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How to Lose Weight Without Skipping Your Meals: 8 Steps

How to Lose Weight Without Skipping Your Meals: 8 Steps

  • March 31, 2021
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Method 1 of 2: Changing Your Diet for Weight Loss

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    1

    Manage your calorie intake.Weight loss will depend on decreasing your total calorie intake – not skipping meals. Cut out a few calories each day to help you lose weight.[2] X Expert Source Julian Arana, M.S.eD., NCSF-CPT
    Certified Personal Trainer
    Expert Interview. 19 March 2020.

    • It’s typically recommended to cut out about 500 calories daily. Over the course of a week you might lose about one to two pounds.[3] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world’s leading hospitals Go to source
    • If you skip a meal, you might think that is an easy way to cut out about 500 calories. However, when you skip meals your blood sugar drops, your energy level drops, and so does your metabolism.[4] X Research source
    • If you shave off just a few calories from each meal or snack you can end up with a 500 calorie deficit without having to skip entire meals.
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    2

    Eat three to six meals daily.Skipping meals won’t help you lose weight. Eating regular consistent meals every few hours will.

    • There’s been some back and forth over which amount of meals is better for weight loss. Some experts recommend only three meals daily while others say to eat five to six. There are benefits to both.
    • Eating more regularly might seem like it will increase your metabolism and make weight loss easier, but this has been proven to be untrue.[5] X Research source However, you may find you have less cravings and your appetite is controlled more efficiently if you eat more regularly.
    • You may only need to eat three meals daily if you choose the right combinations of foods at each meal.
    • You may want to try a few days of only three meals daily and a few days of five to six smaller meals daily. Stick to the meal pattern that helps you lose weight, satisfies your cravings and hunger levels and is easy to manage.
    • Avoid eating a meal or snack too late at night. Time your meals and snacks so you stop eating at least 3 hours before you go to bed.[6] X Research source
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    3

    Make meals high in fiber and protein.Many studies show that both protein and fiber can help you feel more full and satisfied throughout the day when you’re on a diet.[7] X Trustworthy Source PubMed Central Journal archive from the U.S. National Institutes of Health Go to source[8] X Research source Increase both protein and fiber to help you lose weight while still being satisfied.

    • Make sure you eat one to two servings of protein at each meal. You need to have protein spread evenly throughout the day. Choose leaner proteins to help you stay within a lower calorie goal each day.
    • Measure out a 3 to 4 oz (80 to 120 grams) serving of lean proteins like poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu or low-fat beef.[9] X Trustworthy Source USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion U.S. agency responsible for promoting good nutrition based on scientific research Go to source
    • Many foods are high in fiber and when combined with protein can increase your overall satiety. Go for 1 oz or 1/2 cup (125 ml) of whole grains, fruit or vegetables at each meal.[10] X Trustworthy Source USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion U.S. agency responsible for promoting good nutrition based on scientific research Go to source
    • For the longest feelings of satisfaction or satiation, combine a higher protein food with higher fiber foods.
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    4

    Bulk up meals with fruits and vegetables.Fruits and vegetables are great for weight loss. Bulking up your meals with these low calorie foods can make following a lower calorie diet a little easier.

    • Fruits and vegetables are known to be very low in calories. In addition, they have a fairly high fiber and water content. By bulking up meals with more fruits and vegetables, you can feel more physically full and satisfied for few calories.[11] X Trustworthy Source USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion U.S. agency responsible for promoting good nutrition based on scientific research Go to source[12] X Trustworthy Source USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion U.S. agency responsible for promoting good nutrition based on scientific research Go to source
    • Some health professionals suggest making at least half of your meals and snacks a fruit or a vegetable. This is a great idea to help decrease your overall calorie intake but keeping the volume of your meals the same.
    • Measure the portions of your fruits and vegetables. Go for one cup (250 ml) of vegetables, two cups (500 ml) of leafy greens or 1/2 cup (125 ml) of fruit.[13] X Trustworthy Source USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion U.S. agency responsible for promoting good nutrition based on scientific research Go to source[14] X Trustworthy Source USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion U.S. agency responsible for promoting good nutrition based on scientific research Go to source

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Method 2 of 2: Changing Your Lifestyle to Support Weight Loss

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    1

    Include regular aerobic exercise.In addition to modifying your diet, regular aerobic exercise can help boost and support your weight loss. Start exercising more regularly and consistently.[15] X Expert Source Julian Arana, M.S.eD., NCSF-CPT
    Certified Personal Trainer
    Expert Interview. 19 March 2020.

