Why You Shouldn't Skip Meals When Trying to Lose Weight
With more of us spending our time at home, it might seem like the best time to work on self-improvement. Unfortunately, there are so many online workouts and diet plans that it can be hard to decide where to start. One trend that has been gaining traction online is the concept of fasting, where you only eat during specific periods of the day. At a glance, this seems to make sense. Fewer meals mean fewer calories, which, in turn, should help you lose weight. However, the truth is far more complicated, and this method might not be a healthy dieting option.
Below, we’re discussing several reasons why you shouldn’t skip meals when trying to lose weight. Let’s take a closer look!
1. Low Blood Sugar
Your brain relies on glucose to operate, so when you cut off that supply by refusing to eat, you can set off a chain reaction of adverse effects. If your blood sugar is low, you’ll feel tired, irritable, and unable to concentrate. You probably already assumed that depriving yourself of food can make you “hangry,” but you might not realize just how detrimental this can be in the long run. When you’re sluggish and unfocused, you’re also less productive. This means that you may do poorly on work assignments, neglect your relationships, and fail to take proper care of yourself. Other symptoms of low blood sugar include shakiness and sweatiness, which can also interfere with your daily routine.
2. Insufficient Nutrients
In addition to glucose, there are other necessary substances that your body depends on to operate. These include complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and protein. When you skip meals, you deprive your body of all of these things that it needs for your organs to function properly.
While several multivitamins and other supplements are available, these are typically designed for people suffering very specific deficiencies. At this time, there is no magic pill that can substitute all of the benefits obtained from an entire meal.
3. Starvation Mode
Your body isn’t aware that your choice to skip a meal is part of a diet. All it knows is that its regular supply of necessary fuel has suddenly been cut short. As such, it goes into starvation mode. Because your body cannot guarantee when the next meal will come, it makes preparations to hoard what it can and prepare for lean times. This means that your metabolism slows down, causing your body to store everything you do eat as fat. It also overstimulates your sense of hunger, making you more likely to overeat the next time you sit down for a meal.
This is an excellent mechanism that can help you survive during times when food is scarce, but it’s the opposite of what you want when you’re trying to lose weight.
How to Lose Weight Safely
Instead of skipping meals, the key to losing weight is adopting healthy eating habits by ensuring that your food is as beneficial to you as possible. When planning what to eat, make sure to choose meals that are rich in nutrients. You should also try to limit processed foods and stick to fresh ingredients instead. Of course, before you alter your eating habits in any way, it’s best to talk to your doctor to determine what is best for your body and health needs.
There’s an unfortunate misconception that healthy dieting has to equal starvation, but it simply isn’t true. There are plenty of healthy foods that are also incredibly filling. If you find that you’re still feeling hungry, try adding foods that are rich in protein and fiber, as these will satisfy those pesky cravings while still nourishing your body.
To fill your pantry with delicious, nutritious options, look to Nutmeg State Nutrition. We have a variety of diet meals, snacks, and drinks that fuel your body while helping you reach your health and fitness goals. For more information about our products, contact us today!