Between a busy schedule and the desire to lose weight, it can be tempting to skip meals periodically, or even go on fasting binges. But skipping meals can be counterproductive to weight loss, and is certainly unhealthy.
Skipping meals leads to low blood sugar and energy levels, and may causes moodiness and irritability. While skipping meals may lead to a calorie deficit, prolonged lack of nutrition can actually cause your body to go into starvation mode. This slows your metabolism down. Then, when you do eat, the calories aren’t burned efficiently.
If you skip too many meals, your body may turn to your muscles as an energy source. This may result in some weight loss, but it’s not healthy weight loss.
Skipping meals can also encourage poor food decisions. If you wait until you’re incredibly hungry to eat, you might give in to the temptation to eat fast foods or unhealthy snacks. What’s more, the tendency to overeat after you skip a meal often offsets the calories you missed by skipping the meal.
Letting yourself get excessively hungry also influences your shopping habits. This can lead to a kitchen full of unhealthy food and make it difficult to make healthy food choices at home.
The best strategy for healthy weight loss is to plan your meals. Eat smaller, healthy meals throughout the day. Get plenty of lean protein, whole-grain carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
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