Skipping meals may seem like a shortcut to lose weight, but it can actually make you fat. An Ohio State University research has revealed that skipping meals sets off a series of metabolic miscues that can result in abdominal weight gain.
During the study it was seen that mice who ate all of their food as a single meal and fasted the rest of the day developed insulin resistance in their livers. These mice initially were put on a restricted diet and lost weight compared to the control group that had unlimited access to food. The restricted-diet mice regained weight as calories were added back into their diets and nearly caught up to the control group by the end of the study.
However, it was observed that fat around their middles which is equivalent to human belly fat weighed more in the restricted-diet mice than in mice that were free to nibble all day long. An excess of belly fat is associated with insulin resistance and risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition, said, "With this research, we found that glucose lingered in the blood of mice that gorged and fasted- meaning the liver wasn't getting the insulin message. Insulin resistance is also a risk for gaining abdominal fat known as white adipose tissue, which stores energy. Even though the gorging and fasting mice had about the same body weights as control mice, their adipose depots were heavier. If you're pumping out more sugar into the blood, adipose is happy to pick up glucose and store it which makes a happy fat cell - but that is not what they wanted, they wanted to shrink these cells to reduce fat tissue."
The research has been published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.