Many people suffer from obesity or extra fat accumulation in the body and opt for different ways to get rid of the same. To do so, many people give a try to various ways like dieting, working out or even skipping meals, without any proper knowledge and end up doing doing more harm to their body than good.
But on the other hand- Skipping meals, the proper way, also called intermittent fasting, can have incredible health benefits, like weight loss. But skipping a meal and intermittent fasting are two very different things. Skipping meals to deprive or punish yourself—or because you’re too busy to eat—is different from fasting to get cravings under control and practice mindful eating. In general, forgoing eating has negative consequences for your body.
Perils of Skipping Meals
Skipping a meal is an attempt to reduce calorie consumption, so as to lose weight. However, when we deprive ourselves, our body responds in the following manner:
- Ghrelin (hunger hormone) rises, thus our hunger increases drastically and there is an increased drive to eat.
- Reduction in energy, which makes one feel more lethargic and tired, limiting the capacity for physical activity.
- Slowing down metabolism, as our bodies are tuned more to saving energy than spending it.
- You Could Lose Touch With Your Hunger and Fullness Cues
- You Could Develop Strong Food Cravings—Especially for Sugar and Carbs
- Our cells burn less energy in response to reduced intake.
- Increased chances of developing nutritional deficiencies.
- Your Digestion Could Become Really Irregular
- Health problems like acidity, acid reflux, and fluctuation of blood sugar levels especially in people with diabetes can happen due to skipping meals. There can be episodes of low sugar that may leave one feeling irritable, confused, and fatigued.
- There can be increased levels of cortisol secretion, which can in turn, make one feel hungrier and more stressed.
- You Could Experience Anxiety
- You Could Become at Higher Risk for an Eating Disorder
- Your relationship with food is affected and eating could become less enjoyable
- All of the above can lead to a lack of concentration and interest in daily activities
Tips to avoid skipping meals
Let’s face it—sometimes life happens and we get busy. But instead of absolutely skipping meals, first try following these tips:
- Eat smaller, frequent meals throughout the day rather than skipping meals.
- Always have a snack around like yogurt or a granola bar to hold you over until your next meal.
- Eat snacks high in protein and fiber. They will keep you full longer.
- Plan your meals in advance or prepare them the night before.
- Make a schedule for the week to avoid over booking yourself or falling behind.
- Set an alarm to ring at meal time if you are going to be running around all day.
- Make a lunch/dinner date. You cannot skip a meal if you have already made plans with friends or family.
MORAL OF THE STORY:
Skipping meals is not a good idea. To lose weight and keep it off, you have to reduce the amount of calories you consume and increase the calories you burn through exercise. But skipping meals altogether can result in tiredness and may mean you miss out on essential nutrients. You will also be more likely to snack on high-fat and high-sugar foods, which could result in weight gain.