We’ve all been guilty of it at some point. Everyone has used reasons such as:
“I’m never hungry in the morning.”
“I don’t like cereal or other breakfast food.”
“I’m just way to busy to have lunch.”
“I never feel hungry.”
“I’m trying to lose weight.”
I’ve even been guilty of a couple of these in the past, however there are some serious consequences to skipping any meal and let me tell you why.
When you skip a meal your body reacts with what I like to call “famine mode”. What I mean by that is that our internal workings tell us that we need food to survive, and if we don’t have it we must find it quickly. Even tough we, ourselves, know that we can go at anytime of the day to get nutrients. Human nature hasn’t evolved in such a way that we don’t have primal human instincts and going too long without food makes us eat way to much at the next opportunity. Any food that we do eat, after skipping a meal, will be stored as fat so that in the even of another skipped meal (famine) we will be able to fall back on that stored fat for survival. The problem with this stored fat is that we never reach the point that we can burn it off, so it translates on the scales in excess weight.
Let me outline three of the major consequences of skipping a meal:
Poor Performance: People who skip meals don’t perform as well as those who eat a balanced diet (eating 5-6 small portions throughout the day). Meal skippers accomplish less work, and are physically unsteady (because of low blood sugar levels), and are slower at making decisions. A balanced diet is especially important for school children (of all ages). Since they typically don’t get enough sleep, diet is even more essential for great academic performance.
Foggy Head: Have you ever had what you like to call a “senior moment”? Well I can tell you with confidence that this is most likely due to lack of proper nutrients. The brain needs fuel. The exclusive fuel for the brain is glucose and if you go too long without feeding your body the brain’s fuel source is compromised (typically within 4-6 hours). The reason for this is because the glucose stored in the liver as glycogen, runs out during this time period. The liver is what regulates our blood sugar levels. When blood glucose dips too low, the liver converts glycogen into glucose and releases it into the blood. But if its glycogen has been depleted then the body has to turn to less efficient fueling methods.
Binging (calorie loading): This is referring back to that survival mode that the body goes into when it goes without food for long periods of time. When you go too long without nutrients (in the form of food), or if you are the type to eat only one meal a day (and a large one) then you will inevitably consume way too many calories when you do finally eat. Eating just one large meal tends to overwhelm the body with calories that it doesn’t need at that moment. It’s like a “food overload” and your inner circuit isn’t wired to work that way, so when you overload the circuit it shuts down. This is why you feel bloated and may even see a “tummy bulge” after a large meal (especially if it’s been your only meal).
We all know that sometimes you are just too busy to eat, or you don’t feel hungry. However, stress is another contributor to people skipping meals. Stress hormones can actually stop the feeling of “hunger”. This doesn’t mean that your body isn’t starving for nutrients. Stress can also add inches to your waistline…so if you are stressed it’s best to force yourself to eat a healthy balanced diet, and try to cut down on the stressors rather than cutting out the food.
Weight loss is another reason people often skip meals. I can not tell you how many times I hear people saying “I’m trying to lose weight.” or “I just want to feel skinny for my night out.” Ok, I get the need to feel slim and trim and the desire to shed the extra weight. However, skipping a meal will only help you gain weight. Trust me!! Skipping meals confuses the body, causing your metabolism to slow down and preventing you from burning enough calories the next time you eat. Thus, you will gain weight. Our bodies are not set up to be starved and then fed in excess. Not only will this lifestyle help you to gain weight, it’s hard on your heart and other vital internal organs. Skipping a meal will never help you lose weight…never. It’s easy to fall into the trap of missing a meal or consuming far too little nutrients with the intention of losing weight. After all we are bombarded with unrealistic images that some people feel they must live up to, however this lifestyle (even for a brief time) in young women and men and even in adults will develop into an eating disorder. Life with any type of disorder such as this isn’t easy on the individual battling it, and it’s also difficult for the family and friend who watch it happen. The best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.
Having a balanced diet is easy. It takes a bit of planning and dedication. Firstly, eat breakfast!!!! I can not tell you how important the first meal of the day is. It doesn’t have to be a big hotel style spread, something simple and quick will do. But you have to fuel your body at the start of your day. You body has just been fasting for about 6 or 8 hours and needs to be fed….so start the engine off right. Have a snack before lunch, and don’t skip lunch whatever you do……have a nice balanced dinner and then a nice healthy snack of some veggies in the evening. Eating 5 to 6 smaller meals through the day will keep your metabolism fired up and burn fat more efficiently.
You never know….your boss may notice that increase in energy and productivity at work and see you out for a new promotion. You will have more energy to get out there and do things with your family and friends. There will be a new you born when you adopt a healthy relationship with food. My motto is: Your body is your temple, take care of it!!! We only get one chance at life….make the most of it so you are here for a good long time.
If you would like some help in balancing out your diet, give us a call at Inchesweightloss and book a FREE consultation. We will help you plan your day with healthy, delicious meals. That will be one less thing you have to think about….let us do the work for you…all you have to do it pack a healthy cooler and go….no stress.
See you soon……
The Girls at Inchesweightloss