Obesity is now considered an epidemic to the extent of 69% of America’s Adult population being considered overweight. In Canada, 40% of men, and 27% of women are overweight, this includes those in the category of obese. In addition to health concerns, there is also pressure from media ideals of beauty and socially acceptable shapes to pressure the nations into losing weight. As one of those who is currently trying to lose weight I can confirm the struggle is real.
There is an infinite number of diets promising a ‘better you’ that comes in the forms of blogs, books and dvd’s. A lot of these diets encourage a popular mind set that says eating less(amount and frequency) is the answer to losing weight. Unfortunately this logic doesn’t work as planned in practice.
There is several problems resulting from skipping meals. Skipping meals can actually make you gain weight. Studies done on mice have shown that after fasting, there is a strong tendency to gorge, and not with healthy, body conscious foods. Even days after the fasting was over the mice continued to gorge their food. The studies done had two groups of mice. Those who ate regularly and those who fasted. It was the group of mice that fasted that ended up with more belly fat.
In addition to belly fat, which is associated with risk for heart disease, their livers became resistant to insulin. Insulin regulate glucose, and without this regulation, extra sugar then creates fat which tends to manifest in the midsection. There is also research suggesting that skipping meals produces the release of hormones that make us crave more sugary and fat-filled food.
With an increase in risk for diabetes, heart disease and weight gain, I hope after reading this people will think twice the next time they think about skipping a meal. Now no one is suggesting you binge eat until you can’t get up from the couch for three days, but it’s important to nourish your body! Actually, there is even evidence to support that eating more frequently, with smaller portion sizes is healthier than the traditional ‘three square meals’ we’ve always been taught.
The take away here is to take care of yourself. Eat foods that will make you feel good, and stop skipping meals, because you are probably going to make up for that food later, but sevenfold!