Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Skipping Meals

Do you skip meals and wonder why it doesn't help you lose weight? Well it's all about survival and what I mean is when you miss meals your body believes you are starving. How does the body compensate for the lack of nourishment you don't provide? It stores fat of course this is years and years of evolution and survival skills our bodies have mastered as far back as prehistoric days. When hunters and gathers suffered through long winters without food their body used the fat stores to survive until their next round of feasting occurred. Today we don't worry about when we will get our next meal instead we have the convenience of food all around us.

Missing daily recommended food intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats will result in a negative outcome on your body. Some of the wonderful symptoms from missed meals include (sarcasm intended); headaches, poor concentration, low-blood sugar, fatigue, and mood swings. If you suffer from several of these symptoms it may be because you are not providing your body with the proper nourishment you need. The Mayo Clinic offers a calorie calculator to help determine your proper calorie intake based on your daily living. It is important to be sure you are consuming the proper amounts of food. My Fitness Pal is a great app for your phone to track your daily calories and with the convenience of scanning the barcodes on your food all you have to do is enter the amount you consumed.

Food is fuel! Instead of looking at food as a reward or enemy you need to change your mind set. Food is necessary for daily living and it is not for abuse. I know about abusing food because for several years I suffered from binge eating. When I was depressed, mad, or even happy I used food as my drug of choice. Instead of eating healthy foods I consumed mochas, sweet tea, pans of brownies and cookies, and whatever high sugar foods I could find. Only to still not be satisfied or content with the situation I was encountering at the time.

What meal skippers don't understand is when you miss a meal your blood sugar levels are thrown so far out of wake that overeating is bound to occur. So the next meal the body is offered is like a free-for-all. The body stores a fat hormone that is released and this hormone increases the hunger you feel. Because of this increased hormone overeating occurs and it is a vicious cycle.

Remember how I said food is fuel and it's not the enemy. Food can actually help you lose weight. Really! I consume six to seven small meals a day. What I am doing is continuously running the furnace in my body which is my metabolism. By constantly fueling your body with the necessary and correct portions of food at the appropriate times this allows for weight loss.

Here are some tips to help you learn to eat on a schedule much like an infant. Why we got away from our feeding schedule as a child I will never understand. Because this feeding schedule actually helps to control our bodies sugar levels thus eliminating the risk of diabetes.


  • Set a cell phone alarm to ring every two to three hours. This will allow your body to get used to refueling the furnace. After about a week your body will be able to tell you when it's hungry and you won't need the alarm.
  • Stock your office space or car with food.
    • Our office had a refrigerator and I stocked it with eggs, skim milk, fruit, vegetables, natural peanut butter and lean meat.
    • Cabinets were stocked with whole grains, oatmeal, bread, and wraps, as well as almonds, walnuts, etc.
  • Purchase protein bars- It's important to have food with you at all times. This way if time gets away from you during the day you have a backup plan.
    • Not all protein bars are good for you so be cautious
      • Look for 30 grams of carbs, 10-20 grams of protein and no more than 5-10 grams of fat
      • Look for bars containing alcohol sugars because these sugars go directly to the kidneys instead of causing sugar fluctuations like candy bars do.
  • Boil Eggs- for quick on the go protein
  • Apples- have at least an apple a day to increase your daily fiber
  • Carry a cooler- I keep a cooler in my car and it contains water, eggs, cheese sticks, almonds, and sometimes Greek yogurt.

Remember to always be prepared and don't let people make you feel strange when you carry food with you or a lot of water. (I carry a one gallon jug of water with me each day so I am sure I will consume enough water.) You are actually being prepared and being prepared will help you successfully lose weight. While others are starving and reaching for poor food choices you will be maintaining your cool and losing weight at the same time. Another thing is people that tend to have unhealthy friends usually are unhealthy themselves. If you want to become healthy but fear losing your friends then ask them to join you in a journey to become healthy. The Skinny Mom Challenge is offering a couples and friends a weight loss challenge. Check out to find out more details in our news section.

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