One of the eating habits we’ve all been guilty of from time to time could be what’s causing a midriff ‘muffin top’.
A new study has found skipping meals not only leads to weight gain around the abdomen, it can also cause insulin resistance in the liver.
Professor of Human Nutrition at Ohio State University, Martha Belury said “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 researchers divided mice into two groups: one that was put on a restricted diet and a second group that was put on an unlimited diet. Mice on the restricted diet received half the calories given to the unlimited diet group in the first three days before having additional calories added. Although mice in the restricted diet group initially lost more weight compared to those from the unlimited diet group, they regained that weight as calories were added back into their diet.
By the end of the study, the weight of the restricted diet group was similar to the unlimited diet group. However, restricted diet mice had gained more weight around their midsection. Weight around the midsection of mice was likened to belly fat in humans, which is often associated with insulin resistance and higher risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
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“With the mice, this is basically binging and then fasting,” the study’s lead author said.
“People don’t necessarily do that over a 24-hour period, but some people do eat just one large meal a day. 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. 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 pre-diabetes.”
Are you sometimes guilty of skipping meals? Will you rethink your eating habits and stick to three square meals a day for a trimmer waistline?