Here's How Skipping Meals is Actually Causing You to Gain Weight
You probably know by now that here at Sakara, we always choose abundance over deprivation. This mentality rings especially true when it comes to our food. And for good, science-backed reason. Contrary to what has been ingrained in so many of our heads, eating less will not help you achieve your ideal weight. In fact, skimping on meals is more than likely sabotaging your weight-loss and health goals.
When we skip meals and deprive ourselves from the nutrients we need, our bodies begin to slow down in an attempt to conserve energy. Because the body isn’t sure when its next meal will be coming, it goes into starvation + survival mode. This slows our metabolism, spikes our cortisol (the stress hormone), and causes the body to hold onto fat. So while you may technically be eliminating calories from your diet, it doesn’t quite translate that way; instead, the body actually begins storing fat for back-up energy. To make matters worse, our bodies begin to burn muscle as a way to conserve energy — our muscles require a lot of calories (i.e. energy) to function, so when the body is low on energy, it begins to eliminate anything non-essential that may be taking away energy from more important functions. You can pretty much kiss all that hard work at Physique57 and SLT goodbye.
Our brains also suffer big time from this lack of energy, and that is no bueno for your health (or waist line). The brain requires more energy than any other human organ, requiring about 20% of our daily calorie intake. So when we skip meals, the energy we do have is allotted to functions such a breathing and body temperature regulation (you know, to keep you alive and stuff), leaving us feeling foggy-headed, tired, moody, and particularly susceptible to poor food choices. Pair that with the low-blood sugar caused by your lack of nutrient intake, and you’ll be a hangry mess with no energy for that post-work gym sesh and even less willpower against those late afternoon sugar cravings.
As unappealing (or perhaps, all too familiar) as that all sounds, the amazing news is that you can totally avoid it all (and reach your weight loss goals) by eating! We’re talking consistent, full, nutrient-dense meals daily. While it may seem counterintuitive to eat more if you’re looking to weigh less, the truth is our bodies need fuel in order to perform what we ask of it. When we nourish our bodies and begin treating them with love, we then begin to see the results we desire. Next time you feel yourself wanting to deprive, take a step back and bring some awareness to what it is you are really feeling, what it is you really want. What thought or fear or interaction is triggering you to deprive rather than nourish yourself? And through this deprivation, what is it that you are trying to achieve? Affirm to yourself every day, as often as you need to hear it, that you are enough. You are enough and you are whole and you are perfect exactly the way you look and feel right now, and you deserve nothing but abundance. Do not eat or act or move or speak the way fear wants you to — eat like you love yourself, and I promise the external things, like your weight, will begin to shift the way you want them to.