What Skipping Meals Does to Your Health

Where are my meal-skippers? I know you’re out there! You’ve been out there skipping meals for many years and now you’ve even got a fancy name for it: Intermittent Fasting.

It’s nothing new. Intermittent fasting (or “fasting”) has been used for centuries for religious or spiritual reasons or to prepare for battles or great efforts. There is evidence that it can be a safe and effective SHORT TERM strategy for weight loss. But I’m talking to those who regularly skip meals on an irregular basis.

Let’s talk about what skipping meals does for your metabolism, your weight and even your brain! 

Why Are You Skipping Meals?

Why do we do this? You’re thinking that you’re saving calories by skipping dinner. Or you get really busy and realize you’ve missed lunch. Or maybe you are thinking that if you’re not hungry you shouldn’t eat breakfast? Coffee is one of the food groups, right?

Well, let’s dispel some myths and save yourself additional damage to your body. That’s right, I said DAMAGE to your body.

Skipping Breakfast

First, if you don’t wake up and feel hungry within that first hour, it is a sign that your basal metabolic rate is suppressed.

What does that mean? It means that your body has been trained to suppress its natural expression of hunger because your physiology is in starvation mode. This slows everything down and tells your body to conserve and hang on to fat, instead of burning it.

Oh no, you don’t want to be storing fat! How do you get out of fat-storing mode? By eating!

If you’ve skipped breakfast for years you may have a hard time finding any breakfast to be appealing. You have to retrain your body to act normal.

You know that you are on the right track when you start to wake up hungry! Yes, that is a sign of healing!

Photo by Davey Gravy on Unsplash

Skipping Lunch

Anyone remember the commercial that said “Have a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch and then a sensible dinner?” It’s not quite skipping meals, but close enough!

If you think you can skip breakfast and lunch, then eat a “sensible” dinner to lose weight, let’s do a reality check. Many people will skip breakfast, graze at lunch or eat a lunch with little protein, then have a large meal for dinner. That sensible dinner gets harder and harder to do if your body is deprived and “hangry.” How many of us will choose foods which are healthy for the evening meal? Instead, we may find ourselves consuming more calories at once than we might have during the day.

This is how Sumo wrestlers get so big. Their regime is to not eat much, if anything, during the day, then eat a large meal at the end of the day. The next step to creating a Sumo wrestler’s body will then be to sit down and relax, or go straight to bed.

This is a sure fire way to tell your body that you want to store fat! Is this really what you want to do? To date, I have NEVER had a patient tell me they want to become morbidly obese!

Think you can do it differently? IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO NEGOTIATE WITH YOUR PHYSIOLOGY! This is how the human body works. If you try, you will lose by gaining weight!

Why am I so emphatic about this topic at this time of year (January)? It is because I know how we think when we’re trying to get healthier, and I want to move you away from a plan that will, over time, mess you up and possibly fatten you up!

More Reasons to Stop Skipping Meals

Here is something else to think about. Your brain can’t store nutrients. The brain (and your nervous system) needs 3 simple things to be healthy.

  • Oxygen

    We get oxygen through breathing. Most of us are shallow breathers. Some breathe shallowly due to the continual stress in our daily lives. For some, it is due to poor posture. Try slumping over and take a deep breath. Then sit up straight with your shoulders pulled back and take another deep breath. You should perceive a difference between the two postures. For others, you have sleep apnea so your brain is deprived during the night when you are sleeping in addition to the day.

  • Glucose

    Glucose comes from the foods that we eat. When you sleep at night, then wake up and skip breakfast, brain function goes down. When our blood sugar is low, glucose is low in our brain and our brain gets grumpy. Now for some of you it is not as noticeable. You have not destroyed enough neurons for it to have an obvious effect. For others, you have done this for so long, you don’t recall what it felt like to have your brain working optimally!

  • B Vitamins

    The brain also is sensitive to B vitamins. Where are we supposed to get B vitamins from? Yup, from the food that we are supposed to be eating (3 well balanced meals per day, with up to 2 snacks if needed). If you are skipping meals you are depriving your brain of vitamin B from the best source which is food, not pills.

Hungry yet? If you’re skipping meals on an irregular basis as a way to lose weight, have a snack and then use that fuel to think clearly about the effects on your body, brain and metabolism.

There are more effective and healthier ways to lose weight. Link to https://naturalpathfresno.com/weight-loss/

Main image photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Medical Disclaimer: The information provided in this email is for informational purposes only and has been compiled from years of practice, study and experience by Mikell Suzanne Parsons, DC. This information is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for the advice from your physician or any other health care provider, or any information contained in or on any product label or packaging. Do not use information in this email for diagnosing or treating any health problem or disease. Always speak to your health care provider before taking any nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement. If you have or suspect that you have a health problem, contact your health care provider immediately. Do not ignore seeking health care advice or delay seeking care because of something that you have read in this email. Information provided in this email DOES NOT create a doctor-patient relationship between you and Mikell Suzanne Parsons, DC. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Dr. Mikell Parsons, D.C.