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Avoid Skipping Meals

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Skipping meals doesn’t necessarily help with weight loss.  It all depends on what you eat, and how you’ve been eating until that point.  If you’re used to eating three meals per day, as well as snacks, it can slow down your metabolism.  Your body will respond as though it is going through a period of starvation.  This can make it harder for you to lose weight and much easier for you to gain it.

Why Skipping Meals is Rarely a Good Diet Tip

If you’re already accustomed to eating throughout the day, skipping meals is rarely good advice.  Instead, most people will be better off adjusting the contents of their current number of meals and snacks.  There are many reasons that this is the case.

For one thing, people who are accustomed to eating more frequently will find themselves hungrier when skipping meals.  This means that if you’re used to eating more meals, then you’ll be hungrier for the fewer meals you do eat.  When you’re hungrier, you’re not as equipped to make the right healthy food choices.  You’re more likely to eat fatty, sugary and/or salty foods.  You’ll also eat more of them because of the size of your hunger pangs.

Furthermore, when you feel this way on a regular basis, it’s likely to cause you to give up on this dieting style.  If your diet is not sustainable, then it isn’t the right one for your long-term weight management.  You risk losing some weight over the short term only to regain it over the long term.

Changing the Contents of Your Meals

If you are wanting to lose weight and are used to three meals per day plus snacks, maintaining that number may be recommended. The best way to start and maintain weight loss is to establish a healthy eating routine.

This means having your three meals a day, with one or two light snacks in between. Meals can be low calorie and should contain fiber and protein so that you feel full and stay full for longer. Of course, try to make healthy food choices, such as adding as many fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet as you can. Also, keep sodium (salt) to a minimum.

Myths About Skipping Meals 

Many dieters think skipping meals can help them to shed unwanted pounds, but it actually does the opposite. By denying the body of calories, you’re also denying the body’s metabolism, thus slowing it down. A suddenly lowered caloric intake will force the body into “starvation mode” where it conserves calories from what you’re already eaten, and slows down the metabolism, thus storing more calories as fat. Skipping meals actually causes you to gain weight!

What’s more, skipping important meals, such as breakfast, can actually lead someone used to eating more meals to consume more calories later in the day.  You eat fewer times during the day, but within those times, you take in a much larger dose of calories. Even worse, those calories are less likely to be nutrient-dense.

Reducing your nutritional intake certainly won’t do you or your weight loss efforts any favors. The best way to cut calories safely and healthfully is to eat your normal number of meals throughout the day.  Give your body a steady flow of calories to keep your metabolism going strong. Focus on keeping hunger manageable so you’ll avoid unwise food choices You help to optimize your metabolism by feeding your body multiple small meals throughout the day.

When Can Skipping Meals Help Weight Loss?

If you’re not actually skipping meals but are maintaining the same number you usually would, you likely won’t do your weight loss any harm.  If you’ve never been a breakfast person, you don’t need to start just to lose weight. You’ll only add calories you wouldn’t otherwise eat.

Instead, focus on the meals you do eat and make them nutrient dense.  Pay attention to your caloric intake so you remain within your healthy range. Don’t eat too few to slow down your metabolism, but don’t eat too many which risks weight gain.