– Contributed by Nutritionist Saumya Shatakshi
Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince and Dine like a Pauper
It is a well known phrase, but how many of us actually follow it?
We live in a busy world, constantly juggling between our work, personal and social life. Involved in the daily chaos, we often ignore our most important asset – our health. Our body has its own work rhythm; skipping meals or eating food untimely hampers our body clock which further affects the normal balance of our body functions. A full stomach keeps you in good spirits and wards away any mood swings.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are the three proper meals that each of us need to have daily for a healthy survival. We all fuss over the nutritious content of our meals but often ignore the importance of timely meals. Eating food is not enough, when and what we eat is equally important. Untimely meals or skipping meals is an open invitation to various health problems.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!!!
Breakfast means breaking the fast. If you had dinner at 9 pm last night and are likely to skip breakfast, then ideally your next meal i.e. lunch would be around 1 pm the next day. This means that you haven’t eaten anything for a good 16 hours. Now, this is worrisome! There are many complications that can arise due to this. A good breakfast can define your day, as a healthy start to your day can make your day happy.
“Obviously skipping breakfast is not good as it makes you more susceptible to weight gain and increases the risk of heart disease, dyslipidemia (abnormally elevated cholesterol or fats (lipids) in the blood) and also diabetes. It slows down your metabolism and energy drive for the day and out of hunger you are bound to make wrong nutrition choices. Ideally, eat breakfast within 2 hours of waking up”, advises Dr. Walia Murshida Huda, Senior Medical Officer & Wellness Consultant, Healthians.
Skipping meals or untimely meals can have terrible effects on our health:
Our meals are the major source of energy for the body helping it work at its best. An individual’s energy requirements may vary as per age, gender and physical activity levels. Timely, well balanced meals are hence essential for continuous replenishment of this energy.
Here are few facts about meals that will draw your attention to the importance of meals.
- Youngsters are usually more physically active; either involved in some sports or are gym-goers. They should never skip meals and make sure to have a wholesome breakfast to start their day. Skipping meals on a regular basis puts the youngsters at the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Untimely meals causes mismanagement of insulin regulation which affects the level of blood glucose in the body.
- Untimely meals are a major cause of obesity. We make unhealthy food choices to curb our hunger pangs which leads to weight gain. Skipping meals to loose weight is sheer stupidity, have healthy and timely meals.
- Timely meals is likely to improve cognitive function related to memory, as it restores glucose levels that is needed for the brain to function. For youngsters it helps to improve memory and concentration levels.
- It is mostly seen that people who are not regular eaters have low BP. The risk of fainting and blackouts increases with low blood pressure.
- Youngsters are known for their high metabolic rate, but if they regularly miss timely meals they can suffer from a drop in their metabolism level.
- Consuming a breakfast high in fibre and low in carbohydrates will make you feel less tired during the day and gives you a boost of energy to start your day well.
- Studies have proven that skipping meals can lead to a fatty liver.
- Long gaps in meals leads to acidity, indigestion and acid reflux. It is best to have regular meals. Avoid gaping your meals for more than 3 hours. Huge gaps between meals confuses the digestive enzymes which causes acidity.
- Untimely meals lead to low immunity, making you more prone to cold and sickness.
- Regularly avoiding breakfast or eating untimely meals can lead to a lack of important nutrients in your body.
- Our digestive system affects our heart health, thus skipping and untimely meals can cause heart problems.
“Our body may crave for food if we skip meals, and the peak hunger time is either in the morning or between 4:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. If you move out of the house without a stomach full, one tends to grab unhealthier options that are easily available. You will be drawn towards street food or junk food. So, to avoid such hunger pangs grab on snacks like fresh fruits or sprouts and never skip your breakfast. The longer we delay refuelling ourselves, the greater the risk of fatigue, headache, low energy and even infection.”- informs Saumya Shatakshi, Senior Nutritionist & Wellness Consultant, Healthians.
We are as good as our health and our health depends on the food we intake. So, no matter how busy you are, having meals on time is a must for a good and healthy life.