Myth: Skip Meals to Lose Weight
Author: Joe Sage, NASM-CPT, FNS, WLS, CES
While it is true that we need to lower caloric intake to lose weight, skipping meals all together, or fasting, can have a negative effect on weight loss. Let’s take a look at the meal most often skipped, breakfast. Eating a balanced breakfast can help improve concentration, performance in physical activity, and also aid in weight control. But, it is estimated that 31 million Americans skip breakfast every day. One of the biggest problems with skipping meals is that we tend to overeat at other meals during the day. It is suggested that eating breakfast can reduce feelings of hunger and help people make smarter foods choices during other meals.
If we were to skip eating all morning, and hadn’t eaten since the night before, we would be starving and be tempted to eat just about anything in front of us, even if we knew it wasn’t the healthiest option. That lack of control from feeling hungry can also cause us to snack all day long leading to an increase in calories that wouldn’t normally be present.
For me, breakfast was a struggle. When I was younger, I never had an appetite in the morning, and it just became a habit to not eat breakfast. I soon realized that I needed to break this habit, as it was having a negative effect on my entire day. So, I started small. Some days it was a bowl of cereal and others just a piece of toast. As I stuck with it, I started feeling hungry in the morning and slowly increased the size of my breakfast. It has been years since I have gone without breakfast, and looking back I’m not sure how I functioned without eating in the morning. We have to provide our body with fuel as soon as we can to get the most out of our day.