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Welcome to Part 4 of my Skipping Meals series! Today we will be talking about what to do if the thought of food leaves you queasy. If you have not already read Parts 1-3 of this series, I would encourage you to do that, as each part in the series builds upon the info in previous parts. You can find all of those here:

The Thought of Food in the Morning Leaves You Feeling Queasy

This is another very common reason why women skip breakfast. I used to skip breakfast for this very reason. The thought of eating food in the morning left me feeling nauseous, so I ended up fueling my body with coffee until lunchtime…and then I often wondered why I felt like crap in the middle of the afternoon. I’d have an energy dip and quite often would develop headaches that just wouldn’t go away. At the time, I was working in a busy office setting so I had to push through the rest of the day, even though I was feeling like garbage.

I would also find myself feeling ravenous by the time dinner came around and I would eat WAY more food than my body needed in the nighttime just because it felt like it was starving all day long. Binging was a common occurrence for me, especially on the evenings when I would be alone with no one to judge me. So much guilt and shame around that…and it was compounded by the fact that I was gaining weight. I later realized that consuming the bulk of my calories in the evening was a sure-fire way for me to put on extra weight.

Later on, I started working with my own nutritional therapist who really encouraged me to find a way to eat some food in the mornings. Even if it was just a small bite or two. Over time my body began to get used to food in the morning and now it expects it. I find that how I feel for the day is very much determined by whether I eat breakfast or not. I very rarely skip breakfast anymore because I know that this is one of the ways that I can ensure optimal brain and energy function for the whole day.

Eating breakfast helps me keep my blood sugar stable for the day, and as you know from Part 2 of this series, stable blood sugar is a very important thing. One reason that I would feel so bad in the “old days” when I would skip breakfast is that it would cause my blood sugar to become unstable and that leads to all of the symptoms I was experiencing (energy crashes, brain fog, moodiness, fatigue, binging, etc.).

Speaking of blood sugar, this could be a very good reason why some women feel queasy at the thought of food early in the day. Both hyperglycemia (elevated blood sugar levels) or hypoglycemia (blood sugar levels that are too low) may cause nausea. If you are regularly experiencing nausea in the mornings then it might be a good idea to speak with your practitioner about what could be going on for it. Your doctor may suggest having you check your morning fasting blood sugar to see what your readings are so you can have a better idea of what is going on with your body.

If you really want to feel empowered and in control of your health, you can get a blood sugar monitoring device quite affordable and start tracking it on your own. You don’t need a doctor to do this. If you notice that your readings are running high, then you can take that information to your doctor or practitioner and work together to figure out a game plan. This is the monitoring device I recommend (and the one Chris Kresser recommends on his site as well).

Nausea in the mornings, and in general, can sometimes be a difficult symptom to pinpoint a root cause. It does not always stem from blood sugar issues or a gastrointestinal issue. Sometimes it is related to your sleep and what cycle you are in when you wake up. According to Dr. Daniela Jodorkovsky (a gastroenterologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center):

“If you have a night of irregular sleep, wake up way earlier than usual, or have insomnia, your natural circadian rhythms will be disrupted, which can make you feel queasy. Research has shown that your digestive system is linked with your circadian rhythms, so if you mess with one, the other is probably going to be affected, too.”

Speaking of sleep, sleep is critical to maintaining stable blood sugar. While this is a topic that I will save for another blog post, just know that some research has shown that a single night of poor quality sleep can leave you with blood sugar readings similar to a Type 2 diabetic. One night of bad sleep doesn’t make you diabetic, but if you were to check your blood sugar levels after a night of poor sleep, you are likely to see much higher readings. And poor sleep over time can lead to worse and worse blood sugar readings.

That said, sleep and blood sugar can be a tricky thing for some because according to the Alaska Sleep Clinic,

Sleep can affect your blood sugar levels, and your blood glucose control can also affect your sleep. It’s a vicious cycle. As the amount of sleep decreases, blood sugar increases, escalating the issue. Lack of sleep has been shown to increase blood sugar levels and the risk of diabetic issues.

Getting quality sleep is going to be important to manage your blood sugar, but managing your blood sugar is going to be important to get quality sleep. More to come on this in a future post. In addition to blood sugar problems, a few other reasons why you may feel like skipping breakfast could be adrenal dysfunction (low cortisol), eating too late or too much the night before, and digestive issues (low hydrochloric acid or pancreatic enzymes).

Action Steps – Start Eating Breakfast

If you are feeling queasy in the morning, you will need to re-train your body to want food. This process can move quickly or it might go slowly. But retraining is possible. It took me a few weeks until my body was happy having food in the mornings, but then soon after that everything stabilized and breakfast just became a normal part of my routine — no nausea in sight.

To start, eat something small. Don’t try to eat too much at once. Starting out with a small amount of protein, fat, and carbs will be a good way to ease your body into wanting breakfast. Try a spoonful of nut butter, a single scrambled egg, some avocado, a small piece of sausage or bacon, or even a tiny smoothie. Just enough to get a little food in the belly, but not enough to where you feel sick.

Over time you will find that eating breakfast becomes easier and easier. And at some point, you may notice that your body requires breakfast in order to feel your best throughout the day. I would recommend referring back to Parts 1-3 of this series for more info on why and what to eat for breakfast:

Next week, I will be sharing part 5 (the final part) of this series, all about The Effect of Skipping Meals on Weight Loss.

If you are ready to finally make peace with food, body, and health, I would love to invite you to join my 7-day Food & Body Freedom eCourse. It’s completely free and will introduce you to a whole new world of food, body, and health freedom. Discover how to finally make peace with the scale, learn to love your body, and reclaim your energy so you can approach health and life from a truly grounded and empowered place. Join us for free here. I can’t wait to see you in the course. ❤

If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out! And always, always, always remember that this is about progress, not perfection.

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