Scientists Explain What Happens To Your Body When You Skip Meals

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This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Skip Meals
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We are all sometimes tempted by what we perceive to be a shortcut, only to realize we in fact took a detour. In their attempts to lose weight quickly, many people turn to fasting. But skipping meals is no time saver. When done a few times, it doesn’t present a big problem. However, when it becomes a habit or a part of a dieting strategy, it can have long-term effects on the body and even contribute to the development of some chronic conditions.

Moreover, by skipping meals, you don’t get any closer to developing a healthy-looking body. In fact, doing it might make it even harder for you to get rid of the extra weight.

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Skipping Meals Causes Blood Sugar Rollercoaster

When you skip a meal, you don’t supply your body with the fuel it runs on. Consequently, your blood sugar levels drop and the body experiences a shortage of energy. Glucose (sugar) is something that all our organs need for normal functioning and it is very important for optimal brain activity. Within four to six hours of your last food intake

  • The brain starts experiencing fuel shortage.
  • You become tired, sluggish, moody and irritable.
  • Your cognitive functions are affected, and you might have difficulty with attention, memory, concentration and general mental performance.

When you are physically and mentally feeling unwell, this of course affects all areas of your life. For example, you might want to give your exercise session a miss, because you’re simply not feeling energetic enough to do it. Or, you start craving unhealthy snacks just to bring those sugar levels up. Sticking to a healthy eating routine can become much more difficult when you skipped your last meal.

When your sugar levels drastically fluctuate between highs and lows, your dieting efforts get seriously compromised. Also, insulin – the hormone that regulates glucose levels – gets disturbed. There is a chance that you are contributing to the development of diabetes later in life.

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 Skipping Meals Changes Your Metabolism

If you’re set to lose weight, you really want your metabolism to be working well and fast as it will be much easier for you to lose weight if you increase your metabolism. This will help you to burn calories faster with less effort.

Read about these 10 foods that can increase your metabolism as well as 10 factors that affect your metabolic rate.

However, when you skip meals, this slows the metabolism down. It gives it nothing to do. Next time you provide it with food to break down, it finds it harder to kick in. As a result, the food transforms into fat more readily and gets deposited in all the places you don’t want it to be.

When your body enters into starvation mode, it looks for new sources of energy. Your metabolism starts transforming fat into energy. This might sound like a good plan, but can have health consequences that include:

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  • nausea
  • constipation
  • fatigue
  • kidney stress
  • low blood pressure

With time, the body gets used to the food shortage and starts holding on to fat stores, while reducing your lean muscle tissue.

Studies Related to Skipping Meals

A study published in the medical journal Metabolism, looked at what happens when people skip meals but end up eating just as much as they would in a normal day when they finally do sit down to a meal.

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The researchers found that skipping meals during the day and eating one large meal in the evening resulted in potentially risky metabolic changes. The meal skippers had elevated fasting glucose levels and a delayed insulin response — conditions that, if they persisted long term, could lead to diabetes.

In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers assessed the effects of two meal patterns, each on healthy normal-weight adults. The study examined a one meal a day diet vs. the traditional three meals per day.

The researchers found that the systolic and diastolic blood pressures were significantly lowered by about 6% during the period when subjects consumed the three-meal-a-day pattern compared to when they were on the one-meal regimen each day.

But that’s not the only bad news for meal skippers. Both the total and artery clogging-LDL cholesterol were higher for the meal skipping group, with total cholesterol up by 11.7% and the LDL by a whopping 16.8%.

The Conclusion

Proper nutrition is paramount to your health and can help improve and prevent numerous conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer and stroke.

There are no shortcuts, and in the long run, skipping meals will only harm you. It’s much better to design a sustainable eating and exercising plan and make it a part of your daily life.

If you want to lose weight there are better ways to do it than skipping meals: you can use my 9 secrets of losing weight without diet or you can use these 12 simple tweaks for weight loss.

You can also find a lot more information on how to lose weight and get rid of your belly fat in my book Blast Your Belly Fat – this is the ultimate guide for losing your belly fat fast.

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13 Responses to Scientists Explain What Happens To Your Body When You Skip Meals

  1. Sally Benton says:

    About 8 years ago I started putting on a lot of weight because of an unhealthy relationship, tried working out and got zero results. I decided to cut my meals down to once a day and lost about 50 pounds. I’ve been at a much better weight for several years and my vitals so far are always good. I’ve heard about the chance of diabetes when you don’t eat much, but this has been the only way I could achieve desired results. I don’t really know what to believe about it because I hear a lot of this and that and so I decided as long as my doc says things are good, I’ll keep doing what works for me.

  2. Anum says:

    Intermittent fasting is amazing. More research coming out in support of it. The whole skipping meals and having to eat 6 small meals every two hours etc is all going to be debunked soon

  3. E says:

    Truth. The body adapts to using Ketones once the body isn’t using carbs to fuel itself. It is wise to adapt ketogenic and intermittent fasting to ones daily regimen. Look it up and study yourself.

  4. Dr. Rober Beam says:

    This is old world thinking….the benefits of fasting and eating one meal a day are being lauded by many in the medical community. Look up Dr. Jason Fung if you want more info,

  5. Average Guy says:

    Oh boy, this is misinformed and backwards. Intermittent fasting is a powerful and safe tool for weight loss. It is normal and it is how we evolved. Do you think we always had a grocery store handy? It is good to occasionally drop our insulin levels to zero to fight off insulin resistance (the precursor to type 2 diabetes). Insulin is also the primary driver behind fat gain. Fasting is one of the tools being used to reverse type 2 diabetes, it doesn’t cause type 2 diabetes, it helps fix it.

    “Glucose (sugar) is something that all our organs need for normal functioning and it is very important for optimal brain activity. ”

    Our body will run just find on ketones derived from fat, it doesn’t need glucose. But skipping one meal won’t even take us to that level. You have enough glucose to keep you going for at least a day. And your brain will stay just as sharp.

    “The meal skippers had elevated fasting glucose levels and a delayed insulin response — conditions that, if they persisted long term, could lead to diabetes.”

    A delayed and tempered insulin response is exactly the point. Rapid insulin response is what leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Insulin also is the driver behind weight gain. Control your insulin and you will control your weight.

  6. marco says:

    3 meals a day? I don’t believe a word of it. Intuitive eating is so much smarter than clockwork eating. I had to do the opposite of what is recommended here to keep my 60 lbs off for 7 years.

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