Want to Lose Weight? Don't Skip Meals!

As soon as the holidays are over, you're going to start thinking about all that extra weight—and I don't mean the gifts. While you may think you've gained a lot of fat over the holidays, your body doesn't quite work that way. Each pound of fat is worth 3,500 calories (in case you were wondering) and you would have eat an additional 17,500 calories, along with your regular calorie intake, in order to put on five pounds.

However, that's not really what I want to discuss right now. Back to you. You feel fat, and you want to lose that weight—fast. Not only are you thinking about all the weight you think you've gained, but you are also reading about crazy new diet schemes and methods for quick weight loss.

Is one of those strategies skipping meals?

Do you think that skipping breakfast will help you lose weight faster than if you ate the meal? Or that skipping lunch and just having breakfast and dinner will help you lose the weight you put on so you can wear the clothes you got for presents? The ones you think don't fit because you were afraid to try them on? You think that cutting back on calories by cutting out meals will take the weight off quickly, right?

The answer is no, and let me tell you why.

When you skip a meal, your body doesn't know if you are in San Diego or the Sudan, Boston or Biafra. Your body doesn’t know whether this fast is voluntary or involuntary, and it will act to conserve every calorie it gets. This is because your body doesn’t know when the next meal is coming, or if it is ever going to get here. The idea is survival, to provide your brain and central nervous system with whatever nutrients they need in order to keep you alive. In order to survive, then, your metabolic rate (the rate at which you burn calories) will slow down, allowing your brain and central nervous system to stay alive until more food comes. So you are actually maintaining your weight at a lower calorie intake! This sounds unfair, but your body doesn't care about your clothes, your body just wants to stay alive.

But you know, the other problem is that when you skip a meal, you unconsciously set yourself up to overeat later. Let's face it, 6-8 hours is a long time to go without eating (even longer if it’s breakfast you skipped). What happens is that by the time you “allow” yourself to eat, you subconsciously are thinking, “I didn’t eat lunch, so I saved all sorts of calories, and I can eat more.” Instead of choosing a 4-ounce chicken breast with a small fries and green salad, you pick the fried chicken, large fries and milkshake. Why not? You haven't eaten all day, right?


Please don't cause your metabolism to get all out of whack. I realize this is hard to hear, but do what your mom always told you: eat your meals. And, make your friends happy by chewing with your mouth shut.

Become At Peace with Food: Stop Dieting and Lose Weight

NOTE: Information in this site should not replace any medical advice you have
received from your primary care doctor or other medical professionals.