I see this quite often in my health coaching practice, and I used to be guilty of it myself. It’s common for people to think that when they skip a meal, they are ‘saving’ calories. What happens though is it backfires! By mid-afternoon or early evening, they’re starving, and then they feel like they have no ‘will power.’ Our body needs fuel in the form of food to function, so when it’s deprived, it screams out for what it needs – food! Your willpower is no match, and then you end up feeling guilty. Skipping meals sets you up for failure and feeling guilty.
Here a just three things that happen to your body when you decide to skip meals.
1. Skipping meals will ruin your metabolism: “Yo-yo dieting can mess with your resting metabolism, which is the way your body burns calories in order to function. Because your meal times are so unpredictable, your body will keep what it can and won’t burn calories efficiently. If you want your weight loss to last you have to provide your body with the fuel it needs to maintain a healthy metabolism. This will help you to burn calories efficiently.
2. Skipping meals will affect your blood sugar: When you skip a meal your body relies on glucose reserves to provide it with energy. This will trigger a drop in your blood sugar and make you feel sluggish and moody. According to Licensed dietitian Brigitte Zeitlin, “It can also make it hard to concentrate because your brain doesn’t have the fuel it needs to think straight. Other low blood sugar symptoms can include shakiness, sweatiness, and irritability.”
3. You will not be able to maintain the weight loss: Yes, you will lose weight by consuming less calories but, you won’t be able to sustain it and the weight will return. You body will fight for the food it needs to survive and your dieting willpower is no match for your body’s need for self-preservation. I remember when I was training for ballet, and wanted desperately to lose my black girl hips, (that is what my mother called them) I ate one piece of boiled chicken and a lettuce and tomato salad with vinegar. I lost ten pounds in two weeks, I looked fantastic, but I didn’t feel well. My mom made we realize that I should be proud of my body and my black girl hips and eat something. I obliged her by and then stuffing my face at Sunday dinner. As hard as I tried to resist the smells of southern fried chicken wafting through the house, I lost big time.
Whether you decide to eat six mini meals of three meals a day and healthy snacks when needed. You’ll notice you get through the day with more energy, and when you plan your meals out during the day, you can make healthier choices. It’s much easier to make unhealthy choices when you need to eat something now, and you just grab the closest thing you can find.
Plan ahead and to ensure that you do not skip meals, you will notice the difference in how you feel during the day. An added bonus, is that you will probably end of eating fewer meals.
- Get into the habit of meal prepping. Maybe you don’t for the entire week to start, try prepping two days at a time. Plan your menu for two days and then make sure that you have everything in your kitchen to prepare a nutritious breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prepare breakfast the night before so you have something ready to eat the next morning. Batch cook soup soups in a nice healthy broth can be great for meals and snacks.
- Keep healthy snacks at the ready. Life gets busy, be prepared to crush the munchies with healthy snacks at your finger tips. Snacks to have on hand include roasted almonds, low-sugar protein bars, and low-fat, plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit.
- Pair a meal replacement shake with a healthy snack. If you don’t have time to sit down and eat a nutritious meal that consume healthy meal replacement shake with a healthy snacks. Please be aware that meal replacements can be high in sugar so real the label, you do not want to be substituting a milk shake for a real meal. Drink your meal replacement shake in conjunction with any of the following a banana, natural peanut butter and celery sticks , carrots and hummus. You should be aiming to stay between 325 to 400 calories, 15 to 25 grams of protein, five grams of fiber, and 10 to 13 grams of healthy unsaturated fat at each meal. Remember, this is for emergencies and should not be used as a regular meal replacement.
Losing weight and keeping it off is hard. If anyone tells you otherwise they are lying. You can try any diet out there including skipping meals to lose the weight but keeping it off is the real battle. That requires a change in mindset, and change in your relationship with food. Eating mindfully will help you accomplish both of these tasks. I teach my clients the right system, support, and accountability is what needed to get healthy. When you are ready to make peace with food, let’s talk.
Welcome To Your Life! Midlife Made Easier does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.