How to Start One Meal a Day Fasting

When you first became aware of intermittent fasting, you probably learned the various ways that people practice fasting. You might have even read articles on eating one meal a day.

But most of the articles you came across probably talked about the Sixteen8 fasting schedule. Following Sixteen8 means that you fast for 16 hours a day and have your meals during the remaining 8 hours.

If you are just starting to start fast, Sixteen8 is the best protocol. Sixteen8 allows your body and mind to adjust to fasting without too much disruption in your daily life.

I remember when I learned about fasting, it was so intimidating. I toyed with the idea to start experimenting with fasting for months.

Sitting in my room furiously reading articles about fasting only made me stall longer.

What I learned is that you can read all you want about fasting but you will never know its true power until you start.

Reading up on a topic before you execute is great but make sure that you don’t over analyze and end up not taking any action.

If you are healthy (always check with your GP first), you should start your fasting protocol sooner rather than later.

Once you have developed consistency with the Sixteen8 protocol and have seen good results like weight loss, more energy, and better mental clarity, you might want to dive deeper into the world of fasting.

This is where one meal a day (OMAD) fasting comes into play.

OMAD is also known as the 23:1 protocol. Practicing OMAD means that you fast for 23 hours each day and eat for one.

While this may seem extreme, it’s less scary than you might think.

I like to take things a step further and recommend that you practice OhMad which means you are eating one meal at home prepared by you or someone you love.

Reasons You Should Start the OhMad Protocol

If you have been doing Sixteen8 for a more than a few months and want to take things to the next level OhMad is the perfect next step.

Humans are designed for sporadic eating by nature so having one meal a day some days allows your body to run off of its stored fat instead of glucose which is depleted at about 12-14 hours of fasting.

If your goal is to build lean muscle mass or have more weight loss, practicing OhMad is a great way to accelerate your results.

Keeping off excess weight for the long term can be extremely frustrating if you don’t have the proper tools in place.

The tools you should have are:

  • Have a diet filled with whole minimally processed foods
  • A rigorous exercise regime
  • Great relationships that are growing deeper over time
  • A spiritual/meditation practice ( this can mean taking deep breaths for 5min or going to church jumping up and down filled with the Holy Spirit)

By developing a life that is going towards balance (which should be a continual process),  you will be able to keep off unwanted weight and other health problems at bay.

OhMad is not a cure-all for your problems but it can help you solve those problems in a more efficient manner.

As you practice any type of fasting, you are able to manage your emotions better and remain calmer in times of stress.

This is because through developing a fasting practice, your body releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine and epinephrine. Your body starts to adapt to temporary “starvation”.

These chemicals are also released during your deeply ingrained fight/flight response.

But by fasting daily, you permit your body to have these protective chemicals released throughout your day which will result in better mood and focus.

So in addition to your physical health, fasting is beneficial for your mental health. By working with your body instead of against it, you will be able to complete important tasks in less time with less stress.

In the past year, my productivity has skyrocketed because of fasting. When I first started Sixteen8, I immediately noticed a feeling of freedom and focus. My anxiety around food was less and I was able to complete my projects with less worry.

But I noticed that I still fretted about meals and I thought that my eating times had to be super rigid. Once I started OhMad those worries melted away.

  • I only had to prepare one meal a day so that meant I had more free time to grow my online business.
  • My diet became even cleaner because I knew that every calorie needed to be beneficial for my body as possible.
  • I  noticed increased energy. My hunger most days was nonexistent during my fasting period.

Once you start OhMad you will experience the same.

Contrary to popular belief you don’t need to eat constantly throughout the day.

The food industry naturally wants to make as much money as possible and they have been shoving this idea into your head since you were a child.

By letting go of common thought and having a fasting practice like OhMad you allow yourself to reach your highest potential.

Now let’s go a little deeper and explore more of the awesome benefits of OhMad as well as some precautions you should take.

 OhMad Will Take You to the Next Level

Back in 2014 when I first cut junk food from my life and started eating minimally processed foods I saw immediate results within the first two weeks.

My body was so thankful to receive foods that were high in vitamins and minerals. Others around me took notice and encouraged me to keep going.

I suffered from inflammation and when I changed my diet my whole body began to deflate. The process of reducing inflammation in my body continues today.

When you suffer from inflammation you look and feel bloated all the time. You have brain fog and low energy.

Normal tasks that you have to perform throughout your day makes you feel absolutely exhausted. You are also more susceptible to disease because your body’s immune system is compromised by being inflamed.

The state of being diseased literally means your body is not at ease physically and emotionally.

To become more at ease you must become less inflamed. You can do this by:

  1. Analyze your diet and learn what needs to change immediately. Hiring a health coach or nutritionist will keep you on track as you make this radical change.
  2. Allow a few months to a year or more of consistently living this new healthy lifestyle.
  3. When your awesome eating habits are ingrained, try the Sixteen8 protocol.
  4. Practice Sixteen8 for a few months to a year. Allow your body to slowly adjust to fasting. This will ensure long-lasting results in reduced inflammation and body fat loss.
  5. When you are solid in Sixteen8, start throwing in the OhMad protocol a few days a week.

Yes, starting OhMad may take a while if you are just starting to take control of your health.

