Do you skip meals frequently? Are you trying to lose those last 10 pounds? Or have you had a crazy busy schedule and there’s just no time to eat? In working with clients, each person is unique. Some each when stressed or really busy. Others forget to eat. (I always wondered what forgetting to eat would feel like. I NEVER had that problem, but the men in my family do that frequently.)
Skipping meals can be done deliberately or accidentally. Let’s take a look at this hit-or-miss eating and what it’s doing to you body.
Recent studies have found that long hours on an empty stomach can trigger insulin resistance and increase your risk for Type 2 diabetes. That’s on top of long-standing evidence that links intermittent fasting to lower energy, irritability, and nutritional deficits.
Whichever category you fall into, are you ready for a change to feel better? Eating regularly can have a positive impact on how good you feel, and if you want to lose some weight, regular eating definitely has a positive effect there also. Here are some safer and more effective alternatives that will let you enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Losing Weight Without Skipping Meals
You may feel like giving yourself two thumbs up when you pass on lunch. Hey, you saved some calories, right? However, did you know that skipping meals can have the reverse effect? It can slow your metabolism, increase abdominal fat, and aggravate junk food cravings? Here are some better ways to drop that excess weight without skipping meals, and eating will keep your energy up.
1. Find a way to move your body. The smart way to manage your weight is to combine a healthy diet with increased physical activity. Do you enjoy exercising? People usually love working out or dread it. So think movement instead of “exercise.” Sometimes with exercise we think of grueling routines, and if you feel tired regularly, that thought can send you right back to the couch with a blanket over your head! So just move in some way. It can be easy stretches. Crank up the tunes and dance. Walk the dog around the block. Start easy, and when you feel stronger, increase the time you move. Any movement will help your muscles, and your mental state.
2. Make friends with food. Do you think of food as your enemy? Remember, it fuels your body and gives you pleasure. A healthy attitude about food can help you make sounder choices.
3. Consume more vegetables. One of the easiest ways to slim down is to eat more produce. Instead of reaching for chips or unhealthy snacks, grab some celery, an apple, or a fresh carrot. Most fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense, and crunching on the fruits or vegetables can satisfy that urge to have something in your mouth!
Planning Ahead to Avoid Skipping Meals
Do meal times take you by surprise? Keep healthy food handy throughout the day with a little planning. Here’s some ideas to get you started.
1. Stock your pantry. You’ll know what’s for dinner if you keep your cabinets full of basic staples. That includes whole grains, beans, and nuts.
2. Take food with you. Store yogurt in the office refrigerator for a quick meal. Pack a cooler with carrots and other healthy snacks for car trips. Raw nuts are a great nutritious and filling snack to have with you at all times.
3. Create weekly menus. Create a meal plan for you and your family so you’ll be prepared for early dinners on the night of the school play or weekend brunches when you have guests. As a bonus, you’ll probably spend less time grocery shopping if you can do it all in one trip.
4. Research “good food” locations. Knowing where the nearest farmer’s market or vegetarian restaurant is saves a lot of time. Just go online and do a search. Line up your options before you leave home.
Saving Time Without Skipping Meals
Balanced meals can be whipped up quickly. Find shortcuts that work with your busy schedule.
1. Simplify recipes. Look for recipes that require only a few ingredients or can be prepared in under 20 minutes. Use shortcuts to streamline your favorite dishes when you’re in a rush. I’ll be including many recipes on this website to help you save time and have a great meal.
2. Shop the frozen aisle. Speaking of shortcuts, the freezer section could be your first stop. Fresh is always better but frozen vegetables are a good option. They usually have nutritional value similar to their fresh counterparts, and you can stock up your freezer with them so you always have veggies on hand.
3. Cook in batches. Double the recipe the next time you cook lasagna, meatloaf, chicken, chili, or soup. Separate the leftovers into individual servings and freeze them for fast meals in the future.
4. Revamp your kitchen. Renovating your kitchen is expensive, but you may be able to make simple adjustments that will speed up meal preparation. Send seldom-used equipment off to the basement or a spare closet to free up space. Buy drawer organizers that will let you grab the steamer immediately instead of searching for it. I had a cabinet full of beautiful china that we rarely used. I boxed it up and now my juicer and my slow cooker are so handy.
Instead of missing meals, give your mind and body the nourishment they need to keep you in top form. Managing your time and losing weight gradually will help you to stay fit and productive.