Is it Okay to Skip Lunch?
"I am too busy to serve my stomach!"
Majority of working people tend to skip their lunch, giving various excuses. Most of them replace their lunches with snacks and the cups of tea or coffee. They give excuse of eating heavy breakfast, delaying it as late as possible to cover up the effects. If it doesn't work in their case, they go for heavy dinner and eat it as early as possible to escape from the weakness.
Skipping meals is indeed a diet disaster.
- In an average, people with the age group from 35 to 48 skip at least one lunch in a week.
- America’s 43% of people find lunch the least important meal when it comes to overall health.
- 53% of Americans find them too busy to take a break for lunch.
- 60% of population of Britons does not take breakfast daily.
- 25% of Britons miss their breakfast at least thrice in a week.
Consequences of Skipping Meals
How skipping meals is bad, unhealthy and causes side-effects, get enlightened. Here you are 15 consequences that the lunch-skippers welcome unknowingly:
1. Disturbed Weight Management and Obesity
A weight conscious person goes on dieting and imagines about a toned body, unaware of the fact that it eventually causes weight gain. When we don’t eat for a long, it turns the hunger to craving. In this situation, the spicy, peppery, frozen, oily and fried eatables attract more. Craving leads to overeating and insensible eating. This was we go for more calorie intake, which boosts weight gain.
A person with normal weight and health conditions can skip the lunch (sometimes but not often), but it can cause a problem for a diabetic person and pregnant or breast-feeding lady.
Thoughtful calorie intake is good for health, but cutting calories unthinkingly for weight loss has downsides.
- Metabolism disorder
- Excessive thirst
- Urine production in increasing amount
A body that performs normal functions, the production of insulin remains balanced and the level of insulin changes all the time. Such body owns an automatic feedback system, that is, it follows the intake of carbohydrates and regulated the balanced level of glucose in bloodstreams.
The diabetic patients take injections to mimic the same process in order to maintain the level of glucose in blood. This process of keeping the blood sugar level normal or near normal saves a diabetic person from long-term complications.
Think, what can happen if one misses the meal, and a diabetic misses the dose of insulin? Skipping meals ruins the rhythm of system; though in case of occasional skip, you can hop both meal and insulin. Making it a strategy can result in serious consequences.
3. High Blood Sugar
- Circulation of glucose in excessive amount in blood plasma
People, who skip lunch, tend to eat more in the next meal. The hunger then turns to starve and demands for more carbohydrate than usual, which fulfills with the supply of grains, sugar, and potatoes. Such eatables increase the level of blood sugar and leads to high glucose level.
This state results to damaging the small nerves and arteries in kidneys, brain, feet, eyes and heart over time. In normal conditions of diabetes, watch out if your blood sugar gets higher than 180 mg/dL in ordinary days and 130 mg/dL in case of fast. Take the record after two hours of eating.
Note: It is a different case if doctor has set other targets for you to follow.
Instead of skipping the lunches, try to know the other causes of damage and control them by exercising and healthy diet.
4. Dipped Blood Sugar Level and Hypoglycemia
- Abnormally diminished level of glucose in blood
In absence of regular energy supply through food, liver starts to realize glucose with the flow of blood around the body, which is provided by the stored glycogen of liver or newly synthesized glycogen from protein. It dips the level of blood sugar, affecting the mental performance.
5. High Blood Pressure
The drop in blood sugar level due to skipping meal makes your body releasing hormones to compensate for low glucose level. It causes an increase in blood pressure and affects the arteries, making them narrow.
- Pain in head that is continuous
Imbalanced blood pressure increases the chances of hypoglycemia, which can lead to headache migraines.
7. Nausea and Dizziness
- Inclination of sickness
- Feeling of vomit
Light headedness, headache, and nausea are some of the warning signs that your body needs food. In absence of demanded food, a body uses fat to fulfill the need of fuel and starts to break down the muscles. It sounds good if you want to lose weight, but it shows adverse effects on long-term practice, making your body weaker. And a weaker body is never a fit one. Such practice comes with prolonged hypoglycemia, headache, sweating, nausea, and faintness.