Nothing that’s worth tons of value happens overnight. Enjoy the growing process by staying in the present and learning from your mistakes.

If your diet is solid and you have been practicing Sixteen8 for a while I encourage you to try OhMad as soon as you are finished reading this post.

The Benefits of IF are Supercharged When You Practice OhMad

I am sure you have noticed amazing results while practicing 16/8. Some of the benefits you may have noticed are:

  • Increased energy and focus.
  • Then benefit from being able to fast longer without getting hungry.
  • Effortless body fat loss.
  • Increased sex drive.
  • Clear skin
  • Faster muscle growth

All the benefits above hold true once you start the OhMad protocol.  These benefits are enhanced because you are staying in a fasted state longer.

This allows your body to effectively go out of the process of burning sugar, and into the process of burning fat (ketosis).

The longer you allow your body to burn fat instead of sugar, the more effective all systems in your body will operate.

As you continue to restrict your caloric intake (on days you want to burn fat), internal benefits will also manifest.

These benefits include:

  • Independence from pharmaceutical drugs to lower insulin.[1]
  • Increased HGH (human growth hormone)
  • Increased metabolic rate

Over time, contrary to popular belief your metabolism increases. You burn fat more efficiently because your body is not relying on glucose all of the time.[2]

Our bodies are designed to go into a fasted state frequently. The more you are in a fasted state, the greater your results will be.

This will only hold true if you are eating a diet of minimally processed whole foods that work best for you.

A Word of Caution

When I first started experimenting with the OhMad protocol, I ran into a few hurdles. I found myself getting too deficient in my caloric intake while maintaining a high activity level.

This resulted in me feeling:

  • Lethargic, feeling fatigued and unmotivated to start my day.
  • Constant hunger that was distracting
  • Feeling intensely cold all the time

If you have a high activity level (which you should), make sure you are eating enough calories so that you can burn fat and build muscle efficiently.

When I first noticed these changes I got scared. I thought that OhMad was starting to make me sick. I talk more about this in The Ultimate Beginners Guide to Intermittent Fasting.

This opened my eyes. I knew that I needed more calories each day to successfully fast. So for the next few days, I switched back to Sixteen8.

I will be honest and say that some of those meals were not made by me. While those meals were not the healthiest, they helped me get back to feeling better and not like a zombie.

It also took me over a week to start feeling better. So if you are experiencing the same feelings, refuel. Allow your body to adjust. Add more calories.

OhMad can be a great asset for your life, but you have to be careful of your caloric intake. If you go too far into a deficit, this will result in you binge eating or compromise your immune system.

I encourage you to start OhMad while blending in a few days of Sixteen8. This will help you adjust to fasting for a longer period without negative side effects.

How You Can Start OhMad Today

Starting OhMad while practicing Sixteen8 is your best chance of continued success. If you are just starting your journey towards vibrant health, OhMad is probably not the best course of action for you.

Instead, you can focus on developing a diet that benefits you the most. You can improve your physical activity, build a spiritual practice, and develop deep loving relationships.

While going through those important steps, you will see massive results. Once you have established a more balanced life, then you can focus on a practice like fasting to amplify your results.

Your first few weeks of OhMad may be a bit uncomfortable like when you first started Sixteen8.

Use this time to experiment. See what works and what doesn’t. Some of the things that I noticed when I first started OhMad was:

  • I had more time to do the things that I love like building my online business and connecting with amazing people.
  • Food had even less control over me.
  • My life became even smoother.
  • My body fat percentage started to decrease faster. I look like I am unveiling a new body from the top of my neck down. ( More on that in future posts)
  • My awareness of energy fields, taste, and smell became heightened
  • I had to really monitor my caloric intake and make sure I wasn’t going too far in a deficit.

Give yourself some time to adjust. It will take a moment even if you have been practicing IF for a while.

When you break your fast allow an hour or two of slow eating.

In the beginning, of breaking your fast doing OhMad, you might have this overwhelming urge to eat anything and everything in sight.

I recommend that you:

  • Eat something small first to slowly introduce your body to your eating period.
  • Drink water before you consume your meal. Drinking during your meal will impede proper digestion. ( At times I will sip Kombucha during eating to aid in digestion)
  • Try to chew and eat as slow as possible. Eating a small meal before your main meal will help your success.
  • Make sure that you are eating a variety of foods each meal to ensure that you are getting the proper nutrients.
  • If you find yourself inhaling your food, switch back to Sixteen8 for a few days.

If you need to go back to Sixteen8  remember that you won’t lose your results. Instead, you are increasing your chances of long-term weight management, body fat loss, and muscle growth.

As you embark on your OhMad journey, keep in mind that any slip-ups or failures you have are temporary.

You can learn from those mistakes and create the life you most desire. Be kind to yourself. Reap more of the awesome benefits that IF has to offer by following the OhMad protocol.

You won’t be disappointed if you do it in a sustainable manner.

Take The Next Step

Download the  Stop Hunger While Fasting Guide. This guide will help you do OMAD with success every day. Extreme hunger is the top reason why most fail at fasting.  Implement the 5 tips in the guide so you can lose the weight you want.


Make sure you check out the video below from the LivingLifeLite YouTube Channel where I talk more about the power IF and OMAD.

Sources Cited