Are you skipping meals to lose weight? 3 major downsides of not eating
- 2 Minutes Read
Intermittent fasting or alternate day fasting plans are pretty popular out there, but you are still skipping meals to lose weight. So are they safe practices? The scientific support for the effects on overall health is mixed. Read on for potential drawbacks of meal- skipping, intentional or unintentional.
Some people believe that skipping meals helps them lose weight. It may not make sense for you if you have metabolic issues, such as diabetes or metabolic syndrome. When your metabolism works smoothly, your body works efficiently to have a set blood sugar level. The metabolic checks and balances are in place. Every time you skip a meal, your body maintains your blood sugar and energy level. However, when you have such metabolic issues as seen with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or metabolic syndrome, these “checks and balances” may not be up to par. This could result in many real-life scenarios, such as extreme hunger, fatigue, and low blood sugar.
Read on for three potential drawbacks of skipping meals when trying to lose weight.
You probably know the recommendation, “Don’t grocery shop when you are hungry,” because you are vulnerable to making bad food choices. Now you know why marketing experts place candy bars at the checkout stand, not apples and oranges. When you skip meals, your body craves foods high in fat and sugar because they provide quick energy. So if you skip breakfast, what snack in the break room looks most appealing, the donuts or the fresh fruit?
Exercise is essential for losing and maintaining weight. If you are too hungry to exercise after work because you skipped lunch or can only complete half of your Zumba class because you are wiped out with no energy, you are jeopardizing your weight-loss efforts.
There are definitely concerns that skipping meals may negatively impact your calorie-burning rate. There are mixed results in the nutrition and health science world about whether or not planned meal-skipping works for calorie-burning. The bottom line is that there is no one-size-fits-all for weight loss. Pay attention to your weight changes when skipping meals. This can indicate whether it helps or hinders your metabolism for immediate weight loss. And yes, you may want to consider the long-term implications of skipping meals on your body’s metabolism, overall health, and quality of life.
One of the biggest reasons people unintentionally skip meals is lack of time and quick and tempting easy-to-grab foods.
If you want to cut calories, try decreasing the calories in one daily meal, plus aim to eat at least 3 out of the 5 food groups at a meal: veggies, fruit, whole grains, proteins, and dairy. For example try popcorn, an apple, and a cheese stick to fuel up and avoid unintentional skipping of meals to lose weight.
Reviewed and updated by Brenda Braslow on May 16, 2023.
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