Eat 3 times a day?
I probably, like many others, got used to eating 3 times a day since childhood. I can't say whether this is a good habit or not, but recently I thought - why 3 times? who came up with this?
The last time I recall being at home all by myself was last week, and that has rarely happened to me. We had our breakfast at 7 am, like usual, and it was a big meal. My husband went to Tallinn to stay with relatives, and brought the girls with him. I dropped my eldest daughter off at school, then went home. Even though I was preoccupied with activities around the house, I completely lost track of time, and it was well into the afternoon before I noticed.
On other days, I cook lunch at 12, but today, since I was the only one I needed to take care of, I got a whole day's work done with no breaks.
To my surprise, I noticed that hunger came to me only in the evening. I made myself a meal and my second meal was around 5 o'clock. I didn’t dine that day.
I remember how after giving birth, I kept counting calories to get back in shape, but in fact, if I then began to eat 2 times a day, then I would not have to count calories.
I decided to find information about why do we still keep eating 3 times per day. After all, there must be some recommendations from doctors or researches on the optimal amount of meals, we couldn't have just blindly follow this rule all this time.
There are different theories about the origin of "3 meal per day" routine. One states that the idea of three daily meals, an idea now widely taken for granted, originated with the English, who were then in better financial circumstances than other nations, and they just showed others how it should be.
The other suggests that it's a historical artifact of the Industrial Revolution, and that elite rulers knew that workers had to be well-fed so they could meet the demanding work schedules at the factories.
It's difficult to say for sure, what is the truth right now, but we can be certain that it wasn't always like that. The Romans thought that eating one meal a day was more nutritious. They were crazy about food and many people believed eating more than one meal was gluttony. Native Americans employed a practical approach to food. They ate when they were hungry.
One might argue that our ancestors weren't physically able to eat more than once per day, since they didn't have such an abundance of food as we do. They also lived a lot shorter lives on average than we do. This is all true, we should not eat like our ancestors but the point I'm trying to make is you don't have to eat if you're not hungry. Allow your hunger to choose when you eat, and never again be bound by eating only at certain times. Eating several smaller meals throughout the day might work for you better, or you could choose to eat a hearty lunch and supper, with a healthy mid-day snack in between. We should learn to listen to our body and find whatever works best for us.