Will skipping a meal make you fat?
“I often skip meals to lose weight” is something I hear my customers say quite often. If you think this way, at least your reasoning is logical: normally, skipping a meal should lower your daily caloric intake and thus, make you lose weight. But, be careful! The human body is a complex machine that sometimes evades the rules of common sense.
Hunger and satiety, not so easy after all!
Studies have recently estimated the consequences of skipping a meal (especially breakfast) on weight. One of their conclusions is that depriving the organism for several hours disturbs its hunger control mechanisms. In other words, your body doesn’t know anymore when it is hungry and when it has eaten enough. This makes you eat larger servings without even noticing, and snack even when you are not hungry, which in the long term can make you gain unwanted kilos.
Add blood sugar to the mix
Skipping a meal can also affect blood sugar levels (the amount of glucose present in the blood). Indeed, when you keep yourself from eating, you deprive your brain of its main fuel: glucose. Some symptoms can be similar to an energy drop, a lack of concentration, or even excessive hunger. When faced with such an intense desire to eat, we usually give in to fatty or sweet foods… and eat as much calories as in a regular meal, or even more so.
Recipe for success
How can you avoid these unfortunate consequences? Simply follow these 3 tips:
- Every day, eat three balanced meals along with one or many snacks between meals. If you are not hungry enough for breakfast or too much in a hurry, nothing stops you from dividing your breakfast in two snacks that you’ll eat before lunch!
- Eat only when you are hungry, and stop when you are not anymore.
- Give priority to foods with a low glycemic index that will help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
By Vanessa Martin