"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

Why you shouldn't skip meals!

Lisa Cutforth - Monday, February 07, 2011

Reasons not to skip meals, why it can actually slow your metabolism and contribute to your weight problem!

When you skip meals or don't eat your body enters what is referred to as a fasting state and then starvation state.  This starts to happen after 4-6 hours without food, and depending on how you have trained your body, the effects can be more or less serious.

Here are some of the physiological effects though that tend to occur in the body, when it goes for a period without food:
  1. The body when depleted of carbohydrate stores will switch to alternative fuel sources, this process is known as Ketosis. The body will use available blood glucose, and then revert to carbohydrate stores for example glycogen in the liver and muscles. Once those are depleted (usually within 6 hours) the first "alternate" fuel it reaches for is protein, and unfortuately unlike carbohydrate and fat your body doesn't have stores of protein, so your body will break down muscle. This will directly affect your metabolism and your energy levels.  Your muscles or lean body mass help to set your metabolism.  The lower your metabolism the less energy you burn and have.
  2. Slowing of metabolism as the body readjusts it’s energy output and input and attempts to become more efficient.  Your body slows down its metabolism in a defensive effort to preserve energy and important resources. Your brain, nerves and red blood cells rely on carbohydrate to function, your body makes meeting these needs a priority.
  3. Malnutrition: Deficiencies start to result as essential nutrients are depleted and are not replenished.  If you are not taking nutrients in your supplies are used up and over time you can be malnourished but even in the short term your body processes can be compromised if you are missing important tools to function.
  4. Wasting occurs as tissues are broken down for fuel, muscle wasting occurs before fat stores are immobilised.  Your body starts to break down muscle and eventually fat stores and as a result you start to see and feel changes in your body.
  5. Survival: the body activates stress and survival strategies.  It is stressful for your body the longer it has to go without food particularly if your eating patterns are erattic and it doesn't know when it can expect it's next meal.
  6. Shutting down of “unnecessary” processes: the body decides which body functions are non- essential, for example long term starvation as in the case of anorexia can result in anorexic dysmenorrhea (loss of periods/menstruation.)
  7. Organ and System failure, eventually key organs may begin to malfunction or shut down
  8. Death: finally in severe cases of prolonged starvation (or periods without any nutrition such as excessive ongoing fasting and starvation - beyond a couple of weeks, and depending on the individual).
Too many people skip meals in a misinformed attempt to manage their weight or because of poor planning with a busy schedule, essentially your body will work better for you if you respect it, its rules and its simple and effective functioning. 

It is a good idea to eat small regular meals.  That is the most effective way to control your blood sugar, your energy, your weight and your mood.  The result is health worth celebrating!

Recent Posts


soft drink and behaviour problems comfort pig herbal toothpaste keep focused sexy salads fruit and vegetable shortage recipe life choices pop-eye and spinach love, loneliness Add new tag wrong type of exercise, exercise and results fruit relationship with food immune boosting tips brain health low cholesterol diet diary I don't get hungry health pioneers skipping meals alzheimers blood pressure Alan Pease cholesterol lowering diet Lactose intolerance 7 steps to detox is sugar bad hunger and stress Nina Simone happiness course nutritious cooking great second hand books healthy wine, healthy beer, healthy alcohol options how to avoid doing the right thing and getting the wrong results heart foundation tick explained indigestion how to love exercise cheap fruit and vegetables, what's in season in autumn in australia fresh start sugar and adhd salad Happiness success and you fun breast cancer awareness video hot guys control recipes for allergies memory 10 % principle gluten intolerance Sensational low calorie meal plan do i have to drink milk; where do i get calcium from; non dairy calcium sources high cholesterol skip meals quizz addicted to chocolate benefits of strength training, why you should strength train health celebrate life is chocolate bad for me nutritionists diet diary assertiveness detox music breast cancer awareness which is better for you butter or margarine how to say no improve your memory time management and healthy living drugfree alternatives 7 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart healthy cooking parties four questions you must ask your doctor before taking medication energy ask my doctor fun sensitivity to milk libido gift avoiding a choice maintain a healthy weight, underweight fatigue benefits to keeping a diet diary calorie controlled diet mood sugar and add allergies strength I've Got Life breast cancer prevention christmas how to avoid injury during exercise Lisa's Diary diet diary of a nutritionist make stress work for you homocysteine happiness workshop obesity overindulge Nutritional Therapist fresh food allergies soccer, role of team sports in longevity, role of exercise and community in longevity Dr Randy Pausch on Oprah best exercise go for 2 and 5 reducing coffee life childrens lunch boxes are frozen veggies any good comfort foods healthy shopping list health with 10 % effort comfort eating cooking class in brisbane dance the tummy beast natural toothpaste dangers of multitasking while you eat focus seasonal quick and tasty recipes dancing should I eat organic veggies getting fit how to check your breasts feels good soft drink and behavior problems to know and not do is not yet to know benefits of sleeping food intolerances health one step at a time low calorie diet how to get more of exercise reasons to eat foods in season Laughter and stress healthy cooking demonstration life lessons nutrition natural alternatives to drugs weight ways to improve prostate health empty your mind heart disease leaky gut, gut health, symptoms of leaky gut have fun in the kitchen muffins relax ability to respond health for busy people Egg allergy nutritionist in brisbane fussy eaters prostate cancer mobile phones and brain cancer, Dr Teo making time to relax anxiety healthy cooking party Cancer how to be happy are grains healthy increasing energy quick recipes sexy salad nutritionist image muscle wasting organic vegetables healthy shopping lunch sustainable living, rural development, organic gardening, rampumps, biogas taking responsibility taking a break foods in season, seasonal recipes real food love food nutritious trans fats new year's resolutions cooking with allergies food sensitivities simple 7 day detox plan the power to choose support your body what is healthy food corporate wellness breakfast healthy fast food, healthy take away quick eating solutions weight loss stress, keys to managing stress, benefits of stress have more energy recipies what is movember delicious what is a good breakfast weightloss motivation immune system performance