As OMAD is gaining in popularity, people are asking about 2MAD as well. Comparing OMAD vs. 2MAD is not just comparing two different intermittent fasting methods because both OMAD and 2MAD have different flavors.
In this post, we will discuss what OMAD and 2MAD stand for, the benefits of these intermittent fasting methods, and how you can decide which is best for you.
Difference Between OMAD and 2MAD
OMAD stands for One Meal A Day, and 2MAD stands for Two Meals A Day.
Another name for OMAD could be 23:1. The idea is to consume all your daily calories during a one-hour window. For example, most people fast all day and eat dinner when they get home from work. Another fasting expert, Dr. Mindy, recommends a 24-hour fast before the one-hour eating window. She explains that this method is the optimal way to heal your gut since a 24-hour fast has been shown to stimulate intestinal stem cell regeneration.
Furthermore, I have seen many people say that they do OMAD when they are technically doing the Warrior diet. I guess the idea is that they eat One Meal a Day. Consequently, they think they are doing the OMAD diet despite allowing themselves a wider eating window. The Warrior diet is the 20:4 method. That’s enough for one meal and some snacking before and after your main meal during your 4-hour eating window.
Dr. Sten Ekberg pretty much describes 2MAD as the 16:8 method. In this video, he shows a graph for 2MAD that demonstrates one meal for lunch and another for dinner. However, Thomas DeLauer’s approach would be closer to a 22:2 method. He recommends a light meal that doesn’t combine carbs and fats to break your fast. For example, he explains that you should consume bone broth and maybe some lean protein with veggies. Then, you could move on to your other meal a little while later.
2MAD Diet Plan
Another approach that I haven’t seen mentioned that I would like to introduce to you is the fast-from-dawn-til-sunset approach. The way it works is you eat breakfast at dawn and eat dinner after sunset. It helps support your circadian rhythm, reduces your risk of cancer and metabolic syndrome, and resets your immune system. Learn all about the benefits by ready this study.
My favorite 2MAD approach for optimal results is breakfast in the morning (it doesn’t have to be before dawn) and dinner in the evening, whenever you would typically have dinner.
Throughout my weight loss journey after 40, the Warrior Diet was a lifesaver because I had become insulin resistant and found myself unable to stop eating once I had started. Confining all my eating to a four-hour eating window was perfect.
However, two years later, I have healed my body and am no longer a slave to food! I tend to gravitate towards 2MAD in my maintenance phase naturally. Here are the two main benefits I have noticed:
- It Is a natural eating cycle for most healthy women. Once you re-establish a healthy hormonal function, you may be hungry sometime in the morning. You can then eat a nutrient-dense breakfast which will satisfy you until dinner.
- The fasting time between your two meals is enough to burn through your glucose reserves. Even though many women will find the energy they get from their nutrient-dense breakfast can last until dinner, there is a good chance that sometime later in the afternoon, they will start feeling hungry. During these few hours, they will start running on ketones for energy and feeling amazing! (Keep reading if you don’t know what I am talking about.)
Please read What is 2MAD and Should You Try It for Weight Loss? to learn more about the 2MAD method.
2MAD Weight Loss Results
Using ketones for energy is key to losing weight using any intermittent fasting method because it is how you train your body to stop relying on glucose for energy which means weight loss is no longer strictly about willpower. That’s how I lost 30 pounds after 40, even though nothing else had worked before (including intermittent fasting).
How Ketosis Helps With Weight Loss
When you fast, your body runs out of glucose and uses fat cells to produce a different form of energy: ketones. That’s what the keto diet is all about. You eat very few carbs, so your body has to produce ketones. However, that’s not the only way to achieve ketosis. Fasting does the same thing! Whenever you fast long enough, your body runs out of glucose. With experience, you will feel the difference. You will notice you don’t feel as hungry. Your food cravings diminish, you have more energy, and you feel more focused. I am sure you can imagine how that would help with weight loss!
For beginners experimenting with intermittent fasting to lose weight, I recommend buying a ketone monitor. Until you get used to feeling “the switch” from glucose to ketones, you can measure your blood ketones whenever you fast.
How to Decide Which Method Is Best for You
As you decide if you should choose OMAD or 2MAD as your preferred intermittent fasting method, it’s a good idea to look at the benefits and risks associated with OMAD.
Benefits of OMAD over 2MAD
OMAD will bring you all the benefits of intermittent fasting, like increased insulin sensitivity, longevity, weight loss, better sleep, better focus, etc. However, l you will experience some added benefits, for example:
- Less food preparation.
- Easier to restrict calories.
- Faster weight loss.
- More ketones and autophagy. The body has more time to go through all its glycogen stores when you eat only once a day.
Possible Problems Associated With OMAD
Anytime I talk about fasting, I stress the importance of experimenting. We are unique, and what works at one time may not always work. Here are some possible issues associated with OMAD that you should be aware of when trying to decide between OMAD and 2MAD:
- Weight loss plateau: Some women reach a weight loss plateau on OMAD. It may be that many women benefit from cycling more between different fasting options. Read my post Top 7 Reasons You Are Not Losing Weight on OMAD for more help if you reach a weight loss plateau.
- Too much weight loss: The OMAD method has many health benefits but may cause too much weight loss. Some women find it hard to consume enough calories during a one-hour window.
- Digestive issues: Trying to consume enough calories during a short period may cause some digestive issues.
- Too hungry: You may feel too hungry to wait 23 hours before your next meal each day.
OMAD is a more strict and severe form of intermittent fasting. It’s a good idea to get started slowly and wisely.
How to Get Started
No matter what you decide to stick with, it’s a good idea to implement the following steps to get started:
- Become fat-adapted: My favorite way to become fat-adapted is a modified fast. However, doing the keto diet for a week or two would also work. Try my favorite 5-day modified fast meal plan or my intermittent fasting keto meal plan (you can still eat breakfast).
- Increase your fasting window gradually: As you gain more confidence with fasting, you can increase your fasting window gradually. You should be able to do the 16:8 version of 2MAD fairly easily and gradually move on to the 22:2 version. Or you could even fast from dawn till sunset.
- Monitor your progress: Look for problems that may come up as you increase your fasting window. Slow down and change things up if you need to. Read my post How to Decide Which Intermittent Fasting Method Is Best for You to get more guidance.
OMAD vs. 2MAD Video
Comparing OMAD vs. 2MAD is not just comparing two different intermittent fasting methods. With 2MAD, you can have lunch and dinner, breakfast and dinner, or even two meals within a 2-hour eating window. With OMAD, you could pick a 24, 23, or even 22-hour fasting window.
Whenever selecting an intermittent fasting method, take your time, experiment, and listen to your body. The key to your success is to achieve ketosis on your fasting day. It doesn’t matter which method you pick as long as you train your body to switch from glucose to ketones for energy regularly.