Most of us know that it isn’t good for the body to skip a meal, particularly when the intention is to lose weight. However, despite our best efforts, we often experience times when we simply can’t fit a meal into our busy schedules. The fact is that stuff happens and even when we mean to eat a meal, that isn’t always the way that it works out.
If you are trying to lose weight or to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you may wonder what this occasional skipped meal does to your body. Likely, you’ll have noticed that when you do get the opportunity to eat again, you’re absolutely ravenous and you’ll crave sweet or fattier foods and will want to eat a lot more of it than you typically would.
That, however, is only the beginning.
Recent research has shown that animals from mice to humans will be more likely to gorge on food the moment that they have it after having fasted for even as short as a single meal. In the research on mice, it was found that the metabolism had changed within a span as short as a week and that belly fat was gained when compared to the subjects that did not skip meals. This, despite the fact that the subjects that gained the weight had been previously lost it before they started skipping a meal.
The interesting this is that by the end of the trial, the subjects that gained belly fat didn’t gain any more weight than those that continued with the three daily meals. However, their fat distribution was clearly different and they were at a higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Scientists believe that this is because fasting and binging causes miscues within the metabolism. This causes an excess of blood glucose that results from insulin resistance. When a glut of sugar enters the blood stream, the body stores that extra energy as fat. Because someone who binges takes in a large amount of blood glucose all at once, this is exactly what happens, time and time again. In fact, this will occur even if the daily calorie count doesn’t rise.
Even when eating proper amounts or when trying to eat fewer calories, skipping meals can be a direct route for fat gain, especially when it comes to visceral fat. It is a far more effective strategy to stop skipping meals and to eat three or more reasonable, healthful ones throughout the day.