It's a common weight loss theory: Skip dinner to avoid consuming a lot of calories before you retire for the night. Every weight loss expert will tell you that you lose weight by cutting calories and skipping a meal will certainly help you cut calories. Even though it helps you cut calories, this method may not help you lose weight.
Your body is an amazing machine that does many things incredibly well. One of those is preservation. When you skip a meal, your body enters a preservation mode similar to what happens when you fast. After your body uses carbohydrates, proteins and fats as fuel, it will seek other energy sources to allow the brain and nerves to continue to function properly. If you don't have adequate glucose levels, your body will break down muscle and liver tissue to create it. Your body will try to preserve remaining protein and will thus metabolize fat in ketone bodies through a process of ketosis. This may result in nausea, fatigue, constipation, a drop in blood pressure, and elevated uric acid. This can cause kidney disease.
Additionally, the end result of skipping meals, even if you don't suffer from serious side effects, is that you will slow your metabolism down through this fasting mode. This means that all the calories you consume will be conserved and burned at a slower rate than if you were eating.
When you skip dinner, your mind is well aware that you will be going through the night on an empty stomach. You will most likely experience cravings and may be more inclined to wake up in the middle of the night and indulge in cravings. You may be more likely to consume more calories of unhealthier food during a binge than you would in eating dinner.
A Better Solution
Instead of skipping dinner, change how you eat dinner. Try to eat earlier in the evening. Eliminate eating three hours prior to bedtime. Consume lighter foods, such as a salad, and leave the heavier proteins for meals earlier in the day. Try not to consume as much at your evening meal and have fruit as a dessert. Adding exercise to your weight loss routine will help you rev up your metabolism as opposed to slowing it down by skipping a meal entirely. Your body needs a consistent flow of calories to maintain adequate metabolic rates. Your best bet in losing weight is to reduce calories at all meals and start an exercise program. Exercise will help improve your metabolism and therefore burn all calories more efficiently.