We’ve all done it at least once or twice. Skipping breakfast is probably the main contender when it comes to missing one of our meals in the day. Our rush in the mornings give us ample excuses to just leave the toast or cereal and make up for it at lunchtime. Maybe you do it so often now that you don’t even think about having breakfast anymore?
But how is this exactly affecting us? Often we probably don’t even think about it or we just think skipping a meal can be easily made up by eating more for our next meal – that this will somehow negate the lack of food and won’t be detrimental to our health. However, this isn’t the case. Skipping meals on a regular basis can have a huge negative affect on our bodies – some are obvious but some may be more of a surprise to those who think skipping meals is harmless.
With that being said, here are 6 adverse effects of skipping that much-needed breakfast, lunch or dinner.
1. Your Mood With Suffer Greatly
Probably one of the well-known results of skipping a meal is the affect it has on your mood. Yes, those blood sugar levels take a massive dive when you don’t replenish yourself with a meal and regularly missing meals triggers a stress response related to our body’s survival mode. When our energy reserves are near empty, we produce this stress response in order to be able to ready ourselves against danger but these sudden increased levels of stress hormones also cause outbursts, mental instability and even mild depression.
2. Affects Your Ability To Focus
The decrease in sugar levels not only affects your mood but also affects your ability to concentrate and focus on simple tasks. This is because our brain runs on glucose and the less glucose there is to help the brain function to the best of its ability, the more likely you are to have a decreased attention span. If you skip meals because you’re too busy and think you’re creating more time to be productive, then think again. Skipping that meal is only going to deteriorate your work performance in the short term, or if done regularly, in the long term too. So, don’t work through lunch or skip breakfast so you can get more work done – you’ll be more alert and focused if you chow down and fuel up.
3. You’re More Likely To Overeat
The more hungry you are, the more your brain is telling your body to fill up on food – even if you don’t need it. So the next time you eat after skipping a meal, you are more likely to overeat and consume more calories. Not only this, but you are more likely to reach for the junk food over healthy food meaning meals are bigger and more unhealthy just from skipping that earlier meal time.
4. You’re More Likely To Gain Weight
Not only are you more likely to gain weight through overeating, your body overcompensates by hanging on desperately to the energy in the food you do eventually eat; storing it stubbornly out of fear you will go through regular starvation periods. It’s basically messing with your metabolism and storing everything you eat as fat. So never think sneakily skipping breakfast, lunch or dinner will ever help you to lose weight. In fact, it will most likely have the opposite affect especially on a regular basis.
5. Your Appearance Will Start To Suffer
There’s no hiding from a bad diet of skipped meals. It will start to show on the outside through dry skin and flat, greasy, lifeless hair – even oral health can take a beating. We all need nutrients to keep our bodies in tip top condition and by skipping meals on a regular basis these much-needed nutrients diminish. Proteins are the building blocks for everything in the body and restricting these in your everyday diet will directly affect your looks. So just take vitamin supplements, I hear you say? Well, most vitamins are fat-soluble which means if you aren’t consuming enough fat they will be essentially null and void.
6. You Will Get Unwanted Stomach Problems
To show that having a restricting diet effects all areas of the body, your gut will start working ineffectively. Eating food on a regular basis is how our stomach, intestines and bowels manage to push it out in a regular and orderly fashion. By skipping meals our guts get confused and it can result in constipation and stomach aches which is a result of not passing stools regularly. This can affect your quality of life immensely if you change your eating habits too often or restrict fibre from your diet.
Too Busy To Eat?
If you do find your working day or busy lifestyle means you skip meals regularly, then hopefully reading the above points will help you to understand the potential damage you could be doing to yourself. However, there are ways to make life a little easier and get your essential meals in to your packed day.
Pre-make your breakfast or lunch the night before. You may feel exhausted before you head to bed but a simple 10 minutes could be all you need to make yourself a healthy breakfast ready to eat the next day. There are loads of great ideas to help you have a quick breakfast in the morning or lunch without scrimping on productive time.
When you have time to cook dinner make more than you need. This way you can freeze the leftovers and keep them for an evening when you don’t have time to cook.
Worst comes to worst, eat little and often. If you really don’t have time to sit down three times in a day and have a proper meal, then eat little and often throughout the day. Make sure you are getting enough to sustain yourself with the right amount of healthy nutrients. This will keep your metabolism ticking over, decrease hunger pangs, and stop you overeating.
The bottom line is: skipping a meal once in a while won’t harm you too much but doing this on a regular basis will ultimately decrease your mental and physical well-being and stop you from leading a happy life. So think twice before running out of the door with no breakfast – your body and mind will thank you for it.