RULE: Don’t Skip Meals

Loads of my patients skip meals.  Many people think skipping breakfast and/or lunch will help them cut out the calories that cause them to gain weight.  Unfortunately, for most, that does not work for several reasons.  Some studies show, when the body is deprived of food (ie skipping meals) the metabolism (the body’s rate of using calories) slows.  Then once a meal is consumed, the body doesn’t know when it will eat again, and thus stores that meal as fat.

But another, perhaps more common problem, is the ability to make healthy choices when hungry.  I tell my patients, ” When im really, really hungry, if I were offered a pizza or a salad, It’d be awful hard to turn down the pizza. And I’m probably gonna scarf down not one piece, but the whole thing”. They usually nod knowingly.

When hunger looms, our cravings take the helm.

Most Americans consume the majority of their calories at dinner.  We, as a nation, eat one enormous feast just before bed.

Put simply, the liver, which processes food we consume, cannot use more than about 500-600 calories at a time; anything more than that gets stored as fat. So when you skip a meal and then jam 2000-4000 calories worth of dinner down the food shoot, you are inundating your body with more fuel than it can handle. Thus the extra 1500-3500 calories is stored in the form of fat, adding pounds.

And it only takes 3500 calories to make a pound.

So do your self a favor. Eat something (and remember it should include a fruit or vegetable and a protein–see healthy snacks for ideas).   And you’ll begin to make better choices, eat smaller portions, and more real foods, in turn making you healthier and trimmer!

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Madeleine Vanstory attended Duke University and began her post-graduate journey at The Elaine Clark Center working with special needs children. She went on to work as a Clinical Research Scientist running clinical trials for the CDC and developing medical devices for Welsh Allen, Abbot Labs, Roche and Johnson & Jonhson Her work included non-invansive cervical cancer detection, continuous diabetic glucose monitoring, non-harmful infant bilirubin level detection and studying Vitamin C's anti-aging effects on the skin. Madeleine attended Medical school at The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University and completed a residency in Family Medicine at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro NC. Dr. Madeleine Vanstory is a board certified Family Physician who has practiced all over the world. She has lead medical missions in Kenya and Honduras. She has participated with Operation Smile in Russia, she has patients in North Carolina, Maine, Oregon and New Zealand. Dr. Vanstory has worked the medical tents in the Marine Corps marathon in Washington DC and at the Kona Ironman World Championships. And Dr. Vanstory has marched with the Surgeon General promoting "Exercise is Medicine" at the World Congress Sports Medicine Conference. Disillusioned by the current health care system and armed with the realization that culture, nutrition and emotional well-being have a profound impact on health, Dr. Vanstory now motivates clients and patients to discover the healthiest versions of themselves through humor, counseling in her "Upgrade Your Health" Wellness Program.

3 thoughts on “RULE: Don’t Skip Meals

  1. Good rule. I’m not a meal skipper, but recently I had a day where I planned poorly and found myself working late with literally the only food available to me being white pasta with butter on it. Seriously, that was it, nary a vegetable in sight. I put off eating and then eventually gave my head a shake and told myself I would not starve myself just because I didn’t like what the choice was. By that point I was so hungry I was literally shovelling butter covered pasta into my mouth as fast as I could and ate way more of it than I wanted to. Lesson learned, plan better in the future.

  2. This makes me laugh bc I can totally relate! It’s also why I try to always have something stashed in my bag or a glove box, but when I know they are there, sometimes they get gobbled up prematurely and later Im left “hangry”

  3. had no idea about the liver only being able to process 5-600 calories – now that’s a good reason to not overindulge! love your rants!

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