Skipping meals may seem like a good idea to cut calories, but it’s not a smart tactic for successful weight loss. It is tempting to save calories so you can indulge in a big meal without regret, but it is a practice that can easily backfire. Before you deprive yourself of a nutritious meal, consider how it affects your physical and mental health.
You may feel like you have your hunger under control, until you sit down to the table. After skipping meals all day, once you are finally confronted with food, you are much more likely to overeat and choose unhealthy foods to satisfy your cravings. One study showed that subjects who skipped meals throughout the day and ate a large meal in the evening had elevated fasting blood glucose and delayed insulin response (risk factors for diabetes) after eight weeks.
It takes planning to ensure that you get all of the nutrients you need. This is much easier to accomplish when your meals and snacks are spread throughout the day. Skipping meals can reduce your variety of foods, and therefore, your nutrient intake. You may become too full to get all the foods you need when you do eat, or the increased hunger and cravings may cause you to bypass nutritious options for unhealthy comfort foods.
A grumbling stomach and dropping blood sugar can affect your mood and attitude. Fatigue, irritability, and an overall negative outlook are just a few of the consequences of skipping meals. A bad attitude threatens motivation, and your desire to make healthy choices and stick to your workouts.