Somebody recently asked me if it really is important for us to eat three meals a day. Great question!
First of all, we need to understand that food to our body is like fuel to a car. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it, our body NEEDS food whether we like it or not! So the idea that skipping meals will help you lose weight? Not true. If you deprive your car of gas, it’s not going to run properly. Similarly, if you deprive your body of food, it’s not going to run properly either.
When we wake up in the morning, our bodies have gone roughly over 8 hours without food. Not eating breakfast would be like starting our car with an empty gas tank – not good! Breakfast refuels our body and gives us the energy we need to start our day.
We use the majority of our energy between breakfast and dinner, which makes it important to “refuel” our body again midday (i.e. eat lunch). I’ve heard so many people say “Oh I was just too busy to eat lunch today.” Whether you eat while you work, or you sneak a handful of nuts or bite of your sandwich between clients, your body needs some food to keep your energy up!
Dinner is also important for our bodies because this meal has to tie us over until breakfast the next day. Our dinner should be hearty, but nutritious. If we eat a fatty or sugary meal before bed, our body will just store this fat overnight, which can cause weight gain and also can interfere with our sleep.
The timing of eating three meals a day allows our bodies to gradually digest the nutrients we consumed, providing us with more energy for longer periods of time. Many people prefer to break down these three meals into five or six smaller meals a day. In other cultures, lunch is the biggest meal of the day and breakfast and dinner are more like small snacks. People may also choose to simply eat intuitively (i.e. not eating lunch just because it’s 12 o’clock, but eating lunch when they are hungry, even if it’s 11am or 2pm.)
Which way is the right way?!?!!
My opinion? LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! We are all different. As long as you stay within your daily calorie limit and eat primarily wholesome and nutritious food, eat whenever it works best for you and your body!
1. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day!
2. Our bodies function 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year, and as such need to be constantly refueled throughout the day. Whether it’s three meals a day or six meals a day, be sure you’re getting enough food.
3. Just like putting the wrong kind of gas in your car would damage your engine, putting the wrong kind of food in your body can damage your “engine.” Be mindful of what you put into your body.
4. Listen to your body!