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These 6 Terrible Things Will Happen To Your Body When You Skip Meals

These 6 Terrible Things Will Happen To Your Body When You Skip Meals

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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