According To Experts, This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Skip Meals
Of course we all have those days of getting into ‘that zone’ when we’re busy in the office. You got your headphones on listening to that favorite playlist, concentrating on your work while you’re furiously typing your responses to hundreds of emails you received that day. Sometimes, having an extremely busy day at work can cause you to forget to even go on your lunch break and eat something. Aside from those busy days, people have also been skipping meals and doing intermittent fasting as a form of dieting wherein they only eat within a six or eight hour time period in a whole day.
Skipping a meal and intermittent fasting are two totally different things though. When you skip a meal because you’re too busy to eat, or you want to deprive yourself since you had a big meal previously is different from doing a fast. Fasting is usually done to get your cravings under control and a practice to mindful eating. In general, skipping meals would have a negative effect for your body.
Experts explain what exactly happens to you when you don’t eat enough. Here is some advice on how to stay fueled throughout the day by eating right.
1] You’ll end up being tired and sluggish.
Skipping meals and not providing your body enough nutrients it needs throughout the day will literally make you dizzy. You will start feeling lightheaded, not have energy and could even make you faint.
“This is due to the drop in blood glucose. When we don’t feed our brains, this can signal to the body that it’s time to shut things down.” says nutrition, wellness expert and author of Eating in Colour, Frances Largeman-Roth, R.D.N. So when you decide to go on intermittent fasting, you need to be sure that you are doing it the right way. How do you do that? Set a proper schedule and choose well – when you eat, make sure that you’re eating enough to get you through the long fasting period.
2] You will overeat in the next meal.
The author and creator behind BetterThanDieting.com and Read It Before You Eat It, Bonnie Taub-Dix, R.D.N., says that “when people skip meals, they feel like they’re owed something later in the day so they tend to overeat at their next meal. But if you split up your meals throughout the course of the day, your body is able to use those nutrients more efficiently.”
Taub-Dix also likes to think that our bodies are somewhat like a food processor: When you gradually add food into it, it will work as it should and do its job, but when you shove so much food into it all at the same time – much like what we do when we skip meals and overeat the next time around – it won’t be able to work as it’s designed to.
In order for the body to work well, we should intake three balanced meals every day, which two healthy snacks in between meals. If your belly does that rumble, then you know that it is time to eat. Taub-Dix also mentioned that the most important signal to know when to eat is based on your internal feelings, and not the time on the clock. So if you’re starting to notice that you can no longer concentrate, then grab something nutritious to fill you up.
3] You’ll be in a bad mood.
The blood sugar drops when meals are being skipped all the time. This will greatly affect how you feel throughout the day. If you’ve ever felt “hangry,” then you know how this feels.
Largeman-Roth says that “glucose is the number one fuel for our brains so when we don’t have it, it can put us in a very bad mood.” So if you regularly skip meals and end up feeling hangry, don’t just eat the first time you lay your eyes, unless it’s healthy and filled with nutrients. When people have low blood sugar, they tend to eat food with high fat or high sugar because that’s what their bodies are craving at that very moment.
4] You cannot keep your weight down.
If you think that by skipping means, you’ll continuously be able to lose weight, then think again. Yes, you’ll probably have less calorie intake, but there is a big chance that you’ll end up caving in one of these days and binge on your favorite unhealthy food choices, which will lead to yo-yo dieting that can become a dangerous cycle.
Yo-yo dieting ruins the resting metabolism of a body which is how your body burns its calories in order to keep functioning properly. Because mealtimes become an unpredictable thing, your body will try and keep the fats and energy it can and won’t burn the calories efficiently. Hunger hormones can also get damaged by skipping meals. When your body produces less leptin – the hunger hormone responsible for lessening appetite – it will be harder for you to know when you are already full.
The bottom line is, skipping meals is bad for your health in the long run. Yes, skipping meals does happen once in a while, but doing it constantly will have a negative impact on your health and eventually lead to nutritional deficiencies. You also wont be able to function well because all your brain will be focusing on is the next meal because of hunger. If you cannot find the time to eat properly because of your busy schedule, here are some tips:
1] Plan your meals ahead: You don’t have to plan meals for the whole month, but you can start small by at least preparing a nutritious breakfast the night before if you are pressed for time in the mornings. You can also cook big batches of food so you have something to eat for lunch the next day.
2] Have healthy snacks on-hand: Everybody has those really busy days where you are rushing from one meeting to the next without having much time for a coffee break in between. This is when having some healthy snacks on-hand will be needed. Some great snack ideas you can have with you at all times are roasted almonds or a protein bar. Greek yogurt with fresh fruit, or a banana and peanut butter are also good options.