How to Get Rid of Belly Fat: Start By Not Skipping Meals [STUDY]
Researchers have found that skipping meals can ultimately result in belly fat weight gain.
For the study, researchers placed mice on a restricted diet and the mice who were free to eat all day both lost weight in a new study, but the mice on the restricted diet consumed all their food at once and then effectively fasted all day.
"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," said Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University and senior author of the study. "But you definitely don't 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."
The extra belly fat was credited by researchers to a confused metabolic process in the mice's bodies.
"Under conditions when the liver is not stimulated by insulin, increased glucose output from the liver means the liver isn't responding to signals telling it to shut down glucose production," said Martha Belury, professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University, in a press release. "These mice don't have type 2 diabetes yet, but they're not responding to insulin anymore and that state of insulin resistance is referred to as prediabetes."
The gorging and fasting in these mice affected a host of metabolic measures that the researchers attributed to a spike and then severe drop in insulin production.
To check for insulin resistance, the scientists used a sophisticated technique to assess glucose production. The liver pumps out glucose when it receives signals that insulin levels are low - for example, while people sleep, the liver supplies glucose to the brain.
The research is published online in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.