To be honest, I don’t know. It really depends on how active you are, how hungry you are, how busy you are, how you like to eat…..the list goes on because nutrition is complicated, there is not a one size fits all model and the reason why making extreme claims about what we should and should not be eating is a simplistic way of looking at a complicated science.
Eating 3 meals a day is not a conspiracy from food industry to make us eat more. Rather it is a tradition that has formed as a result of the way many of structure our lives and meals and as generally speaking our meals will keep us full for a few hours at a time. It is metabolism not marketing. Sitting down at a table to enjoy a meal with friends and family is also one of life’s most simple pleasures and as we enjoy doing it, we do tend to take the opportunity when it arises.
In modern life, we do tend to eat too much, and we do not tend to do it the right way. A balanced nutritious meal consumed three times each day, has now more likely been replaced with us grabbing random snacks and meals on the go that we scoff down in front of the computer or in the car. Therein lies the biggest issue with our nutrition – it tends to take a back seat to the other aspects of our lives, lives which we spend sitting down and as such burning calories relatively inefficiently and as such often need to eat a lot less, not a lot more.
So this takes us back to the entire point of this blog, how many meals should you eat? The average person will need 3-4 small meals – breakfast, early lunch, an afternoon snack and then a small dinner to keep their calories controlled, and their bodies and brains fuelled. Now some people who exercise a lot and who eat their first meal early in the day may need more, and then others who prefer to engage in a fasting style diet may only need a couple.
In a time when most people eat far too much, too often, debating the right or wrong of three meals a day is fruitless. The truth be known if the average person ate just three meals a day we would all be a lot leaner and healthier as a result. It is the other 20 meals, snacks and drinks that most of us go wrong.
Can you have a social life and still be heathy or lose weight? See my earlier post here.
Should any of us diet? Here are some of the pros and cons of dieting so you can make an informed decision on whether dieting is right for you.