why do we eat three meals a day
Listen to your stomach and not the ticking of the clock, because it's past time humans evolved from our ancestral eating habits. Meal times are scheduled around the typical 9-to-5 workday, and first dates, family meeting times, and events like weddings all revolve around them. Humans may actually follow this routine more than any other in existence, but appetite doesn't chime on the hour. In fact, it's utterly unnatural to eat when we're told. б
As it turns out, eating three meals a day stemmed from European settlers, with whom it grew into the normal routine, eventually becoming the eating pattern of the New World. Native Americans were actually eating whenever they felt the urge to, rather than whenever the clock said morning, noon, or night. After the industrial revolution, people began to turn a midday meal into a lunchtime staple, and the after-work meal turned into dinner, a placeholder for the next meal. БThe eating schedule of the native tribes was less rigidБ the Europeans took this as Бevidence that natives were uncivilized,Б" Abigail Carroll, author of the book Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, told National Review. б БCivilized people ate properly and boundaried their eating, thus differentiating themselves from the animal kingdom, where grazing is the norm.
Б Breakfast, for example, is paraded around as the key to weight loss, but in truth, meal times were based on convenience and ritual. A person's own eating behavior is one of the greatest determinants of health, and researchers say it's better to avoid going without food for more than three to four hours. б Recent published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition б actually found eating breakfast doesnБt determine how many calories youБll eat for the rest of the day, but instead how many calories youБll burn. It helps calories burn faster once becoming active, but has litle effect on caloric. It may still be the most important meal of the day, but not because it leads to less indulging throughout the day. б One of the newest weight loss recommendations is intermittent fasting, and it actually rebels against current research that tells you to eat when youБre hungry and have six meals a day.
Skipping your lunch break or going the entire day without any calories may not only be a weight loss recommendation but also the trick to a longer life. Reducing calorie consumption can extend a person's life span by a third or more, as many animal studies have shown, by making the brain resistant to toxins than cause cellular damage. Constant eating doesnБt allow the body to experience starvation mode, or even hunger for that matter. European settlers changed the biological demands of eating and turned it into a forced food farce. Ignore the manmade routine and follow your own appetite for a healthier life, just like the Native Americans did. б Eating three meals a day seems sensible, but is it healthy? When you want to feel and look your best, it's hard to ignore the conflicting claims that grazing all day or skipping meals is the best way to reach your goals.
This is one case where it may be healthiest to stick with tradition. The average American eats 3. 12 meals a day, and a three-meals-a-day pattern is the norm in other industrialized nations. There is no clear, consistent evidence that any other meal frequency is better. In 2011 position stand, the International Society of Sports Nutrition reported that spreading calories out over more than three meals doesnвt appear to favorably change body composition. Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner each day may be optimal for controlling appetite and managing food intake. One advantage of eating three meals a day is that you are spreading your calories across your day, so you don't get too hungry between meals. Another is that you aren't spreading your calories too thin, so you are more likely to feel satisfied after each meal. Grazing all day may cause you to loose track of calories, especially if you choose high-calorie snacks, while having fewer than three meals a day may leave you so hungry that it's hard to make healthy food choices.
What you eat probably makes more of a difference than how often you eat. Skipping meals can make it hard to get the variety of foods and nutrients you need for good health. When you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner, you are likely to choose different foods at each meal, providing overall variety. Snacking can be a good way to add extra servings of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy protein to your diet, or it can be an excuse to eat potato chips and candy bars. Determining whether three meals a day is a healthy pattern for you may take some experimentation. Your goal is to provide your body with steady energy throughout the day and to get hungry enough between meals that you feel ready to eat but are still able to make rational choices at mealtime. If you find that you get too hungry between meals, adding a snack or two while still staying within your ideal calorie range may be a better option for you.
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