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Simran Kataria- 02 October 2022

Is Skipping Meals Good for you?

Having a general idea about your daily diet-plan is a useful and helpful resolve but what happens when you start skipping your meals? To put it starkly: a lot. The hustle phenomenon in today’s culture has led most of us to schedule our work lives in a manner that hinders us from fulfilling essential care that our body requires in order to remain healthy.

 If you’re skipping your meals mindfully AKA practising intermittent fasting, it’s a different discussion. You can check out our article on intermittent fasting here: [insert link]. This article focuses on the impact of skipping meals on your body and mind. Let’s get into it.

1. Your Blood Sugar Levels Drop

The meals you eat have a tremendous impact on your energy level. When you eat too much or don't eat at all, your blood sugar levels can skyrocket or drop like a rock. Going without a meal can drop your blood sugar levels enough that you feel tired and listless, and maybe even dizzy. Furthermore, the lack of glucose in your body means your brain isn't able to function properly. This means in addition to feeling sleepy, you're more likely to be irritable and have a more negative outlook on life.

2. Your Metabolism Slows
Sometimes skipping a meal can have the opposite of its intended effect. When you skip meals, your body doesn't act as efficiently as it should, and your metabolism slows down. So, what was intended as a shortcut to losing weight can actually make it harder to lose weight due to a slower metabolism. Your body wants you to eat on a consistent basis and will reward you with a faster metabolism. You’re more likely to overeat and gain weight You might think that eating more after a missed meal will rectify the situation, but the hungrier you are, the more your brain will demand you devour. You’re more likely to overeat and consume more calories than necessary, and on top of it, you’re also more likely to choose junk food. So not only do you end up eating more overall, you’re eating more of what’s worst for you.

It doesn’t stop at eating more, and more unhealthy, food. Because skipping meals makes your body fear starvation, it overcompensates by stubbornly holding on to every calorie you consume. Your metabolism goes haywire, increasing your body’s fat storage and your risk of type 2 diabetes. Other studies have linked failing to eat regularly to heart disease.

4. It makes you “hangry” and you tend to lose focus

We’re all familiar with the crankiness that often accompanies hunger. Skipping a meal sends your mood into free fall by messing with your blood sugar levels. It can also trigger a stress response in your body, which in turn triggers hormones associated with outbursts, mental instability, and mild depression. The same decreasing sugar levels that tank your mood also affect your ability to concentrate on tasks. When you don’t eat, your brain is unable to get the nutrition it needs to function at optimal levels. Decreased attention span is the result, so don’t skip meals at work in the name of productivity. You’ll get more done if your body and brain are properly fueled.



If you regularly are on a busy schedule, here are some tips to avoid skipping meals :

-Eat smaller, frequent meals throughout the day rather than skipping meals.

-Always have a snack around like yoghurt or a protein bar to hold you over until your next meal.

-Eat snacks high in protein and fibre. 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 overbooking yourself or falling behind.

-Set an alarm to ring at lunchtime if you are going to be running around all day.

-Make a lunch date. You cannot skip a meal if you have already made plans with friends or family.


Sources:
https://www.pbmchealth.org/news-events/blog/5-top-reasons-why-you-should-avoid-skipping-meals
https://www.dmarge.com/side-effects-skipping-meals

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Article credit : Simran Kataria https://www.linkedin.com/in/simran-kataria-941449197/