Skipping Meals - do you gain or lose weight?
Why eating more frequently is best for weight loss?
We know you are busy, running after kids or taking care of the demands of a new baby can be exhausting! Many times mums tend to put themselves last when there are so many other responsibilities to handle first. This can be especially true when it comes to preparing and consuming healthy meals every day. Have you ever had a day where you suddenly realised it was 2pm and all you have had is coffee? Suddenly you are famished and desperate to eat almost anything – and very often this is chocolate or biscuits! Skipping meals definitely does not set you up for making healthy choices and may have other consequences on your health, brain, and even your breath.
Motherhood requires a lot of patience - a lot! But, when you skip a meal, and you get “hangry”, a combination of hungry and angry, patience can be hard to come by. The reason your mood is affected by skipping meals is that your brain is starved of its most essential nutrient, glucose (or sugar). This causes your brain to panic a bit and it releases cortisol and adrenaline, two hormones that cause anxiety to increase and stress levels to go up. Eating balanced meals can mean the difference between losing your temper when your toddler redecorates the wall with his crayons or calmly “redirecting” his artistic spirit to a more appropriate canvas.
Spacing meals and snacks evenly throughout the day can help prevent you from getting overly hungry, and hopefully, decrease your risk of binging on unhealthy foods. Even short bouts of food deprivation have been shown to lead people to buy more junk food than they normally would or to overeat unhealthy foods. Skipping meals to save on calories seems to actually backfire, leading people to eat more calories, not less.
As I mentioned above, your brain needs glucose to run properly. When you don’t provide your body with adequate glucose, your brain function will slow down which can decrease your ability to think straight, concentrate, or remember anything. Basically, it will make your “mummy brain” that much worse! We definitely don’t need to be more forgetful as Mums or we could end up forgetting something really important, like a doctor’s appointment or an important anniversary.
Lastly, if you are frequently skipping meals, your body can enter the state of ketosis, where the body stops using glucose for energy and begins to use compounds called ketones instead. The by-product of using ketones for energy is that the body begins to produce acetone once the ketones are processed. So, people who are on a very low carbohydrate diet or who are fasting may have breath that smells just like nail polish remover, from the acetone created by ketone metabolism. Not so nice!
Ideally, you should eat at least three meals a day and one or two snacks to prevent you from getting overly hungry and help maintain energy levels. Eating frequent meals can speed up your metabolism a little bit because calories are required to digest food. Between meals, metabolism does slow down because digestion is no longer occurring and the body is trying to conserve energy until the next meal.
But, the best way to determine how often you should eat is to connect with your hunger cues. Are you genuinely hungry? Then you should eat something. Don’t deny your body’s signals in order to lose weight, it usually backfires. If you are hungry, aim for a balanced meal or snack containing protein and a food high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, or whole grains. Learning to listen to your own personal hunger cues and signals is critically important for long-term weight maintenance. Your body knows what it needs - all you have to do is listen. So, even if you have to set a timer to check in with yourself, take a minute every couple of hours to ask your body “Am I hungry?” If the answer is yes, then eat! Your body, and your family, will thank you for it.
Julie Masci, BHlthSc, APD, AN
Julie Masci is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist. She is a Mum to three children under 10. Julie has appeared on Brisbane’s televisions as an expert dietitian on Channel 9 News, Channel 7 News, Today Tonight and Brisbane Extra, as a diet and nutrition expert. She has extensive experience as a public speaker on a variety of nutrition topics, such as obesity, diabetes, and digestive health. In her career, she has been a monthly contributor to Prevention Magazine as their Grocery Guru and Australian Weight Watchers magazine. Julie is one of In Shape Mummy’s dietitians and the founder and director of New Life Nutrition.
Fast Track Your Results with the In Shape Mummy Health Shake
Many Busy Mums don't have time to cook health food and exercise ALL the time.
Great news! Now you can Fast Track Getting In Shape with our Quick, Easy and Delicious Superfood Meal Replacement, the In Shape Mummy Health Shake for Breastfeeding Mums.
Support your Milk Supply and Boost Your Health while you Lose Weight with our Premium blend of Organic Pea & Brown Rice Protein, 25 Vitamins & Minerals, Probiotics plus Organic Superfoods.
Enhanced with natural and organic herbs that have been used for centuries to Support Breastfeeding. Plus, Probiotics to help strengthen your babies immune system.
100% Breastfeeding & Vegan Friendly. Contains NO Artificial Nasties, NO Soy, NO Dairy, NO Gluten & NO Caffeine. Made in Australia.
Enjoy as the Quickest and Easiest Healthy Meal!
FREE 12-Week Healthy Weight Loss Support Program worth $168 with first shake purchase.
"I'm loving it so far.. I'm already down from in weight and I feel great :) Not exaggerating when I say this is the best purchase I ever made .. can't wait to get to my first mini goal of 65kgs then set my new goal of 60kgs :) .. so far it's been life changing, thank you so much!! It has literally boosted my milk supply. I used to pump 160mls and now I average 240mls .. I've never been able to get that."
- Tania, Vic
"I've lost 35 kgs thanks to the In Shape Mummy Health Shakes. 110 kgs to 75 kgs! Juggling two little boys under 2 years old doesn't leave much time for healthy choices for Mummy and the In Shape Mummy Health Shake is such an easy solution to get all the goodness I need to keep going! My older son is 20 months and I didn't get the chance to lose the weight gained whilst carrying him before I was pregnant again with baby #2. I easily gained 40kgs across the two pregnancies and no thanks to terrible pelvic pain in pregnancy #2 wasn't able to keep active. Now that my second son is here and the pelvic pain has gone I have stuck to replacing breakfast with my shake and walking every morning for the duration of the morning sleep. Some days I will do a second shorter walk during his nap. I'm still able to enjoy yummy healthy foods and definitely do not feel like I'm going without. I no longer crave sugary foods as the shake sets me up for the day with its magical satisfying ingredients! The shake has become even more of a must since returning to work! If I thought I was busy before, life just got a whole lot busier! Now that I've lost the weight, I have more energy, zero aches and pains and have a better mood. I tell all my friends about In Shape Mummy because easy weight loss doesn't need to be a secret! Xx"
- Carly, Vic
"I discovered In Shape Mummy Health Shakes not long after my second baby was born. He has an intolerance to dairy so I was looking to find something that was safe for breastfeeding, and also vegan friendly. I have recently started a detox program with the help of a naturopath. She was so impressed with the ingredients that she has encouraged me to continue having it! In Shape Mummy has not only helped me lose the 26 kgs I put on in pregnancy, but it’s helped me nourish my body when I’ve been time poor and sleep deprived. It’s the only shake that I actually enjoy the taste of! My breakfast everyday includes ice, almond milk, water, a banana and my In Shape Mummy (my current fave is the caramel fudge!). At 11 months postpartum I feel great! And my breastfeeding journey is still going strong - my milk is in perfect supply for what Bub needs. I cannot recommend In Shape Mummy Health Shakes more highly!”
- Melanie, Vic
"I have lost over 30kg with In Shape Mummy Health Shakes, exercise and a complete diet change. I started at size 22 and am a loose size 12 at the moment… and nearly a 10! I feel so much better! With my injuries in my spine, pelvis and knee my weight loss has been the best thing for my pain.
7-8 months ago I couldn’t have even imagined I could drop this much weight! The change in my life has been insane! My advice to other mums is “stick with it and don’t give up!” Thanks so very much for your In Shape Mummy Health Shakes. They are the best thing for mums on the go and while breastfeeding as well. Words can not express how grateful I am with my weight loss. I couldn’t of started this without your shakes. My life is forever changed."
- Jess, NT