Juice, detox fasts and crash diets are the rage now but for all the wrong reasons. These fasts claim that keeping off food will help you lose weight instantly. That, however, is a myth that the health world wants to bust, and fast. Skipping meals can cause irreparable damage to the body, as well as contribute to weight gain.
What happens when we skip meals?
Skipping meals leads to a deficit in carbohydrates, which are needed for energy. Thus the body turns to fat storage to burn for energy, and this is what phoney weight loss products and crash diet maniacs market. What they don’t tell you is that when the fat is burned for energy, the byproduct called ketones are formed that can cause lasting damage to your liver and kidney.
More effects of skipping meals
Apart from potential damage to the liver and kidney, skipping meals also has other cons. Skipping meals can lead to an increased craving for fats and sugar, which in turn leads the person to make up for lost energy with larger, unhealthier meals at a later time.
Other effects of skipping meals can include:
- Low blood sugar levels
- Insulin resistance
- Late-night cravings
- Binge eating and weight gain
What about weight loss?
The increased cravings could have a converse effect on your body as drastic metabolic changes can, in fact, make one gain more weight.
In animal experiments, a study reported that intra-abdominal fat accumulation was enhanced in studies involving controlled refeeding after food restriction.
Another study reported that those who maintained a 30-pound weight loss streak ate breakfast every day.
What is the smart strategy?
The smart way out would be to avoid skipping meals. It puts your body in peril over the long run and can cause more weight gain than loss, which is not what you need. Instead, consume smaller meals more frequently. Pack your meals with nutrient-rich food and stick to a workout schedule that helps you burn calories.
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Kliewer KL, et al. Short-term food restriction followed by controlled refeeding promotes gorging behavior, enhances fat deposition, and diminishes insulin sensitivity in mice. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry. 2015;26(7):721-728.