Skipping Meals Will NOT Slow Your Metabolism and Cause Weight Gain!

September 17, 2007

Skipping Meals Slow Metabolism

Let’s get one thing clear…skipping a meal does not slow down your metabolism! A popular idea right now is that if you skip meals your body goes into “starvation mode”. This is where the popular six meal per day diet plan got its start. This theory is based upon a misunderstanding of how diet affects your metabolism.

Prolonged Fasting and Prolonged Low Calorie Diets is What Puts the Body Into Starvation Mode

You body will not shift into “starvation mode” until it has been deprived of calories for a long period of time…24 hours or more. It has also been shown that it takes 2-3 weeks on extremely low calorie diets for your the body to begin adjusting its metabolism.

Another Fallacy…That Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day

Why is that? It actually doesn’t matter when you ingest your calories during the day. There are certain times when it is more strategic than others, but for the most part if you eat 2,000 calories in a day…you ate 2,000 calories in a day. To be honest, there are more benefits to eating your biggest meal at night.

But…If You Eat Most of Your Calories Before Bed, It All Turns to Fat!

If you eat like a pig all day and then eat a big meal at night, it does turn to fat…but if you eat very few calories all day and then eat a big meal a night, the opposite occurs. It is now believed that protein utilization in your muscles increases dramatically after a fasting during the day. So fasting during the day and eating late at night makes it less likely that food you eat will get stored as fat…it will get stored as muscle instead.

But…Skipping Meals is Unhealthy!

I’ve been eating mainly just one big meal at night for close to 4 years and have been completely free from any type of cold or flu virus. I haven’t even had as much as a sniffle, since adopting this eating style. I am completely ripped year-round (not bragging, just a testament to how well this way of eating works). Honestly, I have never felt better.

Want More Info on This Way of Eating?

Ori Hofmekler has a great site called “The Warrior Diet”. Here is a link to a blog post which answers this question in great detail: Starvation Mode – A Diet Fallacy

Also…Here is a post with a bunch of readers who are losing weight following this approach to eating. Many of your questions will get answered here:

Lose Fat By Eating Just One Meal Per Day

The main point of all of this is that skipping meals can actually help you lose weight if done correctly.

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Rusty Moore

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{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

will June 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm

so the best thing to do would be to do an extreme workout that you need to recover from right before bed then eat something like grilled chicken breast about 2000 calories(maybe eat some of that before you work out so you can make it through the work out) then go to bed?and if you don’t workout at all except walking around the house small stuff like that should you still eat at night or at a different time?

Nataylor July 5, 2011 at 8:38 am

Hey Rusty. I am 5ft tall and 49kgs.(SOUTH AFRICA). Does not sound like much hey but believe me I dont fit any of my clothes that I did last winter. I have been seeing my nutritionist for 3 months and she has had me on the 6 meal per day,high protien diet and my 7kgs that I have gained in the last year wont budge. I work out 6 days a week and eat very healthy,ie oats,protien shake,tuna,avo,almond butter on a rice cake,chicken,veg,yogurt, almonds. I have since stopped eating this way as I feel like an eating machene. I tried this 1 meal plan and lost 2 kgs in 2 days but gained it back. I have my shake after gym and drink coffee all day. Do have any advice for me to fit back into my jeans again?

Tanner July 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm

Hey man, if I were to just strictly eat one meal a day for a week, then eat probaly 3 square meals a day, will I gain back all the weight I lost in the first week.

Jess July 29, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Hi Rusty,

Great info here! Just curious…if I have some adrenal issues, do you simply recommend eating 2-3 small ‘snackish’ meals during the day and then a larger one at night? I don’t want to freak my system out again, as I am starting to feel better after some fasting-induced ketosis. I was literally wiped out for weeks. I would like to get some benefits of ‘fasting’, and I am not realistically able to eat a bunch of ‘meals’ throughout the day (I teach and I can’t just drop everything to eat while the kiddos are hanging out:).

