How many times have you heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? And how many times have you skipped it? You make an excuse – “I’m late for work” or “I’m trying to lose weight” – and promise you’ll do better tomorrow.
Tomorrow rolls around. You manage a piece of toast before you walk out the door and pat yourself on the back for making healthy choices. But by lunch you’re too busy to get away from your desk (inbox zero doesn’t happen by itself), and before you can say “ping me”, another meal is missed.
If you think you can make up for skipping a meal by eating more at the next one, think again. Regularly missing meals isn’t harmless. It can take a huge toll on your health, sometimes in unexpected ways. Below are 5 negative side effects of omitting breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
#1 You’re More Likely To Overeat
It’s “logical” to think that eating more after a missed meal will rectify the situation, but the hungrier you are, the more your brain will demand you devour. You’re more likely to overeat and consume more calories than necessary, and on top of it, you’re also more likely to choose junk food. So not only do you end up eating more overall, you’re eating more of what’s worst for you.
#2 You’re More Likely To Gain Weight
It doesn’t stop at eating more, and more unhealthy, food. Because skipping meals makes your body fear starvation, it overcompensates by stubbornly holding on to every calorie you consume. Your metabolism goes haywire, increasing your body’s fat storage and your risk of type 2 diabetes. Other studies have linked failing to eat regularly to heart disease.
#3 Your Mood Takes A Nosedive
“Hangry” made it into the dictionary for a reason. We’re all familiar with the crankiness that often accompanies hunger. Skipping a meal sends your mood into free fall by messing with your blood sugar levels. It can also trigger a stress response in your body, which in turn triggers hormones associated with outbursts, mental instability, and mild depression.
#4 Your Focus Fails
The same decreasing sugar levels that tank your mood also affect your ability to concentrate on tasks. When you don’t eat, your brain is unable to get the nutrition it needs to function at optimal levels. Decreased attention span is the result, so don’t skip meals at work in the name of productivity. You’ll get more done if your body and brain are properly fueled.
#5 Your Appearance Feels The Fallout
In a world of high-def and selfie addiction, appearance matters. Your skin, your hair, your nails, and your muscles suffer when they don’t get adequate nourishment. Hair can become greasy, lifeless, and thinner. Your skin may be dull, blotchy, dry, or blemished. Muscles become weaker and smaller. Nails break more easily. Missing meals is not a pretty picture, inside or out.
Your diet deserves better. Eat regularly and eat well. Start here.