Did you know that skipping a meal is one of the best ways to derail your healthy eating plan? You might think that skipping a meal will save you on calories for the day and thereby assist in your quest to eat moderately, but in fact it does the opposite. Your body needs a steady stream of energy to keep on going, with 5 small meals being even more beneficial to a steadily burning metabolism than 3 large ones. The gaps of time when your body runs out of fuel creates a dip in your blood sugar and sends all kinds of signals throughout your body to put some more fuel in there! You might make it 1, 2, or even 5 hours past your normal meal time without eating but then everything in sight starts looking DELICIOUS. That super sugary treat that you can resist when your stomach is full suddenly looks much more amazing when you haven’t eaten in 5 hours. Your stomach is growling so you give in and…you have 10 of them! Derailed eating plan. Instead of several healthy groups of things throughout the day, you ate 2 healthy meals, a bag of powdered sugar donuts, a sleeve of potato chips, and a sugary drink. More calories with less protein and nutrients. With a bonus of post-sugar crash and gastrointestinal distress. Whee!
I do this: I inadvertently skip lunch. The kids and I are out and about in the mornings, then head home or we eat a pre-packed lunch wherever we are to be finished before naptime hits. I always pack their lunch and neglect to pack anything for me. Since naptime is frequently the only time I have to shower, I get busy showering, checking blogs/social media/answering email, doing laundry, falling asleep, etc. and before I know it one of them is awake and I never ate lunch. I’m starving but I can’t eat in front of them because that triggers a huge snack fest for them 2 hours before dinner time, which somehow results in no one eating any dinner. The only thing I can do is run into the kitchen when no one is looking and cram random snack food into my mouth. Fortunately, we don’t actually keep true junk food around the house so I’m not eating candy and the chips are baked organic ones with flax seeds, but these are not great substitutes for a meal.
Enter the #LunchChallenge. Casey started this at some point a few months ago… I can’t remember exactly when, maybe before BlogHer? Anyway, she was Instagramming/tweeting pictures of what she would have for lunch with the hashtag #lunchchallenge. I jumped on the bandwagon basically as accountability. I need to be able to make sure I am actually preparing food for myself at lunch and eating it, and not just a handful of tortilla chips and salsa or the crusts that I cut off of LL’s sandwich. Actual FOOD.
We’d love for everyone to join us! Help keep us all accountable for eating — whether you want to remind yourself to eat healthfully or just eat AT ALL (I’m in the “I need to eat at all, regardless of the healthiness” boat). Take a picture of what you’re eating and tag it with #lunchchallenge! Let’s do it, oh, through the end of the month, maybe? Feel free to grab the graphic above for your blog if you want to reblog!