Why Do We Eat Three Meals a Day?

Time to Eat


Every morning, you head straight from your bed to the kitchen. You immediately fill a bowl with cereal. Once you eat breakfast, you start packing a lunch you’ll eat at exactly 12:30 P.M. Upon arriving home from work, you’ll prepare a dinner that you’ll consume at approximately 7:00 P.M. Does this scenario sound familiar? If you’re like many people, you consume three meals at roughly the same times every day. However, have you ever pondered the reason for this daily ritual?

Several hundred years ago, people didn’t follow the three meals a day rule. In fact, Native Americans employed a practical approach to food. They ate when they were hungry. The three meals per day concept originated with Englanders who achieved financial prosperity. European settlers brought their eating habits with them to America. Unfortunately, practicing antiquated, meal etiquette often causes you to consume calories when you’re not hungry. To lose weight and keep it off for life, allow your hunger, instead of societal norms, to guide when you eat. You might find eating six, small meals a day works best for you. Or, you may decide eating two, large meals combined with a substantial snack is your preference.

 Eat Healthy Regardless of the Mealtime

In addition to bucking societal norms about how many meals you eat each day, don’t be shy about consuming healthy foods associated with particular meals whenever you crave them. For instance, your hectic schedule might prevent you from preparing an entrée and multiple side dishes each night. Instead of grabbing a burger and fries at your favorite, fast-food restaurant when you’re short on time, consider preparing traditional, breakfast fare such as: 

  • A poached egg
  • A whole grain bagel with lox, low-fat cream cheese, a tomato slice, and red onion
  • Two slices of whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter and bananas

At the end of the day, the amount of calories you consumed is more important than when and how you consumed them. If you’re interested in revamping your approach to food, consider scheduling a free, initial appointment with a consultant at a Metabolic Research Center near you. The knowledgeable consultants at the Metabolic Research Center realize one size doesn’t fit all.


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