Do You Really Need Three Meals a Day?

The pattern of eating three meals a day is not based on science, but rather on the industrialization of America which formulized the workday. According to The Atlantic, when the country was more rural, people worked their land during daylight hours, starting at dawn and pausing midday and later in the afternoon for mealtimes.

“It was more like a two-meal kind of schedule that was based on outdoor physical labor and farm labor, and those meals tended to be quite big,” said Amy Bentley, a professor of food studies at New York University.

When industrialized America began investing in processed foods, the breakfast industry boomed with nutritionally hollow foods like cornflakes and instant oatmeal that made eating the first meal of the day easy, if not totally nutritious, according to The Atlantic. Breakfast became a habit rather than a necessity so kids could get to school and parents to the workplace with food in their stomachs.

While some studies have shown that breakfast eaters are healthier than those who skip the meal, according to Healthline, this may be because people who eat breakfast generally have healthier lifestyle habits. Studies show that eating breakfast does not kickstart your metabolism as widely assumed and has no effect on the calories you burn throughout the day.

In fact, some studies have shown that skipping breakfast may cut 400 calories in your average daily intake, leading to weight loss. Even though some participants ate more at lunch, it was not enough to compensate for the missed meal.

Dr. Mehmet Oz believes that breakfast is a product of good marketing and not sound nutrition. He said he would like to abolish breakfast altogether to give our metabolisms a boost.

“I don’t think we need to eat breakfast. That’s an advertising ploy.” The TV host and cardiothoracic surgeon told TMZ.

Oz believes in intermittent fasting and suggests that if you eat a proper dinner, you should not be starving first thing in the morning. So, what is going to happen to the all-American tradition of bacon, eggs, and pancakes? The famous doctor advises us to eat only when we are truly hungry and that would be mid-morning. “You should have brunch every day of the week,” he advises. 

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