"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

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

Archive