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The first thing that comes to your mind when you think of weight loss is cutting down your calories. And in all probability, you start starving yourself by skipping your meals. As per experts, most people tend to skip their lunch. But the bigger question is, is it really needed?
Today we are going to find out!
Answer to this is – not always!
According to Dr Aparna Govil Bhasker, Laparoscopic and Bariatric surgeon, Saifee Hospital, Apollo Spectra, Namaha, and Currae Hospitals, Mumbai, the idea of skipping meals arises out of the age-old misleading concept of “energy expenditure > energy intake” leads to weight loss.
By skipping lunch, people attempt to restrict the total calories being consumed in a day, hoping to lose weight eventually.
However, do people actually lose weight by skipping lunch?
First of all, it is important to understand that “obesity” is a complex condition. Out of all the causes that lead to weight gain, some like “genetics” cannot be modified. Some of the modifiable factors that contribute to weight gain include diet, exercise, stress, and sleep.
The common misconception is that obesity is a result of an imbalance between energy intake and output, thus implying that if we reduce the intake, it will lead to weight loss.
Skipping a meal is an attempt to reduce calorie consumption, so as to lose weight. However, when we deprive ourselves, our body responds in the following manner:
“Yes, skipping lunch can help to reduce some weight initially, however, this state of negative energy balance cannot be sustained in the long run, and as soon as one goes back to their original diet, the weight comes rushing back. When people hit a wall, it leads to demotivation and ultimately decreased enthusiasm to follow a healthy lifestyle,” suggests Dr Bhasker.
A healthy diet is essential for losing weight and maintaining weight loss. However, the diet must be sustainable in the long term. Fad diets followed in an unscientific manner can never lead to sustained weight loss. In fact, such extreme unsupervised diets can have serious side effects and lead to health issues. One must consult a professional weight loss specialist before starting any such diet, and any plan for weight loss must be done under supervision.
It is essential to eat regular and balanced meals by adding appropriate foods to your diet. Your diet can be healthy and still delicious. We don’t have to restrict our diet overtly by skipping meals. The quantity of the food you eat is important but the quality of diet is way more important.