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What happens when you don’t eat (don’t skip meals!)

While it may be tempting to skip lunch, thinking that you’re burning more calories and lowering your daily intake… Falling into the trap of skipping lunch or another meal regularly will most certainly have some repercussions on your body.

Of course, I totally get that sometimes it’s not always easy to grab lunch. Maybe a meeting overran, or your (well-intended!) meal prep didn’t quite go according to plan.

If we’re being totally honest, missing the odd meal isn’t going to have an instant effect. However, skipping lunch or other meals regularly, will. 

So, what happens when you don’t eat? We take a closer look.

Skipping lunch happens – sometimes. Whether we’re in the zone working with our headphones on or glued to a new Netflix series, it’s easy to lose all track of time.

While some choose to fast intermittently to aid weight loss, choosing to regularly skip meals isn’t quite the same thing. During fasting, you can eat whatever you like in a specific time period, after that, it’s only water.

Many choose to fast to help keep cravings under control and become more aware of the type of food they eat. Whereas, skipping meals regularly can have some negative consequences on your body.

So, let’s get started. What happens when you don’t eat?

You’re gonna feel pretty sluggish

But wait, if skipping lunch is going to make you feel sluggish, how do people do intermittent fasting? Well! When it comes to intermittent fasting, you have to be doing it properly. This means keeping to a schedule when you do eat and eating healthy foods that keep you feeling full throughout fasting periods.

But enough about fasting, it’s clear that skipping lunch and fasting are not the same.

So what happens if you don’t eat? You’re going to feel pretty tired and sluggish, since your body will experience a drop in blood glucose. Not eating enough food throughout the day can make you feel pretty dizzy, faint and as though you have zero energy.

Our brains need food as fuel, which is why skipping lunch is a big no-no. When our brains don’t receive the energy it needs, it can signal to the body that it’s time to shut down.

Also Read: How to naturally suppress your appetite

Complex carbs, such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains are packed with fiber, steadying blood sugar levels – so, no, don’t go cutting carbs, either!

Your focus levels take a hit

Much like the brain’s need for food as fuel, when you start skipping lunch your mind can really struggle to concentrate. When you’re running on empty, it can feel like hard work to do simple tasks and find the energy to think straight.

Plus, when a growling stomach comes into the mix, all your body can think about is food! Soon, you’ll feel distracted by those hunger pangs telling you it’s time to eat. Which really isn’t great for productivity!

You’ll feel tempted to overeat next time

If you’re wondering what happens to your body when you don’t eat, you’re about to find out! While skipping lunch may have seemed like a great idea at the time, those who skip meals tend to overeat at the next meal.

Think about it, when your body feels deprived of crucial energy, it comes as no surprise that you may feel tempted into eating even more at dinner time. So if you’re skipping lunch in the hope of cutting calories, you could be consuming even more by doing this!

To allow your body to efficiently use nutrients, eating gradually throughout the day not only keeps your energy levels topped up, but helps prevent snacking and overeating.

Feeling a little snackish between meals? No problem, it’s totally normal to want to grab a snack between meals. Just make it healthy, ladies!

If you’re feeling too hungry too often, it could be that you’re not eating foods that are filling and nutritious enough to keep you going. Switch out processed, sugary foods for slow-releasing foods such as oats which will keep you fuller for longer.

You’re gonna be grumpy

When you regularly start skipping lunch (or meals), a lack of glucose consistently can really put you in a bad mood. Since glucose is your brain’s number one fuel, not having it can, well, make you pretty damn hangry.

When you get into this hangry mood, it can be very tempting to grab the closest snack possible, which tends to be a fatty, sugary food because our bodies start to crave it.

Also Read: 8 Healthy Cooking Techniques You Should Try at Home This Week

So, how can you put a stop to that? Start spreading your meals out evenly across the day, and consume foods that are slow-releasing, filling and packed with nutrients.

Your weight loss won’t be sustainable

When you’re trying to lose weight, skipping lunch may feel like it makes sense, but it can actually damage your weight loss in the long run.

Not only is skipping lunch and other meals pretty hard to sustain, but when you do give in to your cravings… Well, we know you’re not really going to choose a healthy snack! Which can then sabotage all your hard work.

Conclusion: Skipping lunch is bad for you

Sure, skipping the occasional meal can just happen sometimes. We all get busy, we all get so focused on our work or addicted to a TV show that we forget to grab food – occasionally.

But skipping lunch and other meals consistently isn’t going to do you any good. While you may feel like you’re naturally consuming less and therefore burning more, it’s often the complete opposite. Skipping meals can cause us to feel fatigued and dizzy, so you won’t even have the energy for your workout! Let alone anything else. And your body will keep on to the last bit of fuel it has, rather than burn it off.

Also Read: What to eat before a workout

Plus, when dinner comes around, it’s far easier to overeat to make up for skipping lunch in the first place! Totally counterproductive.

Tips to avoid skipping lunch or other meals

While breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s crucial to not go skipping lunch – or any other meal in fact! If you’re too busy to sit down properly and tuck in, try these tips:

  • Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, rather than skipping
  • Stock up on healthy snacks, such as yogurt or a granola bar to keep you going
  • Eat foods that are high in fiber and protein, keeping you feeling full
  • Plan your meals in advance or prepare lunch the night before
  • Make (and keep to!) a schedule for the week
  • Set a reminder on your phone to avoid skipping lunch while working
  • Make a lunch date with a friend so there’s no avoiding eating

Stop skipping lunch and start taking control

While it may be tempting to skip lunch and fast your way to losing weight, nobody wants to feel sluggish, grouchy, and hear their own grumbling stomach!

Stop skipping lunch and start enjoying a healthy, varied diet, 

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