Skip Nav
Beginner Fitness Tips
How to Run More Than a Mile Without Feeling Like You're Dying
beginner workouts
This Challenge Will Give You a Better Butt in Just 30 Days
Beginner Fitness Tips
If You're Running and Aren't Losing Weight, Try This

Skipping Meals Won't Help You Lose Weight

Skipping Meals Won't Help You Lose Weight

If you want to lose weight, it's simple math — to lose one pound a week, you must burn approximately 3500 calories over and above what you already burn doing daily activities. That's about 500 calories a day that you need to either cut out or burn with exercise. Let me say this out loud: Skipping meals doesn't count.

If you skip let's say Breakfast, or decrease your calories significantly (to less than 1000 calories a day), you're not helping your body lose weight. You're actually decreasing the rate of your metabolism. You go into "starvation mode" where the body tries to compensate for the low calories. Your metabolic rate can actually decrease as much as 10-15%, and your body will hold onto the fat and burn lean muscle instead.

Skipping a meal also makes you really hungry, so when you do go to eat your next meal, you'll probably end up overeating, which also won't help you lose weight. Try to reduce your daily caloric intake by 250 calories and burn the other 250 calories by working out. Try passing on that extra slice of pizza at lunchtime, and take a walk.

Fit's Tips: Don't let yourself go hungry. Eat throughout the day, making sure to eat 3 meals a day, and include small, healthy snacks in between.


Join The Conversation
lizzy112189 lizzy112189 9 years
wow. u sound just like my mother. i dont like to admit shes right. n i still will never admit this to her face, but she was. i dont eat any meals but dinner. thats it. i guess i had to hear it from somebody else to actually believe it. i hate it when shes right.
lanilovespeaches lanilovespeaches 9 years
definitely true because it just makes you hungrier the next meal and you end up over-eating
girlboy girlboy 9 years
rlveronica rlveronica 9 years
Yeah, I need to stop skipping meals. :-\
megafie megafie 9 years
I have to force myself to eat breakfast every day but I've noticed it des make me want to eat less at night
améliore améliore 9 years
Oh breakfast, how I love thee...I swear that's the reason why I can function in the morning. Thanks for the 250/250 idea. It seems like most people are inclined to go one way or the other, but the balance of less calories and more exercise is crucial.
vienvien vienvien 9 years
My doctor said that it's better to eat 6 small meals a day. And hes right. Beofer e even hearing that from her, I grew up eating 6 short meals a day and never in my life, I have a weight issues. I still weigh the same today as I was when I was 18---110 lbs, 5'5". And my mother is right, always eat breakfast
jessolicious jessolicious 9 years
i've always been good about eating a morning meal, but there's one thing i'm confused about... what exactly constitutes as breakfast? if i eat something two to three hours after waking up, am i still reaping the benefits of having breakfast or is that just as bad as skipping it?
Miss-Darkness Miss-Darkness 9 years
i've just started eating breakfast 2day, and i'm lovin' it!!!!
aris4l aris4l 9 years
OMG ash_marisa thank you!!! I've NEVER thought of it that way or even heard it like that!!! Thanks!!! Now I'm not so freakin confused!!!!
Marci Marci 9 years
All good points, Fit. And important to be said now and then because a lot of people fall into that trap of trying to lose weight by paring down their caloric intake to almost nothing. It's no secret that you'll lose weight if you don't eat, but only at first. Otherwise, the body goes into protecting itself against starvation.
ash_marisa ash_marisa 9 years
Anorexics so severely decrease their caloric intake that they lose weight. Their bodies do slow down metabolically, but they are consuming nearly nothing, and eventually the slow down in metabolism cannot compensate for the prolonged fasting, and they drop weight. Most people who try to lose weight by dropping below 1200 calories still eat something, albeit 800 or 1000 calories, so their metabolism slows down so the body can still compensate for the lower intake. The body is most efficient at losing weight without slowing down metabolically at intakes above the basal metabolic rate, which is generally around 1200 calories.
aris4l aris4l 9 years
OK so I just have a question. Now people I'm JUST CURIOUS okay?? Don't go all crazy on me this is just something I've wondered everytime I hear the "Skipping meals wont make you lose weight" deal. Then how the heck do annorexics do it?!?!? I'm SO confused!!!!! They obviously starve themselves and yet they lose weight, not gain it like people say it happens when you starve yourself. Someone please fill me in.
missycohan missycohan 9 years
I am so thankful that I live and breath and wake up just to eat breakfast! It's what gets me going through the day! I have a sick addiction---a routine: every morning I have a banana with my coffee and home while I dress for work. Once I get to work I bust out my big bag filled with cereal... seven kinds of cereal! Let's reflect: Life (Mikey likes it!), Honey Bunches of Oats honey clusters, Cinna-Raisin Crunch, Gorilla Munch, Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Quaker Granola with Raisins and Cheerios Clusters. Mmm!
tkylem tkylem 9 years
Yeah! Wow I didn't even think of that... yeah I'm going to try and add more to my diet, I don't snack, I should add in some healthy snacks.. Thank you!
syako syako 9 years
Your body needs 1,200 calories (or more!!) to function normally if you sit on your butt all day. If you do exercise or walk around at work your body burns a lot more calories throughout the day. You may not feel hunger pains because your body is in starvation mode, eating your muscles and storing your fat because it thinks it will never get fed enough. You've effectively slowed your metabolism down to a halt. You need to change you eating habits asap and fuel your body. You want to keep you muscles right?
tkylem tkylem 9 years
..oh also, to add to that. I take a multivitamin and do some kind of exercise daily as well. I don't intentionally mean to eat around 1,000 it usually just happens that way...
tkylem tkylem 9 years
Well what happens if you eat around 1,000 calories a day but you aren't suffering through it? Meaning like.. you're not fighting extreme hunger pangs? Today I have only had about 500, and will have about 300 for dinner, and then probably an apple before bed, but I have felt satisfied all day, no problems.. and had plenty of water also! Is this still bad?
intensebandgeek intensebandgeek 9 years
Well said, Fit!
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
SOOOOOO guilty! I know better too which is the bummer. Boo. Although for me breakfast is the hardest meal to eat because I can't eat at my desk at work, and I have to wait an hour after taking my thyroid pill to eat. Since I only wake up about 45 minutes before I start work it doesn't happen often. I know, I should just wake up earlier!
Dad Runs Fastest Marathon With Stroller | Video
The Best Avocado Toast Recipes
Personal Trainer Inspired by Track and Field
Breakfast Smoothies For Weight Loss
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds