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What happens when you skip breakfast

breakfast

Do you have the habit of skipping breakfast often? Probably you are here because either you or some of your loved ones are skipping morning diet. Or at-least starting metabolism pretty late. Well, that might seems to be acceptable to some of you. When particularly, you are too much involved in the work and literally forget to care for your health. Or to least extend, unable to give adequate self-care. But what if I say, insanely you are posing your health under risk?

In this fast-paced world, we blindly run behind work and time. Extremely committed to multiple deadlines and less fortunate to live a peaceful life. However, the sad part is, most of the time we don’t even realize that we are distressed. Excessive work to your brain is not the only criteria to determine that you are stressful, but your overall lifestyle would! When you give the heavy load to your brain or body, it typically requires tremendous energy to function effectively. But where does that energy come from? When you forcefully skip your early metabolism, it would not only affect the efficacy of work but also has a double impact on the efficiency of your health. To understand better, it’s significant to know about biological clock and metabolism after eating.

Mechanism of morning metabolism :

First meal what you have in the morning and the time you initiate it matters a lot to determine any predisposing chronic diseases. There are multiple connections between your breakfast to mental and physical well-being. The human body being diurnal in nature, it is designed to spend more energy during day time and rest at night. Saying so, all the hormones, enzymes and organs involved for metabolism and digestion will actively work on the day. Like, extensively active in the early morning, while gradually decreases when the day passes. Finally becomes very minimal at night. Thus ideally, what you eat, how much energy you have spent, and at what time you eat that particular diet tells about how healthy are your internal organs.

For instance,

high-calorie diets are typically advisable at the beginning of the day, followed by a good amount of energy expenditure and mild diet towards the end. When you mess up this natural phenomenon, you are more likely going against nature and troubling your mind and health. Unfortunately, the recent changes in lifestyle have made many of us to work or at least spend time more on late nights, and habituating late morning wake-ups. This would not only affect the sleep cycle but also eating habit of oneself. Skipping breakfast or eating late in the morning ( say, for instance, merging breakfast and lunch together) and preferring a meal at late night would pose to serious health issues from hormonal imbalance till cardiovascular disease.

picture courtesy

Consequences of skipping breakfast :

When you skip your breakfast, the following are probable outcomes.

Stiffening of blood vessels :

 A research study by Oikonomou E et al at ‘Hippokration General Hospital’, Greece, have found that blood vessels particularly their central portion, are increasingly stiffening on people who avoid or delay breakfast regularly and to those who consume a low saturated diet in the morning than high energy meal.

Because of tightening of blood vessels, you are at the major risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, stroke, ischemic heart disease, thrombi and emboli formation, myocardial infarction and pulmonary infarction. Apart from genetics, your lifestyle will determine most of the futuristic consequences. It’s better to be late than never. Unless you don’t correct at the time of your realization, it’s almost impossible to escape from cardiovascular abnormalities. Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world according to ‘ World Health Organization (WHO)’ in their recent survey(1). When skipping breakfast is a predominant issue nowadays, there seems to be a valid correlation between rising in health ailments and time of metabolic initiation.

Type 2 Diabetes :

 Breakfast seems to be the best meal to cease longer fasting time and to induce a better metabolic rate. This helps to lower the appetite for the rest of the day and better weight control. On the other hand, if you avoid breakfast or delay having it, it could drastically affect the endocrine secretion, increases glycemic index, increases LDL cholesterol level, which altogether affects BMI and causes obesity.

On increased fasting time, it is known that our body has higher ghrelin (hunger hormone) level and lower insulin level. This ultimately leads to increased hunger, weight gain and other chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In this modern society, most of us have wrong belief and tend to skip breakfast for the sake of reducing weight; however, the truth is another way around and delaying morning diet would certainly increase BMI and pose risk for diabetes.

Depression :

 Not only physical impairments but also mental detrimental effects would cause due to skipping breakfast. Depressive symptoms like mood swing, anxiety, unnecessary anger, self-esteem, difficulty to concentrate remembering details and making a decision, feeling void, insomnia, feeling guilt worthless and helpless, fatigue, irritability, pessimism, repeated headache, energy loss are all linked with frequent breakfast skipping. In a research study made by Miki T et al of Japan have found that in spite of correcting dietary and other non-dietary factors, avoiding breakfast has a strong correlation with depression and its corresponding symptoms. People who ignore morning diet are increasing becoming prey for depression. Breakfast and depression are directly proportional to each other, greater you skip, stronger would be the depressive symptoms.

Dysmenorrhea :

Eating late in the morning and altering the circadian rhythms has also seemed to affect the reproductive system of the female. Irregular menses and dysmenorrhea are increasingly higher in those who skip breakfast. Avoiding morning food would drastically affect the quality of life. Hormonal changes are inevitable and immediate effects are more likely seen on the reproductive cycle. This, however, has the future consequences, particularly during planning for pregnancy. Hence, it is significant to correct the cycle before its too late.

Chronic inflammation and Loss of immunity :

 Prolonging the fasting time would certainly affect the energy expenditure and quality of energy supplements and its requirements. In the long term could cause low-grade chronic inflammation and immunity loss. Also that, risk of cancer is also prevalent due to skipping breakfast as it has a direct influence on the poor quality of life.

Saying so, Work-life balance is highly essential. Without proper healthcare managements, life has no meaning. Having breakfast in the morning would hardly take half an hour, and spending this valuable time for your own goodness would certainly make sense to you and to your surroundings.

Article References from Pubmed/ PMC/ Sciencedirect :

 The Big Breakfast Study: Chrono‐nutrition influence on energy expenditure and body weight

Breakfast association with arterial stiffness and carotid atherosclerotic burden. Insights from the ‘Corinthia’ study.

Breakfast skipping and the risk of type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of observational studies.

Breakfast consumption and the risk of depressive symptoms: The Furukawa Nutrition and Health Study.

Skipping breakfast is associated with reproductive dysfunction in post-adolescent female college students

Impact of breakfast skipping compared with dinner skipping on the regulation of energy balance and metabolic risk.

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