Diet Myth #5: Skipping meals helps you lose weight

Interestingly enough, the diet of a Sumo wrestler is to skip breakfast, then exercise for 5 hours straight in the morning. They finish this off with a huge meal and a long nap. They wake up, eat a big dinner, then go back to bed! It is obvious that modeling your daily routine off of these wrestlers will not result in a healthy weight, but where does this routine go wrong?

First off, skipping breakfast causes you to inevitably overeat at lunch. The time of day that you eat affects your weight. A recent study ¬†took a group of people who had lost 70 pounds or more and tracked their ability to keep the weight off. The “breakfast eaters” were far more successful at keeping their weight off (only 4% of those who did not eat breakfast kept their weight off). The only difference between these two groups was whether or not they ate breakfast–their calorie count was the same.

The second component of the Sumo wrestler routine is that they always go to bed right after eating. This is a sure-fire way to gain weight. Your body is in restoration mode when you sleep, and everything slows down, including your metabolism. Undigested food is stored for use at a later time, and this storage is usually as fat. Dr. Hyman recommends that you try not to eat two hours before going to bed to prevent the storage of your food as fat.

Does this diet sound at all like yours? Many Americans rush out the door without fueling their bodies for the day, then fall victim to the mid-day slump, where they often overeat. Our largest meal is eaten right before bedtime, and if we aren’t in bed within two hours, we are certainly on the couch …maybe even with a snack. If your eating routine is in need of a makeover, start off by adding breakfast to your schedule. Then spread out your eating throughout the day, and try not to eat within two hours of your bedtime.

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