4 Myths about Skipping Meals for Weight Loss

4 Myths about Skipping Meals for Weight Loss

Despite all of the modern science of nutrition, there are still a lot of people who think that skipping meals can help with your diet plan. Examining some of the myths around this kind of thinking can help you make an overall fitness and diet strategy that works.

Myth #1: "Not Eating" Is Good for Weight Loss

The simplistic notion that you can lose weight by skipping meals is wrong in a lot of ways. Consider what happens to your body when you just deprive it of food. For a lot of people, predictable symptoms develop. Shakiness, nausea and other similar feelings are often an indication that the body is experiencing blood sugar issues or other imbalances.

In addition, think about how skipping meals makes you feel. Most of us start to get really, really hungry. Throwing off a meal schedule doesn't just cause physical imbalances, it contributes to a hunger buildup that can leave you ravenous and destroy the most well-crafted diet. This is one of the most general reasons why skipping meals is not the way to go.

Myth #2: Less Meals a Day is Good for Your Diet

Some dieters might think they can cut a lot of calories out of their daily diet by taking out breakfast, lunch or dinner. However, from experienced "Biggest Loser" contestants to schooled nutritionists, the majority of fitness experts will tell you the opposite: that adding more small meals has a better overall effect. Lots of pros recommend five small meals a day instead of the conventional "three squares." So what's the trick? According to the science, it's making these meals calorie-light and keeping yourself just full enough to prevent the worst of the hunger cravings that threaten a weight loss regimen.

Myth #3: Fasting is Normal and Safe

Your blissed-out friend may have told you that fasting is a normal way to lose weight, but more than a few fitness experts will be shaking their heads at this one. In fact, fasting can be a dangerous way to try to cut calories. The best fasting is often grounded in concrete spirituality, and done in a specific environment or atmosphere. Most nutritionists would tell you're not going to take a shortcut on the road to weight loss by fasting during your workday or choosing a "temporary fast" over lunch. Your body needs some fuel: it's what you eat that matters.

Myth #4: Dieting is Just Willpower

Another way to tragically oversimplify the dieting process is to tell yourself that you just need to "think yourself thin." There's a huge growing industry around food science for a reason: the vast majority of dieters are not just dealing with "food issues" but with a detailed chain of food distribution that is geared toward adding calories to your plate. From sodas to cheeseburgers, a lot of that easily reachable food is packed with so much unnecessary stuff that it's become a Herculean challenge just to pare your daily meals down to the recommended calorie count. The good news is that a few good choices in natural foods can help you lose weight, not by cutting out meals, but by cutting out the fats and sugars in a lot of processed foods.

These "inconvenient truths" show how skipping meals for a diet plan can backfire. Instead, read up on what's good for your body, and try to fit it into your meal plan.