I have a confession to make; I am a chronic breakfast skipper. Actually, I am a meal skipper. Guilty. For the past couple of years I have been trying to break that habit, and I always find that I can, but once my schedule gets stressful this is the first habit I revert to.
For me, this comes from the belief that I am better off not eating rather than having that muffin, or I don’t have time and so I will grab something on the way (usually I don’t find something “healthy” and so skip the meal altogether). During my last shredding program, I understood why skipping a meal was a bad idea.
Firstly, whichever meal I skip guarantees that the next one would be a bad choice (I am ravenous and will eat cardboard if I have to). If I skip dinner, my workout in the morning will be horrible, even if I have breakfast. Recovery is slower once I start meal skipping, and I find myself in the “I don’t feel like it” state of mind more often.
More closely, skipping a meal causes your blood sugar levels to drop (have you ever felt shaky because you’re so hungry?), this translates into crankiness, or the newest description, being hangry (angry because you’re hungry). With that sugar dip your metabolism slows down, and you burn fewer calories, and since your body doesn’t know that you want to lose weight because all it cares about is you having enough food, it will continue to keep your metabolism low by going into starvation mode.
Now your brain is running on low because your body is trying to conserve energy, which starts the sluggish feelings, tiredness and foggy thinking. You then give it an energy surge (caffeine) which only scares your body more because it’s not getting the fuel it needs but still has to deal with you trying to raise your metabolic level. So where will it turn for nutrients? Your muscles!
Most meal skippers will continue to skip meals, and that wreaks havoc on your body immediately. Skipping a meal is not the same as fasting, so don’t assume that your body will just figure it out and adjust accordingly. I now remind myself that even if my choices are horrible, pick the best of the worst and then make sure you are better prepared for such days.