Should You Skip Meals?
Many people believe that a cup of coffee is a sufficient breakfast or even lunch and so starts the very unhealthy habit of skipping meals.
The interesting thing about food and drink is, yes in short-term you can manage taking short-cuts. That does not mean your body and mind are not crying out for more sustenance.
It will only be when you get run down or worse, actually sick possibly with some disease or condition that you will notice! Then it is too late and you are then busy trying to reverse the damage you have done.
So although you may think it is very efficient to power through the day on very little to meet deadlines or have a busy social life, in the end it is simply not worth it.
It is okay to occasionally skip a meal but it’s when it becomes de rigour that you do every week or every day, that real harm is possible.
In terms of your body and mind, skipping meals frequently is like skipping sleep, it is very detrimental and literally toxic to you in the long run.
Let’s look into the science behind all of this:
Why You Shouldn’t Skip Meals
#1. Weight Control
While a lot of adults and especially teenagers think skipping meals allows weight loss the opposite is true. You see, having regular meals, especially breakfast first thing to start the day, kick starts an efficient metabolism. As we all know an efficient metabolism means the body effectively breaks down food and eliminates waste which directly reduces weight while eliminating toxins.
#2. Sugar Levels & Diabetes
People who frequently skip meals and have all their meal in one meal experience a spike in blood sugar levels. This can lead to the onset of type 2 diabetes. This in turn can be a precursor to strokes and heart attacks.
Women who are pregnant need not only nutrients for themselves but also for the baby they are carrying. Often too women find themselves lacking energy as the pregnancy progresses. Therefore it is essential they eat regular healthy meals and not skip any.
On top of the obvious fact that pregnant women need all the energy they can get and nutrients for their baby there are real downsides to skipping on meals. One of these is the risk of low blood sugar levels as well as having more morning sickness than if they ate regular (smaller) meals.
Brain power, concentration and the nervous system comes from Glucose which itself comes from the breakdown of food. The less food we eat, the more our brain will be lacking in capacity to process mental task. It will also react to physical stimuli (something which can be very dangerous!).
When it comes to teenagers they do often skip meals frequently. The reasons are many – active social life, people to see, places to go, cramming so much into their new sense of adulthood with its modern 24/7 fast pace. So it is no wonder they skip meals. If they don’t skip meals they eat junk food or only fruit and vegetables.
All teenagers who are developing need Iron and Calcium from dairy, meat and other foods, not just the fresh foods. It is possible that if teens do not nourish themselves in these crucial brain and body developing years that they may impact some aspect of their future adult health.
#6. Unbalanced Diet
Skipping meals obviously leads to an unbalanced diet in people of all ages. This means that it is virtually impossible to make up for the meals missed in the meals actually eaten. The chances of vitamin and mineral deficiencies are very high. This situation can lead to serious diseases and conditions if the skipping of meals continues into later life.
#7. Eating The Wrong Foods
When we are on the go and we are wanting to eat quick meals we tend to eat what is at hand and not worry about the nutritional aspect. Bakery items, fried fast food and microwave meals can easily be the only meals we do have.
This is something that can only be sustained for a short period. Over a long period of years it will most certainly lead to digestive problems, irritable bowel, upset stomachs, ulcers (especially when the meal is eaten quickly) and even diabetes 2.
So next time you are in a rush, late for work and heading out the door with a coffee in hand, at least try to have a banana and a liquid yoghurt. Even a small breakfast is better than nothing!
Also next time you don’t feel that hungry or you say you are too busy. Just have small healthy meals instead. That way you are maintaining uniform sugar levels, your energy levels and your weight!
There are so many healthy small meals & snacks to choose from such as salad (ready-made), tuna on crackers and even a liquid smoothie or a green juice.
Alternatively mix the above with a lean piece of chicken. These foods and combinations are all packed with tasty, fresh nutrients. Eat a mix of these healthy smaller snacks and you will power through your day:-)
You can get organic liquid yoghurt in tubes (even healthier) than the above liquid yoghurt products. Always check for sugar. While they may be low-fat, they can sometimes be high in sugar instead.
A can of flavored light tuna makes a healthy delicious lunch snack. You can keep a packet of crackers in your drawer or in the fridge at work.
Once again mid-afternoon instead of that caffeine fix you can opt for a delicious banana (low-fat milk) smoothie with honey as a natural sweetener. Alternatively why not indulge in one of the many vegetable and fruit juice blends prepared naturally in a cafe!
Today I tried a blend of cucumber, apple and kiwi fruit and admittedly it was in a soda can (with healthy ingredients). Even so it was so much healthier than a Coca Cola or a Pepsi. I could tell since after I drink these juices or even the soda I felt healthier, naturally rejuvenated something that unhealthy food does not do for me! I love junk food sometimes but it’s for the quick fix only!
Remember too, eating at least two types of fruit a day reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease significantly! Throw in some nuts (unsalted and raw) with some dried fruits and you have more of a balanced diet. Nuts are great for protein and healthy snacks in general.
So now you know a few nutritious, easy to make or buy snacks, add to them, you can increase sizes but you get the idea of how easy it really is to eat healthy 3-5 times a day. There is absolutely no need no matter how busy you are to skip meals!
Remember too that eating smaller portions is both better for your sugar levels and in addition your waist will thank you too!:-)