You were too busy and forgot to eat during the day. You woke up late and missed breakfast. You just weren’t hungry. Whatever the reason, skipping a meal can be one of the biggest triggers for overeating, as you aren’t just hungry at your next meal, you are ready to eat a whole buffet. Your blood sugar levels are low and so your ability to make rational decisions is impaired, you are more emotional, and much more driven to choose the fastest and worst foods- in big portions- to just stop the shaking, that awful gnawing in your stomach, and the urge to eat anything in sight. Another unhelpful side effect of meal skipping is that your metabolism slows down, as your body is incapable of knowing the difference between a missed meal through choice and a shortage of available food in the vicinity. As a survival mechanism, your body is fantastic at conserving energy in periods of starvation. It’s also just as talented at storing extra energy (as body fat) after a period of starvation, so that it’s there in case of another period of starvation. If your diet involves consuming less energy than you are burning off, your body will perceive this as starvation, whether this is short term or long term. This is why so many people regain the weight after a fast weight loss, usually plus more. The key to losing body fat and keeping it off, is to eat regularly spaced meals containing moderate amounts of low GI carbohydrate to help keep your blood sugars stable and essentially trick your body into thinking there is plenty of food around. A slower rate of weight loss, 0.5-1kg a week for females (after the initial week which will be higher due to some fluid losses) over a longer period of time has been found to be the most effective method for maintaining a goal weight once you have reached it.
Meal planning. If you have your week planned out and all the supplies already in your fridge, it makes meal prep simple and requires no thought. Takeaway will be less of a temptation if you have healthy meals frozen and ready to go at home. Prepare lunches ahead of time and bring them with you so you can eat at your desk if need be, or in the car. Find a quick, portable meal replacement that fits in with your diet plan that you can keep as an emergency stash in case you get caught out. A glass of low fat milk and a couple of grainy crackers or fruit will be enough to keep you going until the next meal time.