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Eating One Meal A Day: Risks and Benefits

Scanning an online menu QR code Malaysia in your favorite restaurant gives you a variety of delicious lunch options. Appetizers, burgers, meats, vegetarian, you name it. Yet of all the options you chose, you decide to only have soup and garlic bread for dinner, even when you can afford the main courses.

Yesterday, you only had rice and chicken, and ate nothing else save for a couple of cheeses. Eating one proper meal a day has been your lifestyle as of late, and maybe you did lose some weight. Yet the hunger keeps punching you in the gut, asking for more food no matter how much you resist.

Benefits

A lot of people practice the “one meal a day” or OMAD dietary practice for several reasons. Weight loss and reducing the risks of certain illnesses are among these motives, but what can OMAD specifically benefit you?

Weight loss aside, practicing OMAD could reduce blood sugar, some heart disease factors such as cholesterol, and markers of inflammation. It may uniquely benefit the nervous system too, slowing down neurodegeneration and promoting longevity.

Because OMAD still doesn’t restrict you from some or many foods, you could still eat whatever you want. A big meal of beef ribs, mash potatoes, carrots and cauliflower? Fantastic. At least it will keep you full and nutritionally healthy.

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OMAD might work if your meal isn’t just big, they are also nutritionally adequate. Mixing meat, vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates and so on together could at least keep you going. If you supplement yourself with a snack or two, even better.

Although those benefits sound promising, they still do not detract you from the risks of OMAD. The longer you practice it, the higher chance your health will crash into some obstacles.

Risks

On a daily basis restricting yourself with OMAD, you will feel hungrier and experience fatigue due to inadequate supply of energy, which isn’t good if you have to focus. Bad focus aside, you will also feel weak as blood sugar levels fall.

If your OMAD does not consist of enough nutrients, nutrition deficiencies can occur, which can seriously impact your health. Exclusively eating unhealthy food would also lead to health problems in the future. 

You will also feel full quickly when you practice OMAD often, making eating a single meal difficult. Your muscle mass will decrease as you are practically in a semi-state of starvation.

If you suffer from certain health problems such as diabetes, you are only exacerbating them when you eat one meal per day. In the case of diabetes, since you need to retain your blood sugar levels, you have to eat regular meals throughout each day.

Compared to two meals per day or so, OMAD also affects the genes that support the regulation of your body clock, sleep-wake cycles and metabolism. 

Besides, practicing this habit often can also lead to an increase in LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol can punch you through the risks of high blood pressure, heart diseases and stroke once their levels are high.