I can skip breakfast to lose weight, right? Wrong! A common misperception for many people is that the key to losing weight is skipping meals. This is problematic for several reasons.
- Skipping meals generally leads to overeating. When we have long periods of time between meals, the hormones responsible for hunger flood our system and we cannot experience satiety, so we end up eating more than we normally would. This can also lead to binge eating throughout the rest of the day.
- Your metabolism slows down. When we don’t eat regularly throughout the day, our metabolism can slow to preserve our energy. Our bodies are built on a feast and famine principle. Biologically, we do not recognize that we have restaurants and grocery stores on every block or that we simply need to walk to the kitchen.
- Skipping meals can put you at risk for diabetes. Recent research indicates that skipping meals during the day and eating the majority of your calories later in the day can increase fasting glucose levels and delay the insulin response.
When we don’t eat often, our body stops trusting us and our hormones attempt to override our brains by either maintaining all of our nutrients by trying to store them as fat or create ravenous hunger forcing us to over eat. The best plan of action is keeping your body fueled consistently throughout the day. Eat smaller meals every few hours. Your body maintains energy, you don’t have urges to overeat as often and your metabolism stays higher as it processes your food.