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How Skipping Meals Affects You

Posted on October 3rd, 2017

How Skipping Meals Affects You

Do you have a big meal or celebration coming up where you know you'll be splurging on unhealthy foods? Sometimes people will skip a meal, like breakfast, in order to save the calories. However, depriving yourself of food can have unintended consequences on your body, which can impact your health now and in the long run. Here's what happens after you skip a meal: Drop in blood sugar Your body gets its energy from sugar, and if it doesn't have the right amount, you tend to feel tired and ill. That plummeting blood sugar not only affects your energy, but your concentration and mood as well. Lower metabolism If you skip meals, your body's metabolism slows down as it shifts to starvation mode. That means your body starts storing everything as fat as it tries to conserve energy. It's your body's way of adjusting so that you don't need as many calories to function. After you eat again, your metabolism still stays low because your body doesn't know when you'll eat again. Food cravings When you don't eat, you feel hungrier, which may cause you to overeat for your next meal. In addition, you'll probably crave unhealthy foods. A study by Cornell University found that skipping meals leads people to buy 44.8 percent more high-calorie foods. Potential health issues Skipping meals can actually increase belly fat. In a 2015 study, researchers from Ohio State University and Yale found that mice that gorged on one big meal developed more fat around the midsection than mice who had the same calorie intake but were able to eat small amounts throughout the day. In addition, regularly skipping breakfast can be hard on your heart, according to the American Heart Association. A 16-year study found that men who skipped breakfast had a higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease. Instead of skipping breakfast in anticipation for a big meal, eat a sensible breakfast, like an egg on whole-wheat toast. If you know your dinner will be in the evening, eat small healthy meals throughout the day with lean proteins and whole grains. That way, you'll make better choices during the meal. And since you're not starving, you'll be able to relax and enjoy the company.

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