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Stop skipping dinner for weight loss, or be ready for these 7 side effects

If you think skipping meals is beneficial, it's not. Read on to know about the side effects of skipping dinner.
eating habits to lose weight
Don't starve yourself for the sake of weight loss. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 2 Aug 2022, 08:59 am IST
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It is quite a common notion among people that skipping meals will lead to weight loss. The truth, however, is exactly the opposite. Skipping meals can be bad for your health and may even make you gain weight because it deprives your body of nutrients. Additionally, not just skipping breakfast and lunch is harmful; there are many side effects of skipping dinner as well.

Ladies, be cautious when trying to lose weight. Don’t believe everything you hear or read. Dinner is an essential part of your daily diet since it makes sure that the body gets the nutrients and calories it needs. Also, missing meals occasionally won’t harm you, but doing so frequently is risky. So, eat a light supper rather than skip it entirely.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism of the Endocrine Society also says that “a heavy breakfast and light dinner” regime can help you stay fit and fine. It can also prevent obesity and high blood sugar.

What happens when you skip dinner to lose weight?

Well, it has become quite a trend to associate skipping meals with weight loss, but if you want to have a healthy body, you would need to question this approach.

side effects of skipping dinner
Also, consume your dinner on time! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Health Shots got in touch with Dr Divya Gopal, Consultant – Dietitian/Nutritionist, Motherhood Hospital, Banashankari, Bengaluru, to find out what happens to the body when we skip dinner.

Dr Gopal says, “You must have heard of the saying, ‘Have breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper’, but having a proper diet loaded with needed nutrition is more important than you think. You need to rethink the conventional weight loss advice that tells you to take care of calories, which people often misunderstand as skipping calories. Skipping meals, especially dinner, can be pretty rough on your health.”

7 side effects of skipping dinner, according to Dr Gopal:

1. Energy levels will go down

This one is pretty obvious. Low calories mean your body has less fuel to keep the machine going. A lack of sufficient calories will leave you exhausted.

2. Can affect your body’s inbuilt hunger cues

The release of the leptin hormone tells your body to stop eating when you are full, while the ghrelin hormone lets you know when you are hungry. These hormones will not work properly if you choose to ignore hunger cues.

side effects of skipping dinner
Staying hungry can burn a hole in your pocket. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Serious cravings for sugar and carbs

Strong cravings are a consequence of ignoring your hunger cues and having low blood sugar levels. You will start to crave more sugar and carbs as they are both known for giving quick bursts of energy. And you are making your body settle for the bare minimum.

4. Irregular digestion

Skipping dinner can lead to nausea, diarrhoea, or even constipation. You may fall into a vicious cycle of skipping meals and then binge eating.

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5. High risk of eating disorders

People who skip meals are more vulnerable to eating disorders. They increase their risk of having disorders like anorexia, bulimia, or even orthorexia.

6. Effects on your sleep cycle

Skipping dinner can affect your sleep cycle to such an extent that you can become sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation can have adverse effects on your immunity, mood, energy, and metabolism.

side effects of skipping dinner
It is important to get regular and ample sleep! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. You may experience anxiety

Those who often attempt to skip dinner may develop a nighttime eating habit, most likely consisting of junk food. Furthermore, eating junk food raises cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in the body, which increases the risk of mental health problems.

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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