COLUMBUS, Ohio (USA) –Many people could be disappointed by the study from America, which tells us how skipping meals will not only fail to help us with the fateful “swimsuit test”, but could even make things worse. Martha Belury, lecturer in human nutrition at Ohio University, conducted some experimental research on mice, to assess whether the reduction of food consumed will also bring about a weight reduction. The response was negative.
Professor Belury’s team noted that skipping meals triggers a series of metabolic “errors”, which then influence the insulin present in the liver. When the liver fails to respond to the insulin signals, the excess sugar in the blood gets turned into fat. The scientists verified this in a group of rats subjected to a strict diet. They were in fact permitted one meal per day for a trial period and subsequently, they were left to eat freely, just like another control group of rats. Initially, these rodents registered weight loss, but when they returned to eating what they wanted, they showed a weight increase, which differed from the rats which had continued to eat freely. Basically, the belly fat of the rats restricted to a “binge” diet was more significant than that of the rats left free to forage without any constraints. Moreover, it is precisely this type of fat typically found on our waistlines, which is associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes and diseases of the heart.
The researchers explained that skipping meals to cut down on calories does not have any effect on weight loss. Indeed, quite the opposite: fasting and gorging is a practice which sets off major fluctuations in insulin and glucose in our bodies. This leads to more weight gain than weight loss. In fact, if the liver is stimulated by insulin, or if it has developed a resistance to insulin, this will increase the risk of accumulating white adipose tissue, commonly known as abdominal fat.