concentration for longer than when I was having three meals a day. 

As a writer, my work most often involves deeply concentrating on a single task until it is done, like an article. Without the need to think about food, it was as though a fog had lifted from my brain, allowing me to think more clearly and focus for longer. 

Adapting to OMAD: My tips and tricks

diet My 30-Day OMAD experience: How cutting down to one meal a day transformed my mood and productivity

Making the shift to one meal a day can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few strategies I used to make the transition smoother:

Firstly, I chose a mealtime that suited my lifestyle and schedule. For me, lunch was the best choice. It gave me something to look forward to on waking and meant I could divide my day into two focused work sections. 

I also took a longer lunch break (2 hours instead of 1) because, without the need for dinner, I could make up the time later in the day. This allowed me to take my time eating and to fit in a quick walk in the park every day.  

Secondly, I ensured that my meal was nutrient-dense, packed with proteins, healthy fats, and vegetables. This helped keep my hunger at bay (at least after my body had adjusted) and provided me with all the energy I needed for the day.

Luckily, close to my apartment, there is a restaurant that has a lunch buffet every day. They have a focus on healthy food as well as a well-stocked salad bar so getting my daily needs was a breeze. 

Lastly, hydration became my best friend. Drinking lots of water throughout the day curbed any hunger pangs and kept me feeling full.

I suppose everyone’s experience will be different. Listen to your body and tweak your approach as needed. If you’re considering trying OMAD, patience and flexibility will be key.

Did I lose any weight?

As I mentioned earlier in this post, my goal was not to lose weight but to become more productive and focused. However, I know some of you will want me to answer this. 

And the answer is yes! Over the course of the 30 days, I lost just over 3 pounds. Keep in mind, this probably isn’t a lot, given that I am over six feet tall and weigh almost 200 pounds. 

However, I wasn’t calorie tracking, nor did I really target any specific weight goal. For those of you who want to embrace OMAD in order to shed some weight, I am sure you could probably do better with some planning and tracking. 

Will I continue with the OMAD diet?

For now, I won’t. Why? 

Because it’s the holidays and social occasions with friends and family often involve food at various times of the day. I am not going to let my diet influence this. I purposefully set out to finish my 30-day experiment in time for Christmas. 

In the New Year, however, I plan on experimenting with another eating schedule. When I’ve done that, I will make a decision as to which suits me best for the long term. 

Stay tuned for that. 

Happy holidays, folks!

Mal James

Mal James

Mal James Originally from Ireland, Mal is a content writer, entrepreneur, and teacher with a passion for self-development, productivity, relationships, and business. As an avid reader, Mal delves into a diverse range of genres, expanding his knowledge and honing his writing skills to empower readers to embark on their own transformative journeys. In his downtime, Mal can be found on the golf course or exploring the beautiful landscapes and diverse culture of Vietnam, where he is now based.

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