Many people believe that skipping meals is a good way to eliminate excess weight. While it is true that your total weight is a function of the calories that you bring in through the foods you eat, as compared with the calories that you burn through normal bodily processes and exercise, skipping meals doesn’t just lower the number of calories that you eat.
In fact, by skipping meals, you limit the ability that your body has to burn off the other calories that you eat. This causes your body to go into a sort of “starvation mode,” wherein it will work to reserve the calories that it has by processing them as slowly as possible. This is, therefore, not a good method of eliminating excess calories and weight from your system.
Skipping Meals and Your Metabolism
Your metabolism, the system by which your body processes the food that you eat, is a major contributor in the total equation of how much you weigh. It affects how the calories that you eat are burned up; people with a faster metabolism will tend to burn more calories through every action that they take, whether it’s exercise or even sedentary behavior. Those with a slower metabolism conserve their calories, which can be stored up as fat, particularly around the belly.
When you skip meals, your metabolism naturally slows down. This is the result of the body trying to preserve energy reserves when it doesn’t have more food coming in. When there isn’t food around, keeping a slow metabolism allows you to continue to function for as long as possible. For people who skip meals, this means that it’s harder to burn off those calories that they are looking to get rid of.
If you skip meals, there will be other consequences that may affect your belly fat and your overall health. By limiting the necessary energy that you receive through eating, you limit the ability that you’ll have to receive adequate exercise. This means that you may be too tired to properly give your body the cardiovascular and fat-burning exercise that it needs, which can further contribute to troubles with eliminating belly fat.
Many people who routinely skip meals will end up overcompensating by eating excessively at subsequent meals. If you routinely skip your breakfast, for instance, you’ll be more likely to be exceedingly hungry at lunch, and therefore more likely to eat a lunch that is too large. Keeping a regular schedule of smaller meals spread out evenly throughout the day is the best way to keep your metabolism flowing smoothly and to avoid belly fat and fat deposits in other parts of your body. Many people find that splitting up meals into four or more equal portions throughout the day is the most effective.