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What Is the Omni Diet, and Should You Try It?

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Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD October 31, 2022

A diet that promises speedy weight loss is always attractive. The trouble is, it’s difficult to know which of the health claims surrounding a method are true. If you’re going to start a fat loss program, it’s critical to evaluate your chosen eating plan before getting started.

The Omni diet is an alternative eating plan that moves away from the processed and packaged foods of the Western diet. From the outside, the Omni Diet appears to be a nutritious approach to weight loss—but does it work? Is the diet safe?

In this article, we bring you the facts about the Omni Diet to help you reach a verdict.

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What Is the Omni Diet, and How Does It Work?

The Omni Diet is a 6-week program created by a registered nurse Tana Amen. It promises to restore energy, enhance brain function, decrease inflammation, and reduce disease risk. The leading claim is that it produces dramatic weight loss, helping you lose up to 12 pounds in 2 weeks.

Omni is a restrictive diet that moderates plant and animal foods, encouraging organic, hormone-free, and non-inflammatory foods. It comprises 70% plant foods and 30% protein, primarily animal protein in the form of lean meats.

It offers a balanced approach, although it does incur dietary restrictions, including dairy and most grains.

Ultimately, this diet focuses on food quality rather than calorie reduction. The plan eliminates unhealthy foods and encourages foods with optimal nutrition alongside exercise. The result is a healthier alternative to the typical American diet, promoting fat loss and optimal health.

The Rules of the Omni Diet

The Omni diet focuses on a phased approach. Over six weeks, there are three phases that the participant enters.

Phase 1

The entry phase lasts for two weeks and consists of 70% plant foods and 30% protein. It focuses on transitioning from the Standard American Diet (SAD), moving away from unhealthy fats, refined carbs, high sodium, and high sugar foods.

The phase 1 rules include:

  • Only eat foods from the allowed food list
  • Do not eat any forbidden foods
  • Limit fruit to half a cup per day
  • Drink the Omni Diet green smoothie as a meal replacement smoothie once per day
  • Consume protein every 3 to 4 hours, prioritizing lean meat
  • Prioritize drinking water
  • Attend sauna sessions twice per week

Phase 2

The second phase, lasting two weeks, consists of the same rules as the first phase with some additional features:

  • Unprocessed desserts without added sugar or white flour are permitted
  • Take up walking for 30 minutes per day, building up to 30-minute full-body workouts

Phase 3

In the final phase, the diet becomes a little less restrictive. It lasts two weeks, but you can continue the diet indefinitely as a new lifestyle.

In this part, you’re encouraged to follow the original diet 90% of the time. For the remaining 10%, you can eat from the forbidden food list.

The following rules apply:

  • While you’re allowed to stray from the diet, Amen recommends that you exercise portion control with the three-bite rule where you eat only 3 bites of a forbidden food
  • Although discouraged, two 5-ounce glasses of wine per week are permitted without sugar or gluten
  • Enjoy off-limit foods on special occasions such as weddings and birthdays, ideally selecting only one food from the forbidden list

Allowed Foods

The Omni Diet specifies healthy foods you can eat, those you can eat in moderation, and those you must avoid entirely. Here are the food groups you can eat with examples:

  • Fresh vegetables: Almost all vegetables except white potatoes, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, squash, leafy greens, etc.
  • Naturally raised animal protein: Lean, grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, wild fish
  • Eggs: Cage-free, organic eggs
  • Healthy oils: Plant-based oils such as coconut oil, almond oil, macadamia nut oil, and olive oils
  • Unsalted, raw nuts and seeds: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, etc.
  • Herbs and spices: Fresh and dried
  • Superfoods: Maca root, goji powder, lucuma, pomegranate, coconut, coconut butter

Foods To Be Eaten in Moderation

You can eat the following foods in moderation:

  • Fruit: Most fruits, especially blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries
  • Cooking oils: Corn, ghee, and vegetable oils
  • Coffee

Foods To Avoid Completely

You must eliminate the following foods from the diet entirely:

  • White potatoes
  • Dairy products: milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, ice cream
  • Refined carbs: White flour, white pasta, white rice, sugar, breakfast cereals, grains
  • Non-lean protein: Ham, bacon, pork, sausage, luncheon meats
  • Soy and corn: Soy milk, tofu, edamame, corn flour, corn oil, cornstarch
  • Sugary foods: Candy, cakes, baked goods, sugary desserts
  • Alcohol: No alcohol until phase 3, where wine is allowed but discouraged

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The Importance of Exercise in the Omni Diet

The Omni Diet encourages regular exercise alongside the diet plan. A healthy diet and physical activity are clinically proven strategies to help shed pounds.

The addition of exercise in the Omni Diet plan helps you burn calories and reduce your body weight. You can continue exercising in phase 3 and even after the program ends for noticeable weight loss.

The Omni Diet guidelines suggest incorporating physical activity into your routine when you begin phase 2.

