Missing out a meal?
So many clients say to me:
“I’ve done really well today I missed lunch”
“I did good I missed breakfast today….”
Their logic is simple I have put less calories into my body today so that must be a good thing?
Sorry, but no. Its complicated so to clarify firstly let me scream:
Skipping meals makes you fat.
There is some evidence that a diet of eating less one day and then more the next day can help reduce levels of cholesterol, makers of inflammation, and help to reduce weight but only if you stick to a strict program and this is the key: don’t overeat. By skipping a meal the body increases its cravings for junk food and processed food. There is a tendency to gorge. There is always a tendency to gorge! This is where the skipping a meal plan is going to mean a lot of skipping to get rid of that bigger belly.
Why a bigger belly?
A gorging and fasting cycle is not a good one. This can lead to spike in insulin levels*. This is mucking around with your body cycles. This leads to extra fat being deposited on the belly. Which for a variety of reasons is not a good idea. Its not fully understood but a bigger belly could be linked to insulin resistance and more clearly linked to increase risk of heart attack.
*Remind me what insulin does?
When blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the pancreas releases insulin into the blood. Insulin and glucose then travel in the blood to cells throughout the body.
- Insulin helps muscle, fat, and liver cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream, lowering blood glucose levels.
- Insulin stimulates the liver and muscle tissue to store excess glucose. The stored form of glucose is called glycogen.
- Insulin also lowers blood glucose levels by reducing glucose production in the liver.
In a healthy person, these functions allow blood glucose and insulin levels to remain in the normal range.
And remind me about insulin resistance?
Insulin resistance, muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin and thus cannot easily absorb glucose from the bloodstream. So, the body needs higher levels of insulin to help glucose enter cells.
The beta cells in the pancreas try to keep up with this increased demand for insulin by producing more. As long as the beta cells are able to produce enough insulin to overcome the insulin resistance, blood glucose levels stay in the healthy range.
Over time, insulin resistance can lead to type 2 diabetes and prediabetes because the beta cells fail to keep up with the body’s increased need for insulin. Without enough insulin, excess glucose builds up in the bloodstream, leading to diabetes, prediabetes, and other serious health disorders.
But I’m starving
Well you are. If you skip a meal your body really does think you are starving and holds on to the fat it has. This is slowing down your metabolism. Plus the body reacts as if it is being stressed: it is being stressed you are starving. The body releases steroids and these again can lead to weight gain.
Little and regular meals
Develop a healthy eating plan. Plan your meals. Decide in advance what you are going to snack on mid morning and ditch the crisps have the protein bar ready (not one full of sugar but one full of protein)