The Curious Case of Belly Fat: Skipping Meals is Not the Answer

   |  Updated: June 03, 2015 17:24 IST

The Curious Case of Belly Fat: Skipping Meals is Not the Answer
If there is something that is more stubborn than you, it is belly fat. It is probably the toughest part of any weight loss regime – to lose those love handles. When we bite through sinful chocolate pastries or nibble on crispy-fried chicken strips, we seldom remember our waistline. But like they say that all good things come with a price, there is no escaping that. But losing belly fat is not a simple task.

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It may seem logical that skipping meals could help in the process of shedding those extra kilos around the belly but a recent study has revealed that doing so actually results in abdominal weight gain. Therefore moderation is the key and it is important to have small meals throughout the day.

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Martha Belury, senior author of the study and professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University said, "This does support the notion that small meals throughout the day can be helpful for weight loss, though that may not be practical for many people. But you definitely do not want to skip meals to save calories because it sets your body up for larger fluctuations in insulin and glucose and could be setting you up for more fat gain instead of fat loss.”(How to Lose Belly Fat: 10 Foods That Help)

The study was conducted on mice and it was found that those who ate all of their food as a single meal and fasted the rest of the day developed insulin resistance in their livers.

When the liver does not respond to insulin signals telling it to stop producing glucose, that extra sugar in the blood is stored as fat. These mice initially were put on a restricted diet and lost weight compared to controls that had unlimited access to food.

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The restricted-diet mice regained weight as calories were added back into their diets and nearly caught up to controls by the study's end. But fat around their middle - the equivalent to human belly fat - weighed more in the restricted-diet mice than in mice that were free to nibble all day long.

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An excess of that kind of fat is associated with insulin resistance and risk for Type-2 diabetes and heart disease.

The research was published online in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

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Tags:  Belly Fat