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What happens to your body when you don't eat

Updated on February 21, 2016

The obvious

Skipping a meal can have obvious direct consequences. For starters, you will be hungry, which (as we all know) is not a pleasant feeling. Hunger damages moods and overall feelings. Your body will be screaming for food, making it hard to work and do other activities.

Another pretty obvious side effect is blood-sugar levels dropping. When you don't get the fuel your body needs, your blood-sugar will dramatically drop, which will in turn make you tired and maybe even light headed.

Weight gain

While it might seem counter-intuitive, not eating can lead to weight gain.

  1. Skipping one meal can mean over-eating the next. When you are as hungry as you are when you don't eat, your next meal could be twice as big. You are so hungry all you want is more and more food. This, clearly, will mean weight gain.
  2. Your body "freaks out", and starts storing everything you ear as fat for a while, thus causing weight gain. This is called "starvation mode".
  3. Your metabolism will lower. Your body wants to survive, therefore if it thinks it's not getting enough food it will lower your metabolism so you don't need as many calories to survive. But, not needing as many calories means even a healthy food consumption might become more than your body needs, so you'll gain wait that much easier.

Your looks will suffer

Not enough nutrients in your system means worse skin, nails and hair. Without enough nutrients and minerals your skin will become dry. You might also lose your hair. With nutrient deficiency comes hair loss. In general your looks will suffer, so healthy eating habits equals healthy skin!

Health complications

Skipping a meal also means you might get sick. Your immune system is compromise when your body doesn't have the nutrients it needs. This means you'll be more susceptible to colds and other diseases.

Another health complication is that tit puts you at a higher risk for diabetes. Your blood-sugar levels and insulin levels are affected by your lack of eating. And these are just a few of the health complications skipping meals might bring.

Healthy meal-skipping?

Now, there are healthy ways to skip meals. This practice, often referred to as intermittent fasting, needs to be done properly. There are many methods to intermittent fasting, so if this is something you are interested in, a lot of research is necessary.


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