Any suggestions would be truly appreciated…thank you!

gaby September 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm

hi rusty n admin
pls help. I don’t exercise. Will this diet work then?

paul November 30, 2011 at 10:07 am

Hey i am currently doing a report on breakfast and alot of the information sharply contrasts the research i have done. I was wondering if you could back up some of your information (site sources, expert statements) and i could check them out. Thanks.

Ashlee February 15, 2012 at 9:37 am

Hey guys,

I read this whole feed and found it really helpful. I just want to ask a few questions.
~ I am on a meal reolacement diet as well as duromine from my gp, is this going to cause my metabolic rate to slow?
(i also exercise daily)
I want to see results fast! But dont want to hinder my own progress. What do you suggest?

Thanks

jaga July 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Hi bob, great stuff here, I started on warrior diet and so far I feel great. However my main goal is to add muscle mass. currently I am 125lbs and 5’5 tall. I would like to know if by following the warrior diet I will be able to add on muscle mass?

jaga July 22, 2012 at 6:53 pm

Hi , great stuff here, I started on warrior diet and so far I feel great. However my main goal is to add muscle mass. currently I am 125lbs and 5’5 tall. I would like to know if by following the warrior diet I will be able to add on muscle mass?

nadia July 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Hi guys,

I dunno, but ever since I stopped dieting and started eating 6 meals a day (3 big/3small) I started losing weight and came to my ideal weight. My weight is stable now, no ups and downs.

mar August 22, 2012 at 3:52 am

The alternate up and down diet works.You eat 500 calories one day and the next day eat what ever you want.I think it is the easiest diet ever.

John August 29, 2012 at 5:56 am

Ive been doing this basically for 3 months, lost 15k and its worked great, lately ive eaten alot more then i should have been with fatty foods but am starting to bring it back into control. This defiantly works , awesome site!

Sky August 29, 2012 at 6:43 am

OMG…I’m so confused, here is what I red.

1) Skipping Meals is Unhealthy!

2) The main point of all of this is that skipping meals can actually help you lose weight if done correctly.

Rayca September 26, 2012 at 10:18 am

Not goin for it. What about all those lovely hormones that are secreted, some during the day, some during the night, some high or low depending on the time of day. We sleep at night and the wake cycle is during the day. It’s the way we have evolved. Why would you not want to eat when you wake up? Why would you want to eat a couple of hours before you sleep? Not very good for your circadian (natural) rhythm. BIG breakfast, tiny dinner. Your metabolism will thank you. I’m sure if you’re a boy (fast metabolism anyway) and you’re already lean and you don’t suffer from food cravings, you can pretty much do what you want. For the rest of us, eat according to what your day/night hormones dictate.

Samantha September 28, 2012 at 11:50 am

So… hopefully I’ll get a response on this.. what if you ate a very large lunch at say noon that summed up what your daily caloric goal was… would it be horrible to wait until morning to eat again? That would then be fine correct?

lchln October 7, 2012 at 4:56 am

this is completely bull to me. I used to hardly eat during the day and then at night i had a big meal. i’d been like this my whole life and i’d always been overweight. i always exercised frequently so my weight wasn’t due to that. a few months ago i learnt that eating more was a lot healthier, so i began to eat small meals 6 times a day and i did end up losing weight. reason being was my metabolism was not burning at a fast enough rate, but with the increase in healthy foods, it sped up my metabolism and with all the exercise i’ve lost 10kgs so far. still got a few to go, but the way this guy is saying just seems like the wrong way to me

TheGreatKan October 15, 2012 at 5:37 am

Trust me, this works!
I lost a stone in a month!
Just don’t eat too much in your last meal of the day

john September 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Whoever the idiot is bashing a day-long fast with a larger meal at night, please don’t knock something prior to trying it. I have struggled with eating disorders for the past two years, and adopting this pattern is the one thing which has helped me to break these habits. You’re keeping individuals from living healthy and confident lives.

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