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

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”.

Skipping Meals Slow Metabolism

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.

94 thoughts on “Skipping Meals Will NOT Slow Your Metabolism and Cause Weight Gain!”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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?

  6. This is the first time I have ever seen your blog and I’m loving it! Very refreshing to see someone advocating the lean yet still womanly shape ๐Ÿ™‚

    My question is….

    I find it difficult to each a large meal in one go. 500-600 cal is usually my max before I feel uncomfortably full; if I try to force anymore in I worry that I’d be sick :S

    I tend to have a 300-350 cal breakfast (porridge with non-fat milk and berries) every morning and one other meal (my largest) then a small snack or 2 if I’m hungry.

    Does the decrease my chances of lowering my body fat?

    Sorry for the essay!

  7. Rusty,

    Right on Bro !;-)
    Couldn’t agree with you more …

    Eating 6 times a day will not speed up the metabolism, and short term fasting will not slow it down.

    On the contrary, LOL!

    Last time I checked you get fat from eating to much/too often !;-)

    On the Metabolism thing; I just finished writing a post on the absolutely GREAT, unbelievable benefits of IODINE on your Health and Leanness Levels, and how this is actually one micro nutrient that really can and does speed up the metabolism!

    It’s EXTREMELY effective for burning fat and so incredibly good and important for you health and good, long, quality life that just everybody absolutely MUST know about it!

    Superlatives left right and center here, but they’re justified, trust me !;-)

    Thanks for all the good stuff Rusty,

    Talk soon!

    Mark

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  10. Rusty,

    I used to go with the six small, healthy meals a day diet and it worked well for me but I was never really able to get a six pack because I’m in college and I don’t want to give up my entire social life just to have abs. I would like to lose about 15 pounds but if I take in few calories and follow your strategy will I get too skinny or lose muscle along with that because I’m not getting in as many calories as I used to? I love your strategy but I’m afraid of getting too skinny and losing muscle.

    Steve

  11. I’m down 11lbs since the 4th! I’m having very little trouble only eating once a day. This is the easiest thing I’ve ever done to loose weight. I have way more energy and basically eat what I want. One thing that is helpful is to know what youโ€™re going to have as the big meal so that when you are a little hungry you tell your self you can wait ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m drinking only water and once in a while some diet ice tea for a little caffeine. I’m not sleeping well yet but I hope I do start soon.

  12. Hi Rusty,

    I tried eating 6 meals a day and it DID NOT work for me. I actually gained weight because it gave me more opportunities to overeat. My friend, who is jacked out of his mind, eats all day to ‘keep the hunger at bay’ until his dinner (which he eats a lot)

    i want to try this, because if i know that i can eat until im full for 1 meal a day, then maybe i will be able to eat only until perfectly satisfied for the other meals in the day.

    he told me he only has a protein shake and fruit for breakfast, grazes on veggies all day with a small lunch (1/2 of a sandwich), then the big dinner.

    question: i will be hungry in the morning and throughout the day at first (because i am used to big breakfasts and lunches), so should i just shrug off the hunger initially, until my body gets used to the fact that i won’t be eating so much upon wake up anymore? i just don’t want to end up eating too little and going into starvation mode.

  13. I am 46 years old and am 100lbs over weight. Iโ€™m tiered all the time so I drink Coke or Mountain Dew (I know itโ€™s so bad for me). I’ve done Atkins and lost a ton of weight but I stopped eating that way and gained way more back. I’ve done lower card and lost weight gained more back, I did high carb low fat and gained more back. If I didn’t do any of those diets I probably would still weigh less the 200lbs. I’ve always has issues with not being able to eat things I like, so after a while I would have them again and there goes the diet! Here comes the lbs!! I like many things about this; I’ve always tended to eat a large meal in the evenings, even when I knew I should have a small one. I would have a bigger breakfast and still have the big dinner. I’m not very hungry in the morning when I do have the bigger evening meal. But if I have the small meal at night I’m staving in the morning. I just heard a well known guy on the radio in Seattle yesterday. He used to be over 180lbs and a doctor at the Mayo Clinic told him to eat like a hunter gatherer and he did and has weighed 148lbs for the past 20+ years, just like he did at 18. And heโ€™s in his mid 70โ€™s. So I started to research it and I came across this sight last night and am starting a NEW WAY of eating as of today. I’ll keep you posted on how it works. I can even have my big meal with my family on Christmas Eve and Christmas night. WOW I wish I would have done this years ago. I also have a bet with a friend of mine on who can loose the most weight by May. We want to play golf a Chambers Bay (walking only) and there is no way I can do that in my current condition. This will be fun! I’m not going to tell him what I’m doing until I get way ahead of him, and then I’ll tell him ๐Ÿ™‚ lol

