It’s a tale as old as time, skipping meals will help you to lose weight.
It makes sense right? You eat less, therefore the fat and calorie content going into your body is lower. It only makes sense that you’d lose weight almost instantly.
This is the belief for many and according to b-eat, in February 2015 there were more than 725,000 people in the UK with an eating disorder. This isn’t a lecture on ‘everyone’s beautiful in their own skin, damn the media and their portrayals of the human body!’ but it really isn’t surprising is it?
But the tale is exactly that. A tale.
Skipping meals won’t help you to lose weight. In order to lose weight safely and effectively you need to lower your calorie intake and increase the amount you burn through exercise. This doesn’t mean however that you should lower your calorie intake right down or begin a high intensity exercise programme. This needs to be done safely and in the correct proportions.
I would suggest looking into counting your macro’s as an alternative to counting calories, as this was the most effective way I found to lose weight and body fat, in particular. More information can be found in my Macro blog post.
So as promised, 5 reasons that ‘skipping meals will help you to lose weight’ is just one of those myths you have to ignore. Like eating bread crusts will make your hair curly or eating apple seeds will sprout an apple tree in your tummy…
- You will more than likely over-indulge the next time you eat.
Think about it. You skip a meal and you’re hungry. So much so that you lose control when you next eat and eat way more than you ordinarily would have. I know I’ve done this many times before and felt the guilt afterwards too.
- Your metabolism slows down.
If your body is eating less, your metabolism doesn’t need to work as hard or as fast to break down the foods you’re eating. Eating and exercising regularly will increase your metabolism because your body needs to break down food for energy much more regularly. An increase in metabolism will help you to lose weight much faster.
- Your body becomes confused as to when it will next eat.
When you begin skipping meals and eating sporadically, your body isn’t sure when it’s next meal will be. To combat this, it then stores extra fat by slowing down it’s metabolism (see point 2) in case it isn’t going to eat again for a while, thus achieving the exact opposite of what you want to do.
- You could run low on nutrients.
Nutrients are essential to help the maintenance and repair to your body’s immune system. With a lower intake of the nutrients your body needs, your immune system can be lowered and you may be more at risk of fatigue, poor mental function and other health concerns. You could also be more at risk of some diseases with a lower immune system, such as type 2 diabetes and blood pressure problems.
- Hormonal Imbalance.
Skipping meals can cause a hormonal imbalance in your body. When you skip a meal, your body goes into stress and on high alert, unsure when it’s going to eat next. As a result, the body then produces a high amount of cortisol – also known as the stress hormone. In large quantities, this substance can actually promote weight gain and can lead to a disruption of insulin levels in the body. Putting you at higher risk of diabetes.
Don’t let yourself go hungry. If you want to lose weight, eat regular healthy meals and exercise. Monitor what you eat and create an alternative lifestyle where everything is consumed within moderation.
In my experience, the most effective way to lose weight is to count the macronutrients I intake instead of just calories. More information on macronutrients can be found here, as well as my experience with no-carb diet – another fad diet that has hit us!
If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, please go to B-eat.co.uk, where you can find more information on eating disorders and how to get help.
Stay safe and eat well.