The media can be so confusing. If you scroll your pages, you will see articles saying that you MUST eat 5-6 times a day to keep your metabolism going. Then you will see an article stating that you should eat only 3 meals to keep insulin levels low.
Who is correct? Well, they both kind of are. There is no one plan that works for everyone. We are all unique and our lifestyles have to work with this.
Some claim to eat a large breakfast, medium lunch, and a very small dinner. Others claim that breakfast can be skipped and it is fine to have a late and large dinner. Who is right? Again, both are.
This is SO confusing. I know. So, lets break down some of these:
1) Eating mini-meals during the day: This is a good idea if you find your blood sugar is always dropping. But, these meals should contain protein and a good fat source and you may find you may not need to eat as frequently. But lets say your lifestyle doesn’t allow for you to sit down for lunch. Or maybe dinner is spend driving kids from one activity to another. In those cases, mini meals may be best for your lifestyle.
2) No snacks: Ayurveda focuses more on when you should eat and how you eat (sitting relaxed) than what you actually eat. There are lots of dosha balancing foods, but that will be for another article. The circadian rhythm is also in play here. Traditional Chinese Medicine shows how your organs relate to your circadian rhythm and this a great argument for eating three meals a day. Also, having time between meals allows your insulin to lower.
3) The theory of ‘Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Peasant, and Dinner like a Pauper’ is based on eating your food during the times when you burn it off. This has been debunked, but if it works for you, stick with it.
4) The theory of eating ‘light to heavy’ is one I first read about from Dietician Kimberly Snyder in her book, The Beauty Detox. This book talked about the digestion process and it made sense to me. Plus it fits my life better. When my daughter was a baby, I ate my main meal for lunch and barely ate dinner. But since she started school, family dinner became more important to me. I enjoy having my main meal at dinner with her. This goes to the Ayurveda principles of ‘how’, although the ‘when’ in Ayurveda is usually the largest meal at mid day. When I am older and my daughter leave for college (no, no, no, not ready!), I will likely go back to my former way. But for now, this works for my family.
So, my point is that there is NO CORRECT ANSWER. We are all made up differently and have different lifestyles. These factors are also constantly changing. You are not married to any pattern. Flexibility is key to ALL areas of your life. So, if what you are doing now is working for you, keep with it. And by that I mean access your energy, hunger, family commitments. If not, play around. Don’t listen to what someone else has found success with. That someone isn’t you.