Skipping meals? It will only lead to a bulging waistline

  • AFP
  • Updated: May 23, 2015 15:27 IST

If you think staying hungry is a quick fix for making your bulges budge, it's time for some serious unlearning. Skipping meals could actually lead to abdominal weight gain, according to a new study by Ohio State University. Eating one large meal and fasting the rest of the day could develop the pre-diabetic condition of insulin resistance in liver.

This means the liver stops responding to insulin, continuing to produce glucose, which leads to a surplus of sugar in the blood. That extra sugar is stored as fat, the energy-storing white fat, which is less desirable than its counterpart, energy-burning brown fat. This kind of fat, in addition to being unsightly, increases the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

But don't turn this learning into an excuse to eat all day. Human nutrition professor Martha Belury of Ohio State says her findings do not support the notion that eating multiple small meals over the course of a day could help you lose weight.

"But you definitely don't want to skip meals to save calories because it sets your body up for larger fluctuations in insulin and glucose and that could be setting you up for more fat gain instead of fat loss," she says.

Experts suggest indulging in tiny, healthy snacks if you feel hungry between meals. Have 5-6 almonds, or a salad made of fruits and vegetables that naturally have a high water content. You can also have yoghurt, air popped pop corn without any fat in it and fruit smoothies or home-made vegetable or chicken soup flavoured with herbs.

(Inputs by HTC)

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