Fact or Fiction? Skipping Meals Helps You Lose Weight

Woman balancing milk and an apple. Words floating around her. Diet, fruit, nutrition, exercise

These days many of us are all about saving. We think about how to save money, fuel, and time.  Are you among those who think about saving calories? “If I skip breakfast, I can get that big sandwich I love later.” Or perhaps you’ve thought, “I can save myself 400 calories for the day if I skip lunch.” This type of thinking can be very tempting when we’re trying to lose weight.

However, this is probably one of the worst mistakes a dieter can make. While some things are worth saving, saving up calories by skipping meals is never a good idea.

Why Some People Skip Meals

According to a 2011 study, 31 million Americans skip breakfast on a regular basis. Some of the reasons cited were:

  • I’m not hungry in the morning.
  • I just don’t feel like eating.
  • I’m too busy to eat breakfast.

Now let’s compare that with how many Americans are dieting every year. Try this number on for size: 45 million! Over 69 percent of us are overweight. Clearly, we have some poor nutritional and dieting habits as a nation and skipping meals is not leading to a more trim and fit population. Why is this?

Busting the Myth

While skipping meals may be very tempting, studies have shown it brings very poor results. When the body doesn’t have a regular fuel supply in the form of healthy, nutritional food, it becomes less efficient and will go into a catabolic state.  This means that instead of using food that you have supplied, the body starts to break down muscle tissue. That’s right, muscle, not fat. This is bad for a couple of reasons. First, most of us have never thought  ” I really need to get rid of some of this excess muscle.” The image we have of a muscular person is one of someone who is healthy, strong, and young. Second, muscle tissue burns more calories than fat does.  This means the stronger you get, the easier it will become to burn fat calories.

Another reason skipping meals is a bad idea is that people tend to make poor food choices later on in the day when they skip a meal. Because the dieter’s blood sugar will dip, it will be more tempting to reach for that high carbohydrate, refined food. In the end, the dieter will eat more calories than he or she saved from skipping the meal.
We want you to make great food choices and enjoy your meals.  Perhaps you are just starting down the path of weight loss and nutrition, or you may have a head start and just need an extra boost. At Atlas Drug and Nutrition we are happy to provide you with a free nutritional consultation to help you on the road to a healthier life!

Left Menu Icon