Everyone who knows me is well aware of that fact that food is one of the things I love the most in the entire world, and that I will eat (a lot) any chance I get. At this point, you're probably wondering why I did this in the first place. Why would anyone in their right mind voluntarily skip meals or, in my case, go an entire day without eating?

Truth is, I didn't starve myself voluntarily (duh). Instead, a very busy day during this Spring semester in which I had homework, exams, and back-to-back classes not only didn't allow me to sit down and eat for 15 minutes or even to grab something to go, but also made me forget about the fact that I was hungry. 

While some people might often be in a similar situation, some others willingly skip a meal or two with the purpose of dropping a few pounds fast. By choosing to do this they are on some level disregarding the side effects and health risks that go along with doing this, instead of resorting to more conventional and healthier methods like exercise

Considering that most of us are not experts on the topic, skipping meals or fasting might not be the best idea. Here are some of the main consequences that result from doing this, and my unpleasant experience with them.

1. Migraine


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Migraines are frequently triggered by low blood-sugar levels. (Medical News Today) The medical term for this is Hypoglycemia, and it is one of the main side effects from skipping meals or fasting. If we don't consume enough calories for our bodies' needs, our blood-glucose levels drop too low, resulting in annoyingly painful migraines. (The Migraine Trust)

My experience:  The migraine was becoming increasingly painful throughout the day. When 6:30 pm came around and it was time for my Astronomy midterm, the pain was so excruciating that I could hardly concentrate, and the light sensitivity was not helping. 

Additionally, since migraines are often accompanied by nausea, by the time I could finally eat at around 9:00 pm, I would gag just by smelling the food, despite the fact that I was obviously hungry. It was the single worst experience I've had with a slice of pizza.

That night, in the desperation of getting rid of the migraine, I took not two, but four extra strength Excedrin pills, which only increased the unhealthiness of this entire day. Since then, I bring a pack with me everywhere I go, to kill off the pain as soon as it kicks in and isn't yet so bad. 

2. Impaired Concentration


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Glucose, aka sugar, is the primary source of energy for your nervous system, especially the brain. It's attained by breaking down the nutrients in what you eat, therefore, when you fast for a few hours, the amount of glucose in your brain declines, affecting your focus, concentration, memory (Harvard Medical School), and even your mood. (Women's Health)

My experience: Taking an exam on an empty stomach was an awful occurrence. Despite the fact that I had spent every free second I had that day reviewing for it, I had trouble retrieving the information during the exam, and everything in the auditorium was distracting me. And don't even get me started on the awful mood I was in by the end of the day. 

Needless to say, that Astronomy exam was definitely not nearly one of my best, which only added on to the atrocity that was that day.

3. Killed-off Energy

Fasting is associated with lower energy and motivation levels. You feel tired and frail overall, and without a new calorie supply, "your system shifts into starvation mode in an effort to conserve energy," says L.A. based nutritionist Maggie Moon. Additionally, the food you eventually take in isn't effectively burned off, since your metabolism's speed was compromised. (Women's Health)

My experience: For the entire day, I was struggling to actually get things done. From the second I stepped into my first class, I couldn't get myself to function properly. I was foggy, drowsy, and lazy, and the only two things I truly felt like doing were binge-watching an entire Netflix series and sleeping, despite the fact that I had been up for less than an hour.

That night I was in bed by 10, which, considering how I rarely go to sleep before 2:00 am, was very unusual.

cream, strawberry, chocolate
Gloria Berguido

While those are the three most common side effects from skipping meals or fasting, there are several others, such as an increased risk of diabetes, dizziness, fainting, anemia, bone loss, and decreased immunity. (LIVESTRONG)

If you're looking to drop a few pounds, this is clearly not a method you want to resort to. Ironically, it will slow your metabolism and make it even harder for you to lose weight. If you're short on time, like I was, you should try and take a few snacks with you to make it through the day, but most importantly, try to make time for breakfast. 

Breakfast not only breaks the overnight fasting period, but also restores your glucose supply and provides the fundamental nutrients that will keep you energized throughout the day. (Better Health Channel) There's a reason people say it's the most important meal of the day, right?