Contestants arriving at The Biggest Loser ranch for the first time are often surprised to learn that one of the reasons they've gained so much weight is because they've had a habit of skipping meals. It sounds counter intuitive, but skipping meals can actually contribute to weight gain, not loss.
Metabolism journal documented a meal-skipping study at the National Institute on Aging. They found that people who skipped meals during the day and had all of their calories at one nightly meal exhibited unhealthy changes in their metabolism, similar to unhealthy blood sugar levels observed in diabetics. The non-meal skippers on the other hand, consumed the same number of calories each day, but the calories were distributed throughout the day at 3 regular meal intervals. The non-meal skippers maintained healthy blood sugar levels.
Another problem with skipping meals is that by the time meal time rolls around, you're so hungry, it's easy to eat too much and very often choose the wrong things. Who wants to nibble on carrot sticks when you're starving? Fat has more than twice as many calories as protein and carbohydrate. It satisfies hunger very quickly and often plays a big role in unhealthy meal choices made by meal skippers.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
By Cheryl Forberg, RD, The Biggest Loser nutritionist