Health & Medicine

The docs offer advice: Skipping meals linked to abdominal weight gain

If skip tracer Dog Chapman and wife Beth are on your tail, you must have skipped out on something pretty serious, because there’s a bounty on your head. But as unhealthy as it may be to have Dog hounding you, it’s even unhealthier to skip meals.

Research says regularly missing meals can pack on pounds, especially around your middle, where visceral fat cranks up inflammation and makes you vulnerable to a host of health problems, from diabetes and heart disease to dementia.

One study found that folks who ate a single meal per day had elevated levels of fasting glucose in the morning and a delayed insulin response (precursor to diabetes), compared with folks who ate three meals a day. In other words, skipping meals throws your metabolism out of whack.

And now a new lab study indicates that meal-skippers may have even more health challenges! When mice ate a single, calorie-restricted meal a day, they had elevated blood sugar and fluctuating insulin production, just like the people in the earlier study. But researchers went one step further: They then fed the mice a standard amount of food. The previously meal-skipping mice became binge eaters! And before long, in addition to wild fluctuations in glucose and insulin production, the bingers accumulated super-unhealthy fat cells around the abdomen. So, even if you’re dog-tired, make sure you eat small meals three times a day and have two healthy snacks (for a great meal/snack plan, check out the Total 10 Program at www.doctoroz.com).

Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.

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