By Erin McKenna, RDN, CDN
Skipping meals is very common for anyone with a busy schedule (a.k.a all of us!). Many people believe that the less you eat throughout the day, the better. The problem is you may be slowing down your metabolism and leading yourself down a path that can lead to poor eating habits. There are many reasons why not fueling your body throughout the day can lead to weight gain and even certain diseases.
- No energy. The brain needs glucose to function properly. If you are depriving yourself of food throughout the day, it can have a negative impact on your whole body. If you start out the day skipping breakfast, your body loses the opportunity to get a jump start on the day. Just think, if you don’t have gas in your car, how will it take you where you need to be? You may feel tired and foggy. Your mood can also be affected; you may find that you are irritable and unable to focus on tasks.
- Loading up on too many calories. Calorie loading typically occurs if you’re just eating large meals. Not fueling your body throughout the day will lead to overeating when you are able to sit down and eat a meal. You want to aim to supply yourself with nutrition throughout the day instead of over loading your body at one time. Having 3 set meals per day with 2-3 snacks, focusing on protein and produce will keep your blood sugar stable and will supply your body with useful energy to help you to get through a busy day.
- Inadequate Nutrition. Skipping meals means you are missing out on opportunities to fill your body with adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals play an important role in our bodies, they help with different body processes such as growth and development, disease prevention, and overall well-being. A healthy diet should have three meals per day with snacks, focusing on nutrient dense foods (such as fruits and veggies) filled with plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Erin McKenna is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is currently working with Bariatric and Medical Weight Management patients. She works with patients to help them achieve their health and weight loss goals.