Why Skipping Meals Will Not Help You Lose Weight

To achieve a healthy weight through weight control or weight loss you need to eat regularly throughout the day.

Medical journalist Michael Mosley demonstrated the effect of skipping breakfast in his show 10 Things You Need to Know to Lose Weight on PBS. He had two MRI brain scans across two days. On the first day he had a full breakfast, on the second, he had no breakfast at all. When he wasn’t hungry, Michael’s brain did not respond much to pictures of either low calorie food like veggies or salads or high calorie foods like sugar caes and fatty chips. However, on the morning he skipped breakfast, his brain buzzed with activity when shown high calorie sugary donuts. Yet he showed far less response to a salad. images

So skipping breakfast caused his brain to try to compensate by desiring high calorie foods – clearly a dieting disaster.

When our stomachs empty out, we get a signal to our brain that says, “Feed me!” There is a powerful urge to eat high calorie foods to compensate.

Clearly, this puts unyielding pressure on one’s will power to avoid high calorie foods since your brain is screaming for exactly that.

As if that weren’t enough, Fitday has several more reasons for not skipping meals.

Has a bad effect on your blood sugar. It drops dramatically when you skip a meal and this can make you feel sluggish and tired and also mess up the insulin in your body.Habitually skipping meals can result in diabetes later in life.

Skipping meals means you aren’t getting adequate nutrition which is necessary to help prevent cardiovascular disease, strokes and some cancers.

Skipping meals slows down your metabolism. It is the worst thing you can do when trying to lose weight. The principle of use it or lose it applies to your metabolism, too. If you skip meals you slow it down. Then when you eat again, it will not be able to break down the food as quickly and you will end up storing it as fat.

This was seconded in a study reported in the New York Times “The researchers found that skipping meals during the day and eating one large meal in the evening resulted in potentially risky metabolic changes. The meal skippers had elevated fasting glucose levels and a delayed insulin response — conditions that, if they persisted long term, could lead to diabetes.”

Forbes Magazine
online includes skipping meals as one of the “9 bad habits that make you fat.” Citing the American Journal of Epidemiology which found that people who cut out breakfast were 4.5 times more likely to be obese.

Forbes offered some positive alternatives. “Rev up your metabolism by eating small portions of nutritious foods throughout the day – for breakfast, 1 cup of greek yogurt & berries are a fast, nutritious option. If you’re on the go, snack on a handful of pistachios or edamame. These will keep you full and satiated for about 200 calories.”

So, if you have decided that 2014 is the year you finally get serious about getting your weight under control. Congratulations! That is a great start. Clearly skipping meals will not be a part of your plan.

I would like to recommend that you check out my page on How to lose weight – and keep it off for some guidelines that I have discovered and experienced over the last nearly four years of writing this blog. They are working for me. Maybe you can use them, too.


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Filed under calories, Weight

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