  14. Rusty,
    I have tried just about every diet. I gained 30 lbs. on them and had spells where I felt like I HAD to eat when I just wasn’t hungry yet…
    I recently began eating only a protein shake after I worked out in the morning and a meal at night. I take my vitamin and fish oils supplements, and drink water and coffee throughout the day.
    I stopped having nausea, feeling tired all day and lost 13 lbs. in three weeks! My grocery bill has shrunk too, lol.
    Oh- and I was AMAZED to find I have muscle definition coming in my abs, legs, arms..and I am getting shoulder and chest muscle! ALL MY LIFE I was a skinny toothpick, and after having a few babies was left looking like a pear- spindly on top and WHOA on the bottom…
    I am starting to look balanced and HEALTHY and I feel healthy! My jeans fit again! (ok, it still takes work, but they are buttoning-PROGRESS!)
    Can you tell I am excited about this? I LOVE your site! Why do so many people think it so bad NOT to eat all the time??
    This is working for me, but I have had so many comments about how weird what I am doing is…after they ask me WHAT I am doing to get fit…???
    Thank you- now that I know there ARE people and information about this way of eating I am going to do some research and check out the other site you have mentioned-the warrior diet.:) Your site is awesome!
    Sunny

  15. Okay first off i love this site Rusty, best thing ive found since ive started working out 3 years ago!!! Ive never been a believer in eating 250 – 300 g of protein everyday like ive been told since i got into working out. At first i tried to eat as much as i could and it was so dificult eating 200 or more grams of protein and i knew it wasnt right, but then the evil 6 meals a day was in my mind because thats another thing everyone was saying and i got so worried and scared that i would lose all my muscle from just mising ONE meal or eating a little LESS protein or my metabolism will slow down and it was driving me crazy! Ive been told things like that all the time, quote “eat every two hours no matter what, even if your in bed with your girl and its been passed your 2 – 3 hour mark then get the hell out of bed and eat or you’ll lose muscle!” and “If you dont have a meal within 30 mins of waking up your gains are done for the day and your metabolism will slow down!” and all i was thinking was, theres no way in hell am i getting out of bed with my girl just to have a chicken sandwich!!! ๐Ÿ˜› but nothing ever made sense in the fitness world until i came across this website and it has answered all my questions and helped me prove that gaining muscle and/or lossing fat isn’t at all difficult!!! So thanks again Rusty!!

  16. Hello,

    I had a question. Last year I went on a diet where I ate 2 meals a day (breakfast and lunch). I ate around 600 calories for each meal so I was getting in about 1200 calories a day. Also, I walked for 35 minutes every other day and ended up loosing 2 pounds a month for the next 9 months. Then after the 9th month, I noticed that this diet plan stopped working. This is because I stayed on this diet plan from the 10th month until the 12th month of last year and I didn’t loose anymore weight. I didn’t gain weight, but I didn’t loosed the 2 pounds a month that I normally lost in the first 9 months. Could this be because my body went into starvation mode and burned less calories? Or just why did this diet plan stop working? If my metabolism did slow down how can I get it back to where it was before I started this diet?

  17. See what you said? It leads to binge eating. That’s basically what causes this problem. It’s all about willpower. If you can handle it, it’s great for you. If not, smaller meals throughout the day is more advisable. But still. The method itself is not flawed. The addiction to food is to blame…

  18. i dont know where you get your information from, but, as a qualified personal trainer.. i think your advice is baloney.. skipping breakfast wont send your body into starvation mode, that is correct, but its important to get your body started for the day.. skipping meals can lead to binge eating AND greater weight gain due to this process… i didnt bother reading any further.. i have over 20 clients and ive been in business 3 months and all my clients eat breakfast,dont skip meals and are successfully reaching their goals.. i did see one comment where someone mentioned its all about calories.. and they are right.. in comparison to your energy expenditure on a daily basis… this must be determined for each individual.. but by no means.. does skipping a meal sound cool….

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