It's a popular belief that weight loss comes as a result of burning off more calories than you consume. So many dieters think that skipping meals is a shortcut to better health. It seems like a foolproof method, though in addition to finding yourself on a slippery slope to malnutrition, there are plenty of reasons that skipping meals can be detrimental to both your diet and your health.

Skipping lunch can leave you irritable.Skipping lunch can leave you irritable.

Slow metabolism
When your body is hungry for an extended period of time, it begins to react as if you are literally starving. According to Health and Wellness Digest, this causes your body to slow down the burning of fat to prevent you from starving to death. This also causes your body to store your next meal as fat - just in case you'll be depriving it of food again.

Your body doesn't just slow down when you're hungry - your mind does too. Since food is your body's main source of energy, it's no surprise that a lack of it can cause you to feel tired. You wouldn't expect your car to keep going without gas in the tank, would you? This is to blame for that 2:00 p.m. brain fog you experience when you skip lunch as well. If you find that you're getting confused easily and having a hard time following instructions, you might need a snack.

"Hangry" is a combination of the words "hungry" and "angry," and refers to the moodiness that occurs when your blood sugar dips too low. A study published in Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics found that these mood swings are directly linked to a quick rise or drop of blood sugar levels, usually caused by being too hungry. Save yourself and your co-workers from your wrath and eat your lunch.

Muscle loss
Protein is essential to building and maintaining muscle. No matter how much time you spend at the gym, if you aren't properly replenishing lost nutrients, it will be nearly impossible to build and maintain muscle. You don't want those gym sessions to go to waste. After all, you're working out and eating right to lose weight and be healthy. You wouldn't want to do anything to counteract those goals.

Weight gain
Chances are, when you skip a meal, you find yourself indulging during your next one. You may be so excited to finally eat that you eat quickly, serving up seconds or thirds without giving your body the time to relay the message that it's full to your brain. Overeating in the evening can be especially detrimental to your waistline, as you have limited time at the end of the day to burn those extra calories.

We are all busy, and it's understandable to occasionally rush out of the house without breakfast or to skip your lunch break when you're in the middle of a project. However, it's important not to make this behavior a habit. Rather than attempting to lose weight by eating less - and possibly not getting the nutrients your body needs - adopt a balanced way of eating, like the Food Lovers Fat Loss System. This system shows you how to use your favorite foods to actually lose weight and how to  mix fast and slow carbs and protein in the right proportions to create an efficient metabolism, leading to optimal fat loss.