Does Skipping Meals Really Help You Lose Weight?

Maintaining a healthy weight is about more than just your appearance. Being overweight or obese is associated with a wide range of health issues, including a higher risk of developing heart disease, certain types of cancers, type 2 diabetes, and osteoarthritis. In an attempt to control your weight, you may be enticed to skip meals to reduce your daily caloric intake. However, skipping meals might not be the best option when it comes to your weight loss journey.

Exhausted Woman

What Happens to Your Body When You Skip Meals

The idea is pretty simple; taking in fewer calories than you burn allows you to drop pounds. In this respect, skipping meals (which is sometimes referred to as intermittent fasting) just makes good sense. Eating less means fewer calories, which in turn means lower weight. Unfortunately, there are downsides to this practice, some of which can have a negative impact on your health:

  • Decreased Energy - When you go without food, you're likely to experience decreased energy, sluggishness, and fatigue. Healthy, wholesome foods (including lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables) are the best sources of fuel since they're not associated with the crash and burn of eating sugar-packed goodies or consuming cup after cup of coffee.
  • Low Blood Sugar - Hypoglycemia (AKA low blood sugar) is often associated with diabetes. This condition can also occur when a person goes many hours without eating, which causes dizziness, headache, blurred vision, problems concentrating, and many other ill-effects. Low blood sugar can even affect your mood. That tell-tale feeling of anger and irritation that arises within a few hours of your last meal shows that your brain is being deprived of an essential source of sustenance (i.e. glucose).
  • A Greater Risk of Overeating - At some point, your body will be crying out for food after many hours of fasting. It's a lot harder to make smart food choices in this state, as intense cravings are likely to emerge. Often, these cravings involve the very worst foods available, such as those containing a lot of sugar and fat. If you have a hard time saying no to these foods under normal circumstances, imagine how hard it will be to abstain when you're racked with hunger pains.
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Healthy Alternatives to Meal Skipping

The ultimate goal of any lifestyle changes you make should be to improve your health and well-being. Instead of meal skipping in an effort to lose weight, focus on eating wholesome meals three or more times a day in reasonable portions. When it comes to snacking, look for items low in calories but high in nutritional content. For example, nuts contain healthy fats as well as a good portion of protein. Even better, nuts contain a lot of fiber, which ensures you feel full after snacking.
Greek yogurt is another great selection for healthy snacking. Like nuts, Greek yogurt contains plenty of protein. It's also a great source of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth. For even greater benefits, add berries or other fruit to your Greek yogurt.
If you're a fan of salty snacks like potato chips, consider incorporating kale chips into your diet routine. Kale is a popular superfood brimming with antioxidants, which prevent damage on a cellular level. Kale is also a great source of fiber, as well as being rich in vitamin C.

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One Reply to “Does Skipping Meals Really Help You Lose Weight?”

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