This Is What Skipping Meals Actually Does To Your Body

There are days when cutting calories seems nearly impossible. There are days when skipping meals seems like the only option. But not so fast! Recent research suggests that skipping meals should never be an option. A study conducted at Ohio State University has found that  skipping meals not only leads to abdominal weight gain, but it can also lead to the development of insulin resistance in the liver! "This does support the notion that small meals throughout the day can be helpful for weight loss, though that may not be practical for many people," explains Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University. "But you definitely don't want to skip meals to save calories because it sets your body up for larger fluctuations in insulin and glucose and could be setting you up for more fat gain instead of fat loss." The researchers divided mice into two groups:  one group that was put on a restricted diet and a second group that was put on an unlimited diet. Mice in the restricted group were given half the calories of those in the unlimited group for the first three days and then additional calories were added. While the restricted mice lost more weight at first, they regained it when more calories were introduced. By the end of the study, the weight of the mice in the restricted group was similar to the weight of the mice in the unlimited group but the restricted mice had gained more around the midsection. This weight in the middle was likened to belly fat in humans which is linked to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. "With the mice, this is basically binging and then fasting," Belury explained. "People don't necessarily do that over a 24-hour period, but some people do eat just one large meal a day. Under conditions when the liver is not stimulated by insulin, increased glucose output from the liver means the liver isn't responding to signals telling it to shut down glucose production. These mice don't have type 2 diabetes yet, but they're not responding to insulin anymore and that state of insulin resistance is referred to as prediabetes." As the study went on, the mice developed gorging habits that caused them to eat their daily allotment of food in 4 hours and fast for the remaining 20. This gorging and fasting lead to a spike and then rapid drop in insulin, causing a variety of metabolic issues. "Even though the gorging and fasting mice had about the same body weights as control mice, their adipose depots were heavier,” Belury added. “If you're pumping out more sugar into the blood, adipose is happy to pick up glucose and store it. That makes for a happy fat cell — but it's not the one you want to have. We want to shrink these cells to reduce fat tissue.” A similar study out of Oregon Research Institute (ORI) found that skipping meals and restricting calories can actually make unhealthy food far more appealing. Adolescents who agreed to curb their eating habits were shown pictures of unhealthy but appetizing foods, there was a marked change in brain imaging showing hyperactivity. It seems that no matter how you look at it, skipping meals does nothing but disrupt your body's natural rhythms. Not only can it lead to those unhealthy gains, it can increase you susceptibility to dietary temptations. Keeping yourself full with healthy meals and snacks is the clearest path to weight loss success. Is this information enough to make you eat at least 3 meals a day? For some help eating 3 meals, check out the BodyRock Meal Plan. More than just a menu planner, this bundle comes with a detailed nutrition guide and a recipe book with over 70 offerings! Eating well never looked so easy! Source:  

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