    • Most health professionals will typically recommend participating in at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity each week.[16] X Trustworthy Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Main public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human Services Go to source However, if you’re interested in faster weight loss, you can safely do up to 300 minutes of cardio each week.
    • In addition to weight loss, regular cardio is responsible for: reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce your risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome and decrease your risk of high blood pressure and stroke.[17] X Trustworthy Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Main public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human Services Go to source
    • Include cardio exercises like: jogging/running, swimming, dancing or cycling.
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    2

    Do one to three sessions of weight training weekly.Weight training or resistance training is a type of exercise that can help build and support lean muscle mass. Used in combination with aerobic exercise, you can support your weight loss efforts.[18] X Expert Source Julian Arana, M.S.eD., NCSF-CPT
    Certified Personal Trainer
    Expert Interview. 19 March 2020.

    • Weight training offers slightly different benefits compared to aerobic exercise. It can help support or build lean muscle mass which can increase your body’s metabolism and ability to burn calories plus reduce your risk for osteoporosis by increasing your bone density.[19] X Trustworthy Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Main public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human Services Go to source
    • Add in one to three days of strength training. Over time, it can help your body burn more calories at rest. Make sure to work each major muscle group and aim for a 20 minute workout per session.[20] X Trustworthy Source Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Main public health institute for the US, run by the Dept. of Health and Human Services Go to source
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    3

    Get adequate sleep.Inadequate amounts of sleep can make you feel hungrier throughout the day. This can make weight loss difficult.

    • When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces additional hormones that can increase your feelings of hunger and appetite all day long. This may cause you to eat larger portions, snack or eat the wrong types of foods.[21] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world’s leading hospitals Go to source
    • Aim for at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Try going to bed early so that you can get in more hours before your morning wake up.
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    4

    Control stress.Like lack of sleep, stress can make weight loss difficult. It can increase your hunger and make dieting less effective over time.

    • Controlling and managing stress can help you lose weight more easily. Specifically, it can help manage your appetite.[22] X Trustworthy Source Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School’s Educational Site for the Public Go to source
    • When you’re overly stressed, you have increased hunger and cravings for high fat, higher calorie foods.[23] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world’s leading hospitals Go to source
    • Consider adding some relaxing and de-stressing activities to your weekly routine. Try: going for a walk, meditating, talking to a friend or doing yoga.
    • If these activities don’t help or you continue to have more difficulties managing your stress, consider seeking the help of a behavioral specialist.

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  • Question

    Can skipping dinner reduce belly fat?

    Julian Arana, M.S.eD., NCSF-CPT
    Certified Personal Trainer

    Julian Arana is a Personal Trainer and the Founder of B-Fit Training Studios, a personal training and wellness set of studios based in Miami, Florida. Julian has over 12 years of personal training and coaching experience. He is a certified personal trainer (CPT) by the National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF). He has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Florida International University and an MS in Exercise Physiology specializing in strength and conditioning from the University of Miami.

    It might, but you’re really thinking about weight loss the wrong way if this the angle you’re approaching it from. It’s more about your caloric intake. If you eat 2,000 calories over 2 meals, you’re less likely to lose weight than if you were to eat 1,500 calories over 3 meals. You need to burn more calories than you consume, so focus on what you’re eating as opposed to how often you’re eating.

    Thanks!

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  • Always talk to your doctor prior to starting any new weight loss routine. They will be able to tell you if weight loss is appropriate for you. Thanks!

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  1. http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/effects-skipping-meals
  2. Julian Arana, M.S.eD., NCSF-CPT. Certified Personal Trainer. Expert Interview. 19 March 2020.
  3. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/weight-loss/art-20047752
  4. http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/effects-skipping-meals
  5. http://www.medicaldaily.com/3-meals-day-vs-6-meals-day-which-healthy-diet-plan-works-better-metabolism-sleep-and-337778
  6. https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/time-restricted-eating-can-help-weight-loss-researchers-say-n838486
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18769212
  8. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/021115p14.shtml
  9. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/protein-foods

More References (14)

  1. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/grains
  2. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/fruits-nutrients-health
  3. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/vegetables-nutrients-health
  4. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/fruit
  5. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/vegetables
  6. Julian Arana, M.S.eD., NCSF-CPT. Certified Personal Trainer. Expert Interview. 19 March 2020.
  7. http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm
  8. http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/
  9. Julian Arana, M.S.eD., NCSF-CPT. Certified Personal Trainer. Expert Interview. 19 March 2020.
  10. http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/
  11. http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm
  12. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sleep-and-weight-gain/faq-20058198
  13. http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/why-stress-causes-people-to-overeat
  14. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/expert-answers/stress/faq-20058497

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