Can you juice and eat one meal a day?


Intermittent fasting has become an increasingly popular dietary strategy in recent years. One common form of intermittent fasting is alternate day fasting, which involves fasting or dramatically reducing calories on alternating days. An even more extreme version is known as one meal a day (OMAD) or 23:1 intermittent fasting, where you eat just one main meal each day within a 1-hour period and fast for the other 23 hours. This article will examine if it’s feasible and healthy to combine OMAD with a diet focused on juicing. We’ll look at the potential benefits and downsides of this paired approach.

What is OMAD?

OMAD stands for “one meal a day” and it’s exactly what it sounds like – eating just one main meal per day within a 1-hour window and fasting for the remaining 23 hours. On OMAD, the one meal is typically a full, nutritious meal containing all your macronutrient needs (protein, carbs, fat) for the day.

Some key points about OMAD:

  • Eat one main meal per day within a 1-hour window.
  • Fast for the remaining 23 hours – only water, black coffee/tea and other non-caloric beverages allowed during the fast.
  • The one meal should provide all your calories and macronutrients for the day.
  • Total calorie intake per day depends on your goals – eat at maintenance level for weight stability or deficit for weight loss.

OMAD is an extreme form of intermittent fasting, but can help some people simplify their meal planning and lose weight by restricting the eating window. However, it’s not suitable for everyone.

What is juicing?

Juicing refers to extracting the nutritious liquid from fruits and vegetables. This is typically done by using a juicer appliance, which shreds and squeezes out the juice while removing the fibrous pulp. The juice extracted is very nutrient-dense but contains little or no fiber.

Here are some key points about juicing:

  • Extracts liquid rich in vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals from fruits/veggies.
  • Removes fibrous pulp, so juice contains little to no fiber.
  • Nutrient-dense but lower in protein, fat and fiber compared to whole produce.
  • Fruits and non-starchy veggies like kale, spinach, cucumber are common.
  • Can help increase intake of produce, but not a replacement for eating whole foods.

Some people use juicing as way to flood their body with micronutrients. However, fruit/veg juices lack protein, fiber and healthy fats, so cannot fully replace balanced whole meals.

Benefits of Combining OMAD and Juicing

At first glance, combining a juice-focused diet with OMAD seems very restrictive. However, there are some potential benefits to pairing the two strategies:

Increased micronutrient intake

Juicing makes it easy to consume a wide variety of vegetables and fruits in large quantities. This significantly boosts your vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intake compared to a normal diet. Doing OMAD with a nutritionally dense juice can help you easily meet and even exceed your daily micronutrient needs in one sitting.

Weight loss

OMAD drastically reduces your calorie intake by limiting eating to just one hour per day. Juicing can enhance this effect – juices tend to be low in fat and protein, so you’ll mostly be consuming carbs and some calories from fruit sugars. Replacing meals with low-calorie juices makes it easier to maintain a calorie deficit for weight loss on OMAD.

Compliance with fasting

For some people, strict 23-hour fasts can be challenging. Having juices can make fasting more tolerable by providing some nutrients and satiation from liquids. This may improve compliance with daily OMAD compared to fasting completely.

supports detoxification

Some proponents claim that juicing helps ‘detox’ or cleanse the body of toxins. There’s limited evidence that juice cleanses actually remove toxins[1]. However, drinking antioxidant-rich juices and fasting may benefit detoxification pathways like autophagy.

Downsides of Combining OMAD and Juicing

While the pairing may have some upsides, there are also considerable downsides:

Nutrient deficiencies

Although juices contain vitamins and minerals, they lack protein, fat, and fiber. Getting all your nutrients from juice alone could lead to deficiencies in important macros like protein, essential fatty acids, and fiber over time. This can negatively impact muscle, hormones, gut health and more.

Blood sugar spikes

Juice is high in simple sugars from fruits but low in fiber and protein. Drinking high volumes of juice on OMAD could spike blood sugars and insulin levels. Over time, this can increase risk of insulin resistance. People with diabetes need to be especially cautious.

Loss of lean mass

Many fruits and vegetables are very low in protein. Without adequate protein intake from whole food sources, the severe calorie restriction of OMAD may cause loss of lean muscle mass over time.

Hunger and cravings

Although juice provides some satiation, it lacks protein and fiber which promote fullness. Some people find sticking to OMAD with only juice very challenging due to intense hunger and cravings. This could lead to overeating or bingeing for some.

Gut issues

The fiber in whole fruits and vegetables is important for digestive health. Remove it entirely long-term, and gut problems like constipation could result.

Example 1-Day Juice and OMAD Schedule

Here is an example of what juicing and OMAD may look like in a day:

Time Meal/Drink
8 AM 16 oz lemon water
10 AM 12 oz green juice
12 PM 16 oz coconut water
3 PM 12 oz fruit juice
6 PM One meal: salmon, sweet potato, greens
8 PM Herbal tea

As shown, juices are consumed throughout the day to provide micronutrients and some carbohydrates for energy. A nutritious, balanced meal is eaten within a 1-hour window to meet protein, fiber and healthy fat needs. Non-caloric beverages like water, tea and black coffee can be consumed during the fasting periods.

Healthy Juicing Ingredients for OMAD

If trying juicing with OMAD, focus on low-sugar vegetable juices and include a few fruit-based juices in moderation. Here are some healthy juicing ingredients to include:


  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Ginger

Vegetable juices provide antioxidants, vitamins and minerals without too much sugar. Focus on green veggies like spinach and kale for nutrition.


  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Berries
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranate

Fruit juices provide more sugar, so limit portion sizes. Stick to lower sugar fruits like berries and pair with veggies.


  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Mint

Herbs and spices add flavor variety and beneficial plant compounds.

Protein powders

Adding a scoop of protein powder like whey, pea or hemp can help boost the protein content if needed.

Should You Try Juicing and OMAD?

Combining juicing with OMAD or other forms of intermittent fasting may be an option for some people looking to maximize weight loss results. However, there are healthier ways to meet micronutrient needs on OMAD:

  • Eat plenty of fruits/veggies with your one daily meal.
  • Take a daily multivitamin to cover any gaps.
  • Drink whole vegetable smoothies that retain fiber.
  • Have lower-sugar juices like green veggie juices in moderation.

For most people, completely replacing meals long-term with juicing is not recommended or sustainable. You’re better off getting a balanced intake of protein, carbs, fat and fiber from whole food sources in your eating window. Short juice fasts lasting 3-5 days can be considered, but extended juice-only diets lack essential nutrients.

Some people report satisfying results safely combining juices and OMAD short term. But it is very restrictive, so consult a doctor and dietitian before attempting. Pay close attention to any warning signs like fatigue, cravings, weakness or hormonal issues.


Juicing combined with one meal a day intermittent fasting can potentially provide some benefits, including convenient micronutrient intake, easier calorie restriction, and blood sugar control. But replacing meals entirely with juices makes it challenging to meet needs for protein, fiber and healthy fats in the long run. For sustainable, healthy results, juice in moderation alongside a balanced whole food OMAD approach. Monitoring input from a healthcare professional is strongly recommended if combining juicing and OMAD.

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