Most of us live extremely busy lives. The pace of modern-day life has never been faster. With life's huge demands put on our shoulders most of us at some point in our lives have skipped a meal. Skipping a meal occasionally will not have a drastic effect on the body. If the habit of going without meals continues, however, it can cause a whole host of negative effects on the body and mind.
Frequently missing out on meals in a bid to lose weight can cause the body to go into starvation mode. This normally leads to a person then overeating to compensate for the missed meal. Eating regularly throughout the day keeps the body's energy levels stable and ensures that we stay alert and focused.
Experts are still studying the effects of what skipping meals does to our long term health. However, there is no doubting of what the short term effects are on the body and mind. Here is a list of the negative effects of skipping meals.
Brain fog: In order to function efficiently the human brain needs glucose. Skipping out on even one meal has a weakening effect on the mind. A brain that is low on glucose becomes slow and loses focus quickly making everyday tasks appear harder. This can be best described as brain fog.
Low energy/fatigue: Food is the body's primary source of fuel. Going without a meal leads to us feeling tired and leads to feelings of deprivation. Everything seems that much harder when we go without a meal. On top of this, studies conducted by the University of Columbia found that skipping meals also slow down the body's metabolic rate, which explains why it goes hand in hand with burning fewer calories.
Increased likelihood of diabetes: Skipping meals frequently have been found to increase the chances of developing diabetes. In 2007, the journal "Metabolism" published a study examining the negative effects of skipping meals on people who were healthy and of normal weight. Over eight weeks, the individuals missed two meals every day and ate all of the calories they would normally eat in one meal. At the end of the study, the individuals had blood sugar levels and insulin responses tested. The results revealed that they were at a higher risk for diabetes than they were before the study began.
Weight gain: Another one of the negative effects of skipping meals is weight gain. Frequently missing out on meals can actually hinder your weight loss goals causing a dramatic effect on your metabolism. When the body goes into starvation mood as a result of not getting enough calories it starts storing everything consumed as fat in a bid to survive. Food that would normally just pass through the body is then stored for future fuel.
Mood swings: Low blood sugar caused by skipping meals combined with fluctuations in hormones can lead to intense feelings of sadness and anger. Consistently going without meals causes a spike in stress hormones which also leads to feelings of anxiety and fear. This is often why people report snapping and getting easily annoyed when they are hungry.
For anybody who is trying to lose weight and reduce their calories, we recommend cutting down on your portion sizes gradually. Not only is this method a lot safer, but it's also sustainable over the long run. By reducing the size of your three main meals each day it shouldn't be that hard to create a calorie deficit by the end of each week. Remember to successfully lose 1lb of fat per week you should aim to reduce your calories by 500 each day. This is perfectly doable by reducing your portion sizes consistently.