Have you ever skipped meals with the hope of losing weight? Do you find yourself eating just one meal per day due to a busy schedule? If so, you might want to rethink your current eating habits. Research indicates that this approach to eating may actually have a negative impact on your health.
In a recent study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, researchers examined the effect of “gorging” in diet-restricted mice compared to mice in a control group that ate throughout the day. The researchers found that the diet-restricted mice developed a habit of gorging their food quickly, and they continued to gorge even after their diets were returned to the same calorie level as the control group. One researcher likened this habit to people who frequently skip meals or eat one large meal per day.
Compared to the control group, the gorging mice were found to have more abdominal fat and reduced insulin sensitivity. These outcomes are concerning as they have been linked to an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease in humans.
Although the research was performed on mice, this study highlights the significant effects of eating patterns on metabolism. Skipping meals or severely limiting your food intake can also make you more likely to over-eat at the next meal and can make it more difficult to obtain the nutrients you need for the day.
Instead, you should aim to consume meals regularly with high quality, nutrient-dense foods. Focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products. For more information on a balanced diet, check out www.choosemyplate.gov.
Special thanks to dietetic intern Megan Fobar, MS for her contributions to this post.