If you thought (as many others) that skipping meals, a breakfast today and a dinner tomorrow will help you lose some of that annoying belly fat, a new study in animals comes to tell you exactly otherwise.
Researchers discovered that when mice skipped meals, metabolic miscues would be set in motion, causing sometimes even more abdominal weight than before.
Not just that, but the mice participating in the study that were given their daily food in one single meal also showed signs of developing insulin resistance in their livers, one of the signs that gives away pre-diabetes.
And what happens then is that the liver stops receiving the insulin signals that would halt glucose production – and all the extra sugar in the blood transforms into stores of fat.
Before reaching this phase of the study, these mice followed a very controlled diet in order to lose weight; however, researchers let the control mice have unlimited access to food.
When calories started going up in the diets of the restricted-diet mice, they put on weight really fast, and by the study’s end, they were nearly as fat as the controls.
But what was surprising is that the restricted-mice gained more fat around their middles – which is basically the equivalent to human belly fat – than the control mice that nibbled continuously throughout the day. When this type of fat is found in surplus in the body, doctors usually link it with insulin resistance and increased risk of developing heart diseases or type 2 diabetes.
Lead author of the study Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University, explained that while it may be impractical for most people, the study goes to show how important is to divide your meals in small portions throughout the day.
This might just help you lose that little muffin top you resent, as researchers strongly recommend not to skip meals in order to eat fewer calories.
You’re just messing with the way your body fluctuates insulin and glucose and setting yourself up for even more fat gain instead of the desired effect of fat loss.
As with the restricted-mice, people often think it’s better if they eat just one large meal a day, the equivalent of a mice bingeing and then fasting for the rest of the 24-hour period. Besides creating insulin resistance, such practices also add to the risk of gaining white adipose tissue, storing energy.
Image Source: Little Choices Matter