8. Fatigue, Bad Performance and Depression
- The feeling of over-tiredness after mental or physical exhaustion
- Extreme tiredness or weariness after repetition of stress
Skip of breakfast and lack of drink in midday time can cause fatigue. Refueling on time not only keeps the energy level stable (indeed higher), but also takes less energy to digest.
Researchers say that lunch-skippers turn to bad performers in schools and offices. Further it causes depression and lack of self-confidence.
9. Mental Health Problems and Seizure Disorder
- Need of using force to execute action
- Sudden illness
- An epileptic fit
When mental health starts to go down, it becomes a sensitive case. Sometimes the abnormal activities of brain trigger muscular convulsions. The state of altered mental conditions causes such neurological problems. Such seizure disorder is commonly termed as epilepsy.
Sometimes, low blood sugar also causes seizures.
Not only skipped meals, but irregular meals can also trigger this disorder.
10. Anxiety, Depression and Drained Feeling
- Unease of uncertainty
- Stress and tension
The Journal of Nutrition reveals a study on skipping the lunch, which involved the physicians. The study says that lunch-skippers face irritation, decrease in patience, frustration, and emotionally drained feeling. It causes lack in focus, difficulty in concentrating, and slower pace of making decisions. It results to depression and anxiety.
11. Acid Reflux, Gastritis, Stomach Pain, Stomach Ulcer, Diarrhea
Symptoms of Acid Reflux
- Burning sensation and pain in chest
- Burping and nausea
- Upset stomach with feeling of fullness
- Distressed upper abdomen
- Sore throat, sore mouth, hoarseness, and cough
When we don’t eat and continue being hungry, the stomach produces digestive juices that are acidic in nature. They are released to break down what we eat, but when the stomach is not fed for a long period, the produced juices show their affect, eroding the stomach line. It results in acidity and ulcers, leading to gastroenteritis.
12. GERD, Indigestion, Gas, and Bloating
- Discomfort and pain in stomach
- Difficulty in digesting food
- Swollen stomach with food or fluid
(GERD: Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease)
The digestive juice is responsible for proper functioning of digestive tract. They work in form of digestive enzymes and from chewing process, they kick-start to perform their action. Missing meals not only causes lack of nutrition, but also decrease the formation rate of digestive enzymes. Their insufficient quantity results to poor digestion, triggering gas and bloating.
Gastro-colic reflex also causes irritable bowel syndrome or diarrhea.
- A feeling of painful burn behind or below the breastbone
- Worsen Situation: Spread of pain from chest to throat and neck
Fatty and greasy food, late-night meals, and large portions trigger heartburn. Do you know skipping meal can also trigger heartburn? The obvious larger meals after ‘no meals’ stretches the belly, making it full. This stuffed feeling and stretched stomach pressurize the LES, the muscle-ring that prevents acids moving in wrong direction from stomach. Sometimes, this too-much pressure sends the stomach acids back up to the throat and causes heartburn.
14. Stinky “Hunger Breath” or Bad Breath or Chronic Breath or Sulfuric Stench
When you skip meals or keep fast, the chemical reaction of ketoacidosis starts. In this, the body chemicals break down and develop an unpleasant, odd fruity odor.
Second, empty stomach reduces the amount of saliva production. Saliva helps to flush away the unwanted bacteria in tongue, gums and teeth; less formation of saliva leads to dry mouth, which results in bad breath. Such mouth becomes a mansion of randy bacteria, who multiply exponentially.
Lozenges and chewing-gums keep the saliva flowing and thus help in eliminating the stinky odor of mouth. Though, instead of products like chewing-gum, it is suggested to take fruits or fennel (saunf) for getting rid of this problem.
15. Skipping Meals and Cancer
Some studies have shown that people, who are suffering heart disease or taking chemotherapy for curing cancer, if skip some meals, then it helps in better cure. Studies have demonstrated a declined explosion of cancer cells and in their case, the cure rate was higher.
But remember, here intermittent fasting or fasting in alternative days is practiced. Second, it is followed in specific cases and under medical considerations.
Surprisingly, skipping meals while pregnant can also boost premature labor or miscarriage due to malnutrition.
Now you know what skipping meals can invite. So, next time keep your eyes opened about what, how much, and how many times you eat.
Eat healthy! Live healthy!