Skipping meals is something college students often do without thinking of the potential negative consequences.
However, it isn’t good for someone to skip a meal for any reason. Doing so can have negative affects on one’s health.
These negative health effects include: weight gain, binge eating, lower metabolism levels, impairing of mental focus and an increase in the risk of developing diabetes.
Some people might think skipping meals can be beneficial because they are consuming fewer calories, hoping to lose weight. Unfortunatly, this isn’t the case. In fact, skipping meals can actually lead to an increase in binge eating.
Skipping a meal makes someone feel hungrier and leads to eating more than normal.
Additionally, those that skip meals actually burn fewer calories and have less energy. This has to do with an individual’s metabolism.
When food is consumed, metabolism levels rise. Without food to digest, metabolism levels go down. No food in an empty stomach means there is no energy to gain.
When food is finally consumed, metabolism levels rise but food may be stored because the body has no idea when it will get fed again.
Mental concentration is also impaired by skipping meals. Without food in the body, there isn’t any glucose to absorb.
Glucose is the primary energy source for the brain and central nervous system. Without glucose, memory, focus and concentration are impaired.
Moreover, the risk of Type 2 diabetes increases. Those who skip meals and eat more in one sitting, have higher blood sugar levels and insulin responses. This puts these individuals at a greater risk for Type 2 diabetes than those who eat meals regularly.
Other potential health risks can include dizziness, fatigue, bone loss and decreased immunity.
Health experts have suggested eating six mini-meals or snacks per day instead of three large meals.
Eating every two to four hours allows your metabolism level to remain high, allows body to burn more calories, and helps maintain high energy levels.
One still has to make sure these meals aren’t high in calories or bad fats.
If you find yourself hungry throughout the day, it is suggested to eat something high in protein or drink more water. Both of these can decrease hunger to prevent snacking.
Planning meals in advance can also prevent meal skipping by either waking up 15 minutes early to prepare breakfast, or spending the last 20 minutes of the day to prepare meals for the next day.