One thing you discover once you go low-carb (not even paleo, just cutout some carbs you used to take for granted), is that it’s only a hop-skip-and-jump to intermittent fasting. And, as I’ve said about IF, it seems to create a situation in which you can “eat whatever you want“, albeit for one meal a day, and in that meal, you’ll find yourself filling up too fast to actually gorge like you probably thought you would, having not eaten all day and all that jazz. That is, if you want to have a glorious cheat meal, then IF is better than attempting to push your cardio through the roof in order to do it because, generally, you cannot work out enough to eat whatever you want.
Anyway, before you get too impressed with all that, maybe you should consider why we’re eating three meals a day anyway. Has it always been that way?
Well, I came across this fun article which may explain a few things:
During the medieval era, breakfast was looked down upon and many simply ate two meals a day. During the Roman era, there was a one-meal-a-day ideal. Why we landed on three meals is hard to say, but what we can say is that fixed meals — and three of them per day — are a cultural construction, not a biological necessity.”
So, the Romans ate once a day. Medieval folks ate twice. Somehow, our European ancestors were up to three times a day.
What does this mean? First, you don’t need to be eating that much throughout the day. And, perhaps, there’s no such thing as a medical reason for eating 3 times a day. Not unless you are actually a manual laborer or a professional athlete.
I liked this discussion about what lunch needs to be:
“Lunch also bears the imprint of work — it was in fact a product of the new working culture in the nineteenth century. Then breakfast changed to conform to work. It shifted from a heavy, meat-centered meal — the second largest of the day in the early 1800s — to a light, quick, grain-based meal that gave the office worker just enough calories to do sedentary work, but not too much so as to put him to sleep at his desk.”
Because most of us are office drones, we don’t need the huge lunches people out there are peddling.
And one of the author’s underlying lessons is make your own food. There’s a general notion of processed foods being bad. I think what it really is is the prevalence of high fructose corn syrups in those foods as well as the reliance on cheap carbs as fillers.
Of course, once you learn to cook for yourself, you can see the ingredients you use and stay natural.
I’d rather use sugar than Splenda, and generally I’d avoid sweets to avoid excess carbs. That is, learn to appreciate the umami in life and not the fat creating sweets out there.
So, read the book, I know I will.
The upshot is, it’s ok to skip a meal and to save some calories. Just get that protein.