"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


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