"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


Tags

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

Archive