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Why Skipping Meals Hurts Your Weight Loss Efforts

Why Skipping Meals Hurts Your Weight Loss Efforts

Weight loss can be a slow process. In fact, successful weight loss often is a slow process.

 

Losing weight too fast is usually a sure sign that your body won’t be able to keep up that pace, and you’re likely to regain everything you’ve lost.

 

So, slow and steady wins the race. But that’s hard.

 

Let’s be honest, we live in a world of instant gratification, and when the numbers on the scale aren’t moving in the right direction as quickly as we want them to, we’re bound to look for shortcuts.

 

Maybe we try a crash diet, maybe we intensify our workouts, or maybe we begin skipping meals.

 

Bad idea.

 

Why? Because some things in life really do require patience and consistency, and weight loss is definitely one of them.

 

If you would like our full nutrition recommendations, download our Ultimate Fat Loss Diet & Recipe Guide today!

 

Let’s look at four different reasons why skipping meals can actually hurt your weight loss efforts.

 

Skipping Meals Lowers Your Metabolism

 

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Believe it or not, one way to speed up your metabolism is to eat!

 

Now, of course, there are several caveats after that statement:

 

·      You should be eating foods which fuel your body.

·      You should maintain a calorie deficit each day in relation to your activity level and your energy expenditure.

·      You should be mindful while eating to help ensure that you make good choices and stop eating when you feel full.

 

In other words, the term “eating fuels your metabolism,” isn’t a golden ticket to eat whatever you want.

 

You should keep doing what you’re doing in terms of making healthy choices and maintaining a small calorie deficit.

 

It’s that calorie deficit part which trips a lot of people up.

 

What’s a really easy way to cut 300 or 400 calories out of your day? Just skip an entire meal!

 

By skipping that meal you are allowing your metabolism to slow down while your body scrambles to preserve the calories you do have.

When your body thinks your next meal isn’t coming, it’s more likely to store excess calories rather than shed them.

 

Eating at regular intervals throughout the day helps reassure your body that you aren’t starving and allows your system to work the way it’s intended to.

 

Missing Meals Leaves You Sluggish

 

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So, you’ve made it through an entire work day without eating a thing.

 

Just a quick breakfast before you made it to the office, and nothing else since then.

 

Now it’s time to hit the gym, and suddenly your motivation evaporates before your eyes.

 

The thought of running, lifting weights, or doing your interval training feels daunting and impossible.

 

In fact, it feels so impossible that you’re just going to go ahead and give yourself the night off.

 

Did you catch what’s happening there?

 

In skipping lunch, you might think that you’re making yourself leaner, but all you’re doing is allowing yourself to run on an empty tank.

That’s not good for your car, and it’s not good for you either.

 

When our Los Gatos personal trainers notice a client moving sluggishly, one of the first questions asked is, “Did you eat before you came here?”

 

When you eat, you not only fuel your body but also your brain.

 

Vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, dietary fat, protein…

 

It helps to think of these things as energy.

 

If you deprive your body of energy, then that energy won’t be there when it’s time to expend it during a workout.

 

Eat healthy balanced meals throughout the day to make sure you can hit your workout every time.

 

Skipping Meals Doesn’t Shed Body Fat, It Sheds Lean Muscle

 

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Again, if you decide to try an experiment and skip meals for, say, one week, you may see the scale moving down quickly at first.

 

This is the place where some people get excited and decide they stumbled onto a great secret of weight loss.

 

They haven’t.

 

The lower numbers you’re seeing on the scale are due to one of two things:

 

1.  Your limited food intake is causing you to lose water weight.

2.  Your body has begun burning lean muscle instead of fat, because it thinks it’s starving.

 

Our bodies are the result of millions of years of evolution.

 

Living in a world where nutritious and high-quality food is always guaranteed is an extremely recent turn of events.

 

Every single system in our body was formed during a time where energy conservation was a top priority, and starvation was a legitimate and daily risk for everyone.

 

When your body senses that the next meal isn’t coming, it begins storing fat, not burning it.

 

Fat stores are what will keep you alive longer, so it’s actually burning all that lean muscle you’ve worked so hard for in the gym.

 

You can alleviate this by eating at regular intervals.

 

You’re More Likely to Overeat at Your Next Meal

 

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Newsflash: skipping meals makes you feel hungry. Sometimes, extremely hungry.

 

Now, hunger isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

 

It’s our body’s way of telling us that we require more fuel to keep functioning.

 

However, when you let hunger exceed a comfortable point, your brain goes into a bit of a panic.

 

It wants you to get all the calories you can, as quickly as you can, and it will not turn off those hunger pangs until it feels that you’re no longer in danger of starving.

 

What this looks like in practice is usually a small healthy breakfast, nothing for lunch, and an extremely full dinner (with dessert!) which overshoots your calorie goal by a decent margin.

 

You can avoid the restrict/binge cycle by simply refusing to participate in it.

 

Fuel your body at regular intervals, and you won’t be as tempted to overdo it at your next meal.

 

Again, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to weight loss.

 

Instead of focusing on the “slow” part of that phrase, focus on the “steady.”

 

The scale may not be dropping as quickly as we want it to but take a look back at your long-term data.

 

As long as you’re trending downwards, you’re making great progress in your weight loss!

 

Attempting to speed things up through tricks like skipping meals is only going to backfire.

 

If you would like our full nutrition recommendations, download ourUltimate Fat Loss Diet & Recipe Guide today and learn about:


  • Our 7-Step Anti-Inflammatory Diet

  • How much protein you really need

  • The best foods to eat (and avoid) to lose fat

  • Specific meal plans and recipes for optimal results

 

Have a question? Please post them to ourFacebook Page.

 

Mint Condition Fitness is the leading personal training studio in Los Gatos for successful men and women to become the best versions of themselves.


 



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