Whether you have a beach holiday planned or a pool party’s coming up, extreme fasting always seems likes the first thought, right? After all, isn’t that how you lose weight: Burn more calories than you eat? But let’s be honest: there aren’t many who have taken such extreme measures to get a quick shred. So what actually happens when a gym-junkie who counts his calories and tracks his macronutrients attempts to live off a meal a day for a week? Well, “it’s not great,” as he puts it.
Fitness vlogger Joe Delaney thought he’d give the OMAD Diet ( One Meal A Day) a whirl to see what effect it would have on his body. For him, it wasn’t just about getting all his nutrients in one sitting, it was about managing his fatigue after working out given his lack of fuel in the body.
Other celebrities are fans of hyped extreme fasting: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and former NFL Star Herschel Walker have both raved about the diet but Delaney says, “Personally, I think it sounds like a terrible idea.”
Okay, so maybe calories aren’t the biggest issue: consider an 80kg person needs about two and a half thousand calories to maintain his current body composition, an amount easily achieved in one sitting. But despite starting well, Delaney quickly learns he has other obstacles to contend with, mainly hunger.
He decides to eat late in the day – his go-to feed gives him 2,500 calories – although he soon learns it’s not enough fuel to keep him going. He starts to time his workouts around his hunger – going to the gym suppresses the feeling – he describes it as “habitual hunger.” Another tactic he employs is going to bed early, so he has less time to deal with any hunger later in the day.
Another hurdle Delaney encounters is a lack of variety. Because he’s stuck with one meal, he has to eat large portions of a few things, rather than be able to consume smaller portions of different foods.
The end result? “It’s not great.” Delaney dropped more than a kilo within the week but more importantly, didn’t note any benefits – he didn’t feel mentally sharper while the time saved on not cooking was negated by his time spent feeling hungry.
His verdict: “Overall, I think it’s bullshit.”
You can see his full effort below.