What Happens When I Skip a Meal or Two?

woman looking at food
There is  a term used in recovery: HALT. Hungry, angry, lonely, and tired, are three states which are part of relapse prevention. You get the most irritable and irrational when you are stuck in a cycle of one or more of those components. When hungry and angry meet, it is never a good thing. ‘Hanger” doesn’t look good on anyone. The term hanger refers to the dangerous state where hunger meets anger and becomes a hybrid experience of cranky, irritable emotion. Being hangry is the bottom line of hunger. If you reach the “hanger” phase, you have gone far too long without eating. As soon as you eat some food, you’ll transform back into your normal, pleasant self. Until then, you are mean, angry, emotional, and reactive. Not eating food has an effect on your mood, your personality, and your body.


Maintaining your meals with healthy and nutritious food choices is part of recovery. Your body and your brain need healthy, nutritious, vitamin and mineral rich food to heal. The brain, for example, thrives on amino acids and fatty acids which can only come from food. When you deprive your“self” of food, you are depriving the headquarters of your life from the energy and sustenance it needs to keep you going. Here is what else is happening to your brain and body when you decide to skip a meal or two in the course of a day.


  • You’ll eat more later: The system of not eating, to then eat more, isn’t good for the body, or the brain. Depriving yourself and then overcompensating for not eating is a bad habit of eating. You hurt your digestive system and your brain with this practice. Eating regularly throughout the day is better to sustain energy instead of dropping and spiking your energy.
  • You’re hyperemotional: Like a little kid who needs a nap, you’re an adult kid who needs a snack. Humans don’t do well without food. When you’re transitioning into life and taking on more responsibility to be accountable for, you simply can’t afford a hunger-induced temper tantrum anymore. It could cost you something important, like a job.
  • You’re exhausted: Without any food in the body, your body is running on reserve energy. Doing this repeatedly actually depletes the body of it’s natural energy. Eating sugary snacks to bring your energy back up, or an extra large meal to compensate for not eating enough before, your body will just crash again later.


Recovery is simple. Simple Recovery is a men’s and women’s treatment center in Orange County, California, offering a complete continuum of care for a transitional treatment experience. Start your recovery today by calling us at: 888-743-0490