Eating provides you with nutrients that support the growth, function, and maintenance of the body. It is for this reason that eating patterns can improve or diminish your wellness and influence the length and quality of your life.
Skipping meals as part of a controlled eating plan that aims for lower calorie intake can lead to better health. But this is not always the case. That’s because skipping meals during the day and then overeating at dinner can lead to harmful metabolic changes in the body.
How often should you eat?
Although we often evaluate the way we eat based on the amount of food we eat or the kinds of food we eat, the frequency that you eat is an equally important factor. A person’s daily nutritional intake and status are determined by a complex interaction of these three factors.
Eating more or less frequently can affect the type or amount of food you eat or alter digestive and metabolic processes taking place in your body. Therefore, any changes in the frequency that you eat can lead to changes in your wellness status.
Eating less and more frequently can help balance your daily blood glucose levels. Alternatively, eating more calories in the morning and less in the afternoon and evening can also help lower average blood glucose levels. Experts recommend following an eating pattern that reduces snacking and emphasizes healthy meals.
Depending on your lifestyle and goals, you can eat a few large meals or many smaller meals.
Is Skipping Meals Bad?
Skipping meals can disturb the balance between the food you intake and the production of insulin in your body, eventually leading to lowering your blood sugar levels.
Normally, a balanced diet provides you with enough nutrients to meet the glucose needs of the brain and other tissues. However, when you don’t eat, the period of fasting is prolonged. When you fast for longer periods, your body first uses the glycogen stores in your body to generate more energy, which makes you feel tired. It then starts to burn fat for energy, which can result in the presence of ketones in your urine.
Skipping meals without a plan can also cause a decrease in your metabolic rate, making it harder for you to gain or lose weight. It can also make you feel hungry at odd times of the day, resulting in eating a lot very quickly to satisfy your hunger. This can cause your blood sugar levels to spike, setting you up for another big unhealthy meal later in the day.
More or less, a lot of what we explained here happens to most of us, though your body’s response to skipping meals will also be influenced by your age, wellness, and diet.
If you’re worried about overeating, try not to skip meals. Have healthy snacks throughout the day, as this makes it easier to eat smaller and healthier meals, which is a lot better than skipping altogether.
What should you eat when you don’t feel hungry?
Hunger is a natural signal from your body that it lacks and is in need of energy. The human body is always working and requires energy for each process. The processes which take place in the gut and the brain are two of the most fuel-intensive processes that make you hungry. It is because of this that reducing your appetite may not come naturally. Your appetite is also influenced by some medications, emotions, and even health issues.
Even when you’re not hungry, your body still needs food. When you’re stressed, busy with work, anxious, or experiencing any other negative emotions, it’s normal for you to not experience typical signs of hunger. However, your body’s need for food remains the same, which is why when you don’t eat that you tend to feel worse and experience difficulties managing your daily life. Eating can help you feel good, and often a quick snack (even if we’re not satisfying hunger) can lift your spirits, enhance your productivity at work, or ease your relationships. At the same time, snacking mindlessly can result in extra calories that add up and lead to weight gain.
Here are some ideas on what you can eat on days you have little or no appetite:
Ingesting calories and protein in liquid form can help you get the nutrients your body needs without feeling as full as you would have if you had eaten a solid meal Liquids move faster through the stomach to the intestines, where nutrients are absorbed. Blend together any combination of fruit, nut/seed butter, flaxseed, yogurt, chia seeds, milk, etc.
You can find Vivoo’s smoothie recipes here.
Opt for a light meal
Start small, and eat slowly. Even if you only eat a fraction of your meal at a time, eating smaller portions will be more manageable and a lot less overwhelming than having a full meal. Some examples of light meals include :
- Fruit + peanut butter
- Toast + egg (add some avocado for delicious healthy fat if you fancy it!)
- Quesadilla with cheese and salsa
- Yogurt + granola
- Tortilla chips and guacamole
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