Skipping meals may seem like a good idea to cut calories, but it's not a good tactic for successful weight loss. Many dieters are tempted to save calories so they can indulge in a big meal later without regret, but this practice can easily backfire. Before you deprive yourself of a nutritious meal, consider how it affects your physical and mental health.
You may feel like your hunger is under control until you sit at the table. After skipping meals all day, once food is finally available, you are much more likely to overeat and choose unhealthy foods to satisfy your cravings. One study showed that participants who skipped meals throughout the day and ate a large meal in the evening had elevated fasting blood glucose and delayed insulin response (risk factors for diabetes) after eight weeks.
Good nutrition requires planning. This is much easier to accomplish when your meals and snacks are spread throughout the day. Skipping meals can reduce your variety of foods and, therefore, your nutrient intake. When you finally eat, you may become too full to get all the foods you need, or the increased hunger and cravings may cause you to bypass nutritious options for unhealthy comfort foods.
A grumbling stomach and dropping blood sugar can affect your mood and attitude. Fatigue, irritability, and an overall negative outlook are just a few of the consequences of skipping meals. A bad attitude threatens motivation and your desire to make healthy choices and stick to your workouts.