We are ingrained in the 3 meals a day approach to eating, which is a reasonable way our culture has managed the human need for sustenance, but it really isn’t a necessary or sacred practice. Our bodies have built in mechanism to signal to us when we should eat. That signal is hunger.
But for most of us, our problem is that we don’t eat when we are hungry.
About ten years ago, as I was training for a marathon, I found that additional mileage was creating a greater caloric demand, for which I could not adequately satisfy by just eating three times a day. So I decided to just eat something whenever I got hungry, which in this case worked out to be about four to five times a day. The additional food usually consisted of a midmorning sandwich or late afternoon soup. Not a big ordeal, just a small something to satiate the growl.
I believe we would be in better shape in this country if we could listen to the signal given to us by our natural responses and eat to satisfy it. The problem comes when we eat to satisfy more than the rumble in the stomach. Boredom, stress, and anxiety, just like hunger, all need to be addressed, but tossing food their direction will only compound the problem.
Learn to listen to what your body is telling you. Eat when you’re hungry. Slow down when you feel hurried. Relax when anxious. Respond accordingly and see what it does for you.