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A new study from the Ohio State University linked skipping meals to increase of abdominal weight.
We all dread that belly fat that constantly proves so stubborn in diminishing, regardless of diets, workouts and guilt.
Yet, according to the researchers at the Ohio State University it might be precisely the way some people understand dieting that triggers metabolic miscues which result in abdominal weight increase.
It is not safe or smart to skip meals in hopes of reducing the caloric intake and thus reduce abdominal weight. On the contrary, it is safer to regularly snack up to six times per day, splitting one large meal in more moderate portions if you want to keep that abdominal fat in check.
Senior author of the study, Martha Belury commented that the new study is really clear about skipping meals. The process wires your body for fluctuations in insulin and glucose which usually result in fat gain, not fat loss.
The research was conducted on mice. A first group of mice was given one large meal per day, which caused them to get accustomed to gorging the meal and then fasting for the rest of the day. A control group of mice was left to feed on the same amount of food as the first group, only throughout the day.
Following, the first group of mice was put on a restricted diet and lost considerable weight compared to the control group which had unlimited access to food. For a period of three days, the gorging mice were administered half of the daily amount of calories consumed by the control group. Gradually, calories were added and in six days the mice reached the same weight as the control group.
What was interesting is the fact that mice had developed the gorging behavior and maintained it throughout the study. In the final stages, although both categories of mice were the same weight, the difference appeared to have retained fat around their middles, weighing heavier than the fat of the mice in the control group, left freely to nibble along the day.
Martha Belury concluded that:
“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. That makes for a happy fat cell — but it’s not the one you want to have. We want to shrink these cells to reduce fat tissue”.
What happened in the gorging and fasting group was that the behavior critically affected their metabolism which resulted in fluctuations in insulin production. That led to inflammation, increased activation of genes that store fat molecules.
Abdominal fat is a cue for a wide array of issuing health problems. Among these, insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as heart conditions are the most common.
Therefore, think twice before you quote lack of time to maintain a proper eating behavior. One large meal a day instead of moderate portions throughout leads to health problems causing abdominal fat.
Image Source: LAFitness