This has been drummed into us for decades.
"Breakfast is the most important meal of the day."
"You must have your 3 main meals."
"Have 6 smaller meals per day."
Are we supposed to follow these "rules"? How did they come about?
This way of eating became a norm when more people started to work the standardised hours of 9am -5pm.
In the mid-19th century, labourers heading out for physically demanding jobs would eat a 'hearty meal" before heading out in the morning. This trend caught on with people from all social classes.
In the 1950's the "family dinner' became a norm as a time for family bonding.
The Romans used to only eat 1 meal a day, which would usually be around noon. Having more than one meal was seen as overly indulgent.
Native Americans would only eat when they felt the need to.
Dr. Felix Oswald says that “during the zenith period of Grecian and Roman civilization monogamy was not as firmly established as the rule that a health-loving man should content himself with one meal a day, and never eat till he had leisure to digest, i.e., not till the day’s work was wholly done.
For more than a thousand years the one meal plan was the established rule among the civilized nations inhabiting the coast-lands of the Mediterranean.
The evening repast–call it supper or dinner–was a kind of domestic festival, the reward of the day’s toil, an enjoyment which rich and poor refrained from marring by premature gratifications of their appetites.”
The food industry jumped on the bandwagon as a way to sell more products. Microwave ovens were invented and microwave meals became staples so that women would 'spend less time in the kitchen". Processed meals were flying out of industrial food factories. Fast food outlets were sprouting faster than weeds. Promoting breakfast specials, lunch deals, dinner options and high tea.
The health of people living in developed countries started to deteriorate. We are even eating when we aren't hungry.
Imagine your digestive system as a conveyor belt. Along this conveyor belt, there are workers who will tend to all the food coming in. If food is constantly being loaded onto the system, non stop, at some point, the workers are going to get exhausted and food is going to keep piling up and a huge mess will form.
Constant eating doesn't allow our bodies to go into starvation mode or allow us to actually feel hungry.
I can hear you saying, "But I do feel hungry at breakfast, lunch & dinner times!"
That may not necessarily be hunger you might be feeling. It may be dehydration, tiredness or lack of nutrients (which was not fulfilled by eating products that are nutritionally deplete of any benefits). We need to learn how to listen and interpret the messages or signals our bodies send us.
Our bodies are not meant to be eating the way we do now. We are not biologically designed that way.
Reducing our calorie intake by 30-40% will extend our life span by at least a third or more. Eating more whole foods less of the time will also slow down the ageing process and allow our bodies to regenerate faster.
Allowing our bodies to go into starvation mode will give our bodies a chance to regenerate and detoxify more efficiently.
I have one main meal a day, with only fruit and maybe some nuts at around noon or later. Depending on how my particular day has been scheduled, I generally have my main meal in the evening. Sometimes it will be around 2-3pm. Then nothing else is eaten till the next day.
We need to rethink how we view food and eat only when we need to. If you suffer from hypoglycemia, often it's because the food eaten is not high enough in nutrients. So rather than having a full meal each time, have some fresh fruit, vegetable sticks with a nut butter or hummus, nuts or dried fruit like dates or figs.