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Should we still eat 3 meals a day or just when we are hungry?

Answered on October 16, 2013
Created October 15, 2013 at 3:45 PM

We've been eating this way for a while and it seems to work for us, but I'm just curious...how many meals do you eat a day? Do you just eat when you are hungry? We only eat 2 meals a day because we just aren't hungry.

Breakfast is often 3 to 4 eggs each with some bacon/sausage. Occasionally something sweeter like banana "pancakes" or nuts and berries. We then usually aren't hungry until dinner, which is often a portion of lean protein and a large side of vegetables with butter, a sweet potato for dessert. And if we get hungry between meals or before bed we will have a fruit or some veggies/dip, and occasionally split a can of tuna on days that we had something sweeter for breakfast. We also have a tsp of cod liver oil for breakfast which I suspect helps to keep us full so long.

I'm expecting our 2nd child and our first child(who is 2) seems to be fine with this routine. And if he gets hungry before we do, he will usually have some nuts or fruit/veggies too. Is it okay to be eating this way? Cave families didn't really have scheduled meals times(to my knowledge) and just ate when they were hungry right?

Cd6ffaf8c6b1ad60e9c9b3ae450d4984

on October 15, 2013
at 07:28 PM

This was really interesting to read. Thank you!

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6 Answers

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D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on October 16, 2013
at 02:06 AM

I think you go with how you feel that day. Some days I don't care about eating until 2 pm, some days I wake up hungry. So one day may be nibbling all day, some days a few bigger meals. I think its learning to listen to what your body is asking for and not worrying about it too much. And kids will always let you know if the routine works for them! It sounds like you guys are doing an awesome job of teaching your child what eating is really about. Trust yourself.

0
9a3e588924139a744a5a77cb43ee6a7f

on October 16, 2013
at 12:58 AM

I personally eat a good breakfast and lunch and normally do not eat supper or dinner but only a snack in the late afternoon or evening .. works for me.

0
Cd6ffaf8c6b1ad60e9c9b3ae450d4984

on October 15, 2013
at 07:27 PM

I personally eat two meals between 12 and 9, but more often than not my last meal is at 6. This suits me as your current plan seems to be suiting you. Listening to your body is your best resource for answering some of these questions. If you feel that you are in a very healthy state then nothing really needs to change. However, if you feel something is missing maybe reassess what and when you are eating. What are you truly craving when hunger does hit. Protein? Fat? Bacon? (had to add that one in there) Everyone has posted some really good answers and observations. Maybe use some of that knowledge and apply it to what your body is saying to you. In the end it should agree with your own intuition.

Best of luck! @Jessica 30

Adam Chevalier

0
00cd3b6f51530a6832fcda1712edbec3

(2411)

on October 15, 2013
at 05:40 PM

@Jessica 30,

The answer is "it depends." Our paleolithic ancestors did not have the luxury of eating whenever they were hungry. The women (most likely) gathered edibles from the environment daily, while the men (most likely) went hunting. To avoid post-meal lethargy, both groups likely avoided eating much during the day and had their main meal in the evening. It's unlikely they had many nuts, since trees that bear them don't grow abundantly in the wild in most places (although trees that bear acorns do, and there's ample evidence of indigenous peoples eating them throughout their history). It's unlikely they had a lot of meat around, since animals are hard to hunt and since the most productive hunting usually took place in late summer and fall, when animals were fattest. In addition, fruits were available only during these seasons, too, and they were far less sugary and far more tart and bitter than the fruit we eat today.

All of which has diddly to do with how modern humans should eat. We aim for paleolithic levels of nutrition, not to slavishly imitate paleolithic eating patterns. Most lay paleo bloggers I followed recommend eating 2–3 times per day, with at least 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, and 4–6 hours in between other meals. Stephanie Ruiper, though advises against women doing intermittent fasting (16–18 hours between dinner and breakfast).

Many paleo adherents find that protein- and fat-laden meals make snacks unnecessary. You should avoid eating after dinner, because your body needs a rest from insulin and the work of digestion for a long period before going to bed. If you find that your energy is flagging on a regular basis between meals, swap out some carbohydrates for fat and protein at meals.

Cd6ffaf8c6b1ad60e9c9b3ae450d4984

on October 15, 2013
at 07:28 PM

This was really interesting to read. Thank you!

0
Medium avatar

(238)

on October 15, 2013
at 04:54 PM

I've switched to 2 a day and pretty happy with it. I've cut some un-needed calories.

0
7904c7276d7e48f1be887fabd263bfd9

(300)

on October 15, 2013
at 04:47 PM

eat how you like, im sure people could think of an arguement against 1 huge meal a day, and im sure people could think of an arguement against eating 8 meals a day but anything reasonable would be hard to argue against.

i personally eat 2 meals a day half of the time, will eat 3 if i wake up hungry or do a lot of energy burning.

you could probably even come up with an argument as to why you should switch up meal quantities/times/frequency..... alas i think its all subjective atm.(within reason)+(in my view)

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