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The problem with skipping meals for weight loss  

May 20, 2022

Intermittent fasting is undoubtedly the newest trend in dieting and nutrition. While skipping a meal isn’t detrimental to your health, those trying to lose weight need to be aware of the dangers of skipping meals. While skipping meals and fasting intermittently can be good for your body, it can be detrimental if you alter your behavior in response. 

The rise of skipping meals

You’ve heard of intermittent fasting. People find the 16:8, 12:12, and 20:4 on their social feeds or from chatting with friends. With any new trend in health, it’s important to get a well-rounded view of the positives and negatives before weaving it into your lifestyle. Before we answer the question, “Is skipping meals bad for you?” we first should understand the effects of skipping meals and intermittent fasting. 

Why people are skipping a meal

It’s important to know that the science of this practice is new. While people have been fasting for a long time for personal or religious reasons, the mechanisms surrounding fasting are still under observation. In preliminary studies, however, fasting has been shown to help control blood sugar, fight inflammation, and manage blood pressure. 

The key debate involves the claims surrounding skipping meals and weight loss. Fasting can indeed put you at a caloric deficit, which enables weight loss. While this may sound like an easy win for those trying to lose weight it does come with some potential issues. 

The dangers of skipping meals

Fasting can also hinder your caloric intake. While the fasting mechanism is great for losing weight, some common resulting behaviors may cause you to reverse your progress. 

First, it’s important to understand that intermittent fasting doesn’t enable you to eat more unhealthy foods. While the quantity of calories you get is important, the quality also matters. It’s not uncommon for those skipping meals to dine on unhealthy foods for the meals they do eat. Three, well-rounded meals might be replaced by a singular trip to your favorite fast-food restaurant. This behavior is more common than you might think and can lead to various nutrient deficiencies that stall your progress. 

The second behavior you should know is the tendency to overeat. If you have a large appetite, it might be better to space out meals and snacks throughout the day. If you wait until one meal to satiate yourself, there is a chance that you’ll exceed your daily caloric intake in one sitting. You might think that this is extremely difficult, given the quantity of food you would need to eat. It’s important to remember that unhealthy foods are much more calorically dense. One trip to your favorite restaurant can total thousands of calories.

Lastly, adherence may also pose an issue. If you adopt any of these other behaviors and find that intermittent fasting isn’t right for you, you may be back to eating three unhealthy meals per day.  

Don’t sacrifice the foods you love

Losing weight shouldn’t require you to sacrifice the foods you love. If you want to skip meals, be sure you’re doing it solely for the health benefits. Many people fall into the trap of skipping three healthy meals in favor of one unhealthy meal, but this won’t lead to success. The key to lasting, effective weight loss is to enjoy the foods you love, but to do so in moderation. 

For those who don’t know how to enjoy foods in moderation, the Lap-Band® Program can help. After receiving the Lap-Band, you will also receive expert care and guidance on how to enjoy a healthy lifestyle without sacrificing the foods you love. Get started by finding a Lap-Band surgeon near you.

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Important Lap-Band® System Safety Information

The ReShape Lap-Band Systems are approved for adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI of at least 30 with health conditions related to obesity, who have not seen success with other weight loss methods, like supervised diet, exercise, and behavior modification programs. Choosing this surgery means committing to changes in eating habits for the long term.

The Lap-Band procedure is not approved for individuals under 18 yo, those with conditions that may make them poor surgical candidates or lead to poor results, such as inflammatory or cardiopulmonary diseases, problems with the stomach and digestion, symptoms or family history of autoimmune disease, scarring of the liver, individuals unable or unwilling to follow the necessary dietary restrictions, individuals with alcohol or drug addictions, or those currently pregnant. Individuals who become pregnant after band placement may require deflation of their bands.

The ReShape Lap-Band Systems, a long-term tool, may need to be adjusted if you get pregnant, sick, or malnourished. Be careful with anti-inflammatory drugs as they could make the band wear away. Like any surgery, placement of the Lap-Band may have complications such as risks from drugs and methods used, general surgery risks, how well your body handles a foreign object, or in rare cases, risk of death.

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks associated with metabolic and bariatric surgery that you and your doctor should discuss. Potential risks associated with the Lap-Band include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach blockage, constipation, swallowing difficulty, diarrhea, abnormal stools, abdominal pain, weakness, incision pain, infection, fever, hernia, chest pain, band movement, stomach pouch expansion, unusual healing, pain at the port site, port movement, and/or hair loss. Additional surgery might be needed. Losing weight quickly could lead to complications requiring more surgery. 

Talk to your doctor, and/or visit our website at for more information on its benefits and risks.