The Negative Health Effects of Skipping a Single Meal
Less is more, right? Yes, if you’re talking about miles per hour when you get pulled over for speeding, but not in the realm of eating. Whether you’re a celebrity-diet fan or experienced a night of too much booze and Burger King, chances are you’ve heard of the term fasting. Fasting may seem appealing when you’re in a crunch or trying to undo some serious damage, but think twice before you consider it.
Here’s what happens to your body when you skip a meal (yes, just a meal!):
Digestion Disruption: Our bodies are used to having food to digest. When you stop eating for a day or a meal, your body’s digestive system gets thrown off. If you aren’t eating, your body has nothing to digest. Help your stomach do its job- eat regularly!
Cortisol Chaos: By eating throughout the day, you can help keep your blood sugar in check. Skipping meals releases cortisol. Increased cortisol is closely tied to increased abdominal fat.
Mental imbalance: Humans need food to survive, that’s not rocket science. When you skip meals, you can slip into a thought process where you convince yourself you don’t need food. Slippery-sloping into a thought process where food becomes a guilt-trip is a big no-no.
Onset of Overeating: Ever skip breakfast and then realize it’s halfway through the afternoon and you have yet to eat? What likely happens as a result? A huge dinner! Our bodies function best when fed in reasonably moderate amounts at spaced intervals. So slamming a huge dinner not only confuses your body but will likely result in an overconsumption of calories.
Fat Foraging: When we skip meals or don’t eat, our bodies go into “freak-out-mode”, aka starvation. Our bodies start to think we won’t be getting food. As a result, your metabolic rate is reduced for the time being.
If these are the repercussions of just skipping meals, imagine the scale of consequences when applying this to a day-after-day fast. The key to lasting weight loss results is investment of time and effort. Fasting may lead to temporary weight loss, but can result in long term damage. Stick to the old-fashioned hard work and healthy eating and you and your body will be much happier.