I’m skipping meals…why am I not losing weight?
It’s a common question. And, at first glance, it seems to make sense that missing a meal would result in weight loss–after all, you’re reducing your calorie intake. In reality, the human body operates at a level far more complex than simple subtraction.
Learn the real story about what happens to your body and brain when you skip meals and why it’s not good for you.
You turn into a raving food monster.
When you miss a meal, blood sugar levels drop, which means your body has less energy to fuel its mission, whether that’s walking up the stairs with laundry or brainstorming a new project for work.
To get the energy it needs, the body sends out signals that stimulate food cravings. Sometimes that results in overeating at your next meal. Other times it triggers a snack attack that pushes you towards unhealthy choices, like processed snacks filled with extra salt, sugar, or metabolism-disrupting artificial sweeteners. What’s worse, because skipping meals makes you really hungry, you often end up overeating whatever not-so-healthy food you’re craving.
You build up belly fat.
Researchers at Ohio University discovered that mice who’d been placed on calorie-restricted diets gained abdominal fat when the restrictions were lifted. The evidence suggests that skipping meals can spark metabolism changes that lead to additional belly weight.
That jiggle around the middle is more than unsightly. Called visceral fat, it releases harmful toxins that cause inflammation within the body. People with belly fat are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, including pancreatic, colon, and rectal.
You lose muscle.
Skipping meals is not a healthy way to lose weight. When your body goes into starvation mode—that agonizing pinching feeling and growling inside your stomach—it begins to eat at your muscle rather than your fat stores. In turn, you become weaker and lose energy faster.
Your food shopping habits go south.
Skipping a meal can actually impact your food choices for the rest of the week! Food shoppers who missed a pre-grocery trip meal purchased 31 percent more high-calorie snacks than those who ate before hitting the aisles, according to researchers at Cornell University.
When you go to the store on an empty stomach, you’re more likely to stock the kitchen and pantry with unhealthy food choices that won’t help your weight loss journey one bit.
How to Not Skip Meals
Take control of your eating habits by putting these tips into action:
- Meal prep on less-busy days so you can reheat-and-eat on the busy ones.
- Pack lunch in the evening for an easy grab-and-go the next day.
- Pack healthy to-go snacks to eat at work or as you run errands.
If you’re ready to start developing healthy eating habits that deliver results, contact us today to get started.