Amen encourages a 30-minute daily walk to maximize your potential to lose weight. In time, you can work up to daily 30-minute full-body workouts. A complete exercise plan is available in the Omni Diet book.

Possible Benefits of the Omni Diet

The Omni Diet has several potential health benefits, from reducing the risk of chronic health issues to supporting maximum weight loss. Here are 5 positive aspects to consider from the diet.

Weight loss

The diet itself can help you lose weight. Plant-based foods can reduce body fat by improving satiety and reducing calorie intake. Protein intake can help you lose weight by promoting satiety and helping you lose body fat without losing muscle.

It also includes exercise to promote fat burning.

Good for overall health

The Omni Diet promotes clean, nutritious eating and reduces your intake of unhealthy foods. Eating whole, unprocessed foods supports good health as they are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

Antioxidants protect your cells from free radical damage, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Nutrient-rich foods rich in fiber and healthy fats are great for heart health and help fight inflammation—a key driver of heart disease.

Promotes healthy eating habits

By removing processed foods from your diet plan, the Omni Diet guides you towards more healthful eating habits. You are ultimately forced to start cooking with and enjoying more nutrient-dense foods.

If you can incorporate healthy eating practices during the six-week plan, you can ideally sustain them in your life forever. Making healthier lifestyle choices that can continue long-term is the best action for losing weight and maintaining weight.

Focus on intuitive eating rather than calorie counting

Rather than focusing on calorie restriction like many other diets, Omni centers around diet quality.

The idea is that you eat a nutritious diet. While you must limit what you can eat, you don’t need to limit how much you eat. A protein-rich diet can promote feelings of fullness, making you less likely to overeat.

There are no counting calories, and participants can concentrate on hunger cues instead. Studies show that intuitive eating can be an easier method to adopt.

Focus on lifestyle changes

This diet takes a holistic approach to health, providing tips and guidelines for making healthy food choices in the long run.

In many fad diets, people follow an extreme eating plan to lose weight rapidly. In most cases, the weight returns once the person returns to ordinary eating habits. It can even lead to weight gain.

Making lifestyle changes that you can continue after the diet ends is a healthy choice that won’t hinder your efforts.

Risks and Downsides To Consider

Every diet has its downside, regardless of whether it promotes health and positive lifestyle changes. Before attempting this diet, consider the following risks.

Highly restrictive

The Omni Diet is highly restrictive. Although proteins and plant-based foods are loaded with nutrients, the diet dismisses other food groups that bring health benefits.

It cuts out dairy, which provides a good dose of calcium and vitamin D, and limits fruits, which are essential to a healthy diet. You must also eliminate gluten, grains, and sugar. Cutting out sugar completely may lead to cravings in some people.

Can create an unhealthy relationship with certain foods

Restrictive diets and forbidding yourself from eating certain foods can cause a negative relationship with food. This can do more harm than good as it can affect your mental health and may trigger eating disorders in some people.

Can be expensive to follow

Adhering to the rules of only eating organic produce and lean protein means spending more money than you would on conventional foods. While organic food consumption has benefits, not everyone can sustain the extra spending, especially in the long run.

So, while there is enough evidence to suggest that the diet is generally healthy, it is critical to consider the advantages and disadvantages before starting it.

Consider Intermittent Fasting Instead

Unlike many alternative diets, intermittent fasting is scientifically proven to help you lose weight and promote greater health. The critical concept is when you eat, not what you eat.

Unless you combine intermittent fasting with another diet, such as the keto diet, there are no harsh restrictions on what you can and can’t eat during the eating window.

The Omni Diet forbids many food groups that can leave you short of essential nutrients. It may also encourage cravings and disordered eating. Intermittent fasting gives you the freedom to enjoy a more balanced diet.

The 12/12 fast is advisable for beginners as it introduces fasting. You can adapt to the longer eating windows before proceeding with other fasting methods. Unsure where to start? Try the DoFasting app and dive into the world of intermittent fasting.

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Conclusion

According to the claims, the Omni Diet restores energy, optimizes brain and hormone functioning, helps you quickly lose weight, and may even reverse disease.

We can’t confirm that the diet will have these effects on you, but we can agree that introducing more nutrient-dense foods and limiting highly processed foods is an effective and healthful action plan to reduce weight and boost your overall health.

Due to the restrictions, this diet may not be the safest choice for some people. It’s best to champion a well-balanced diet with adequate carbs, protein, and healthy fat that doesn’t dismiss essential nutrients or ban you from specific items.

Author

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Kasparas Aleknavičius, MD
  • Head of Medical Affairs at Kilo Health
  • Medical Doctor at Vilnius University, Lithuania
  • Partnering with the EU-funded Young50 and EUPAP projects

Kasparas Aleknavicius is a medical doctor that graduated from Vilnius University, working as head of medical affairs at Kilo Health. After nearly 5 years in the industry, Kasparas focuses on digital health and is looking for innovative ways to help people lead healthy lifestyles through digital health and wellness platforms.

You can find Kasparas on LinkedIn and follow his latest research on Medium.

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