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Skipping meals not best way to lose weight

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Betty Doyling

Some people think that skipping meals may help them to lose weight. However, skipping meals can actually make you so hungry that you basically eat everything in sight by the time dinner rolls around.

This does not promote weight loss but can actually lead to weight gain. To lose weight, we must lower our caloric intake. To lose one pound of body weight you must eliminate 3,500 calories. To lose one pound a week, calories must be cut by at least 500 per day. Most of us eat between 1500-2500 calories per day. If you habitually eat out every day, your caloric range will be much higher.

Skipping meals is not an efficient way to lose weight because you will simply overeat at your next meal. Our metabolism is responsible for burning fuel and keeping our bodies in working order. When we eat food, our bodies typically start the process of digestion. After the food has been digested, the metabolism goes into a “sleep mode”. This means that the body is not burning as many calories. The longer you wait between meals, the longer your body will stay in this “sleep mode” and the fewer calories you will burn. Continuously skipping meals will cause your body to get used to being inactive and can result in significant weight gain and metabolic damage. Here are a few tips to help you lower your caloric intake without eating less:

• Eat protein at every meal: It helps you to fill you up and is more satisfying than carbs or fats, keeps you fuller longer, and helps to preserve muscle mass and encourage fat burning. Try and incorporate fish, lean meats, eggs, Greek yoghurt and beans into your meals and snacks.

• Stock your fridge: Try to keep a fridge stocked with fresh cuts of vegetables, grilled meats, whole grain tortillas, salad greens, homemade hummus and fresh fruit. These ingredients are easy to grab so you can prepare quick and healthy meals.

•Swap pasta for vegetables: Simply by eating less pasta or bread and adding more vegetables by reducing the portion of starch on your plate you can save 100-200 calories per meal.

• Clean the cupboards of fattening foods: If you have chips, cookies and cereal in the freezer, you are making weight loss harder than it has to be. Reduce the temptation by purging the cupboards of fattening foods. Want an occasional treat? Make sure you have to leave the house to get it — preferably by walking!

Dropping pounds takes time, but food is a necessary part of losing weight. Setting goals, making better food choices and staying active will get you there before you know it! Stay focused and B-Active For Life.

• Betty Doyling is a certified fitness trainer and figure competitor with more than eight years of experience. Check her out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/B.ActiveForLife

Fattening foods: If you have cookies or chips around the house, you are making weight loss harder than it has to be (File photo)