You may think that by avoiding lunch and holding out until dinner will save you some calories but this theory couldn’t be further from the truth. Bear in mind, replacing food with juices is also considered skipping meals (no matter how amazing your juicer is or how organic your fruit and veg). Juices are recognised by the body as liquid and not food and they are digested rapidly by the body giving you very little or no sustenance.
Blood Sugar Drops and Spikes
One of the most important reasons that skipping meals is unhealthy is the effect on your blood sugar. When you eat a meal, the body breaks down the food. Some of this food is stored as fat, while other parts of it enter your bloodstream as sugar; sugar is the fuel our bodies run on. Sugar provides you with energy throughout the day and if the correct foods are eaten it can provide a steady flow of energy (not an instant sugar hit). When you skip a meal, your blood sugar drops dramatically and your body goes into starvation mode (conserving energy). This not only can make you feel sluggish and tired, but it can cause mayhem with the insulin in your body. If you regularly skip meals, you can be setting yourself up for the development of diabetes later in life.
Skipping meals can lead to “brain fog”. Without a steady supply of nutrients, your intellectual and emotional functioning changes. Your mind becomes foggy, and you become moody and irritable. When you eventually eat again your body feels relief—but it's short-lived. Your metabolism will stay low since it doesn't know when the next supply of calories is coming. And your blood sugar takes a plunge again, ushering in the low energy, brain fog, and mood swings you experienced all day. Continuing meal-skipping causes your body to turn to muscles as a fuel source. This further sinks your metabolism and saps your strength.
Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats ensures that your body functions properly. Adequate nutrition also helps treat and prevent a number of serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease, strokes, and some types of cancer. You may believe that you can skip meals and still achieve optimal nutrition by supplementing your diet with multivitamins. While multivitamins do have their place, research has shown that these pills aren’t as effective as real food at providing your body with what it needs. For good health, try to eat as naturally as possible.
There may be two reasons why you have skipped a meal. One, you’ve had a busy day and forgot to grab a quick snack, or two you are trying to lose weight. If you are trying to lose weight, you may be actually be hindering weight loss by skipping meals. When you eat, your metabolism breaks food down into smaller, usable nutrients. When your metabolism has less to do and doesn’t have to work to break down food, it slows down. The next time you do actually eat something, your metabolism is not able to break the food down as quickly, and as a result the food is stored as fat. To maintain a healthy weight (or even lose weight), eat regularly throughout the day. Recent research has found that five to seven small, regularly timed meals eaten over the course of a day works best when trying to maintain a healthy weight.
Whelehans Nutrition Service
Whelehans nutritional service is a private one to one advice service with our nutritionist Aisling Murray. Aisling’s areas of interest include weight loss management, nutrition education and food intolerance. Our nutrition service offers you the chance to change your life in a positive way by focusing on your overall wellbeing as well as the chance to follow up on your progress. Plans start from only €10 per week.