Probably the biggest mistake you can make when it comes to losing weight is skipping meals or waiting too long to eat between meals. When you skip meals, especially breakfast you really throw your blood sugar into a dive, and when your blood sugar drops that when your metabolism quickly jump out of the fat burning mode.
FYI…there are two fat burning modes. The one people are most familiar with when performing aerobic exercise. The other fat-burning zone is something you need to thrive for, for the other 23 hours of the day you aren’t working out. This is the make or break ‘fat-burning’ mode! It’s not about revving your metabolism – it’s about triggering your metabolism to burn calories from the breakdown of fats for energy, instead of carbohydrates and proteins (lean muscle).
When your blood sugar drops because you skipped breakfast or went a couple of extra hours before eating – your body perceives that as starvation! We know you’re really not starving, but all the hormones and brain messengers are signaling your body to start the saving process. This is what slows down your metabolism! Your body thinks it’s starving so it starts burning calories at a slower rate – Not Good if You Are Trying to Lose Weight!
What also happens is that your body will have to increase it’s blood sugar supply, because the brain runs on glucose (carbohydrates and sugars), and your brain has a priority on who gets what first. That being said, this is why so many people get irritated, moody and grumpy if they let their blood sugar drop. Their brain isn’t happy and doesn’t function or react appropriately, because it isn’t receiving its necessary fuel.
Now that your blood sugar is low, your body will respond to raise the glucose in your body pretty quickly so it releases cortisol and adrenaline, two of your stress hormones produced by your adrenal glands. It can also release growth hormones and glucagon to raise your blood sugar, but if you are looking for fast energy because you are on the go or getting ready for a workout – your body will more than likely release cortisol and adrenaline.
These hormones help raise your blood sugar but the problem is that instead of burning fats, your body will turn to the quicker bio-chemical reaction and breakdown carbohydrates and proteins (lean muscle). Let’s not forget - you don’t have any carbs (glucose) available in your system to begin with, which is why your blood sugar is low – so you quickly break down lean muscle.
Proteins are the last thing you want to breakdown for fuel. This is what leads to cellulite, the muscle shrinks up and is replaced with fatty tissue. So to keep your metabolism in its fat-burning mode - don’t skip a meal or wait to long to eat between meals otherwise you could be slowing down your own weight loss goals.
FYI…You don’t need to eat six meals a day to lose weight! And you don’t have to eat every three hours to keep your blood sugar stable! If you eat the right kind of meals, meals that have a good portion of protein (fish, chicken, beef, eggs, etc) along with some good fats and veggies…you’ll do fine.
Test your metabolism and see if it is working for you or against you. Don’t forget that all that additional cortisol you are asking your adrenal glands to produce because you skipped a meal is another way to deplete and exhaust your adrenal glands. You can only push your adrenal glands so long before you fatigue and deplete them – which is another reason why stress is another piece of the weight loss puzzle.