Question for Betty.

I only eat once a day, usually after class, for dinner.  I have a dorm meal plan that only allows me to eat once a day.  I really don't have a lot of money, so, I just eat once a day.  Is that okay?

Betty's Answer.

Eating only once a day on a regular basis is not a good idea.  You need energy and a constant supply of serum glucose to the brain for optimal functioning.  When you fast all day, you may be having hunger signals such as fatigue, dizziness, headache, and mood swings.  This is your body trying to notify you of a problem.  It is hard to concentrate and participate in your classes or study when you are not at your optimal level. 

Eating breakfast has been shown to improve concentration, problem solving, mental performance, memory and mood.  Ideas for a quick inexpensive breakfast include:  high fiber cereal, yogurt, skim milk, and fruit.  Single serving items, like oatmeal, just add hot water, is also an easy item.  A mid morning or afternoon snack, whole grain crackers, with cheese or peanut butter, or fruit or raw veggies are good choices.

The other problem is that you may be binging in the evening, choosing less nutritious food, and also more calories, than if you had spread the intake over the day.