5 Things that Happen to Your Body When You Skip a Meal

Skipping meals won't lead to weight loss in the long term and will wreak havoc on the body


Everybody wants to lose weight and people's instinctive reaction in this situation is to eat less. But instead of consuming smaller portions, thus fewer calories, people decide to skip entire meals.

That’s a big mistake, Susan Engle, registered nutritionists at Nutrition Matters, says. It will eventually lead to overeating, and possibly weight gain, among other things. There are plenty of fulfilling foods that help you drop pounds

Regardless of whether you have a big Thanksgiving dinner ahead or a wedding, you can’t let your stomach growl.

Mornings are chaotic and there is no time for a big healthy breakfast (which is essential to losing inches off your waistline); work is crazy and lunch becomes a quick potato chips snack; and dinner…you’re just too tired for that. In the mean time, your body is getting ready for a crisis, hurting you in the process as the vicious cycle develops.

Your blood sugar is out of whack


Skipping even one meal decreases your blood sugar levels by a lot. (And, after eating, it stays higher if you stop exercising) You need sugar (glucose), because that’s the body’s fuel. (Cars don’t run without gas, do they?) Not enough sugar in your bloodstream circulating to the organs will have you feel tired, sluggish and bad-tempered, at the very least.

Then, when you finally decide to eat, you’re probably much hungrier, causing you to eat more than you normally would, which also leads to bloating. Your blood sugar level spikes way too fast, entering a roller coaster of ups and downs and increasing the risk of diabetes.

Your metabolism slows down


Not giving your body the nutrients and calories it needs to function properly will affect your metabolism. If the body has fewer calories to burn on regular basis, it will slow down, Engle says. This affects your ability to burn calories in general – the body doesn’t get rid of them as fast. This will prevent you from losing weight. Think about that next time you wonder why you’ve been working out but the number on the scale doesn’t change.

You literally get stressed out


Do you reach out for cookies when you’re nervous? So do a lot of other people. Don’t worry; the reason is perfectly scientific. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol increase, making you even more stressed out and annoyed. As a result of the flow of hormones stimulated by the elevated cortisol, your blood sugar levels drop.

Cortisol regulates energy by choosing the right amount of carbs, fat and protein the body needs. Too much cortisol in your system on regular basis leads to hormonal imbalance, wreaking havoc in your body.

Your body stores fat


The body goes into starvation mode because it thinks a crisis is coming for which it needs to save energy. “You definitely don't want to skip meals to save calories because it sets your body up for larger fluctuations in insulin and glucose and could be setting you up for more fat gain instead of fat loss,” according to the authors of a study conducted at Ohio State University.

You get bad breath


Chewing food increases saliva. Bad breath is the result of decreased saliva, which flushes away bacteria from the mouth.  When you skip meals, saliva decreases, your tongue is dry, and bacteria growth increases.

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