I Took the OMAD Diet for a Year and Learned to Control My Appetite

In late 2022, I started doing intermittent fasting, where you fast for long periods of the day and only eat within certain hours. Specifically, I tried a meal-in-the-day approach to intermittent fasting, the OMAD.

I am a father of three children and over the past decade, I have struggled to balance my family life, responsibilities, and my health.

I was always good at working out and quite active but my problem wasn’t the gym. This was the fridge.

At my low point, my weight increased to an unhealthy 206 pounds, which is quite low for a person of short stature. I felt that I was unhealthy and wanted to improve the situation for myself and set an example for my family.

So my motivation was high, and I was very disciplined, especially in terms of snacking and what I ate during meals. By the end, I had lost about 35 pounds.

Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about hunger; Specifically, how to control it.

Before and after shots of Joel Hunter during a year of doing the OMAD diet. He lost 35 pounds.
joel hunter

Most of it is really an emotional reaction. Often, we eat because we feel we are hungry. While there are hormonal responses that trigger hunger and cravings, I believe much of it depends on our psychology and mental strength.

I have found several ways to avoid hunger during fasting, which is a significant challenge that many fasting people face. Key strategies include staying busy and active and making sure to plan meals in advance.

This plan is important to prevent persistent thoughts about food throughout the day. This is especially challenging when you are surrounded by food, such as while grocery shopping or in places where food is readily available.

These situations can trigger hunger, so it’s important to be prepared and have a plan. If you’re going out, planning your meals helps avoid surprises that could trigger cravings or temptations.

Another important lesson I have learned while fasting is to be calorie conscious and eat healthy. Many people practice “dirty OMAD”, where they eat fast food or whatever they feel like, and still lose weight.

This is because they are achieving a calorie deficit. Fasting periods also help train the body to burn stored fat.

I am not suggesting that “dirty OMAD” is inherently problematic. However, the issue with this approach is that controlling the upper limit of calorie intake can be challenging, especially with longer eating periods. The temptation to overeat is greater.

I believe the biggest reason I lost 35 pounds and then stuck around is managing snacks after meals that contain extra calories. This is a common problem in many diets that can derail weight loss efforts and affect fasting.

These include chocolate, chips and other snacks, which I often eat after my main meals. Despite fasting every day, these snacks, especially during my laziest four to six hour eating periods, were vital.

Consuming those extra snacks contributed to the calories I needed to maintain my weight instead of losing more weight. So it is important to keep track of calorie intake even when you are fasting.

Now, I’m well below my starting point and at a comfortable weight where I don’t need to pay much attention to my diet or do extra exercise.

The idea of ​​a cheat day or a day off doesn’t really enter my thoughts anymore. I know I can eat in a way that I’m comfortable with and maintain a weight.

Would I like to be a little lighter and leaner? Yes absolutely. But what I’ve learned from intermittent fasting is that it’s a remarkably effective tool for weight loss.

My goal for the next 12 months is to see how far I can take the weight loss and get really serious about it.

In my early 20s, in what I call my “peak state,” maintaining a healthy weight and athletic physique seemed easy. I weighed in at about 165 pounds, which would be my goal weight, but I’m setting a realistic time frame.

I plan to get there through my OMAD approach by losing 15 to 20 pounds of excess fat over the next 365 days and keeping it off.

To achieve this, I will take a stricter approach to fasting this time to get better results, especially in terms of consistency. I fasted for over a year, but also had some cheat days with shorter fasts. For example, I skipped breakfast for about 10 days.

I generally followed the fasting regimen well. But, moving forward, I plan to really focus on the quality of what I eat during my eating periods, making sure that my calories come from quality sources, primarily whole foods and Is from protein.

This is how I started. I initially focused on whole food sources and a high-protein diet, which gave me the most significant success. So, I plan to continue this approach.

However, overall, I was really satisfied with the weight loss I achieved over the year.

Joel Hunter is a lifestyle vlogger youtube,

All views expressed are the author’s own.

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